Sci/tech

Scientists discover giant sperm fossilized in bat guano
May 16, 2014 08:49 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM

In a cave in Australia, researchers from the University of New South Wales discovered giant fossilized sperm. The sperm were produced 17 million years ago by a group of tiny, shelled crustaceans called ostracods, making them the oldest fossilized sperm ever found. The results were published recently in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The fossils were excavated in 1988, but it wasn't known they contained sperm until they were studied in detail by an ostracod expert last year.

Patience, self-control and delayed gratification
May 15, 2014 03:44 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

How long would you wait for six grapes? A chimpanzee will wait more than two minutes to eat six grapes, but a black lemur would rather eat two grapes now than wait any longer than 15 seconds for a bigger serving.

Tipping point already reached?
May 15, 2014 08:04 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Two hundred years from now, the planet could look very different. This week two landmark studies revealed that West Antarctica's ice sheet is in a state of seemingly inevitable collapse linked to climate change. The slow-motion collapse would by itself eventually lead to a rise in global levels of 3.6-4.5 meters (12-15 feet), overrunning many of the world's islands, low-lying areas, and coastal cities. The only silver lining is that scientists conservatively estimate that the collapse could take 200-1,000 years.

Go out and play!
May 14, 2014 11:34 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

New research confirms the health benefits associated with outdoor play for children. New research from the University of Bristol shows that while most children spend the largest amount of their after-school time indoors either alone or with their parents, hours spent outdoors with friends has the greatest positive affect on a child's level of physical activity. The correlation works out like this: children get an extra 17 minutes of physical activity for every hour of time spent outdoors.

Overwhelming the Mississippi
May 14, 2014 10:52 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

New evidence from University of Texas at Austin researchers posit that the great Mississippi's natural ability to chemically filter out nitrates is being overwhelmed. UT's hydrologists demonstrate the enormity of the filtering process for almost every drop of water that enters into the 311,000-mile long course ending in the Gulf of Mexico.

Carbon Dioxide pushing weather around in the southern hemisphere
May 14, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

So why is Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why are there more droughts in southern Australia? According to new Antarctic ice core research published in Nature Climate Change, rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are intensifying the Southern Ocean winds, which are known to deliver rain to southern Australia, but instead they are pushing them further south towards Antarctica.

Coral Reefs: Who's protecting whom?
May 13, 2014 02:23 PM - Editor, ENN

According to a recent study, delicate coral reefs are protecting hundreds of millions of people around the world from stronger storms, rising seas, and flooding. The internationally supported study finds that coral reefs reduce the wave energy that would otherwise impact coastlines by 97 percent.

A greener barbecue
May 12, 2014 02:17 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer and outdoor cooking season is right around the corner. Unfortunately, outdoor cooking is too often connected with a tremendous amount of waste. Make this year's summer the "summer of green" with these eco-friendly alternatives for a low-impact summer barbecue:

Industrial-sized rain barrel research in Washington State
May 12, 2014 10:15 AM - ENN Editor

In an effort to reduce the amount of polluted runoff reaching Puget Sound, the Port of Seattle is hosting a two-year study site for two unique metal boxes, which will bloom into rain gardens and help reduce pollutants.

Scotland provides guidance to wind farms for the protection of bird life
May 12, 2014 09:49 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

An innovative guide for wind farms is to be produced by the Scottish Government, industry and charities to help protect bird life. The Scottish Windfarm Bird Steering Group, made up of the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Renewables, has already spent more than £50,000 on a series of studies.

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