Taxonomy term

june 2013

The energy-water nexus: Managing water in an energy-constrained world

Water can be tricky. With too little, crops die, industries move away, power plants fail, ecosystems suffer and people go thirsty. With too much, floods ruin infrastructure, destroy crops, spread waterborne diseases, and disrupt flows of clean water, wastewater, power and transportation. We want water at the right time and in the right place because moving and storing water require effort. We also want it at the right quality and the right temperature. If we had unlimited clean energy at our disposal, we could desalinate the ocean, providing enough potable water for everyone, everywhere. Energy provides a constraining factor on the world’s management of water issues; likewise, water is a constraining factor on the world’s energy supply. This interdependence is the energy-water nexus and the way we manage the delicate relationship between energy and water will have major implications for the future of both critical resources.

30 Jun 2013

Blogging on EARTH: Behind the scenes with a storm chaser (part 3)

This past May, Nick Luchetti, an undergraduate meteorology student at Virginia Tech, chased supercell storms and tornadoes across the U.S. Great Plains as part of a field course offered by the school. In this series of three posts, he describes the thrills and emotions he experienced while fulfilling a personal dream.

26 Jun 2013

Hurricanes suppressed by air pollutants

Understanding how often devastating tropical storms like Superstorm Sandy occur, and how humans may play a role in their frequency, is a major goal among climate scientists. Now, a new study indicates that aerosols may suppress storm formation over the Atlantic. Thus, researchers say, more frequent storms at the end of the last century might have been an unintended side effect of cleaning up the air.

25 Jun 2013

Blogging on EARTH: Behind the scenes with a storm chaser (part 2)

This past May, Nick Luchetti, an undergraduate meteorology student at Virginia Tech, chased supercell storms and tornadoes across the U.S. Great Plains as part of a field course offered by the school. In this series of three posts, he describes the thrills and emotions he experienced while fulfilling a personal dream.

25 Jun 2013

Blogging on EARTH: Behind the scenes with a storm chaser (part 1)

This past May, Nick Luchetti, an undergraduate meteorology student at Virginia Tech, chased supercell storms and tornadoes across the U.S. Great Plains as part of a field course offered by the school. In this series of three posts, he describes the thrills and emotions he experienced while fulfilling a personal dream.

24 Jun 2013

Getting There and Getting Around Florida

The Florida Keys are a popular year-round vacation destination. There are only two seasons: the dry season, from November through May, and the wet season, from June through October.

 
24 Jun 2013

Travels in Geology: The ephemeral Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are one of the most ephemeral places on Earth. The majority of the planet’s landmasses are millions of years old, but these islands have only been around for a few thousand years. Already, rising sea levels are threatening to submerge the young archipelago, possibly within the next century.

24 Jun 2013

Blogging on EARTH: New lessons from antiquity, this time on construction

Each year, millions of visitors flock to Italy to wander among the remains of ancient Rome, where Cicero strolled and Augustus celebrated his expanding empire. Vestiges of the historic city center lie sprawled around the forum grounds like the abandoned playthings of a distracted giant: vertebrae of toppled columns, a crossword puzzle of ancient foundations, towering doorframes granting access to long-gone buildings. Above everything soars the lopsided profile of the Roman Colosseum, a structure as tough and stubborn as the gladiators that once battled in its ring.
 

20 Jun 2013

Energy Notes: February 2012-2013

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.

 
19 Jun 2013

Oceanic records paint a more complex picture of human evolution

It has long been hypothesized that human ancestors evolved the ability to walk upright — a feature that appeared about 6 million years ago — in response to African landscapes changing from forests to grasslands. Now, a group of scientists has assembled the most continuous timeline of landscape evolution and grassland development over the last 12 million years near the African Rift Valley in northeastern Africa — and the timeline contradicts conventional hypotheses.

17 Jun 2013

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