Environment

NASA Responds to California's Evolving Drought

on Wednesday, 26 February 2014. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

"We value the partnership with NASA and the ability of their remote sensing resources to integrate data over large spatial scales, which is useful for assessing drought impacts," said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Water Resources Manager.

NASA Responds to California's Evolving Drought

NASA is partnering with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to develop and apply new technology and products to better manage and monitor the state's water resources and respond to its ongoing drought.

Seed Dispersal Study Shows Value of Conservation Corridors

on Tuesday, 25 February 2014. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

NSF program director Betsy Von Holle: "This study demonstrates that influences on wind-dispersed species are more complex than previously thought."

Seed Dispersal Study Shows Value of Conservation Corridors

Field ecologists go to great lengths to get data. Radio collars and automatic video cameras are among their tools for documenting the natural world.

Climate Propaganda Posing as Climate Science

on Monday, 17 February 2014. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Progressives desperately want everyone to believe that nearly all scientists believe in global warming.

Climate Propaganda Posing as Climate Science

In the popularity contest that has become the debate on a scientific theory so accurate it’s gone from global cooling (1970’s) to global warming (1990’s) to Climate Change (2000’s) we are either “deniers” or “believers.” When the supporters of global warming run out of facts they fling down “99 percent of scientists believe in global warming.”  Ta Dah!

New Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

on Thursday, 19 September 2013. Posted in Gadgets, Environment, Sci/Tech

DHS manager John Price: "Testing proved successful in locating a task force member buried in 30 feet of mixed concrete, rebar and gravel rubble from a distance of over 30 feet."

New Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

When natural disasters or human-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to find victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is imperative, and the ability to quickly detect living victims greatly increases the chances of rescue and survival.

Top 10 Hailstorms of the Decade

on Friday, 21 September 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

The last ten years have seen record setting hailstorms across the country, with damages exceeding a billion dollars in some cases.

Top 10 Hailstorms of the Decade

Hail can hit with any severe storm, and it can bring stones that fall at a rate that exceeds 110 mph. The size of the hailstones can also vary from pea sized pieces to some the size of a softball. When hail falls, it can damage your roof, windows, gutters, automobiles and siding. The following are the top ten hailstorms of the decade:

The Rainforest at the Bottom of the World

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Friday, 03 August 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

New findings from off the coast of Antarctica demonstrate that the planet’s climate is prone to change, with or without human intervention.

The Rainforest at the Bottom of the World

Exciting news in the world of climate science this week points to the discovery of a rainforest in Antarctica.

Retired Shipping Containers — 4 Ways to Lessen Their Impact on the Environment

on Tuesday, 03 July 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

They're not just for shipping anymore: Discarded shipping containers can be repurposed for a variety of new and innovative solutions.

Retired Shipping Containers — 4 Ways to Lessen Their Impact on the Environment

There are more than 17 million shipping containers throughout the world, a number that has steadily risen since the 1950's, when they first became an important means of moving goods across the globe. More are being manufactured simply because, in many cases, it is cheaper to make new ones than to return them from distant locations for re-use in shipping, according to a study [PDF] by EcoEthic Design Studio.

Dormant Yellowstone Geysers Wake Up

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Monday, 25 June 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Geysers are waking up in Yellowstone National Park. Does that mean the much-feared supervolcano at the heart of the park is becoming more active and dangerous?

Dormant Yellowstone Geysers Wake Up

Geyser gazers in Yellowstone National Park are getting a rare opportunity to view sights not seen, in some cases for decades, as long-dormant geysers have come back to life.

NASA Provides Satellite Views of Maryland's Severe Weather Outbreak

on Friday, 08 June 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

NASA Provides Satellite Views of Maryland's Severe Weather Outbreak.

NASA Provides Satellite Views of Maryland's Severe Weather Outbreak

On Friday, June 1, 2012 severe weather generated 9 weak tornadoes across Maryland, according to the National Weather Service. As the system that generated them approached, NASA's Aqua satellite gathered information about power behind it. NASA also created an animation of the severe weather as it was seen from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite.

Stop Tearing Up Your Lawns!

on Thursday, 19 April 2012. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

It's a myth that the suburban lawn is an ecological catastrophe. Well managed and cared for, it can look great and be useful too.

