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Stability vs. Efficiency in Ultra-low Freezer Design

December 17, 2014 9:51 am | by Joe LaPorte, Director of Product Management, Panasonic Healthcare North America, Wood Dale, Ill. | Articles | Comments

One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, a truly energy-efficient ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer will reach the market. Unfortunately for now, no technology exists that provides significant gains in efficiency, without compromising unit stability. Energy efficiency should always be considered in today’s green world, but don’t ignore other important long-term considerations.

Jaws Didn't Wipe Out His Cousin

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

New research suggests our jawed ancestors weren't responsible for the demise of their...

Study Sheds Light on How Greenland’s Ice is Vanishing

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | Videos | Comments

New research provides what the authors think is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland...

Crops Gone Wild May Feed the World

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

To feed the world's growing population we will have to find ways to produce more food on...

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Image of the Week: Rare Weather Fills Grand Canyon with Clouds

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A rare weather phenomenon at the Grand Canyon had visitors looking out on a sea of thick clouds just below the rim last week. Cory Mottice of the National Weather Service said the weather event happens about once every several years, though the landmark was treated to one last year.

Research Yields Biodegradable Food Packaging

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by | Videos | Comments

Nowadays, most of food packaging is derived from petrochemicals and not always biodegradable. Moreover, consumers often find that there is more packaging than content. To address these problems, researchers are producing packaging made from PBS, which is based on vegetable biomass.

All-electric Cars May Be Worse for Environment

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But, a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either.


Nuclear Power Key to Protecting Biodiversity

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. In an open letter to environmentalists with more than 60 signatories, the scientists ask the environmental community to weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources.

Hot Days Are Bad for American Wallets

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Hotter days mean less cold cash for Americans, according to a new study matching 40 years of temperatures to economics. Days that averaged about 77 F ended up reducing people's income by about $5 a day when compared with days that were about 20 degrees cooler.

Greener Deicers Still Damaging

December 12, 2014 2:41 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Brian Owens | News | Comments

Every year, as winter closes in, transportation authorities prepare to deploy their stockpiles of salt and sand to keep the roads and highways safe and ice-free for drivers. In the U.S., roughly 18 million metric tons of road salt are spread on the roads each year. All that salt does not just disappear along with the ice in the spring; it sticks around, and can have major effects on the surrounding ecosystems and even drinking water.

Invasive Species Dramatically Alter Landscapes

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A review of studies on how life forms interact with and influence their surroundings concluded that invasive species can alter landscapes in myriad ways and with varying degrees of severity. These changes can be quick, large-scale and extremely difficult to reverse.

Seeking Solutions for Water-level Changes in Great Lakes

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Extreme water-level fluctuations in the Great Lakes, including historic lows on lakes Michigan and Huron in 2013 and substantial upward trends in 2014, are creating serious challenges for many. To help the community, scientists are launching a two-tiered, two-year collaborative research initiative called the Great Lakes Water Levels Integrated Assessment.


UN Urges Polluters to Present Climate Pledges

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Karl Ritter | News | Comments

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to listen to scientists "shouting from the roof tops" and accelerate talks on a global pact to fight climate change. He also called on big carbon polluters to follow the examples of China, the U.S. and the EU and announce emissions targets for a planned deal next year in Paris. India, Russia and Japan and other major carbon emitters haven't made pledges.

Citizen Scientists to Tackle Climate in NASA Challenge

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA, in partnership with the USGS, is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the U.S. in coping with climate change. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge kicks off Monday, Dec. 15, and runs through March 2015.

Scientists Estimate Total Weight of Plastic in Ocean

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by PLOS | News | Comments

Scientists from six countries contributed data from 24 expeditions collected over a six-year period to help accurately estimate the amount of plastic in the seas. According to their work, nearly 269,000 tons of plastic pollution may be floating in the world's oceans.

