October 17, 2014

7:47 PM | Hey EPA, Get Your Mind in the Gutter
By Brian Palmer How do you turn a hazardous chemical into a nonhazardous chemical? Pour it down the sewer.That little riddle comes courtesy of a peculiar legal loophole that was thrust into the spotlight recently by a report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General. The report said the EPA is allowing thousands of potentially dangerous substances to flow into our sewage systems and out into our lakes and rivers.But […]
12:18 PM | Pacific Warriors: 'We’re on a Boat! Fightin' Coal!'
By Susan Cosier When your land and culture are at stake, you’ll do anything to fight those putting you and yours at risk. The same goes for 30 Pacific Islanders who earlier today hopped in canoes and paddled into the sea to block coal ships from reaching Australia's Newcastle harbor. The country is the second largest coal exporter, and Newcastle is home to the world's biggest facility for the dirty, black stuff. That doesn't sit well with Australia's […]
12:07 PM | October linkfest
The linkfest has come early this month, to accommodate the blogging blitz that always accompanies the SEG Annual Meeting. If you're looking forward to hearing all about it, you can make sure you don't miss a thing by getting our posts in your email inbox. Guaranteed no spam, only bacn. If you're reading this on the website, just use the box on the right → Open geoscience goodness I've been alerted to a few new things in the open geoscience category in the last few days: Dave Hale released […]
4:00 AM | Protons Hog the Momentum in Neutron-Rich Nuclei
A team of researchers, including scientists from Old Dominion University, Penn State and Florida International University, used data from experiments at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to show that protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum.
4:00 AM | Could I Squeeze By You? Ames Laboratory Scientists Model Molecular Movement Within Narrow Channels of Mesoporous Nanoparticles
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed deeper understanding of the ideal design for mesoporous nanoparticles used in catalytic reactions, such as hydrocarbon conversion to biofuels.

October 16, 2014

8:09 PM | Leaders of the Pack
By Rocky Kistner Wyoming wolves had reason to howl in victory last month when a federal court gave them back their protected status under the Endangered Species Act. A judge ruled that the state’s management of the species—which included a shoot-on-sight policy and a trophy-hunting range—was inadequate for sustaining a viable wolf population. (Disclosure: NRDC, OnEarth’s publisher, was a plaintiff in the case.) Since the U.S. Fish […]
12:09 PM | Aw Shucks! What Are They Doing to Corn Now?
By Susan Cosier Corn was once so tough that you had to hammer it with hard objects to get to the 10 or so kernels inside. And for all that effort, it tasted like dry, raw potato. But that was 9,000 years ago. We’ve been engineering crops and livestock for millennia, selecting for traits that make food bigger, healthier, and more delicious. Corn is now 1,000 times larger, 3.5 times sweeter, easy to peel, and so juicy that when you crunch down on a cob […]
4:00 AM | ORNL Research Reveals Unique Capabilities of 3-D Printing
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated an additive manufacturing method to control the structure and properties of metal components with precision unmatched by conventional manufacturing processes.
4:00 AM | Dispelling a Misconception About Mg-Ion Batteries
Supercomputer simulations at Berkeley Lab provide a path to better designs.

October 15, 2014

2:58 PM | What's the Holdup, Hurricanes?
By Andrea Thompson This story originally appeared at Climate Central.The Atlantic hurricane season usually hits its peak of stormy activity in early September, with more storms typically spinning up in that month than any other month of the six-month hurricane season. But after a couple storms early in the month, the basin went quiet for the rest of this September, even though that is the time when oceans reach their warmest temperatures, providing prime […]
12:10 PM | See You in September...(Sweating in Tank Tops and Flip-Flops)
By Susan Cosier Fall is a time for hot apple cider, toasted pumpkin seeds, and best of all, sweater weather, but you may want to hold on to your short sleeves for a little longer. Last month was the warmest September ever recorded, and October hasn't done much yet to cool things down. As you can see from this graph of average global temperature records back to 1880, trends have been going up for the last 134 years. Obviously weather varies with your […]
12:02 PM | A fossil book
We're proud to announce the latest book from Agile Libre. Woot! I can't take a lot of credit for this book... The idea came from 52 Things stalwart Alex Cullum, a biostratigrapher I met at Statoil in Stavanger in my first proper job. A fellow Brit, he has a profound enthusiasm for all things outside, and for writing and publishing. With able help from Allard Martinius, also a Statoil scientist and a 52 Things author from the Geology book, Alex generously undertook the task of […]
4:00 AM | Dust Takes Detour on Ice-Cloud Journey
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Lab found that pollution-coated particles bypass ice formation, but influence clouds.
4:00 AM | A Global Natural Gas Boom Alone Won't Slow Climate Change
Comprehensive analysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that natural gas could displace both coal and low-emitting energy sources over the long term
4:00 AM | Séamus Davis Selected to Receive New Grant for Exploring Exotic Quantum Phenomena
Davis will receive $1.8 Million over five years to explore new problems in quantum physics, to develop new techniques to probe the quantum matter in different kinds of materials, and possibly to delve into the quantum nature of space-time itself.