Stop Tearing Up Your Lawns!

A few great intentions have recently collided with some poorly researched “revelations,” causing an onslaught against lawns — all destroyed in the name of green. From encouraging well-meaning xeriscapes and artistic hardscapes, to every lawn annihilation you can imagine — the collective eco-consciousness has seemingly lost its proverbial mind.

Debris Scatters in the Pacific Ocean, Possibly Heading to US

on Friday, 30 December 2011. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

TsunamiTracking marine debris from the Japanese tsunami

Debris from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March could reach the United States as early as this winter, according to predictions by NOAA scientists. However, they warn there is still a large amount of uncertainty over exactly what is still floating, where it's located, where it will go, and when it will arrive. Responders now have a challenging, if not impossible situation on their hands: How do you deal with debris that could now impact U.S. shores, but is difficult to find?

Federal agencies join forces

To learn more about the tsunami debris, NOAA researchers have been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other partners to coordinate data collection activities.

NOAA and its partners are also coordinating an interagency assessment and response plan to address the wide-range of potential scenarios and threats posed by the debris.

Evidence Emerges of Ancient Lake in California's Eel River

on Wednesday, 16 November 2011. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Eel River in CaliforniaA catastrophic landslide 22,500 years ago dammed the upper reaches of northern California's Eel River, forming a 30-mile-long lake which has since disappeared. It left a living legacy found today in the genes of the region's steelhead trout.

Using remote-sensing technology known as airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and hand-held global-positioning-systems (GPS) units, scientists recently found evidence for a late Pleistocene, landslide-dammed lake along the river.

Today the Eel river is 200 miles long, carved into the ground from high in the California Coast Ranges to the river's mouth in the Pacific Ocean in Humboldt County.

The evidence for the ancient landslide, which, scientists say, blocked the river with a 400-foot-wall of loose rock and debris, is detailed this week in a paper appearing on-line in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dangerous Toxin Discovered in Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal

on Tuesday, 12 July 2011. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Hawaiian Monk Seals are endangered due to toxins. Researchers from NOAA have discovered a potent and highly-debilitating toxin in the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, a first-of-its-kind chemical finding that is now prompting investigations of other marine mammals in the state.

The toxin, ciguatoxin, is produced by marine algae common on coral reefs, and accumulates in fish species that are consumed by humans. Ciguatera, the human disease caused by ciguatoxin, affects thousands of people every year worldwide and comes in the form of acute gastrointestinal and neurological illness with symptoms resembling chronic fatigue syndrome.

The study reveals that Hawaiian monk seals, whose population is estimated at 1100-1200, are exposed to significant levels of these ciguatoxins. The threat could pose management challenges for this species that has been dwindling at four percent annually due to poor foraging success and additional environmental and human factors.

Study: Contaminants Vary in Harvested Rainwater

on Monday, 07 March 2011. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

rainwater harvestingSpring means gardening, and for many that means finding a way to keep gardens irrigated and growing strong. One increasingly popular way to do that is to harvest rainwater in barrels or other collection vessels.

In most rainwater harvesting systems, the water that is collected is runoff from roofs. But that raises a question: how do you know if the water that runs off your roof is clean and not contaminated?

To answer that question, the Texas Water Development Board funded a study to determine what type of roofing material is best suited for rainwater harvesting, even for rainwater to be used for “indoor domestic use.” The study [PDF Download] was conducted by faculty and students from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. 

The study was led by architectural and environmental engineering Assistant Professor Mary Jo Kirisits and investigated five types of roofing material including metal, concrete tile and common asphalt fiberglass shingles.

NASA Satellites Capture Data on Monster Winter Storm Affecting 30 States

on Wednesday, 02 February 2011. Posted in Environment, Sci/Tech

Winter StormOne of the largest winter storms since the 1950s is affecting 30 U.S. states today with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. NASA satellites have gathering data on the storm that stretches from Texas and the Rockies to the New England states.

NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites have been providing visible, infrared and microwave looks at the storm system's clouds, precipitation, temperatures and extent.

Visible and infrared images and animations of the storm's clouds and movement are created every 15 minutes by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. using data from GOES-11 and GOES-13, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. The GOES-13 and GOES-11 satellites that cover the eastern and western U.S., respectively, are operated by NOAA.

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