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Showing posts from February 16, 2016

Europe launches satellite to help track global warming

Europe launched a satellite on Tuesday that will help predict weather phenomena such as El Nino and track the progress of global warming as part of the multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project. "When we speak about global warming we often focus on rising air temperatures, but 90 percent of the energy put out on our planet ends up in the ocean," Volker Liebig, director of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation program, told Reuters ahead of the launch. The Copernicus project, for which the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) have committed funding of more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) until 2020, is described by the ESA as the most ambitious Earth observation program to date.

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Europe launches satellite to help track global warming

Europe launched a satellite on Tuesday that will help predict weather phenomena such as El Nino and track the progress of global warming as part of the multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project. "When we speak about global warming we often focus on rising air temperatures, but 90 percent of the energy put out on our planet ends up in the ocean," Volker Liebig, director of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation programme, told Reuters ahead of the launch. The Copernicus project, for which the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) have committed funding of more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) until 2020, is described by the ESA as the most ambitious Earth observation program to date.

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Let's All Chill: Antarctica's Adélie Penguins Are Probably Fine

Let's give the penguins a little credit. The news reported around the world was startling — that some 150,000 Adélie penguins have died in Antarctica because a colossal iceberg cut off their sea access. It wouldn't be the first time Adélie penguins marched to new digs.


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'MyShake' App Turns Your Smartphone into Earthquake Detector

Seismologists and app developers are shaking things up with a new app that transforms smartphones into personal earthquake detectors. By tapping into a smartphone's accelerometer — the motion-detection instrument — the free Android app, called MyShake, can pick up and interpret nearby quake activity, estimating the earthquake's location and magnitude in real-time, and then relaying the information to a central database for seismologists to analyze. In time, an established network of users could enable MyShake to be used as an early- warning system, the researchers said.

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Better water management could halve global food deficit - scientists

By Astrid Zweynert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Investing in agricultural water management could substantially reduce hunger while limiting some of the harmful effects of climate change on crop yields, scientists said in a study released on Tuesday. Scientists investigated the potential for producing more food with the same amount of water by optimising rain use and irrigation. As global warming is expected to worsen droughts and change rainfall patterns, water availability becomes even more crucial in reducing threats to the global food supply.

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30-Year Amnesia: How the Brain Suddenly Remembers

Although amnesia is a clichéd plot device for mystery novels and soap operas, this type of global amnesia — in which a person forgets everything about his or her life, typically called a fugue state — is very rare, said Jason Brandt, a neuropsychologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, who was not involved in Latulip's care. "These cases of people disappearing for 30 years and then waking up and coming to —these are very rare," Brandt told Live Science. What is amnesia?

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Zika Virus in Semen Provides More Evidence of Sexual Spread

The case of a man in the United Kingdom who had Zika virus a few years ago provides even more evidence that the virus can be transmitted through sex, according to a new report. "Our data may indicate prolonged presence of [Zika] virus in semen, which, in turn, could indicate a prolonged potential for sexual transmission," the researchers, from Public Health England, part of the U.K.'s Department of Health, write in an article to be published in the May issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The Zika virus, which is currently spreading in more than 20 countries in Central and South America, is usually transmitted by mosquitoes.

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30 Cases of Zika Now Confirmed in Puerto Rico

Healthcare workers have confirmed Zika virus infections in 30 people in Puerto Rico since November, according to a new report. The first locally transmitted case of Zika was reported there in late December. The virus poses a significant concern to pregnant women, as it may lead to microcephaly (small head size) and other birth defects in their children.

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Ancient Roman Brooch Contains 'Lovely' Palindrome

A person with a metal detector has discovered a 1,800-year-old copper brooch, engraved with the letters "RMA," on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The letters on the brooch, which dates to a time when the Roman Empire controlled Britain, contain different meanings depending on how they are read. When read left to right, the letters form a monogram for "Roma," the name of Rome and its deity.


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Muppet-Faced Fish Swam Alongside Dinosaurs

A Muppet-faced fish with a lanky body more than 6 feet long gulped down plankton in Earth's ancient oceans about 92 million years ago, a new study finds. "Based on our new study, we now have three different species of Rhinconichthys from three separate regions of the globe, each represented by a single skull," study co-researcher Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago, said in a statement.


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Rare Wall Mural from Roman Era Uncovered in London

Nearly 20 feet (6 meters) below the streets of London, archaeologists discovered a fragile Roman painting featuring deer and birds that may have once decorated the wall of a wealthy citizen's home. Excavators from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) were carefully digging for Roman artifacts at 21 Lime Street, near Leadenhall Market in central London, ahead of the construction of an office building at the site.


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Dogs can read human emotions

Many dog owners believe their pets are able to pick up on their moods, but scientists have demonstrated once and for all that man's best friend can actually recognize emotions in humans. Researchers found that by combining information from different senses dogs form abstract mental representations of positive and negative emotional states in people. Previous studies have shown that dogs can differentiate between human emotions from signs such as facial expressions.

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Solar tower poised to energize market

In contrast, towers that use concentrated solar power, known as CSP, require a lot of land and are only cost-efficient in large-scale projects.     For that reason they have seen limited deployment, and mainly in the United States and Europe.     Megalim's tower in the Negev desert, which stands out for miles around, is surrounded by 50,000 computer-controlled mirrors, to project the sun's rays. Shareholders including power tower pioneer Brightsource Energy as well as General Electric, which will provide the turbine, want to build more such towers around the world.     "We're making strides in efficiency, we're making strides in compressing the time of construction," said Megalim's Chief Executive Eran Gartner.


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