Lava source may not be as deep as previously thought

History is littered with evidence of events where vast lava outpourings originated deep in the Earth. However, new research at Michigan State University shows that the source of some of these epic outpourings, however, may not be as deep as once thought. The results, published in the Journal Geology, show that some of these lavas originated near the surface rather than deep within the mantle.

2014 ten most endangered rivers

American Rivers yesterday announced its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers®, naming California's San Joaquin River the Most Endangered River in the country. Outdated water management and excessive diversions, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a breaking point.

LED Bulb Challenge ending soon!

The most inefficient light bulbs may now be off the market, in response to new federal standards, but nearly 70% of light bulb sockets in the U.S. still contain an inefficient bulb. Retailers across the country are stepping up to help change that, as part of the Energy Star LED Bulb Challenge.

How the Zebra got its Stripes

Why zebras have black and white stripes is a question that has intrigued scientists and spectators for centuries. Evolutionary theories include a form of camouflage, a mechanism of heat management, and disrupting predatory attack by confusing carnivores. In order to better understand the black and white stripe evolution, a research team led by the University of California, Davis, has now examined this riddle systematically, and what they found is that biting flies, including horseflies and tsetse flies, play a major role as the evolutionary driver for zebra stripes. The team mapped the geographic distributions of the seven different species of zebras, horses and asses, and of their subspecies, noting the thickness, locations, and intensity of their stripes on several parts of their bodies. Their next step was to compare these animals' geographic ranges with different variables, including woodland areas, ranges of large predators, temperature, and the geographic distribution of glossinid (tsetse flies) and tabanid (horseflies) biting flies. They then examined where the striped animals and these variables overlapped.

Crib mattresses expose infants to harmful emissions

University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering has found that crib mattresses expose sleeping infants to high levels of chemical emissions. Specifically, the team analyzed the foam padding from crib mattresses and found that the mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are potentially harmful chemicals found in many household items including cleaners and scented sprays.

American’s energy usage jumps in 2013

Despite many individual efforts to decrease energy usage for 2013 increased by 2.3 Quadrillion thermal units over the previous year. These statistics have been monitored and presented by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the most recent energy flow charts measuring renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy.

Culvier’s Beaked Whale Species Sets Breath-Holding Record

How long can you hold your breath underwater? The Guinness Book of World Records reports that the longest time recorded for a human is 22 minutes. So how do we compare to other species? Dolphins can hold it for approximately 20-30 minutes while sea birds can dive underwater for 3-10 minutes. But none of us can compare to Cuvier's beaked whale - a species that has been recorded for holding it's breath for over two hours!

Doubling the flood loss projections in Europe

As development and climate change continue, losses from extreme floods throughout the world skyrocket. Researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in Austria have projected that the losses in Europe could more than double by 2050. In the new study which is published in the journal Nature Climate Change, they contend that understanding the risk posed by large-scale floods is of growing importance and will be key for managing climate adaptation.

One state addresses potholes through a new pothole alert system

As much of the northern hemisphere looks forward to the second half of the winter season, municipalities and regional governments are faced with rudimentary task of repairing potholes. Rutgers University instructor Wansoo Im, no doubt frustrated with the infrastructure meltdown himself, launched an app and website to map the biggest ones in his own home state of New Jersey. Aptly called NJPothole, the website plots potholes on maps to alert motorists (and maybe even municipal departments of public works dispatchers) of impending undercarriage attack.

The Effects of Third-hand Smoke

Many of us are familiar with first-hand smoke and second-hand smoke, but what about third-hand smoke? Well, you better get familiar with it because according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the effects of third-hand smoke may be just as deadly as first-hand smoke. Let's break it down: First-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker. Second-hand smoke refers to exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from a burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others. Third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects. Over time, these left over chemicals can age and becomes progressively more toxic.