Sci/tech

TODAY is The Longest Day of the Year
June 21, 2009 02:43 PM - Robert Roy Britt, Live Science

If you've been waiting for the chance to get more done during the day, today, Sunday is your day, but only by a fraction of a second. Like a giant timepiece, Earth and sun are configured for the summer solstice once again. This year it happens June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun will be up a fraction of a second longer than the day prior or the day after. (The length of the full day, including night, does not change, of course.)

Desert icon Joshua trees are vanishing, scientists say
June 21, 2009 07:50 AM - JANET ZIMMERMAN The Press-Enterprise, Environmental Health News

The ancient plants are dying in the park, the southern-most boundary of their limited growing region, scientists say. Already finicky reproducers, Joshua trees are the victim of global warming and its symptoms -- including fire and drought -- plus pollution and the proliferation of non-native plants. Experts expect the Joshuas to vanish entirely from the southern half of the state within a century.

Nissan to make electric cars in U.S.
June 20, 2009 06:13 AM - Reuters

Nissan Motor Co plans to launch production of electric vehicles and their batteries in the United States to tap low-interest loans for green vehicles, the Nikkei business daily said. The overall investment is estimated at 50 billion yen ($516.4 million) and may rise to 100 billion yen, it said.

Mars Lake Held as Much Water as Lake Champlain
June 19, 2009 03:40 PM - Michael Reilly, Discovery News

Nestled in a valley near the Martian equator, scientists have discovered the striking remnants of an ancient lake. Though dry and frigid now, the traces it left behind hint at a water body younger than any other on the planet, and its sediments are a prime target for finding fossilized alien life.

Giant Carbon Clock Unveiled in Center of New York City
June 19, 2009 02:21 PM - Ceylan, Clean Techies

Deutsche Bank has erected a seven-story sign in the heart of New York City that ticks off the tons of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere — a public relations move designed to raise awareness of global warming.

Rising ocean temperatures near worst-case predictions
June 19, 2009 02:16 PM - Adam Morton, The Age.com

The ocean is warming about 50 per cent faster than reported two years ago, according to an update of the latest climate science. A report compiling research presented at a science congress in Copenhagen in March says recent observations are near the worst-case predictions of the 2007 report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

NASA Launches Moon Probes to Look for Water
June 19, 2009 08:30 AM - Jean-Louis Santini, AFP, Discovery

NASA has successfully blasted two probes into space on a landmark lunar exploration mission to scout water sources and landing sites in anticipation of sending mankind back to the moon in 2020. The launch marked "America's first step in a lasting return to the moon," a NASA official said moments after a rocket carrying the probes launched at 5:32 pm (2132 GMT), one day after the US space agency scrubbed the shuttle Endeavour launch for the second time in a week because of a nagging hydrogen fuel leak.

NOAA Forecast Predicts Large "Dead Zone" for Gulf of Mexico this Summer
June 18, 2009 04:19 PM - Editor, ENN

A team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University, and the University of Michigan is forecasting that the “dead zone” off the coast of Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico this summer could be one of the largest on record. The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where seasonal oxygen levels drop too low to support most life in bottom and near-bottom waters.

Senate Panel Approves Energy Bill
June 18, 2009 06:26 AM - JOHN M. BRODER, New York Times

A Senate committee on Wednesday approved an energy bill that would open large tracts of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling and provide federal loan guarantees for a gas pipeline project in Alaska. The measure, which cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a 15-to-8 vote, would also require utilities to produce up to 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power by 2021. That standard is somewhat weaker than one in a House energy and climate change bill that is headed for a floor vote as early as next week.

Scientists Debate Shading Earth As Climate Fix
June 17, 2009 07:23 AM - Richard Harris, NPR

Engineering our climate to stop global warming may seem like science fiction, but at a recent National Academy of Sciences meeting, scientists discussed some potential geoengineering experiments in earnest.

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