Photocatalyst makes hydrogen production 10 times more efficient

Hydrogen is an alternative source of energy that can be produced from renewable sources of sunlight and water. A group of Japanese researchers has developed a photocatalyst that increases hydrogen production tenfold.

ENN: Top Stories

Exclusive: Vomitoxin makes nasty appearance for U.S. farm sector

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A fungus that causes “vomitoxin” has been found in some U.S. corn harvested last year, forcing poultry and pork farmers to test their grain, and giving headaches to grain growers already wrestling with massive supplies and low prices.


Reuters: Environment

What makes erionite carcinogenic?

The mineral erionite is considered to be highly carcinogenic and is on the World Health Organisation's list of substances that cause cancer. A few years ago, an entire village in Turkey actually had to be moved, because the substance was very common in the surrounding area and every second inhabitant died of a particular type of cancer caused by breathing in erionite particles. Up to now it has been thought that iron as a constituent element of the mineral erionite is the reason for the carcinogenic effect. However, mineralogists of Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), together with colleagues from the University of Modena (Italy), have discovered that this metal does not even appear in the crystal structure of erionite.

ENN: Top Stories

New Tag Revolutionizes Whale Research, And Makes Them Partners In Science

Ocean Leadership ~

"Advanced Dive Behavior" (ABD) tags will improve the monitoring of whale behavior over long distances and great depths. (Credit: Flip Nicklen, Minden/Corbis)

(Click to enlarge) “Advanced Dive Behavior” (ABD) tags will improve the monitoring of whale behavior over long distances and great depths. (Credit: Flip Nicklen, Minden/Corbis)

A sophisticated new type of “tag” on whales that can record data every second for hours, days and weeks at a time provides a view of whale behavior, biology and travels never before possible, scientists from Oregon State University reported in a new study.

(From ScienceDaily)– This “Advanced Dive Behavior,” or ADB tag, has allowed researchers to expand their knowledge of whale ecology to areas deep beneath the sea, over thousands of miles of travel, and outline their interaction with the prey they depend upon for food.

It has even turned whales into scientific colleagues to help understand ocean conditions and climate change.

The findings, just published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, showed sperm whales diving all the way to the sea floor, more than 1000 meters deep, and being submerged for up to 75 minutes. It reported baleen whales lunging after their food; provided a basis to better understand whale reactions to undersea noises such as sonar or seismic exploration; and is helping scientists observe how whales react to changes in water temperature.

“The ADB tag is a pretty revolutionary breakthrough,” said Bruce Mate, professor and director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “This provides us a broad picture of whale behavior and ecology that we’ve never had before.

“This technology has even made whales our partners in acquiring data to better understand ocean conditions and climate change,” Mate said. “It gives us vast amounts of new data about water temperatures through space and time, over large distances and in remote locations. We’re learning more about whales, and the whales are helping us to learn more about our own planet.”

Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161223115823.htm

 

The post New Tag Revolutionizes Whale Research, And Makes Them Partners In Science appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Thawing ice makes the Alps grow

The Alps are steadily “growing” by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement. This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 18,000 years ago the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth’s surface diminished. The ice reacted rapidly to climate change at that time whereas the Earth’s crust is still responding today to this relatively sudden melting of ice. 

ENN: Top Stories

Fukushima Radioactivity Diluted In The Pacific Makes Tracing Ocean Currents Possible

Ocean Leadership ~

An image from an animation of the devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake that rocked Japan in March 2011. (Credit: NASA/Jesse Allen, using data provided by Tony Song (NASA/JPL)

(Click to enlarge) An image from an animation of the devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake that rocked Japan in March 2011. (Credit: NASA/Jesse Allen, using data provided by Tony Song (NASA/JPL)

Very little is known about ocean currents and generally about dynamics in the oceans. But radioactivity released into the Pacific by the Fukushima nuclear accident, which was quickly diluted to harmless levels, has allowed scientists to trace the ocean’s currents.

(From Science Daily)– European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)’s expertise in nuclear measurements was instrumental in detecting and quantifying the radioactivity of sea-water samples. The study was carried out with a team of researchers from two Japanese Universities, following a campaign of sampling and measuring anthropogenic radionuclides in the North Pacific. It allowed natural processes using radionuclides as tracers to be studied.