October 14, 2014

7:46 PM | An Odious Odyssey
By Brian Palmer You’ve probably heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—millions of pieces of plastic and other debris swirling around between Hawaii and California. The only thing more revolting than a massive swirl of marine garbage is the realization that there are actually five massive swirls of marine garbage. The South Pacific, the Indian, and the North and South Atlantic Oceans all have their own prodigious aggregations of plastic.You […]
2:53 PM | LEGO Doesn't Want to Play with Shell Oil Anymore
By Susan Cosier Think LEGO movies aren’t dark? Well, you haven’t seen this twisted animation of an Arctic drilling disaster smothering plastic brick people, polar bears, puppies, and Santa Claus in thick, black crude. Set to a cover of "Everything is Awesome," this video is a tearjerker … but it worked! After receiving more than 6 million views, the Greenpeace production forced LEGO to end a 40-year partnership with Shell. The oil […]
12:57 PM | This Little Piggy Bred a Superbug
By Ted Genoways Earlier this year OnEarth’s editor-at-large reported on the explosion of hog farming in Iowa and the resulting damage to the state’s waterways. His new book The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food is out today. This adapted excerpt explains how the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in U.S. hospitals can be traced directly to modern farming practices. In 1937, at the height of the Great Depression, Jay C. Hormel […]
4:00 AM | ORNL Researchers Make First Observation of Atoms Moving Inside Bulk Material
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have obtained the first direct observations of atomic diffusion inside a bulk material.
4:00 AM | Cloud Catching Requires Persuasive Parameters
A new study led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory looked for which "tunable" variables were most influential in depicting various cloud types in a global atmospheric model.
4:00 AM | Slippery When Dry: Graphene Proves a Long-lasting Lubricant
Argonne National Laboratory has identified the properties of a newer, exceptionally wear-resistant substance that works in a broader range of environments.

October 13, 2014

7:05 AM | Beyond sharing Earth observations
In a new Correspondence published in the journal Nature, IIASA researchers Ian McCallum and Linda See argue for better sharing of satellite validation data, to improve our understanding of global land cover. Continue reading →

October 12, 2014

7:06 PM | BD agrees- EISA targets were realistic, but timelines were crazy
In the wake of one commercial-scale facility (POET-DSM Project Liberty) having come on line, and just days before the grand opening of the next one (Abengoa’s Hugoton facility) Biofuels Digest has posted the first part of a two-part review of … Continue reading →

October 10, 2014

6:54 PM | Caution: Do Not Touch, Eat, or Inhale
By Susan Cosier We already know that cigarette smoke can cause cancer. Flame retardants in our couches, too. But I bet you didn’t know that fence posts and telephone poles can be a cancer risk. That’s because they’re often treated with a wood preservative that just made the government’s watch list of substances that might cause cancer in humans.That list is now 243 items long, after the Department of Health and Human Services added […]
3:20 PM | Trouble in Paradise
By Brooke Borel This story is a part of OnEarth's Invasive Species Week.Aloft in a helicopter, I look down on the Alakai Wilderness Preserve, a dark, billowing blanket punctuated by smatterings of bright green. From where I’m sitting, it’s hard to see anything but a seemingly endless expanse of tree cover. This 9,000-acre forest on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is a sanctuary for native trees like olapa and ohia, which combine on nearly […]
12:29 PM | Purple Mountains Majesty—and a Heck of a Playground for L.A.
By Susan Cosier Hey Los Angeles, President Obama wants you to go play outside. And he's even creating the 550-square-mile San Gabriel National Monument today to help you do it—all while conserving habitat for endangered animals such as Nelson's Bighorn sheep, California condors, mountain lions, spotted owls, and mountain yellow-legged frogs. Located in the Angeles National Forest, the new monument is just a 90-minute drive for about 15 […]
12:11 PM | Great geophysicists #12: Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on 30 April 1777 in Braunschweig (Brunswick), and died at the age of 77 on 23 February 1855 in Göttingen. He was a mathematician, you've probably heard of him; he even has his own Linnean handle: Princeps mathematicorum, or Prince of mathematicians (I assume it's the royal kind, not the Purple Rain kind — ba dum tss). Gauss's parents were poor, working class folk. I wonder what they made of their child prodigy, who allegedly once stunned his teachers by […]
4:00 AM | Structure of Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Protein an Early Step Toward Vaccine, Therapies
A new study performed in part at the National Synchrotron Light Source by scientists from Rutgers University and the Emory University School of Medicine provide unprecedented insights into HCV entry and will play a role in developing an HCV vaccine and new drugs to treat the disease.

October 09, 2014

5:47 PM | Eating Our Troubles Away
By Alexis Sobel Fitts So I’m at Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, seated across from food historian Paul Freedman, chair of the history of science program at Yale. In front of us sit two bowls of miso soup, thick with puréed pumpkin, acorn squash, and, uh, “dead man’s fingers.”“Wonderful…complicated,” says Freedman, slurping the broth. He looks up at Bun Lai, chef and proprietor, hoping for an […]
2:05 PM | Bright Idea
By Brian Palmer The day the Nobel committee began announcing its 2014 winners earlier this week, National Geographic published a list of Nobel should-have-beens. Dan Vergano’s contribution—Thomas Edison for the light bulb—proved prescient. One day later, a Nobel for physics was finally awarded for the light bulb. Unfortunately for the Wizard of Menlo Park, it didn’t go to Edison. The winners were Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and […]
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