Environment News

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 08:45

In formulating policies to address greenhouse gas emissions, or evaluating the potential impact of different energy technologies on global climate change, one of the thorniest issues is how to account for the very distinctive characteristics of various different gases.

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 06:49

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological niches based on temperature, light and chemical preferences, and interactions with other species. But the full extent and characteristics of diversity within this single species remains a puzzle. 

 

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 09:20

Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists exploring large fields of impact glass in Argentina suggest that what happened on Earth might well have happened on Mars millions of years ago. Martian impact glass could hold traces of organic compounds.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 08:35

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station — that caused most of the harm.

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 06:18

A new report from Public Health England estimates that long-term particulate air pollution is responsible for substantial levels of mortality in the United Kingdom. Figures range from 3.8-3.9% of the proportion of deaths that can be attributed to this cause in Northern Ireland and Scotland up to 5.6% in England. Asthma UK responded to the report with concern as the majority of asthma sufferers find that air pollution makes their symptoms worse.

 

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 08:49

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications. With improvements in process efficiency, the biofuel could supplement limited supplies of petroleum-based JP-10, and might also facilitate development of a new generation of more powerful engines.