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Archive for the ‘Business and Politics’ Category

Greenland’s Glaciers: Going, Going…

April 20th, 2008

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have captured nearly conclusive evidence of glacial surface meltwater draining in Greenland, and its corresponding effect on ice sheet movement.

Until now, it was hypothesized that some of the vast quantity of meltwater that originates at the surface of Greenland’s glaciers during the summer season may filter all the way down through thousands of feet of ice sheet to the surface. And, once there the meltwater would have a lubricating effect, allowing the glacier to slide at a faster rate toward it’s meeting with the Atlantic.

Well, these folks actually witnessed the event in progress, and by their accounts the overall effect was quite colossal.

Read more…

Global Science

Ingenious Algae, Al Gore’s Nemesis?

April 9th, 2008

Synechococcus, aka Blue-Green Algae, aka Cyanobacteria It was once believed that this tiny, yet extremely pervasive blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria (specifically, Synechococcus) helped moderate the increase in carbon dioxide emissions as it underwent photosynthesis across the world’s oceans. While generally true, scientists at Stanford and the Carnegie Institution noticed something odd while working with these critters in the lab – the amount of photosynthesis activity measured didn’t match the amount of carbon dioxide being consumed.

Uh oh.

Read more…

Biology, Global Science

Over 50,000 or Over 500,000: Pick Your Poison

November 12th, 2007

Bay Area SpillUgh. First the Bay Area, now the Black Sea. Late last week a container ship rammed the Bay Bridge under heavy fog and in the process released over 50,000 gallons of oil into the surrounding waters. It’s a disaster of such size and scope that hasn’t been witnessed in nearly 20 years, with hundreds, probably thousands of birds and other creatures adversely affected. What’s worse is the fact that the Coast Guard is telling volunteers to stay away from affected birds and creatures, for fear of getting exposed to toxic substances.

Russian TankerThen came the news about the oil tanker which busted open in high seas off the Black Sea. It was supposed to have released over a half million gallons of oil. No word yet on the scope of the damage, but don’t hold your breath for good news.

Bay Area Source + Photo: San Francisco Chronicle

Russian Tanker Source: MSNBC. Photo: Reuters

Global Science

Mercury: Coming from a Power Plant Not Near You

November 4th, 2007

Chinese Coal Power Plant It’s bad enough that the United States uses coal-burning power plants that, as of 2000, were releasing 50 tons of toxic Mercury into the air yearly. How bad is Mercury? This bad. But at least the EPA has put rules in place to reduce emissions, over a period of…13 years. A step in the right direction? I suppose.

But just when the horizon is starting to look just that much more rosy, new reports suggest that Mercury originating from coal power plants in China are contaminating air, water, and fish in the United States. The effects are quantifiable and significant. What’s worse is there’s no end in sight. Ah, what a morbid way to end a post.

Photo: NationalHistoryMag.com
Source: Yahoo!

Global Science , , ,

Making Homer Proud

October 29th, 2007

BeerSometimes it’s not about building a better mousetrap, but building a device that dispenses beer much faster. These geniuses at TurboTap sell a special spout that ensures that beer travels with near laminar flow to minimize foam but maximize throughput. The result? Quick beer, good foam, burp.
Source: TurboTap

Business and Politics ,

Thanks to Global Warming: Cauliflower in Greenland Stores

October 28th, 2007

CauliflowerJust when you thought global warming was all doom and gloom, here’s a stomach-warming story of locally grown cauliflower making its way into Greenland supermarkets.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Global Science

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