Posts

July 24, 2014

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11:12 PM | Policy implications of Castle and colleagues on Colorado River Basin groundwater depletions
Ever since we saw early glimpses last spring of data from Stephanie Castle, Jay Famiglietti and colleagues about groundwater depletion in the Colorado River Basin, I’ve been puzzling over the policy implications. Their data, published today in GRL, is worth an “OMG IT’S WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT!” While we’ve been watching Lake Mead’s bathtub ring grow ...Continue reading ‘Policy implications of Castle and colleagues on Colorado River Basin groundwater […]
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9:29 PM | Somali Ostrich and 360 Other Newly Discovered Birds Added to List of Threatened Species
Did you know there are two species of ostrich? Don’t worry if this is news to you—scientists didn’t know that for sure either until this year, when the Somali ostrich (Struthio... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:55 PM | Making the World a Greener Place, One Broadway Theater at a Time
It should come as no surprise that after blogging for Green Science for close t...
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6:47 PM | Report: Most PV Modules Sold Today Are Reliable
A new report, the PV Module Reliability Scorecard 2014, by GTM Research and PV Evolution Labs, now DNV GL, found that PV manufacturer’s solar panels performed relatively well across all metrics.
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6:07 PM | Changing Times: EPA’s Report on National Trends
By Gaelle Gourmelon Some things in my childhood memories look different when I revisit them as an adult. That tall slide in the playground? It’s really only four feet high. The endless summer bike rides to the beach? They now take ten minutes. Sometimes, however, things seem different because they’ve actually changed. I recently went […]
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5:03 PM | DNA Barcoding the oriental latrine fly
 Male and female adult of Chrysomya megacephalaThe oriental latrine fly (Chrysomya megacephala), is a blowfly that prefers warmer climates. This fly can be a nuisance to humans and even cause accidental myiasis. Myiasis is a parasitic infestation by maggots growing inside a host while feeding on its tissue. The species originates from tropical forests on the South Pacific islands, like Samoa but has spread across vast regions of the world. It is particularly prevalent in the […]
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4:45 PM | Silica Glass Keeps Solar Cells Cool
A team of scientists led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, has used a specially patterned layer of silica glass to keep solar cells cool by shepherding away unwanted thermal radiation.
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4:00 PM | New data shows Colorado Basin groundwater loss greater than reservoir shrinkage
While we’ve been watching Lake Mead and Lake Powell drop during the last decade, the hidden reservoirs of groundwater beneath the Colorado River Basin have been dropping even faster, according to new research by Stephanie Castle and her colleagues at U.C. Irvine. Using gravity data from NASA’s GRACE satellite (the new tool all the cool ...Continue reading ‘New data shows Colorado Basin groundwater loss greater than reservoir shrinkage’ »
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2:50 PM | EIA: Oil Exports Mitigate U.S. Trade Deficit
Since 2009, exports of petroleum and petroleum products have played a growing role in reducing the overall merchandise trade deficit.
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2:33 PM | The Shale Boom is Big and Good (Bad) for the Economy
Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has flipped the global energy discussion on its head. Over the past five years, the world has watched the U.S. shift its focus from fears of peak oil and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:29 PM | Mayflies (Temporarily) Inherit the Earth, New Rules for Runaway Oil Trains, PBS Newshour Is the Shiz
By Jason Bittel Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self: After a devastating year of oil train crashes, the Obama administration is calling for a “new world order.” Newly proposed rules, announced yesterday, require phasing out outdated DOT-111 rail cars (80,000 of which are on the tracks today), addressing speed limits, improving brakes, and sharing route data with emergency personnel. Politico, Wall Street Journal PBS! PBS! PBS!: […]
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1:10 PM | Ecological Landscape Design for Urban Biodiversity, Ecological Education and Nature Restoration in Kyushu, Japan
We have been designing a school garden, river bank, urban forest and city parks over the last 12 years. I’ve written about school garden and city park design project in former articles. The aim of these projects are to create areas for … Continue reading →
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1:10 PM | Mike Adams Elevates his Ugly Anti-GMO Campaign
I recently discussed what is perhaps the most twisted, disgusting anti-GMO tract ever written. It’s by Mike Adams, who as Jon Entine said earlier this year, is “a titan in the booming alternative lifestyle business, running dozens of websites promoting ‘natural’ products, many of them bogus or dangerous, which he relentlessly hawks online.” The main communication […]The post Mike Adams Elevates his Ugly Anti-GMO Campaign appeared first on […]
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1:00 PM | Pit latrines: Another source of greenhouse gas emissions
Coal plants, landfills, and cows all release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. But in a new study, researchers have highlighted yet another source of methane emissions: the pit latrines used by about 1.8 billion people around the world. Pit latrines are crucial for sanitation in developing or rural areas without modern toilets. As the excrement
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4:00 AM | Drought Becomes Top Environmental Priority for Californians
Those surveyed say they favor mandatory restrictions on water use.
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1:49 AM | Feds Propose New Safety Rules for Oil Trains
There have been several fiery oil train derailments in other parts of the country in the past year. The new rules include lower speed limits, better brakes and safer rail cars.

