NASA Sees Tropical Storm Pakhar After Landfall

Just after Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall in southeastern China and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of the storm.

Oil and gas wells as a strong source of greenhouse gases

The pictures went around the world. In April 2010, huge amounts of methane gas escaped from a well below the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This "blow-out" caused an explosion, in which eleven people died. For several weeks, oil spilled from the damaged well into the ocean. Fortunately, such catastrophic "blow-outs" are rather rare. Continuous discharges of smaller amounts of gas from active or old and abandoned wells occur more frequently.

Strength of global stratospheric circulation measured for first time

When commercial airplanes break through the clouds to reach cruising altitude, they have typically arrived in the stratosphere, the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The air up there is dry and clear, and much calmer than the turbulent atmosphere we experience on the ground.And yet, for all its seeming tranquility, the stratosphere can be a powerful conveyor belt, pulling air up from the Earth’s equatorial region and pushing it back down toward the poles in a continuously circulating pattern. The strength of this circulation can significantly impact the amount of water vapor, chemicals, and ozone transported around the planet.

Climate May Drive Forest-Eating Beetles North, Says Study

Pines in Canada and Much of U.S. at Risk.

Technique Expedites Chemical Screening to Prioritize Toxicity Testing

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a high-throughput technique that can determine if a chemical has the potential to activate key genes in seconds rather than the typical 24 hours or more. The technique can be used to prioritize chemicals for in-depth testing to determine their toxicity. 

Carbon nanotubes worth their salt

LLNL scientists have developed carbon nanotube pores that can exclude salt from seawater.

Los Angeles is Painting Its Streets to Reduce Urban Heat

An estimated 10 percent of Los Angeles is covered in asphalt thanks to the city’s sprawling network of roads and parking lots. On sunny days, the heat retained by these paved surfaces can make neighborhoods feel far hotter than those in more rural areas — a phenomenon known as the “urban heat island effect.” Now, Los Angeles is experimenting with painting its pavement grey to help significantly lower temperatures.

Icy air reveals human-made methane levels higher than previously believed

In 2011 a team of researchers led by Vasilii Petrenko, an assistant professor of Earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, spent seven weeks in Antarctica collecting and studying 2,000-pound samples of glacial ice cores that date back nearly 12,000 years. The ancient air trapped within the ice revealed surprising new data about methane that may help inform today’s policymakers as they consider ways to reduce global warming.

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters. 

NASA Look at Tropical Storm Pakhar in Infrared Light

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Pakhar and gathered temperature data to determine the location of the most powerful storms within. Pakhar has triggered a number of warnings throughout the Philippines as the storm moves closer.Philippines warnings include Public storm warning signal #1 for the Luzon provinces of Cagayan including Babuyan group of islands, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Northern Quezon including Polillo island, and Camarines Norte. Public storm warning signal #2 is in effect for the Luzon provinces of Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, Benguet, Abra, La Union and Nueva Vizcaya.