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Extreme Space Weather-Induced Electricity Blackouts Could Cost U.S. More Than $40 Billion Daily

New study finds more than half the loss occurs outside the blackout zone.The daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study.

Biosimilars Create Opportunities for Sustainable Cancer Care

Lugano, Switzerland – Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

How Far Can Technology Go To Stave Off Climate Change?

The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air. Petra Nova in Texas and Kemper in Mississippi use technology to stop CO2 in the smokestack and before combustion, respectively. Unfortunately, that makes two out of more than 400 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the rest of which collectively pour 1.4 billion metric tons of the colorless, odorless greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. Even Kemper and Petra Nova do not capture all of the CO2 from the coal they burn, and the captured CO2 is used to scour more oil out of the ground, which is then burned, adding yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. The carbon conundrum grows more complex — and dangerous — with each passing year. 

Birds of a feather flock together to confuse potential predators

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 9:03am
Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Groningen, in The Netherlands, have created a computer game style experiment which sheds new light on the reasons why starlings flock in massive swirling groups over wintering grounds.A mumeration can hold many thousands of starlings but the reasons why they put on these amazing displays are not well understood.

Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 8:46am
During periods of greater Atlantic hurricane activity, a protective barrier of vertical wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures forms along the U.S. East Coast, weakening storms as they approach land, according to a new study by NCEI scientist, Jim Kossin. In his paper, “Hurricane Intensification along United States Coast Suppressed during Active Hurricane Periods (link is external),” published in Nature, Kossin identifies this “buffer zone” and describes its relationship with both active and inactive periods of Atlantic hurricane activity.

Climate change to shift global pattern of mild weather

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 7:01am
As scientists work to predict how climate change may affect hurricanes, droughts, floods, blizzards and other severe weather, there's one area that's been overlooked: mild weather. But no more.NOAA and Princeton University scientists have produced the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency and location of mild weather - days that are perfect for an outdoor wedding, baseball, fishing, boating, hiking or a picnic. Scientists defined "mild" weather as temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees F, with less than a half inch of rain and dew points below 68 degrees F, indicative of low humidity.

Race for a Better Fuel Begins with NREL Researchers

Watching cars zoom around and around an oval track isn't Jesse Hensley's idea of a good time. Making them run on biofuel would be.

It's freezing inside - that tornado?

Climate Change News - ENN - January 17, 2017 - 11:45am
With winter upon us in full force, outdoor temperatures are plummeting. But inside an intense tornado, it’s always chilly — no matter the time of year. A new study from Concordia proves why that’s the case.In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Aircraft of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, mechanical engineering professor Georgios Vatistas looks into the case of a violent tornado that touched down in 1955 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Climate policies alone will not save Earth's most diverse tropical forests

Climate Change News - ENN - January 17, 2017 - 9:39am
Afocus on policies to conserve tropical forests for their carbon storage value may imperil some of the world’s most biologically rich tropical forests.

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 2:04pm
A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades.

Study tracks memory of soil moisture

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

Study tracks memory of soil moisture

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 1:31pm
The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

Halley Research Station Antarctica to close for winter

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has decided not to winter at Halley VI Research Station for safety reasons. The station, which is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, will shut down between March and November 2017.  Changes to the ice, particularly the growth of a new crack, presents a complex glaciological picture that means that BAS scientists are unable to predict with certainty what will happen to the ice shelf during the forthcoming Antarctic winter. As a precautionary measure BAS will remove its people before the Antarctic winter begins.

Halley Research Station Antarctica to close for winter

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 1:23pm
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has decided not to winter at Halley VI Research Station for safety reasons. The station, which is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, will shut down between March and November 2017.  Changes to the ice, particularly the growth of a new crack, presents a complex glaciological picture that means that BAS scientists are unable to predict with certainty what will happen to the ice shelf during the forthcoming Antarctic winter. As a precautionary measure BAS will remove its people before the Antarctic winter begins.

Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 10:16am
In August 2015, a dust storm blanketed large areas of seven Middle East nations in a haze of dust and sand thick enough to obscure them from satellite view. The storm led to several deaths, thousands of cases of respiratory ailments and injuries, and canceled airline flights and closed ports. At the time, the storm's unusual severity was attributed to the ongoing civil war in Syria by media outlets in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Reports blamed the conflict for changes in land use and cover — and for activities like increased military traffic over unpaved surfaces and farmers reducing irrigation or abandoning agricultural land — that created extreme amounts of dust to fuel the storm.

Study refutes how fruit flies developed alcohol tolerance

The common fruit fly, the tiny insect drawn to your beer or wine, has evolved to have an impressive tolerance for alcohol.More than two decades ago, in one of the first papers using gene sequences to find signatures of natural selection, scientists hypothesized that a molecular change in an enzyme gave the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly species its superior ability to metabolize alcohol. Scientists concluded that the change they found in the Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) protein could be the adaptation that allowed D. melanogaster to colonize ethanol-rich habitats in rotting fruit better than its nearly identical relative, Drosophila simulans.

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