Hurricane Celia strengthens in Pacific off Mexico

Hurricane Celia, the first hurricane of the 2010 Pacific season, formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean near Mexico on Sunday but was headed away from land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. A Category 1 hurricane with winds up to 80 mph, Celia was 370 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco and was moving toward the west, away from Mexico, at 7 mph. "Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the center said. Mexico's key oil export facilities are in the Gulf of Mexico, well away from Celia's path.

Tropical Storm Celia may become hurricane off Mexico

Tropical Storm Celia formed on Saturday in the Pacific off southern Mexico and could soon become a hurricane as it moves away from the coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Celia, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, was 340 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

Partner puts blame on BP, claims negligence

BP Plc's costs for the worst spill in U.S. history appeared set to rise as a partner in the out-of-control well laid the blame at BP's feet and the new federal czar overseeing damage claims said BP would pay more if $20 billion was not enough. The British oil company said it would not be distracted by a dispute with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The owner of a quarter of the well gushing into the Gulf broke its near-silence on the spill to squarely pin blame -- and financial responsibility -- on BP. "There appears to be gross negligence or willful misconduct," Houston-based Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that helped to drive his company's shares up 2.2 percent in after-hours trading on the hopes it could avoid multi-billion-dollar liabilities.

Greening Our Capital Cities

Greening America's Capitals is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities between EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green building and green infrastructure strategies. This program will assist three to four communities per year, with the first projects beginning in the fall of 2010.

Breaking the Cost Barrier on Algae-based Biofuels

It's been a hot topic for a few years now. And certainly the potential for incorporating algae as a key feedstock for future biofuel production is massive. But the sobering fact is that we're at least a good eight to ten years from seeing any kind of real, commercially-ready product… At least at the volumes that could allow for meaningful market penetration. So where does that leave us in the meantime?

Antarctic Sea Ice Paradoxically Growing

While Arctic sea ice continues to shrink as the world warms, the ice around Antarctica is actually growing, thanks to the influence of the ozone hole over the southernmost continent, scientists have reported. But the south polar growth won't be permanent, they warn.

Malaria in Brazil linked to forest clearing

Clearing forests in the Amazon helps mosquitoes thrive and can send malaria rates soaring, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. They found a 48 percent increase in malaria cases in one county in Brazil after 4.2 percent of its tree cover was cleared. Their findings, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, shows links between cutting down trees, a rise in the number of mosquitoes and infections of humans. "It appears that deforestation is one of the initial ecological factors that can trigger a malaria epidemic," said Sarah Olson of the University of Wisconsin, who worked on the study.

The Oddness of Water and Ice

Water is vital for life and how it freezes is very important. For years water (ice) has been known to exist in 15 phases. Subjected to higher pressures and varying temperatures, ice can form in fifteen separate known phases. With care all these types can be recovered at ambient pressure. The types are differentiated by their crystalline structure, ordering and density. There are also two metastable phases of ice under pressure, both fully hydrogen-disordered; these are IV and XII. Ice XII was discovered in 1996. In 2006, XIII and XIV were discovered. Ices XI, XIII, and XIV are hydrogen-ordered forms of ices Ih, V, and XII respectively. In 2009 ice XV was found at extremely high pressures and −143 degrees celsius. Now there is another variation.

Oceanic Volcanos

Though unseen the ocean floor is a volcanic hot bed where the tectonic plates collide and spread apart. New research reveals that when two parts of the Earth's crust break apart, this does not always cause massive volcanic eruptions. The study, published today in the journal Nature, explains why some parts of the world saw massive volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and others did not. The Earth's crust is broken into plates that are in constant motion over timescales of millions of years. Plates occasionally collide and fuse, or they can break apart to form new ones. When the latter plates break apart, a plume of hot rock can rise from deep within the Earth's interior, which can cause massive volcanic activity on the surface (sort of like blood from a skin cut).

No-Fish area in Gulf expanded again

The area of the Gulf of Mexico closed to fishing has been expanded again by NOAA to capture portions of the oil slick moving beyond the area’s current northern boundary, off the Florida panhandle’s federal-state waterline. This boundary was moved to Panama City Beach. The federal closure does not apply to any state waters. Closing fishing in these areas is a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers.