Legislative & Regulatory Update

NOAA ship journeys into remote, deep Pacific ocean

Using the Deep Discoverer ROV, scientists will investigate deepwater habitats, geology, and the biology of sea animals as it dives as far as 3.7 miles (6,000 meters) deep. The public can watch online.The 2017 explorations will run through September and are part of the third and final year of NOAA’s Campaign to Address Pacific monument Science, Technology, and Ocean NEeds, known as CAPSTONE, a major multiyear science initiative focusing on the deep ocean of U.S. marine protected areas in the central and western Pacific.

NASA Eyes the Heart of Tropical Cyclone Dineo on Valentine's Day

Climate Change News - ENN - February 14, 2017 - 3:57pm
On Feb. 14, 2017 at 2:45 a.m. EST (0745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image Dineo that showed strong thunderstorms wrapping into and around the "heart" or center of the storm's low-level circulation. A thick band of powerful thunderstorms from the eastern quadrant wrapped south and west into the center.  

Long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

Ancient Jars Found in Judea Reveal Earth's Magnetic Field is Fluctuating, Not Diminishing

Albert Einstein considered the origin of the Earth's magnetic field one of the five most important unsolved problems in physics. The weakening of the geomagnetic field, which extends from the planet's core into outer space and was first recorded 180 years ago, has raised concern by some for the welfare of the biosphere.

The Most Remote Place on Earth is Also One of the Most Polluted

Scientists have discovered high levels of extremely toxic chemicals in the most remote place on earth — the 36,000-foot-deep Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, according to new research published in the journal Natural Ecology and Evolution.Marine biologists used fish traps and robotic submarines to collect crustaceans from the trench’s seafloor and then measured the level of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in each specimen.

Sunlight or bacteria? Scientists investigate what breaks down permafrost carbon

Climate Change News - ENN - February 14, 2017 - 2:01pm
A Florida State University researcher is delving into the complexities of exactly how permafrost thawing in the Earth’s most northern regions is cycling back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and further fueling climate change.Answer: It has a lot to do with tiny little bugs called microbes and little to do with sunlight.Assistant Professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Robert Spencer and a team of researchers traveled to Siberia from 2012 to 2015 to better understand how thawing permafrost affected the carbon cycle. They specifically investigated how the vast amounts of carbon stored in this permafrost transferred to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Sunlight or bacteria? Scientists investigate what breaks down permafrost carbon

A Florida State University researcher is delving into the complexities of exactly how permafrost thawing in the Earth’s most northern regions is cycling back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and further fueling climate change.Answer: It has a lot to do with tiny little bugs called microbes and little to do with sunlight.Assistant Professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Robert Spencer and a team of researchers traveled to Siberia from 2012 to 2015 to better understand how thawing permafrost affected the carbon cycle. They specifically investigated how the vast amounts of carbon stored in this permafrost transferred to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

El Niño resulted in unprecedented erosion of the Pacific coastline, according to research

Climate Change News - ENN - February 14, 2017 - 11:39am
Last winter’s El Niño might have felt weak to residents of Southern California, but it was in fact one of the most powerful climate events of the past 145 years.

Genes in albino orchids may hold clues to parasitic mechanism used by non-photosynthetic plants

How do plants give up photosynthesis and become parasites? A research team in Japan are using comprehensive analysis of gene expression in albino and green orchids to investigate the evolution of parasitic plant.

SFU technology puts 'touch' into long-distance relationships

Long-distance couples can share a walk, watch movies together, and even give each other a massage, using new technologies being developed in Carman Neustaedter’s Simon Fraser University lab. 

Climate change impact on mammals and birds greatly 'under-estimated'

Climate Change News - ENN - February 14, 2017 - 9:03am
An international study published today involving University of Queensland research has found large numbers of threatened species have already been affected by climate change. Associate Professor James Watson of UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Wildlife Conservation Society said the team of international researchers found alarming evidence of responses to recent climate changes in almost 700 birds and mammal species.“There has been a massive under-reporting of these impacts,” he said.

Stanford researchers measure African farm yields using high-resolution satellites

Stanford researchers have developed a new way to estimate crop yields from space, using high-resolution photos snapped by a new wave of compact satellites.The approach, detailed in the Feb. 13 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help estimate agricultural productivity and test intervention strategies in poor regions of the world where data are currently extremely scarce.

Descent into a Frozen Underworld

Mt. Erebus is at the end of our world -- and offers a portal to another.It's our planet's southernmost active volcano, reaching 12,448 feet (3,794 meters) above Ross Island in Antarctica. Temperatures at the surface are well below freezing most of the year, but that doesn't stop visits from scientists: Erebus is also one of the few volcanoes in the world with an exposed lava lake. You can peer over the lip of its main crater and stare straight into it.

Marine bacteria produce an environmentally important molecule with links to climate

Climate Change News - ENN - February 13, 2017 - 6:00pm
Scientists from the University of East Anglia and Ocean University China have discovered that tiny marine bacteria can synthesise one of the Earth’s most abundant sulfur molecules, which affects atmospheric chemistry and potentially climate.This molecule, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is an important nutrient for marine microorganisms and is the major precursor for the climate-cooling gas, dimethyl sulfide (DMS).

New Method to Detect Ultrasound with Light

A tiny, transparent device that can fit into a contact lens has a bright future, potentially helping a range of scientific endeavors from biomedicine to geology.

Researchers egineer "Thubber", a stretchable rubber that packs a thermal conductive punch, for heated garments and robot muscles

Carmel Majidi and Jonathan Malen of Carnegie Mellon University have developed a thermally conductive rubber material that represents a breakthrough for creating soft, stretchable machines and electronics. The findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

Desert Songbirds May Face Expanding Threat of Lethal Dehydration

Climate Change News - ENN - February 13, 2017 - 4:13pm
AMHERST, Mass – A new study of songbird dehydration and survival risk during heat waves in the United States desert Southwest suggests that some birds are at risk of lethal dehydration and mass die-offs when water is scarce, and the risk is expected to increase as climate change advances.  

Physicists Teach AI to Identify Exotic States of Matter

Put a tray of water in the freezer. For a while, it’s liquid. And then—boom—the molecules stack into little hexagons, and you’ve got ice. Pour supercold liquid nitrogen onto a wafer of yttrium barium copper oxide, and suddenly electricity flows through the compound with less resistance than beer down a college student’s throat. You’ve got a superconductor.

Plant-made Hemophilia Therapy Shows Promise, Penn Study Finds

People with hemophilia require regular infusions of clotting factor to prevent them from experiencing uncontrolled bleeding. But a significant fraction develop antibodies against the clotting factor, essentially experiencing an allergic reaction to the very treatment that can prolong their lives.

Robo-Telescopes Capture the Last Gasp of a Dying Star

A very long time ago in a faraway galaxy, a star blew up. When the flash of light finally reached Earth on October 6, 2013, nobody noticed. Not at first. Three hours of supernova photons streamed by before an old telescope perched on a mountain north of San Diego started snapping pics.

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