Critical climate record satellite program at risk after Congress slashes funding

November 6, 2017 by  
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Scientists all over Earth depend on sea ice data from United States military satellites . But one of those satellites recently broke down – and only three aging ones remain. Even worse, the United States Congress  said a new backup probe had to be dismantled because they reportedly didn’t want to pay to keep it in storage. Almost four decades of essential  Arctic and Antarctic sea ice satellite measurements could soon be disrupted. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) puts together a sea ice record used by scientists worldwide with satellite information. That record is at risk, as a new satellite can’t be launched until at least 2023, according to scientists. Related: Total sea ice levels on Earth lower than ever before recorded Satellites have aided scientists in measuring Earth’s dramatically shrinking sea ice. Over the years, America’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) has overseen the building of eight F-series satellites monitoring sea ice, but now just three aging probes, DMSP F16, F17, and F18, are operating. And they’re starting to drift out of their orbits. The satellites have lifespans of up to five years – but these three are over eight, 11, and 14 years old. F19 is the satellite that broke, and should have been replaced with F20, which was being stored by the United States Air Force . But it was dismantled in 2016 after Congress cut funding for the program, according to the Scientific American. The Air Force reportedly spent $518 million on F20. NSIDC satellite remote sensing expert David Gallaher said, “This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient. Our world is ailing and we have apparently decided to undermine, quite deliberately, the effectiveness of the records on which its recovery might be based. It is criminal.” Scientific American said a Japanese satellite is collecting sea ice data – but it was designed to last five years and is already five years old. A Chinese satellite might offer an alternative – and experts will discuss options at a December meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Via The Guardian and Scientific American Images via Depositphotos

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Critical climate record satellite program at risk after Congress slashes funding

Supervolcano in Italy is "becoming more dangerous" as magma builds beneath the surface

September 19, 2017 by  
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Like the super volcano in Yellowstone National Park , experts have been preparing for the eruption of the Campi Flegrei volcano near the Bay of Naples, in Italy for some time. Now, a new study published in Scientific Reports has renewed fear that it could erupt very soon. Reportedly, the area has been “restless” since minor eruptions began in the 1950s, and now experts have pinpointed magma building up beneath the surface. The eight-mile-wide circular formation, known as a caldera, last erupted in 1538. Researchers with the University of Aberdeen, the INGV Osservatorio Vesuviano, the RISSC lab of the University of Naples and the University of Texas at Austin used seismological techniques to determine when the volcano may erupt again. After scores of tests, they learned that there is a hot zone under the Italian city of Pozzuoli that extends into the sea . While the implications of this finding are not completely understood, it is suspected that the low amount of seismic activity in the area since the 1980s may mean pressure is building within the caldera, making it more dangerous. Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home—and you can stay overnight Said Researcher  Luca De Siena  of the University of Aberdeen, “During the last 30 years the behavior of the volcano has changed, with everything becoming hotter due to fluids permeating the entire caldera.” De Siena’s main concern is that the entire region around Naples would be impacted by its eruption. This is because the underground network of chambers that feed magma into the volcano extend more than 100 square kilometers outside of suburban areas in Naples . “Whatever produced the activity under Pozzuoli in the 1980s has migrated somewhere else, so the danger doesn’t just lie in the same spot, it could now be much nearer to Naples which is more densely populated,” De Siena said. “This means that the risk from the caldera is no longer just in the center, but has migrated. Indeed, you can now characterize Campi Flegrei as being like a boiling pot of soup beneath the surface,” De Siena added. “What this means in terms of the scale of any future eruption we cannot say, but there is no doubt that the volcano is becoming more dangerous.” Volcanic area #CampiFlegrei around Naples Italy. Not just Mount Vesuvius. https://t.co/5H00AD6Jz6 pic.twitter.com/6B2xuQpDPa — Blynne Olivieri (@BlynneO) September 13, 2017 Co-author Dr. Christopher Kilburn , director of the University College London Hazard Center , is certain an eruption is imminent. He said, “By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an eruption, and it’s imperative that the authorities are prepared for this.” Researchers say citizens should make emergency preparations in case the Campi Flegrei volcano erupts again. + Scientific Reports Via Phys  Images via Pixabay  and Deposit Photos

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Supervolcano in Italy is "becoming more dangerous" as magma builds beneath the surface

To the president-elect: A confidential briefing

November 14, 2016 by  
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These are the scientific facts and economic realities, Mr. Trump. Deal with them.

