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Dust Particles Can Form Cloud Droplets That Affect Climates

New information on the role of insoluble dust particles in forming cloud droplets could improve the accuracy of regional climate models, especially in areas of the world that have significant amounts of mineral aerosols in the atmosphere. A more accurate accounting for the role of these particles could also have implications for global climate models.

Severe Drought, Other Changes Can Cause Permanent Ecosystem Disruption

An eight-year study has concluded that increasingly frequent and severe drought, dropping water tables and dried-up springs have pushed some aquatic desert ecosystems into “catastrophic regime change,” from which many species will not recover.

Future Forests May Soak Up More Carbon Dioxide Than Previously Believed

North American forests appear to have a greater capacity to soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas than researchers had previously anticipated.

Polar Bears Ill from Environmental Toxins

New doctoral thesis documents that industrial chemicals are transported from the industrialized world to the Arctic via air and sea currents. Here, the cocktail of environmental toxins is absorbed by the sea's food chains which are so rich in fats and of which the polar bear is the top predator.

Oil Company Pleads Guilty to Clean Air Act and Obstruction Crimes in Louisiana

Pelican Refining Company LLC could potentially pay $12 million in criminal penalties in a plea agreement, marking the largest criminal fine in Louisiana for violations of the Clean Air Act.

Cold War Nuclear Wastes Pose Challenges to Science, Engineering, Society

Seven papers published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors report on efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure continued safe and secure storage and disposition of 50 years worth of spent nuclear fuel, surplus nuclear materials, and high-level wastes at DOE facilities.

Feeding the World while Protecting the Planet

The problem is stark: One billion people on earth don't have enough food right now. It's estimated that by 2050 there will be more than nine billion people living on the planet.

"Nanosheets" Could Make Fuel, Plastics Production More Energy Efficient and Cost-Effective

A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient.



Protein Plays Role in Helping Plants See Light

Plants do not have eyes or legs, yet they are able to "see" and move toward and away from light. This ability, called phototropism, is controlled by a series of molecular-level signals between proteins inside and between plant cells. In a paper published in The Plant Cell, University of Missouri scientists report for the first time the elusive role a critical protein plays in this molecular signaling pathway that regulates phototropism in plants.

Bacterial Communication Could Affect Earth's Climate

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet's climate.

Sunlight Changes Aerosols in Clouds

Today's climate models regard organic aerosols as static carbon-based molecules, but scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) showed that the particles are very dynamic.

Which direction are herbicides heading?

What many might consider a "dinosaur" may be the best solution for growers fighting weed resistance today, said Dean Riechers, University of Illinois associate professor of weed physiology.

UK Scientists Develop New Technology to Detect Deep Sea Gas Leaks

A new ultra-sensitive technology which can monitor leaks from underwater gas pipelines has been developed by scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK.

Study Challenges "Snowball Earth" Hypothesis

The hypothesis that the Earth was completely covered in ice 635 million years ago has received a serious blow.

Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region is Much Greater than Previously Reported

The scope and intensity of mercury pollution in the Great Lakes region is much greater than previously reported, but additional mercury controls should bring needed improvement.

EPA Finalizes California's List of Polluted Waters

Trends include a 170-percent increase in toxicity listings since 2006.

Tips Tuesday: Tips for a Green Autumn Season

As the leaves change and temps drop, the crisp autumn air brings a whole new load of waste possibilities with the new season. As opposed to the scorching summer months coupled with UV rays that dry lawns and surge kilowatts of electricity through homes for cooling, fall brings gutter clutter and leaf waste – not to mention high kilowatt usage in parts of the world prone to freezing temps.

New Computer Program Promises to Save the Whales

Researchers at the University of Montreal have developed a computer program that enables regulators to evaluate the ecological and economic tradeoffs between marine mammal conservation, whale watching and marine transportation activities in the Saint Lawrence Estuary.

School District to Install World's First Ultra-efficient Solar Hot Air System

Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston, N.H., has signed the world's first power purchase agreement for ultra-efficient solar hot air, which will reduce heating bills.

Solar-Powered Air-Conditioning System for Vehicles

Drivers can now continue to keep the air-conditioning system on during the hot sunny days even when they stop the vehicle and switch off the engine. In collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd, Hong Kong Polytechnic University's (PolyU) Department of Electrical Engineering has developed an innovative air-conditioning system for vehicles that can turn scorching summer heat into cool air without a single drop of gasoline.

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