The most important oceanographic conclusion from the study is that most of the surface water transported to the east towards the USA is submerged to a depth of 400 m near to the International Date Line and then turns towards south-west. This movement of the currents was not known prior to this study and will have an impact on e.g. computer models calculating global warming.

The accident in the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 led to the release of huge amounts of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean. During 2011 and 2012, Japanese scientists collected some 800 water samples and about 80 samples of plankton and suspended particles. In collaboration with the JRC, the samples were analysed, revealing very low levels of radioactivity. To measure such low radiation, the samples were placed deep (225m) underground to avoid interference from cosmic rays in the sensitive instruments.

Three radionuclides from Fukushima were detected in the samples from the Pacific: Caesium-134 (134Cs, half-life: 2.1 years), Caesium-137 (137Cs, half-life: 30 years) and the Silver isotope 110mAg (half-life 0.68 years). The zoo-plankton contained higher amounts of radiocaesium than particulate matter as it consumes organic matter and thereby accumulates caesium. The study of plankton is useful to understand the uptake in the food chain and estimate impact on biosystems of future releases. The measurements of the plankton showed that in all sampling locations the level of radiocaesium was in the order of 30 mBq/g (May/June, 2011) whilst only those samples collected up to 70 km from Fukushima (near to the epicentre of the earthquake) had measurable amounts of 110mAg.

Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607094004.htm

The post Fukushima Radioactivity Diluted In The Pacific Makes Tracing Ocean Currents Possible appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

DNews: The Dreaded Turbulence: What Makes Flights Bumpy

Most of us probably breathe a sigh of relief when the captain promises "a smooth ride" to wherever we're flying. But, as DNews explains, turbulence is really no big deal.
Discovery News

Ocean Acidification Makes Coralline Algae Less Robust

Ocean Leadership ~

This is a diver dislodging coralline red algal crust from rock surface using hammer and chisel while enduring the near-freezing water temperatures of the Labrador Sea. (Credit: Nick Caloyianus)

(Click to enlarge) This is a diver dislodging coralline red algal crust from rock surface using hammer and chisel while enduring the near-freezing water temperatures of the Labrador Sea. (Credit: Nick Caloyianus)

Ocean acidification (the ongoing decrease in the pH of Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of CO2from the atmosphere), is affecting the formation of the skeleton of coralline algae which play an important part in marine biodiversity, new research from the University of Bristol, UK has found.

(From Science Daily) — Coralline red algae form maerl beds which provide important habitat in shallow waters, including the UK coastal shelf. Maerl hosts a high diversity of organisms by providing habitats, shelter and nursery areas for, amongst others, fish larvae and young scallops. Both coralline algae and the maerl beds they generate are protected by national and international regulation as they form biodiversity hotspots and support fisheries.

The skeletal structure of coralline algae is composed of high- magnesium calcite, the most soluble form of calcium carbonate, and is therefore potentially vulnerable to the change in carbonate chemistry resulting from the absorption of human-made CO2 by the ocean.

Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160208083134.htm

The post Ocean Acidification Makes Coralline Algae Less Robust appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Ocean Warming Makes Floods Worse

Ocean Leadership ~

A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined. (Credit: NCDOTcommunications/ Flickr)

(Click to enlarge) A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.
(Credit: NCDOTcommunications/ Flickr)

Floodwaters that washed icy brine into streets and homes along the eastern seaboard during Saturday’s blizzard reached heights in some places not experienced since Hurricane Sandy.

(From Scientific American/ by John Upton) — “I just hope it isn’t a sign of things to come,” Pam Bross told a local newspaper as she mopped up the market she operates on a New Jersey street not normally reached by storm surges.

With tides and storm surges inching upward and inward, worsening floods are harbingers of even soggier times ahead. As the weekend’s winter storm hurtles across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing its flood risks to Europe, new research is pointing to an outsized role that ocean warming has been playing in raising sea levels — a problem normally associated with melting land ice.

Water expands as it heats up, and oceans have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel burning, deforestation and animal farming. A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.

“Satellite observations show that sea level rise over the last decade is explained, by about 50 percent, by thermal expansion,” said Roelof Rietbroek of the University of Bonn, who led the research, which was published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For more information click: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-warming-makes-floods-worse/

The post Ocean Warming Makes Floods Worse appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Real Hoverboard Makes Its Flying Debut

This for-reals hoverboard cruises a foot over any surface, including concrete, sand, ice and water. Continue reading →
Discovery News