• Designing a new grid pylon

    There are more than 88,000 pylons in the United Kingdom; they stand some 50-meters high, weigh around twenty tons, and carry up to 400,000 volts of electricity over thousands of kilometers of some of the most exposed, weather-beaten parts of Britain; the familiar steel lattice tower has barely changed since the 1920s; National Grid says it is time for a change

  • Earth's largest environmental catastrophe: 250 million year anniversary

    The eruption of giant masses of magma in Siberia 250 million years ago led to the Permo-Triassic mass extinction when more than 90 percent of all species became extinct

  • Saltwater intrusion threatens South Florida’s water supplies

    South Florida’s water supply is becoming increasingly endangered by saltwater that is steadily seeping in from the ocean and contaminating supplies; despite the best efforts of local communities to stop the problem, saltwater intrusion is spreading

  • Texas drought forces military to change training

    A particularly severe drought in Texas has forced the military to change the way it trains its soldiers due to the risk of starting fires; law enforcement agencies would benefit from taking note of additional safety measures put into place

  • Severe drought in Georgia, 150 counties declared disaster areas

    A severe drought and excessive heat has forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare 150 counties in Georgia as primary natural disaster areas; the drought began on 15 April and has caused farmers to lose more than 30 percent of their pasture, grain crops, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, and forage crops

  • Sea level rise to take economic toll on California coast

    California beach towns could face hefty economic losses caused by sea level rise, according to a new state-commissioned study; the study estimates the cost of coastal storm damage and erosion, both of which are expected to increase as sea levels rise

  • Carbon abatement technologies compete for prizes

    The U.K. Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £4.5 million in carbon abatement technologies (CATs), centered mainly on innovative projects with strong elements of technology demonstration; to select the technologies, the TSB is holding a competition

  • Emergency cleanup plans for potential Cuban oil spill

    With Cuba set to begin offshore drilling, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pressing the United States to immediately begin developing emergency plans to assist Cuba in the event of a major oil spill

  • Earthquake prediction, a holy grail of science

    Predicting earthquakes has proven to be an elusive pursuit for scientist and the mainstream consensus is that it will never happen, but one group remains hopeful; unlike the majority of geologists, who now believe it is nearly impossible to accurately predict earthquakes, those still searching for solutions tend to work in physics and atmospheric science

  • Swiss nuclear energy phase-out possible

    In the wake of Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power generation, other countries have also been examining that option; a respected Swiss research center looked into the mater, finding that restructuring the Swiss energy system without nuclear power by 2050 is in principle technologically possible and economically manageable

  • Environmentalists challenge DHS border base expansion plan

    Environmentalist groups challenge a plan by DHS to build a new border patrol base on National park Service Land in Arizona, near the U.S.-Mexico border; the groups argue that DHS fails adequately to assess the effects of the department’s border-security and enforcement activities along the U.S.-Mexico border, including tripling the size of its base in the desert

  • Cutting soot emissions fastest, cheapest way to slow warming

    Reducing soot emissions from diesel engines and other sources could slow melting of sea ice in the Arctic faster and more economically than any other quick fix; the good news is that decreasing soot could have a rapid effect — unlike carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for years, soot disappears within a few weeks, so that there is no long-term reservoir with a continuing warming effect

  • Molecules could help solve radioactive waste concerns

    One component of nuclear waste — called “minor actinides” — present an extreme hazard as they are intensely radioactive and long-lived nuclides; they must be safely stored for at least 100,000 years; researchers have discovered a class of molecules that can selectively extract minor actinides, making the eventual waste far less radiotoxic

  • Artificial volcanoes to reverse global warming

    British scientists are investigating a method to reverse the effects of climate change by creating an artificial volcano and suspending it 12.5 miles above the earth; the team’s goal is to recreate the cooling effect that a volcano has when it releases millions of tiny particles into the stratosphere that bounce some of the Sun’s rays back into space

  • The malaria mosquito is disappearing – researchers wonder why

    The incidence of malaria in many African countries south of the Sahara is falling rapidly; a research group has discovered that the mosquito carrying the malaria parasite has practically disappeared from villages without organized mosquito control; there are several hypotheses about the cause of the decline, but without proper data researchers cannot say whether malaria is being eradicated or whether it is just resting up before returning with renewed vigor