Sci/tech

How Clouds Over the Oceans Affect Our Climate
July 24, 2009 06:58 AM - Editor, ENN

How clouds over the ocean affect our climate, and how climate change may be affecting THEM, is not well known. There is no network of observing stations like on land, and climate models have not been shown to really simulate clouds well. They may be just too fine a detail for models that cover such large scale phenomenon as oceanic circulation. But clouds over the oceans have been thought be important in our understanding of what drives our climate. In a study published in the July 24 issue of Science, researchers Amy Clement and Robert Burgman from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Joel Norris from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego begin to unravel this mystery.

US vehicle efficiency hardly changed since Model T
July 23, 2009 11:28 AM - Max Glaskin, NewScientist

The average fuel efficiency of the US vehicle fleet has risen by just 3 miles per gallon since the days of the Ford Model T, and has barely shifted at all since 1991.

Evidence is Growing That Contaminants Play a Role in Diabetes

Eat right and exercise, conventional wisdom has it, if you want to avoid joining the diabetes epidemic. But a new study adds some muscle to a growing body of research suggesting those steps, although beneficial, might not be enough for people exposed to chemicals in the environment. The scientists linked diabetes and people's body burdens of DDE, a chemical produced as the body breaks down the pesticide DDT, banned in the United States more than 35 years ago.

Total solar eclipse dazzles thousands in Varanasi
July 22, 2009 07:05 AM - Amit Bhattacharya, The Times of India

For three minutes and four seconds on Wednesday morning, an ethereal blue-grey darkness descended on this eternal city of light. To the east across the Ganga, it was like God's own eye flashing in the sky above, giving pilgrims, bathers and eclipse-watchers in the jam-packed ghats sights they are unlikely to forget in their lifetimes. While clouds blotted out the view in most other places in India, the century’s most spectacular total eclipse of the Sun was witnessed in full glory in holy Benaras.

Air Pollution Linked to Diminishing IQ of Children

A new study published in the August 2009 edition of Pediatrics shows a possible disturbing correlation between increased urban air pollution and decreased IQ points in children. The study sites polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or "chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil, and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco" as the major perpetrators of inner- city air pollution, with a particular focus on motor vehicle use.

Hydrokinetic Technologies: Will the U.S. Lose Ocean Energy to Europe?
July 21, 2009 09:46 AM - , Clean Techies

The earth is the water planet, so it should come as no great surprise that forms of water power have been one of the world’s most popular “renewable” energy sources.

U.S., China to Collaborate on Building Efficiency
July 21, 2009 09:32 AM - GreenBiz.com

The United States and China have agreed to a research partnership on energy efficient buildings and communities, redoubling collaborative efforts between the two countries in the development of cleaner, greener technology.

NOAA Reports Record Ocean Surface Temperatures for June
July 21, 2009 07:30 AM - , Global Warming is Real

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported findings of preliminary analysis from the agency's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina that shows global ocean surface temperatures for June broke the previous record set in 2005.

Hydrofluorocarbons, Once a Solution, Now a Problem?
July 20, 2009 07:44 AM - David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse. They worked: The earth's protective shield seems to be recovering. But researchers say what's good for ozone is bad for climate change.

Fertilizer’s Contamination Legacy
July 19, 2009 07:21 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Perchlorate-contaminated groundwater could be a widespread legacy of the U.S.'s agricultural past, according to researchers who have pioneered perchlorate forensics. The researchers, led by John Karl Bhlke of the U.S. Geological Survey, used isotopes and other geochemical tracers to identify perchlorate sources. The impact of the historic use of Chilean nitrate fertilizer from the Atacama Desert, which contains naturally occurring perchlorate, is emerging from studies such as one published recently in ES&T.

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