Month: March 2012

  • Popcorn: A Healthy Snack Rich in Antioxidants

    Popcorn is a timeless classic: a true gem within the snack food kingdom. It is fun to munch on and fun to make, especially the popcorn machines where each popped kernel gets spun around and shot into the bowl. Many people eat their popcorn covered with butter, salt, or sugar, which is not exactly healthy. But popcorn in its pure form, as an unprocessed grain, can be one of the healthiest snacks one can have. A new study has found that it contains more beneficial antioxidant substances than fruits and vegetables.

  • Earth Warming Faster Than Expected

    By 2050, global average temperature could be between 1.4°C and 3°C warmer than it was just a couple of decades ago, according to a new study that seeks to address the largest sources of uncertainty in current climate models. That’s substantially higher than estimates produced by other climate analyses, suggesting that Earth’s climate could warm much more quickly than previously thought.

  • Moon Origin

    Over the years, there have been various hypotheses about the origin of the Moon. Historically, the major theories have been fission, capture, giant impact, and co-accretion. A chemical analysis of lunar rocks may force scientists to revise the leading theory for the Moon’s formation: that the satellite was born when a Mars-sized body smacked into the infant Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. If that were the case, the Moon ought to bear the chemical signature of both Earth and its proposed second parent. But a study published today in Nature Geoscience suggests that the Moon’s isotopic composition reflects only Earth’s contribution.

  • London to ban old black cabs!

    London’s taxi regulators are to withdraw 2,600 ageing black cabs in an attempt to reduce air pollution in the capital. No black cab over 15-years-old will be licensed by the Taxi and Private Hire Office – taking off the road 2,600 taxis this year. Now Mercedes-Benz has launched an initiative to help London cabbies keep the city moving and at the same time delivering cleaner air.

  • Spotlight on: National Wildlife Week, US

    National Wildlife Week is under way in the US this week and the theme is “Celebrating Extra-ordinary Wildlife”. Shining a spotlight on incredible species happens to be our specialty here at ARKive (although, we do think every species is special!) so we decided to comb through the collection to highlight some of the species on ARKive with near-super hero powers.

  • A Return to Supersonic Speed?

    How fast is fast enough? There is an innate desire to cut travel time so as to enjoy or work harder once one gets where is going. In air flight that dream was the Concorde which was retired from use a few years back due to fuel economics as well as other reasons. For 27 years, the Concorde provided its passengers with a rare luxury: time saved. For a pricey fare, the sleek supersonic jet ferried its ticketholders from New York to Paris in a mere three-and-a-half hours — just enough time for a nap and an aperitif. Over the years, expensive tickets, high fuel costs, limited seating and noise disruption from the jet’s sonic boom slowed interest and ticket sales. On Nov. 26, 2003, the Concorde — and commercial supersonic travel — retired from service. A number of groups have been working on designs for the next generation of supersonic jets. Now an MIT researcher has come up with a concept that may solve many of the problems that grounded the Concorde. Instead of flying with one wing to a side, why not two?

  • Coconut Power?

    US researchers say agricultural waste from coconut and mango farming could generate significant amounts of off-grid electricity for rural communities in South and South-East Asia. Many food crops have a tough, inedible part which cannot be used to feed livestock or fertilise fields. Examples of this material — known as ‘endocarp’ — include coconut, almond and pistachio shells, and the stones of mangoes, olives, plums, apricots and cherries.

  • Greenpeace calls for zero deforestation globally by 2020

    Greenpeace reiterated its call for an end to deforestation in Brazil by 2015 and globally by 2020 during its launch of an awareness-raising expedition down the Amazon River aboard the Rainbow Warrior.

  • The Dynamic Mercury

    Mercury is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System. It orbits the Sun once every 87.97 Earth days, completing three rotations about its axis for every two orbits. Mercury is similar in appearance to the Moon: it is heavily cratered with regions of smooth plains, has no natural satellites and no substantial atmosphere. Unlike the Moon, it has a large iron core, which generates a magnetic field about 1% as strong as that of the Earth. It is an exceptionally dense planet due to the large relative size of its core. Surface temperatures range from about −183 °C to 427 °C. New observations from a spacecraft orbiting Mercury have revealed that the tiny, pockmarked planet harbors a highly unusual interior — and the craft’s glimpse of Mercury’s surface topography suggests the planet has had a very dynamic history.

  • Global aviation sector commits to support a sustainable future

    Leaders of the aviation industry have sent a reminder to governments of the vital role the sector plays in economic growth, providing jobs whilst taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. At a meeting in Geneva today, chief executives and directors from 16 global aviation companies and organisations signed the Aviation & Environment Summit’s Declaration as a joint message to world governments due to meet at Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The industry leaders, representing airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and the makers of aircraft and engines, signed the declaration in a show of unity on the issue of sustainable development. Paul Steele, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the organisation coordinating the Summit, said that the declaration shows that aviation takes its role in sustainable development seriously. “Sustainable development – and the Rio+20 process – is about finding ways to balance the needs of growing economies and higher standards of living across society with the need to more carefully manage the resources we are using and the impact that we have on the world. I am pleased to say that aviation is committed to doing just that. In 2008, we were the first global sector to commit to global cross-industry action on climate change. That declaration set the agenda for cooperative action across the aviation industry to reduce fuel use and emissions. The cooperation between industry partners and the projects underway are impressive.”