Archive | February, 2017

Solar Cells Can Now Be Printed, Thanks to New Technology

27 Feb

Solar cells can now be printed, thanks to new technology

There are two major hurdles preventing the widespread adoption of solar power: the difficulty of producing solar panels, and the efficiency with which they convert sunlight into power. The first, however, might have seen a recent breakthrough that might make solar power much more viable in the near future. The University of Toronto has announced […]

New Computer Model Predicts Location of Ocean Garbage Patches

24 Feb

ocean garbage patches

Garbage patches form in the world’s oceans when debris starts collecting in one area. It’s a phenomenon that we’ve known about for some time, but are only just starting to understand it. Researchers at the University of Miami Rosentiel School have developed a computer model which can help to explain how debris gets pulled into […]

Drones Don’t Bother Whales, but What About Birds?

22 Feb

Research has shown that drones don't bother marine mammals, but the jury is still out on whether and how much they might harm other mammals.

Drones are increasingly common tools for scientists who study wildlife, allowing them to get to places that might otherwise be physically or financially impossible to reach. But drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) don’t always go unnoticed by animals, and there is growing concern that drone flights might be disrupting the animals they’re being used […]

NASA Mission Investigates Greenland Glacial Melt From the Air

20 Feb

NASA is studying Greenland glacial melt from above.

Greenland’s coastal glaciers are melting, faster than normal, and that has a lot of climate scientists concerned. But until recently, it was hard to know the extent of that melting because researchers simply didn’t have a lot of data about those glaciers. They didn’t even have that much data on the geography of Greenland under […]

The Cloud Is Pushing Data Centers Toward Energy Efficiency

17 Feb

The cloud is pushing data centers toward energy efficiency.

Cloud-based software services have transformed lives and business workflows all across the world. Although the impact on individuals is easily seen by the sheer number of people who use file sharing services and cloud-based software applications, the impacts on data centers and other businesses can be less obvious. But for those in the know, such […]

New Shrimp Species Discovered In Mariana Trench

15 Feb

The stylodactylid shrimp was recently captured live on video deep within the Mariana Trench.

The Mariana Trench is one of the deepest parts of the ocean. As such, it is extremely difficult to explore. However, researchers have taken on the challenge of enabling exploration through the use of remote-operated vehicles such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Discoverer. Some of their discoveries include a vast array […]

Ocean Acidification Helps Microscopic Shell Formation

13 Feb

Ocean acidification could actually be helping foraminifera and other shelled microorganisms, but at what cost?

Although we’ve only been talking about ocean acidification for a relatively short period of time, the acidity of the ocean has increased by 30 percent since 1750. Many creatures are having difficulty adapting to increased ocean acidification, especially coral and shellfish because they use lime to build their shells. In more acidic water, lime dissolves […]

Aquatic Invasive Species Are An Increasing Concern

10 Feb

Aquatic invasive species like this Chinese mitten crab are transmitted by ships' ballast waters and cause damage to fisheries and aquaculture in the northeastern Atlantic.

We are quite familiar with invasive species on land: plants like milfoil and lupines, for example, take over fields and ponds and cause changes that lead to the extinction of local species. However, since the 1980s, it has also been recognized that there are numerous aquatic species transmitted far from their original homes via ships’ […]

Researchers Use Robots to Replicate Plankton Swarms

8 Feb

Researchers have created grapefruit-sized robots that help them track the behavior of plankton in the sea.

Plankton are tiny aquatic creatures which form the basis of many of the food webs found in the world’s oceans. Each smaller than a grain of rice, they band together in huge swarms that sometimes manifest on the surface as “red tides.” But for the most part, they actually live under the ocean’s surface, where […]

Climate Change Likely Caused Megafauna Extinctions

6 Feb

Climate change, not human activity, was the likely culprit for megafauna extinctions.

While the current changes in the global climate are being caused by human activity, this isn’t the first time that the Earth’s climate has changed in dramatic ways. There have been numerous climactic shifts in Earth’s history, and they have been one of the leading causes of animal and plant extinction, and will likely continue […]