New robotic lab tracking toxicity of Lake Erie algal bloom

A new research tool to safeguard drinking water is now keeping a watchful eye on Lake Erie. This week, a robotic lake-bottom laboratory began tracking the levels of dangerous toxins produced by cyanobacteria that bloom each summer in the lake's western basin.The goal is to provide advance warning to municipal drinking water managers and thereby prevent a recurrence of the water crisis that left more than 400,000 Toledo-area residents without safe drinking water for about two days in early August 2014 due to high levels of microcystin toxins.

Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba May Survive Global Warming, New Study Finds

Coral reefs in the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba can resist rising water temperatures. If they survive local pollution, these corals may one day be used to re-seed parts of the world where reefs are dying. The scientists urge governments to protect the Gulf of Aqaba Reefs.Coral reefs are dying on a massive scale around the world, and global warming is driving this extinction. The planet’s largest reef, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is currently experiencing enormous coral bleaching for the second year in a row, while last year left only a third of its 2300-km ecosystem unbleached. The demise of coral reefs heralds the loss of some of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems.

Rare discovery of three new toad species in Nevada's Great Basin by College of Science

Three new species of toads have been discovered living in Nevada's Great Basin in an expansive survey of the 190,000 square mile ancient lake bottom. Discoveries of new amphibians are extremely rare in the United States with only three new frog species discovered since 1985 - and toad species are even more rare, with the last species discovered north of Mexico, the now extinct Wyoming toad, in 1968."We've found the toads in small, wet habitats surrounded by high-desert completely cut off from other populations," Dick Tracy, a renowned biology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lead scientist on the project, said. "These are absolutely new, true species that have been separated from other populations for 650,000 years."

Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, damage to once placid areas

The world’s most extensive study of a major storm front striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before.The study, led by engineers at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

GOES Satellite Sees Tropical Depression 09E Form

The Eastern Pacific Ocean has been recently generating a lot of tropical cyclones. Tropical Depression 09E just formed off the southern coast of Mexico and was captured in imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite.Tropical Storm Fernanda has moved into the Central Pacific Ocean, while Tropical Storm Greg, which just absorbed the remnants of Tropical Depression 8E continues to strengthen in the Eastern Pacific.

NASA Notes 9th Northwestern Pacific Tropical Cyclone

The ninth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean has formed and developed into a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Kulap was spotted by NASA’s Terra satellite far to the west of Midway Island.

Rush Hour Pollution May Be More Dangerous Than You Think

The first in-car measurements of exposure to pollutants that cause oxidative stress during rush hour commutes has turned up potentially alarming results. The levels of some forms of harmful particulate matter inside car cabins was found to be twice as high as previously believed.Most traffic pollution sensors are placed on the ground alongside the road and take continuous samples for a 24-hour period. Exhaust composition, however, changes rapidly enough for drivers to experience different conditions inside their vehicles than these roadside sensors. Long-term sampling also misses nuanced variabilities caused by road congestion and environmental conditions.

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

Imagine slipping into a jacket, shirt or skirt that powers your cell phone, fitness tracker and other personal electronic devices as you walk, wave and even when you are sitting down.A new, ultrathin energy harvesting system developed at Vanderbilt University’s Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory has the potential to do just that. Based on battery technology and made from layers of black phosphorus that are only a few atoms thick, the new device generates small amounts of electricity when it is bent or pressed even at the extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion.

Link identified between continental breakup, volcanic carbon emissions and evolution

Researchers have found that the formation and breakup of supercontinents over hundreds of millions of years controls volcanic carbon emissions. The results, reported in the journal Science, could lead to a reinterpretation of how the carbon cycle has evolved over Earth’s history, and how this has impacted the evolution of Earth’s habitability. 

Sparkling springs aid quest for underground heat

Analysis of natural sparkling mineral water has given scientists valuable clues on how to locate hot water springs.