October 24, 2014

3:06 PM | Texas Power Consumer Complaints On The Rise, Reports TCAP
A recent analysis by the consumer advocacy group Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) shows that consumer complaints filed with the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) have risen again in 2014, after four years of decline. In 2002, Texas became … Continue reading →
12:28 PM | When the Rainforests Run Dry
By Susan Cosier If you thought the California drought was bad (and it is), take a look at what's happening in southeastern Brazil. These satellite images of the Jaguari Reservoir—one of the main water sources for São Paulo, South America's largest city—show how much water levels have dropped in just one year. In the lower photo, taken in August, the resevoir is only at 3 to 5 percent of its carrying capacity. São Paulo, home […]
4:00 AM | Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have observed the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold surface under different charging conditions.
4:00 AM | DOE Secretary Helps Usher in New Era of Energy Research at Berkeley Lab
A new building will be the home to lab’s energy storage efforts.

October 23, 2014

8:02 PM | Different Worlds, Connected by Climate Change
By Brian Palmer Life in Thule, Greenland, and the Pacific nation of Tuvalu couldn’t be more different. At 750 miles above the Arctic Circle, Thule is among the northernmost inhabited places on earth. In July it reaches an average high of 52 degrees. Tuvalu is a tropical island where the temperature rarely drops below 75, even in the middle of the night. But the two seaside communities have at least one thing in common: Climate change threatens them […]
1:23 PM | SEG 2014: sampling from the smorgasbord
Next week, Matt and I will be attending the 2014 SEG Annual General Meeting at the Colorado Convention Centre in Denver. Join the geo-tweeting using the hashtag #SEG2014 and stay tuned on the blog for our daily highlights. Fitness training I spent a couple of hours yesterday reviewing the conference schedule in an attempt to form an opinion on what deserved my attention. The meeting boasts content from over 1600 abstract submissions which it has dispersed over three formats: oral […]
12:00 PM | I Spy Something ... Wild!
By Susan Cosier As many as a third of all animal species on Earth are now threatened or endangered, thanks in large part to what we’ve done to the planet. But the Society of Biology is zooming in on what wildlife still remains. The group’s recent photography competition, themed “Home, Habitat, and Shelter,” captures the beauty of wild animals living in environs still healthy enough to support them. A bison crossing a rainbow-colored […]
4:00 AM | National Synchrotron Light Source II Achieves 'First Light'
The National Synchrotron Light Source II detects its first photons, beginning a new phase of the facility's operations. Scientific experiments at NSLS-II are expected to begin before the end of the year.

October 22, 2014

6:59 PM | Ice Zombies?
By John Upton This story originally appeared at Climate Central.Scientists tend to speak of glaciers as if they were living creatures. They say they grow and die and have good health and bad. Now, with Halloween approaching, a handful of researchers has found a way that the anthropomorphized rivers of ice that they study can simultaneously live and die as the globe warms. The discovery of a ghoulishly semi-lifeless glacier in southeastern Iceland […]
11:42 AM | Antarctica’s Lost Photo Albums
By Susan Cosier Flipping through old family albums can remind you where you come from, and that goes for NASA, too. The space agency is getting a peek at its history—and the history of our planet—with hundreds of thousands of old satellite photographs. The long forgotten magnetic tapes and photographic film have been sitting in boxes and collecting dust for five decades at the National Climatic Data Center. Along with early snapshots of the Aral […]
4:00 AM | Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative
Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges.
4:00 AM | Scientists Use Plasma Shaping to Control Turbulence in Stellarators
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Germany have devised a new method for minimizing turbulence in bumpy donut-shaped experimental fusion facilities called stellarators.

October 21, 2014

5:19 PM | The Biggest Loser: Shark Edition
By Jason Bittel Are you an overweight shark having trouble saying no to second, third, and fourth helpings? Do you stay up late at night slamming squid juice after squid juice? Are you consumed by the constant desire to find, hunt, and devour prey in a way that has haters calling you an “eating machine” behind your back?Well, do I have the thing for you—it’s called the Ocean Acidification Diet!This amazing diet has already been […]
12:08 PM | Why don't people use viz rooms?
Matteo Niccoli asked me why I thought the use of immersive viz rooms had declined. Certainly, most big companies were building them in about 1998 to 2002, but it's rare to see them today. My stock answer was always "Linux workstations", but of course there's more to it than that. What exactly is a viz room? I am not talking about 'collaboration rooms', which are really just meeting rooms with a workstation and a video conference phone, a lot of wires, and wireless mice with low batteries. These […]
12:04 PM | Beijing Marathon: 'On Your Mark, Get Set, Face Mask!'
By Susan Cosier Marathoners tend to run with a lot of stuff: sneakers, shorts, headbands, wristbands, sports bras, sunglasses, gel packs, wicking socks, water belts, chaffing rubs, and even band-aids on their nipples. But many runners participating in Sunday's Beijing Marathon added air masks to their gear. The air quality was so bad that day that the city’s environment center warned children and the elderly to stay inside and told everyone else to […]
4:00 AM | Super Stable Garnet Ceramics May Be Ideal For High-Energy Lithium Batteries
Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of higher-energy battery designs.
4:00 AM | Puzzling New Behavior Found in High-Temperature Superconductors
Research by an international team led by SLAC and Stanford scientists has uncovered a new, unpredicted behavior in a copper oxide material that becomes superconducting – conducting electricity without any loss – at relatively high temperatures.

October 20, 2014

8:07 PM | The Jargonaut: REDD All Over?
By Brian Palmer REDD (n.): A climate change mitigation strategy that involves paying landowners or the governments of developing countries to leave forested land undisturbed. It is an acronym for “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.” When it comes to fighting climate change, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of saving trees. At the United Nations climate summit last month, an initiative to halt […]
12:27 PM | A Drone in Pursuit of Its White (and Black) Whale
By Susan Cosier We’ve seen orcas in lots of ways—from the natural to the not natural at all. But thanks to a drone with a high-rez camera on its belly, we're now getting bird's-eye views of these black-and-white beauties as they go about their business in the wild. (Psst...they don't even know we're there.) Working with Canada’s Vancouver Aquarium, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flew an unmanned hexacopter about 100 […]
4:00 AM | Atomic Trigger Shatters Mystery of How Glass Deforms
A new study at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering.
4:00 AM | DOE’s High-Speed Network to Boost Big Data Transfers by Extending 100G Connectivity Across Atlantic
New capabilities improve network speeds between European facilities and U.S. research sites, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

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.
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