Taxonomy term

january 2009

Oil barrel politics

As a new president and Congress entered office in January, current events continue to keep energy in the forefront of national concern. Volatile prices, resource depletion, climate change and national security impacts of energy trade have become a part of daily news and policy discussion. Americans will be watching the new policymakers to see how they respond to energy concerns. How they treat energy research and development — particularly the amount of funds dedicated to R&D, and the portion of that R&D that is allocated through earmarks — will be telling.

08 Apr 2009

Weird whale tusks act as matchmakers

In the depths of the ocean, the bizarre beaked whale looks more like an eerie mutant than a gentle giant. With its bird-like beak and sharp tusks that jut out from the top of its head, anyone would wonder: What’s with all the weaponry? Now scientists think they’ve found the purpose of these weird tusks — and it is not nearly as maleficent as you may think.

30 Jan 2009

Danger in the Deep: Chemical weapons lie off our coasts

Flash back to 1944: It’s a misty Hawaiian morning and a military vessel carries a nervous crew and deadly cargo from Pearl Harbor into the Pacific. The crew’s instructions are clear: Travel eight kilometers out to sea and dump tons of unused chemical weapons that are piled on deck. As the ship reaches the open ocean, the captain slows the vessel and sailors start pushing their lethal freight into the water. During the next half-hour, several thousand chemical bombs go overboard and into the abyss.

27 Jan 2009

Obama asks EPA to reconsider state-set emissions standards

Just a week into his presidency, Barack Obama has already set out to reverse several of Bush’s policies, including policies on long-contentious climate and energy issues.

26 Jan 2009

Down to Earth With: John Copeland

Movie effects have come a long way since the close-shot model explosions that made “Star Wars” a hit, and science documentaries are no exception, says John Copeland, a director and producer who has worked on such shows as “Babylon 5,” “Dinosaur Planet” and “When Dinosaurs Roamed America.” Copeland explains to EARTH reporter Brian Fisher Johnson how TV drama and computer effects have revolutionized the way documentarians portray science.

23 Jan 2009

Travels in Geology: Atop the German Alps

Mountaineers in the “High Points Club” have a lofty goal: to “tag,” or reach, the highest elevations of every country in the world. Many of the 193 summits are best left to the professionals, but at least one, the highest point in Germany, is accessible to anybody with a train ticket. At 2,962 meters, the Zugspitze towers over the German Alps. But unlike most alpine peaks, you don’t need ropes, crampons and ice axes to stand on the summit.

23 Jan 2009

Fish guts can alter ocean's chemistry

The ocean’s surface waters contain many more microorganisms than fish — and so for years, the carbonate-shelled microorganisms were thought to be the main contributor to the carbonate chemistry in deep ocean waters. Now, new research suggests that the tiny pellets that most bony fish produce in their guts can affect the chemistry of the oceans.

22 Jan 2009

Ancient meteorites reveal early magnetic fields

Even before the birth of the planets, our solar system was hardly a lonely place. Small rocky bodies, called planetesimals, filled the inner solar system, eventually colliding together to form the planets. Now a new look at a group of ancient meteorites shows that at least some planetesimals generated their own magnetic fields — a feat many scientists thought extremely difficult for such small astronomical bodies. The work also has scientists rethinking how planets formed.

21 Jan 2009

Energy Notes: September 2007-2008

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

 
20 Jan 2009

Shell tectonics may explain Mars mysteries

Mars may be mythologically known as the Red Planet, but its topography can be as captivating as its celestial glow. Several striking features stand out with only a glance at a topographic map of Mars: the odd distribution of land on its surface and the equatorial string of giant volcanoes known as the Tharsis Rise. Since Mars has no plate tectonics, how these unique features formed has been a longstanding mystery.

16 Jan 2009

Pages