Legislative & Regulatory Update

Newly engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption

A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a scalable manufactured metamaterial — an engineered material with extraordinary properties not found in nature — to act as a kind of air conditioning system for structures. It has the ability to cool objects even under direct sunlight with zero energy and water consumption.When applied to a surface, the metamaterial film cools the object underneath by efficiently reflecting incoming solar energy back into space while simultaneously allowing the surface to shed its own heat in the form of infrared thermal radiation.

How temperature guides where species live and where they'll go

Climate Change News - ENN - February 15, 2017 - 2:59pm
For decades, among the most enduring questions for ecologists have been: "Why do species live where they do? And what are the factors that keep them there?" A Princeton University-based study featured on the February cover of the journal Ecology could prove significant in answering that question, particularly for animals in the world's temperate mountain areas.

NASA Study Identifies New Pathway for Greenland Meltwater to Reach Ocean

Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet. Until now, scientists did not know what happened to the water stored away in this reservoir -- the discovery will help fine tune computer models of Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise.

NASA Study Identifies New Pathway for Greenland Meltwater to Reach Ocean

Climate Change News - ENN - February 15, 2017 - 11:57am
Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet. Until now, scientists did not know what happened to the water stored away in this reservoir -- the discovery will help fine tune computer models of Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise.

Researchers Catch Extreme Waves with High-Resolution Modeling

Surfers aren’t the only people trying to catch big waves. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are trying to do so, too, at least in wave climate forecasts.

Researchers Catch Extreme Waves with High-Resolution Modeling

Climate Change News - ENN - February 15, 2017 - 10:55am
Surfers aren’t the only people trying to catch big waves. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are trying to do so, too, at least in wave climate forecasts.

Intergalactic unions more devastating than we thought

Scientists from MIPT, the University of Oxford, and the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences estimated the number of stars disrupted by solitary supermassive black holes in galactic centers formed due to mergers of galaxies containing supermassive black holes. The astrophysicists found out whether gravitational effects arising as two black holes draw closer to one another can explain why we observe fewer stars being captured by black holes than basic theoretical models predict. In their study published in The Astrophysical Journal, the researchers looked into the interplay of various dynamic mechanisms affecting the number of stars in a galaxy that are captured per unit time (tidal disruption rate). (Spoiler Alert! An advanced theoretical model yielded results that are even more inconsistent with observations, leading the team to hypothesize that the disruption of stars in galactic nuclei may occur without our knowledge.) 

'The blob' of abnormal conditions boosted Western U.S. ozone levels

Climate Change News - ENN - February 15, 2017 - 10:42am
An unusually warm patch of seawater off the West Coast in late 2014 and 2015, nicknamed “the blob,” had cascading effects up and down the coast. Its sphere of influence was centered on the marine environment but extended to weather on land.

'The blob' of abnormal conditions boosted Western U.S. ozone levels

An unusually warm patch of seawater off the West Coast in late 2014 and 2015, nicknamed “the blob,” had cascading effects up and down the coast. Its sphere of influence was centered on the marine environment but extended to weather on land.

Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows

Climate Change News - ENN - February 15, 2017 - 10:09am
Ice loss from Canada’s Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found.From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent, from an average of three gigatons to 30 gigatons per year, according to results published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

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. 

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