• Keeping Produce Fresh Longer

    Billions of dollars of fruits, vegetables, and flowers are thrown away each year as produce ripens too quickly and starts to rot in different markets before public buyers even buy them. Even though you might expect these products to start rotting to their death after they are first harvested, researchers explain that fruits, vegetables and flowers are still alive after they are picked. In fact, once these products are picked, they produce and release into the air ethylene gas, a crucial component for the ripening and blooming process. >> Read the Full Article
  • Should We Change the Climate If We Could?

    Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming. Who should do it and when? Anything done has the possibility of affecting everybody so who should be consulted? Who decides such world spanning concepts? A new study investigated these concerns. The findings are the result of the first UK public engagement study to explore the ethics and acceptability of so-called solar radiation management (SRM) technology, and a proposed field trial for a possible deployment mechanism. >> Read the Full Article
  • Industrialized fishing has forced seabirds to change what they eat

    The bleached bones of seabirds are telling us a new story about the far-reaching impacts of industrial fisheries on today's oceans. Looking at the isotopes of 250 bones from Hawaiian petrels (Pterodroma sandwichensis), scientists have been able to reconstruct the birds' diets over the last 3,000 years. They found an unmistakable shift from big prey to small prey around 100 years ago, just when large, modern fisheries started scooping up fish at never before seen rates. The dietary shift shows that modern fisheries upended predator and prey relationships even in the ocean ocean and have possibly played a role in the decline of some seabirds. >> Read the Full Article
  • What Do You Think About Geo-engineering?

    Few members of the UK public are comfortable with the idea of injecting aerosols high into the atmosphere to help slow down climate change, a study has found. People voiced concerns that this type of approach fails to address the basic problem of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. They are also nervous about any unintended consequences of such an action. But most significantly, they say that injecting aerosols into the Earth's atmosphere raises problems of international governance and control: who would ultimately be responsible? >> Read the Full Article
  • Makran Earthquakes

    Earthquakes happen but where they may happen as well as when is a matter to be studied. Earthquakes similar in magnitude to the 2004 Sumatra earthquake could occur in an area beneath the Arabian Sea at the Makran subduction zone which is just south of Pakistan, according to recent research published in Geophysical Research Letters. The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Southampton based at the National Oceanography Center Southampton (NOCS), and the Pacific Geoscience Centre, Natural Resources Canada. >> Read the Full Article
  • Web tool tracks insecticide-resistant malaria mosquitoes

    An online mapping system to track insecticide resistance in malaria-causing mosquitoes around the world has been launched. The free interactive website identifies places in more than 50 malaria-endemic countries where mosquitoes have become resistant to the insecticides used in bed nets and indoor sprays. IR Mapper was launched last month (25 April) by Vestergaard Frandsen, a Swiss firm that makes disease-control products, and the KEMRI/CDC research and public health collaboration based in Kenya. >> Read the Full Article
  • ISS Ammonia Leak Repaired on Spacewalk

    During an unscheduled spacewalk on the space station's exterior on Saturday morning, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy carried out the mother of all plumbing jobs: They detached a suspect ammonia pump, replaced it with a spare and watched for any further ammonia leakage. The emergency spacewalk was carried out in response to a troubling ammonia coolant leak that was discovered on Thursday. The coolant is used to maintain the temperature of the vast solar arrays the space station uses to generate electricity for its systems. But after nearly four hours of extravehicular activity, Marshburn and Cassidy reported seeing "no snow" (i.e. no ammonia flakes) as a replacement Pump and Flow Control System (PFCS) box was switched on and ammonia was pumped around the solar array at full pressure. No trace of the phantom ammonia leak was spotted by the spacewalkers' cameras nor the ever watchful mission managers in Houston, Texas. >> Read the Full Article
  • When the Moon was Active

    The Moon appears a dead world. Once it was geologically active. New evidence from ancient lunar rocks suggests that the moon's own magnetic dynamo -- a molten, convecting core of liquid metal that generated a strong magnetic field -- lasted 160 million years longer than originally estimated and was continuously active until well after the final large surface impacts. Lawrence Livermore scientist William Cassata and a group of international collaborators analyzed two rocks gathered during the Apollo 11 mission and found that they were magnetized in a stable and surprisingly intense magnetic field. The study of these slowly cooled, unshocked rocks demonstrates that the moon had a core dynamo as late as a mere 3.55 billion years ago. >> Read the Full Article
  • Anthropogenic Origins of Cirrus Clouds

    "Cirrus" is Latin for a curling lock of hair so it is fitting that thin, wispy clouds that we often see in the atmosphere are called cirrus clouds. These clouds form when water vapor undergoes deposition at high altitudes and therefore are found at higher elevations and appear more delicate compared to the other types of clouds. Cirrus clouds cover as much as one-third of the Earth and play an important role in global climate. Depending on altitude and the number and size of ice crystals, cirrus clouds can cool the planet by reflecting incoming solar radiation – or warm it by trapping outgoing heat. >> Read the Full Article
  • Watery Moon

    The dark regions on the Moon were once considered seas full of water. Well that is not true but there is some water on the Moon. Researchers used a multicollector ion microprobe to study hydrogen-deuterium ratios in lunar rock and on Earth. Their conclusion: The Moon’s water did not come from comets but was already present on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when a giant collision sent material from Earth to form the Moon. >> Read the Full Article