Pollution makes quarter of China water unusable

Almost a quarter of China's surface water remains so polluted that it is unfit even for industrial use, while less than half of total supplies are drinkable, data from the environment watchdog showed on Monday. Inspectors from China's Ministry of Environmental Protection tested water samples from the country's major rivers and lakes in the first half of the year and declared just 49.3 percent to be safe for drinking, up from 48 percent last year, the ministry said in a notice posted on its website (www.mep.gov.cn).

What to do with the CO2

Burning fuel releases a lot of carbon dioxide. For more is emitted than any other air emission. What can we do with it all? A basic reuse of carbon dioxide or CO2 is to have plants and trees use it to make new plants and trees. Recently, the U.S. government has been funding more than $100 million to six research projects that will turn carbon dioxide into fuel, plastics, cement and more. Though the US is spending some money even more comes from private investors.

EPA to Study Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water; Seeks Public Input

This July and August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") is holding a series of public meetings seeking input on the design for an upcoming study to assess the effect of hydraulic fracturing on public drinking water supplies. Hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressured water, combined with chemicals, to release natural gas present underground in shale formations. Use of this process has raised concerns across the country that this process will contaminate, or has contaminated, drinking water supplies.

Stellar Heavyweight Breaks the Scales

Using the world's most powerful ground-based telescope, astronomers have identified the seven heaviest stars ever found. One of these behemoths is so big, it's forcing researchers to rethink just how bulky stars can become.

First-of-Its-Kind Map Details the Height of the Globe’s Forests

ScienceDaily (July 21, 2010) — Using NASA satellite data, scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map that details the height of the world's forests. Although there are other local- and regional-scale forest canopy maps, the new map is the first that spans the entire globe based on one uniform method.

Thick smog from heatwave fires covers Moscow

Muscovites struggled to breathe on Monday and Red Square was blanketed in smoke as a record-setting heatwave that that has already ruined crops caused fires that set the area around the capital ablaze. The emergency ministry said 34 peat fires and 26 forest fires were blazing on Monday in the area surrounding Moscow, covering 59 hectares (145 acres). Experts warned the air had become dangerous. State-run RIA news agency said airports serving Moscow, a city of 14 million, had been unaffected by the thick smoke, whose sharp, cinder-filled smell permeated the city and crept into offices, homes and restaurants via windows and doors.

Severe Weather slams Midwest US, with tornadoes & flooding

Powerful storms spawned by intense heat and humidity produced flooding and tornadoes in the Midwestern United States on Saturday, disrupting travel and cutting power to thousands of homes. The National Weather Service said more than 7.5 inches of rain -- the amount the city would see over two months during a normal summer -- fell at Midway Airport in Chicago in the past day. "A large area is being impacted by this system," said Jack Hales, a weather service forecaster based in Norman, Oklahoma. "But some of the heavier rain totals ... have been in Chicago. The water content in the atmosphere is very high." The National Weather Service issued severe weather alerts for many areas in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and flood watches for dozens of counties.

New NOAA Analysis Gives Further Clues about Location and Movement of Subsurface Oil in Gulf – and how little of it there is

Remember the debate about the subsurface "plumes" or oil released by the leaking BP well in the Gulf of Mexico? A new report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy about subsurface oil monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico contains preliminary data collected at 227 sampling stations extending from one to 52 kilometers from the Deepwater Horizon/BP wellhead. The data shows that the movement of subsurface oil is consistent with ocean currents and that the concentrations continue to be more diffuse as you move away from the source of the leak. This confirms the findings of the previous report. The report comes from the Joint Analysis Group (JAG), which is comprised of the afore mentioned agencies and was established to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the best scientific minds across the government and provide a coordinated analysis of information related to subsea monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico.

Buckyballs

Astronomers using the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as fullerenes (and when arranged in a spherical form it is commonly called a buckyball, in space for the first time. Buckyballs are soccer ball shaped molecules that were first observed in a laboratory 25 years ago. A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Cylinders are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings; but they may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings.

Honda Civics in Japan to Be 100% Hybrid

Year after year, the Honda Civic has been one of the most popular car models in the United States. The model has done relatively well in Japan, too. The company introduced a hybrid Civic in the US, but we all know how well they sold—drive around certain neighborhoods in LA and Northern California and you would think the Toyota Prius was the only car available on the market. The hybrid Civic, sadly for Honda, never had the chance to compete.