Wind turbines may have beneficial effects for crops

A multi-year study led by an Iowa State University scientist suggests the turbines commonly used in the state to capture wind energy may have a positive effect on crops.Gene Takle, a Distinguished Professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences, said tall wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that may help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.

Against the Tide: A Fish Adapts Quickly to Lethal Levels of Pollution

Evolution is working hard to rescue some urban fish from a lethal, human-altered environment, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, and published Dec. 9 in the journal Science. While environmental change is outpacing the rate of evolution for many other species, Atlantic killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries turn out to be remarkably resilient. These fish have adapted to levels of highly toxic industrial pollutants that would normally kill them.

How Tracking Product Sources May Help Save World's Forests

Global businesses are increasingly pledging to obtain key commodities only from sources that do not contribute to deforestation. Now, nonprofit groups are deploying data tools that help hold these companies to their promises by tracing the origins of everything from soy to timber to beef.

NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone 05B Form

An area of tropical low pressure designated System 99B has consolidated and developed into Tropical Cyclone 05B. On Dec. 7 the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone 05B over the Anadaman and Nicobar Islands. The VIIRS image showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the center from the northern to the eastern quadrants over the Anadaman Islands.

East Greenland ice sheet has responded to climate change for the last 7.5 million years

Using marine sediment cores containing isotopes of aluminum and beryllium, a group of international researchers has discovered that East Greenland experienced deep, ongoing glacial erosion over the past 7.5 million years.The research reconstructs ice sheet erosion dynamics in that region during the past 7.5 million years and has potential implications for how much the ice sheet will respond to future interglacial warming.The team, made up of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of Vermont, Boston College and Imperial College London, analyzed sediments eroded from the continent and deposited in the ocean off the coast, which are like a time capsule preserving records of glacial processes. The research appears in the Dec. 8 edition of the journal, Nature.

2017 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal Winner: Ing. César A. Portocarrero Rodríguez

Nepalese NGO Mountain Legacy has just announced that Peruvian engineer César Augusto Portocarrero Rodríguez will receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal in a public ceremony at Hotel Tibet International in Kathmandu on December 11 (International Mountain Day). César Portocarrero has directed projects to mitigate the danger of outburst floods from numerous glacial lakes in the Andes, saving thousands of lives and many millions of dollars, and he is now sharing his expertise with members of the High Mountain Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP), including Nepal, Bhutan, and several Central Asian nations

Sea ice hit record lows in November

Unusually high air temperatures and a warm ocean have led to a record low Arctic sea ice extent for November, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctic sea ice extent also hit a record low for the month, caused by moderately warm temperatures and a rapid shift in circumpolar winds.“It looks like a triple whammy—a warm ocean, a warm atmosphere, and a wind pattern all working against the ice in the Arctic,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze.

Snow Data from Satellites Improves Temperature Predictions, UT Researchers Show

Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin have found that incorporating snow data collected from space into computer climate models can significantly improve seasonal temperature predictions.The findings, published in November in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, could help farmers, water providers, power companies and others that use seasonal climate predictions – forecasts of conditions months in the future – to make decisions. Snow influences the amount of heat that is absorbed by the ground and the amount of water available for evaporation into the atmosphere, which plays an important role in influencing regional climate.

Scientists Improve Predictions of How Temperature Affects the Survival of Fish Embryos

Scientists closely tracking the survival of endangered Sacramento River salmon faced a puzzle: the same high temperatures that salmon eggs survived in the laboratory appeared to kill many of the eggs in the river.Now the scientists from NOAA Fisheries and the University of California at Santa Cruz have resolved the puzzle, realizing new insights into how egg size and water flow affect the survival of egg-laying fish. The larger the eggs, they found, the greater the water flow they need to supply them with oxygen and carry away waste.

Sandia Labs, Singapore join forces to develop energy storage

Sandia National Laboratories has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the government of Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) that will tap into the labs’ expertise in energy storage.EMA is the statutory body in Singapore responsible for ensuring a reliable and secure energy supply, promoting competition in the energy market and developing a dynamic energy sector. Last year, EMA invited Sandia to organize a workshop on the latest developments in storage technologies. The two-day event in the Southeast Asian island city-state led to a CRADA under which Sandia will help set up Singapore’s first grid energy storage test-bed.“Sandia will collaboratively develop an energy storage test-bed to better understand the feasibility of deploying energy storage systems [ESS] in Singapore,” said Dan Borneo, Sandia team lead on the project.