Month: October 2010

  • Study Finds More Fresh Water Entering the Earth’s Oceans

    A recent study from researchers at the University of California (UC) Irvine has found that since 1994, the overall amount of fresh water flowing into the world’s oceans has increased significantly. They found that 18 percent more fresh water has reached the oceans between 1994 and 2006, an average annual rise of 1.5 percent.

  • Swimmers Fall Ill at Games, Blame Pool

    Commonwealth Games organizers launched an investigation into the water quality at the troubled event’s pool on Thursday after reports that over 50 swimmers had fallen ill. Around 40 English competitors and 12 Australians had complained of feeling unwell after competing at the S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex, with team officials insisting that the problem area was the warm-up pool.

  • Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil

    A report by Oceana “Wealth: Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil”, a comprehensive analysis shows that focusing investments on clean energy like offshore wind would be cost effective, more beneficial to job creation, and better for the environment and ocean in a variety of ways than offshore oil and gas exploration and development. On the Atlantic coast, an area targeted for expansion of oil and gas activities, offshore wind can generate nearly 30% more electricity than offshore oil and gas resources combined.

  • Spill impacts in Hungary ease, Danube monitored

    Pollution levels from a red sludge spill in Hungary have declined and the Danube, one of Europe’s longest rivers, has suffered no palpable damage so far, a spokesman for Hungarian disaster crews said on Friday. Tibor Dobson said fresh data showed pH levels of 8-8.2 in the Danube, which could be considered “normal,” down from a level of around 9 when the sludge reached the river on Thursday. “These data give us hope … and we have not experienced any damage on the main Danube so far,” Dobson told Reuters. Crews have strived to reduce the alkaline content of Monday’s spill from a containment reservoir of an alumina plant.

  • Solar Power to Return to the White House

    Coinciding with its push for more renewable energy development, the executive branch of the US federal government has decided to install solar panels on the White House. This is a quarter century after President Reagan took down the previous solar panels installed by his predecessor, President Carter. The Obama Administration will install new solar panels as a way of promoting its clean energy program.

  • Folklore Confirmed: The Moon’s Phase Affects Rainfall

    The Zuni Indians thought a red moon brought water. Seventeenth-century English farmers believed in a “dripping moon,” which supplied rain depending on whether its crescent was tilted up or down. Now scientists have found evidence for another adage: Rain follows the full and new phases of the moon.

  • Hungary red sludge spill has reached Danube

    A toxic red sludge spill from an alumina plant in western Hungary had reached the Danube by midday on Thursday, a spokesman for Hungarian disaster crews was cited by national news agency MTI as saying. Tibor Dobson told MTI there were no reports of fish dying in the Raba and Mosoni-Danube rivers which were hit by the spill earlier, but all fish had died in the smaller Marcal river.

  • Asthma, Heredity, and Air Pollution

    Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchial spasms. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Dirty polluted air is known to cause respiratory inflammation. Now exposure to dirty air has been linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

  • US Department of Interior Allows First-Ever Solar Energy Projects on Public Lands

    Yesterday, the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar approved the nation’s first-ever large-scale solar energy plants to be built on public lands. Both plants, located in California, are first in a series of clean energy projects under final review by the Department of Interior (DOI) that are to be built on public lands. The California projects will have access to 6,800 acres that could produce up to 754 megawatts, enough to power up to 566,000 typical homes.

  • Hungary toxic spill ‘could be worse’ than Baia Mare cyanide disaster

    A toxic spill of mining waste from an industrial plant in Hungary is the worst of its kind in the country’s history and may end up matching the Baia Mare cyanide spill in Romania in 2000. The spill, with a pH level of up to 13, has already spread into rivers with fears that heavy rains will see it reach the Danube River, sparking bad memories of the Baia Mare disaster in Romania when cyanide polluted water was discharged from a gold mine reservoir poisoning water and wildlife through neighbouring Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria.