A moving Mother's Day story
May 10, 2015 07:46 AM - Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
Mother’s Day is a good time to reflect on the amazing lengths some moms go to to ensure the well being of their children. One such “supermom” is Debby Elnatan, a former Israeli stay-at-home mom who became a press sensation when she invented the “Upsee”, a harness that allowed her young disabled son, and other handicapped children around the world, to walk in tandem with their parents.
When we first wrote about the Firefly Upsee harness a little over a year ago, the device was just gaining worldwide attention. A year later, NoCamels speaks to the inventor of the Upsee to hear about the future of the international company she is now heading.
Yellowstone Supervolcano found to have two magma chambers
May 9, 2015 07:57 AM - NPR
There's more to Yellowstone National Park than meets the eye. Much more, as it turns out.
You might already know that a supervolcano dominates the famous park that is situated on land in Wyoming and Montana. A shallow subsurface magma chamber has long been known.
But now a second, much larger reservoir of partially molten rock has been discovered by researchers at the University of Utah. There's enough magma inside, they say, to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times.
Greenhouse gas benchmark reached
May 8, 2015 08:54 AM - NOAA Newsroom
For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA’s latest results.
Hormones used to stimulate growth in farm animals lead to more human exposure than thought
May 8, 2015 07:39 AM - INDIANA UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert.
Research by an Indiana University environmental scientist and colleagues at universities in Iowa and Washington finds that potentially harmful growth-promoting hormones used in beef production are expected to persist in the environment at higher concentrations and for longer durations than previously thought.
"What we release into the environment is just the starting point for a complex series of chemical reactions that can occur, sometimes with unintended consequences," said Adam Ward, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "When compounds react in a way we don't anticipate -- when they convert between species, when they persist after we thought they were gone -- this challenges our regulatory system."
In-active devices waste billions of dollars of electricity
May 7, 2015 03:31 PM - National Resources Defense Council
Approximately $19 billion worth of electricity, equal to the output of 50 large power plants, is devoured annually by U.S. household electronics, appliances, and other equipment when consumers are not actively using them, according to a groundbreaking study released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
California Resident Poll Expresses Wide Concern Over Drought
May 7, 2015 09:13 AM - Chris Sosa, Care2
A recent Care2 poll has found that slightly over 90 percent of respondents express major concern over the current drought engulfing the state, despite the fact that only 60 percent of respondents consider themselves strong environmentalists. Fewer than 1 percent expressed no concern about the drought. Nearly 75 percent of respondents cited fears about the fate of wildlife. Concern for humans came in second at 71 percent and agriculture at 61 percent.
Undersea robots plan missions autonomously
May 7, 2015 07:05 AM - Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
For the last decade, scientists have deployed increasingly capable underwater robots to map and monitor pockets of the ocean to track the health of fisheries, and survey marine habitats and species. In general, such robots are effective at carrying out low-level tasks, specifically assigned to them by human engineers — a tedious and time-consuming process for the engineers.
When deploying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), much of an engineer’s time is spent writing scripts, or low-level commands, in order to direct a robot to carry out a mission plan. Now a new programming approach developed by MIT engineers gives robots more “cognitive” capabilities, enabling humans to specify high-level goals, while a robot performs high-level decision-making to figure out how to achieve these goals.
Mysterious "Internal Waves" yield more of their mysteries
May 6, 2015 03:47 PM - Oregon State University
Once a day, a wave as tall as the Empire State Building and as much as a hundred miles wide forms in the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines and rolls across the South China Sea – but on the surface, it is hardly noticed.
These daily monstrosities are called “internal waves” because they are beneath the ocean surface and though scientists have known about them for years, they weren’t really sure how significant they were because they had never been fully tracked from cradle to grave.
But a new study, published this week in Nature Research Letter, documents what happens to internal waves at the end of their journey and outlines their critical role in global climate. The international research project was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Taiwan National Science Council.
Birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines
May 6, 2015 03:24 PM - Central Ornithology Publication Office
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations.
How forests can end global hunger
May 6, 2015 08:46 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Forests and forestry are essential to achieve global food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear, a new study published today reveals. The findings are included in the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date on the relationship among forests, food and nutrition launched today in New York at a side event of the United Nations Forum on Forests.