• Israeli Researcher Creates Drought-Resistant 'Superplants'

    Israeli researchers engineer drought resistant plants that could be a game-changer in the global food crisis, requiring less water, yielding bigger harvests, and staying fresh longer. >> Read the Full Article
  • New report calls for immediate action to tackle aviation emissions

    A new scientific report released today highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation. With a decision expected shortly on how and when to tackle international aviation emissions, today's report increases the pressure on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (the United Nations agency responsible) not to defer a decision on the adoption of a market-based measure (MBM). >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA mission to study the moon's atmosphere

    The moon is a barren, rocky sphere that doesn't have an atmosphere like planet Earth, right? Well, it apparently does have a thin atmosphere and NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission to learn more about the lunar atmosphere. NASA is making final preparations to launch a probe at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The small car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky. A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets. >> Read the Full Article
  • Google Earth Introduces Fish-Eye View of Coral Reefs

    It is estimated that coral reefs cover around 284,000 square kilometers providing a habitat for thousands of species to live. And unless you've snorkeled in some of these underwater habitats, or perhaps have seen a Planet Earth documentary, most of us have never experienced these natural wonders. But thanks to Google Earth, you can now visit up-close and personal some of the world's most imperiled ecosystems. The Google team is currently working with scientists to provide 360 degree panoramas, similar to Google street-view, to give armchair ecologists a chance to experience the most biodiverse ecosystems under the waves. >> Read the Full Article
  • Refrigerated Trucks To Use Fuel Cell Technology

    In order to transport our favorite ice creams, frozen foods, and fresh produce, certain trucks are equipped with powerful refrigeration systems often powered by small diesel engines. These engines are constantly running all the way from the manufacturers of these frozen goods to the market in order to keep these groceries frozen or cool. As a result, refrigeration trucks tend to use more energy and resources to run. In an effort to reduce some reduce emissions and use a quieter, more efficient alternative to these refrigeration units, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are overseeing a project that will use an alternative energy source: fuel cells. >> Read the Full Article
  • Smartphones could provide weather data in poor nations

    Smartphones can now be used to collect weather data such as air temperatures through WeatherSignal, a crowdsourcing app developed by UK start-up OpenSignal. This helps crowdsource real-time weather forecasts and could one day help collect climate data in areas without weather stations, its developers say. Once installed, the app automatically collects data and periodically uploads them to a server. >> Read the Full Article
  • Old Concrete can have Second Life Protecting Nature

    Usually we think of demolished concrete walls and floors as environmental contaminants, but in fact this material may turn out to be a valuable resource in nature protection work. This is the conclusion from researchers from University of Southern Denmark after studying the ability of crushed concrete to bind phosphorus. "We have shown that crushed concrete can bind up to 90 per cent of phosphorus, "says PhD student and environmental engineer, Melanie Sønderup, Department of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark. >> Read the Full Article
  • Envisioning Future Sea Level Rise

    In the past one hundred years, the Global Mean Sea Level has risen between 4 and 8 inches, and is currently rising at a rate of approximately 0.13 inches a year. However, the sea level rise "lock-in" – the rise we don't see now, but which, due to emissions and global warming, is being locked in for the future – is increasing 10 times faster. While our current sea level rise is at a modest, but still threatening inch per decade, the future rise is at a foot per decade. >> Read the Full Article
  • Crocodiles and Alligators Caught Eating Fruit

    Alligators and crocodiles seem a little less intimidating now that new research reveals they enjoy an occasional fruit during meals. While usually known as being top predators, a new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Zoology confirms that alligators do not live on meat alone. Neither do Nile crocodiles. A study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society says that the American alligator and a dozen other crocodile species occasionally eat fruit along with their normal meat-heavy diets of mammals, birds, and fish. >> Read the Full Article
  • Plans to Remap Coastal Areas after Hurricane Sandy Announced this week

    Preliminary U.S. damage from Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast in October of last year is estimated to be near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone to hit the United States since 1900. Full recovery from Sandy will take years, but plans for remapping altered seafloors and shorelines were announced yesterday by a joint collaboration between the USGS, NOAA, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The project includes acquiring data to update East Coast land maps and nautical charts by conducting a new survey of coastal waters and shorelines. >> Read the Full Article