Soot, Dust Discolor the Taj Mahal

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

The Taj Mahal’s iconic marble dome and soaring minarets require regular cleaning to maintain their dazzling appearance. Researchers are pointing the finger at airborne carbon particles and dust for giving the gleaming white landmark a brownish cast. But, knowing the culprits in the discoloration is just the first step in cleaning up the Taj Mahal.

Climate Talks to Set Record-high Carbon Footprint

December 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Frank Bajak | News | Comments

The current UN climate talks will be the first to neutralize all the greenhouse gas pollution they generate, offset by host country Peru's protection of forest at three different reserves, organizers say. Now, the bad news: the Lima conference is expected to have the biggest carbon footprint of any UN climate meeting measured to date.


Burying Hydrogen Could Offer Energy Security

December 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Large-scale storage of low-pressure, gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns and other underground sites for transportation fuel and grid-scale energy applications offers several advantages over above-ground storage.

Extreme Temp Anomalies are Warming Faster than Average

December 9, 2014 2:00 pm | by Indiana Univ. | News | Comments

It’s widely known that the Earth’s average temperature has been rising. But research by a geographer and colleagues has found that spatial patterns of extreme temperature anomalies— readings well above or below the mean— are warming even faster than the average.

Report: Climate Not Behind Drought

December 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Don't blame man-made global warming for the devastating California drought, a new federal report says. A report said natural variations— mostly a La Nina weather oscillation— were the primary drivers behind the drought that has now stretched to three years.

Societal Diversity Key to Climate Change Research

December 8, 2014 3:20 pm | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

There is cloud hanging over climate science, but one Cornell Univ. expert on communication and environmental issues says he knows how to help clear the air. Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication, argues that only by creating a “science of climate diversity” can climate science and the larger climate change movement overcome a crippling lack of ethnic and racial diversity.

Quantum Dots Move Us Closer to Spray-on Solar Cells

December 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Toronto | Videos | Comments

Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots– a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.

Ocean Holds Warnings of Abrupt Climate Change

December 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Exeter | News | Comments

A new study has found early warning signals of a reorganization of the Atlantic oceans' circulation that could have a profound impact on the global climate system. It showed that early warning signals are present up to 250 years before it collapses, suggesting that scientists could monitor the real world overturning circulation for the same signals.

California's Drought is Worst in 1,200 Years

December 5, 2014 2:00 pm | by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | News | Comments

Watching the severity of the California drought intensify since last autumn, two researchers wondered how it would eventually compare to other extreme droughts throughout the state's history. As California finally experiences the arrival of a rain-bearing Pineapple Express this week, the pair have shown that the drought of 2012-2014 has been the worst in 1,200 years.

Algae Cleans Mine Water

December 5, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

A groundbreaking research project aims to clean up water from a tin mine, using algae to harvest the precious heavy metals and produce biofuel at the same time. Researchers will then look to convert the algae into a solid form so precious heavy metals can be extracted and recycled for use in the electronics industry.

Hawaiian Students To Go on Lava Field Trips

December 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Jennifer Kelleher | News | Comments

Some students on Hawaii's Big Island are getting a rare, up-close look at the lava that's disrupting where they go to school. Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says starting next week, affected students will go on field trips to parts of the lava flow that has reached the rural town of Pahoa.

Small Lidars Could Allow UAVs to Scan Underwater

December 4, 2014 2:00 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Bathymetric lidars– devices that employ powerful lasers to scan beneath the water's surface– are nearly 600 pounds and they require costly, piloted aircraft to carry them. Now, researchers have designed a new approach that could lead to lidars that are much smaller and more efficient than the current full-size systems. The new technology would let modest-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) carry them, lowering costs substantially.

Worm's Gut Bacteria Can Degrade Plastic

December 3, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common plastic.

Mastodons Vacationed in Arctic

December 3, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

New research suggests that the Arctic and Subarctic were temporary "holiday homes" for mastodons when the local climate was warm around 125,000 years ago. When the cold weather returned, their populations moved much further to the south where, the work suggests, they ultimately died out about 10,000 years ago.

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