July 23, 2014

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9:33 PM | Richmond Nearly Ready to Approve Chevron Refinery Project
The Richmond City Council is considering Chevron's plans for a $1 billion project at its refinery there. If it's approved, this is one of the last steps before construction on the project would actually begin.
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7:14 PM | Prototype Meter Tests Accuracy of Hydrogen Fuel Dispensers
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a prototype field test standard to test the accuracy of hydrogen fuel dispensers.
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6:00 PM | The Story of Mr. Bisbing, Part IV: Migrating South
This is the fourth chapter in the story about a great egret that we gave a GPS tracking device on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in spring 2013 (see photo). We followed his movements for about 8 months and reconstructed his story with his GPS and ACC data (see parts I, II and III). […]
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5:56 PM | Bombs for Butterflies
By Jason Bittel I’m here to tell you about a weapon that could change the world. It’s small, inexpensive, and easy to conceal. Discharging it in public wouldn’t harm any living creature; it wouldn’t even land you in jail. What it would do, believe it or not, is save millions of lives. Butterfly lives. Brothers and sisters, I speak of the milkweed seed bomb: a golf-ball-size grenade of dirt, clay and seeds that might just help […]
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5:41 PM | Wind Turbines Provide Feeding Opportunities for Wildlife
Scientists at the University of St Andrews have discovered that offshore pipelines and wind turbines can provide new feeding opportunities for the wildlife population in the area.
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5:17 PM | Don’t Panic at the Pump
Sometimes energy issues aren’t partisan, but are still poorly understood. According to the Spring 2014 UT Energy Poll, 84 percent of Americans say they are concerned about the cost of gasoline,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:28 PM | Pressure increasing to do something about a dropping Lake Mead
With a meeting coming up Friday of representatives of the seven Colorado River basin states, pressure is increasing to do something about the dropping reservoir levels in the basin, Tony Davis reports: “How urgent it is depends on what you think the risk is,” said attorney Wade Noble, who has represented Yuma-area irrigation districts for 30 ...Continue reading ‘Pressure increasing to do something about a dropping Lake Mead’ »
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3:17 PM | Can Scientific Advice on Coastal Risk Reduction Compete with ‘We Will Not Retreat’ Politics?
An important report offers advice on ways to cut coastal risk in a changing climate. Will politicians listen?
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2:57 PM | The Shale Boom is Big – and Good (Bad) for the Economy
Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has flipped the global energy discussion on its head. Over the past five years, the world has watched the U.S. shift its focus from fears of peak oil and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:55 PM | Team to Create Single-Cell Fuel Cell Device for Home Use
Researchers at Colorado School of Mines are going to develop a single-cell fuel cell device that can produce electricity from natural gases.
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2:38 PM | Beetles Eat Beatle Tree, Nestle Chugs Away California’s H20, EPA Goes Kim K. Krazy
By Jason Bittel Liquid loophole: California is in its third year of drought, and by state law districts must report their water consumption and well levels. But Nestle’s Arrowhead bottled water division has found a way around all that silly reporting: it buys its water from the Morongo Tribe, which is technically a sovereign nation and thus, not beholden to California’s laws. So how much water are we talking about? In 2009, the Nestle plant […]
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1:36 PM | Material Efficiently Traps Gases From Nuclear Fuel
A new porous material called CC3 effectively traps radioactive krypton and xenon gases that are released when nuclear fuel is recycled.
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12:00 PM | Using Google Trends to Gauge Climate Change Perception
Climate change is happening. There’s no question about it, despite what some news media outlets would have you believe. To mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change, it is prudent to understand how people learn about climate-related issues in the first place. Corey Lang is a researcher in the Department of Environmental and

July 22, 2014

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9:26 PM | Wild Births are Big Steps for Rare California Condors and Mexican Wolves
Two species that couldn’t be more different have had similarly good news this week. First we go to Utah’s Zion National Park, where a pair of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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