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To the president-elect: A confidential briefing

Americans don’t trust climate change science because of fossil fuel industry’s disinformation

December 2, 2015 by  
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The fossil fuel industry for years has been purposefully misleading the American public about the scientific consensus on man-made global warming . That is the finding of a new study published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that analyzed 20 years’ worth of data. The study, titled “Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change,” found that ExxonMobil and the Koch family foundations used similarly deceptive tactics as Big Tobacco to create doubt and confusion about anthropogenic climate change. The disinformation campaigns successfully polarized environmental issues, leading to public uncertainty and stalled policy decisions to address climate change. Read the rest of Americans don’t trust climate change science because of fossil fuel industry’s disinformation

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Americans don’t trust climate change science because of fossil fuel industry’s disinformation

Why the plague still lurks in Western United States

August 26, 2015 by  
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Almost seven centuries after the Black Death struck Europe, the plague is still lurking. This summer, there have been six confirmed infections by Yersinia pestis, the scientific name for the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague. Three of these infections have been fatal. Although it may seem strange, plague is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is particularly centered in the American West, and though reports are rare, it is normal to have a few cases every year.   Read the rest of Why the plague still lurks in Western United States

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Why the plague still lurks in Western United States

Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses?

April 29, 2014 by  
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Animals can teach us a lot about the world, which is why we’re always dragging them into our scientific experiments. While some of this research is downright cruel and unnecessary, some is more bizarre than anything else. In a recent project at Newcastle University neuroscientists strapped the world’s tiniest pair of 3D glasses onto a praying mantis, and then expose the bug to a series of weird 3D videos. Strange as it may sound, the researchers say the project could reveal important clues about how 3D vision evolved, and lead to novel approaches in implementing 3D recognition and depth perception in computers and robots. Read the rest of Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D glasses , 3D vision , newcastle university , Praying Mantis , praying mantis vision , praying mantis wears 3D glasses , world’s smallest 3D glasses

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Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses?

6 Things You Need to Know to Get Certified Under ISO 50001

July 29, 2011 by  
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During a webcast organized by GreenBiz.com this week, representatives from the US Department of Energy and Underwriters Laboratories walked through the details of the just-released energy management standard, and how companies can get on board, quickly.

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6 Things You Need to Know to Get Certified Under ISO 50001

First Takes: Budget Cuts May Kill Gov’t Green Spending, China’s Climate Strategy, & More

July 29, 2011 by  
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Automakers agree to 54.5 mpg by 2025; budget cuts likely to doom green government spending; China moves forward with climate change strategy, and more …

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First Takes: Budget Cuts May Kill Gov’t Green Spending, China’s Climate Strategy, & More

Leaders in Energy Star Buildings Challenge Cut Power Use by 30%

July 29, 2011 by  
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Half-way through the EPA’s yearlong challenge to spur energy efficiency in existing buildings, the University of Central Florida and Scientific Instruments have both hit the 30 percent mark for energy savings to date.

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Leaders in Energy Star Buildings Challenge Cut Power Use by 30%

The Philosopher’s Case for Why You Should Believe in Global Warming

July 14, 2011 by  
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The American public’s perception of climate change is radically different than that of the scientific community’s — this is no secret. While the vast majority of experts on the topic — climate scientists — believe that human activity is causing global temperatures to rise, huge chunks of America don’t share that belief. Most of those dissenters have yielded to ideological concerns, and some to conspiratorial impulses. But, as Gary Gutting argues in this fascinating Opinionator piece , so as long as we accept climate science… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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