A mysteriously healthy patch of coral reefs in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf might provide scientists with ways to protect the rest of the reefs
By Paul KvintaPosted 05.03.2011 at 10:27 am 3 Comments
In the past 20 years, nearly a third of the world's coral has been destroyed. Around 90 percent of the reefs off the coasts of Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, the Maldives and the Seychelles are at risk. If ocean temperatures rise by another 7ºF in the next three decades, as is predicted, 95 percent of the Great Barrier Reef will disappear. The primary cause of the die-off is coral bleaching. As temperatures rise, marine bacteria flourish and attack the algae that live symbiotically within every individual coral polyp.
Wiping out bycatch before it wipes out more marine life
By Josh DeanPosted 05.02.2011 at 10:09 am 1 Comment
Last year, fish consumption reached a global annual average of 37.5 pounds per person. Meanwhile, cod and bluefin-tuna populations have collapsed, and animals ranging from whales to turtles have been added to the Endangered Species Act. Our voracious appetite isn’t the only problem. Fishermen catch a lot of things unintentionally, in what Tim Werner, director of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Engineering program, calls the “collateral damage” of commercial fishing: bycatch.
BioDomes could safely rid rural areas of wastewater
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.29.2011 at 10:10 am 1 Comment
Roughly 7,000 rural communities in the U.S. deal with sewage the old-fashioned way: by dumping it into an open holding pond and letting sunlight and bacteria do the rest. Not only do these ponds smell bad, but it takes the bacteria a long time to render the sewage nonhazardous, a situation that could pose a contamination risk to waterways.
Atlantic Wind Connection would link wind farms over hundreds of miles
By David RobertsPosted 04.28.2011 at 12:26 pm 16 Comments
During the last ice age, glaciers a mile high pushed several dozen cubic miles of rock, sand and debris into the ocean off North America’s mid-Atlantic coast, creating a broad shelf that extends up to 40 miles offshore. This long, flat stretch of seabed and the shallow, windy waters that cover it make the ideal spot for dozens of offshore wind farms—and if all goes well, the network that would link those turbines together and back to the coast will soon be in place.
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.28.2011 at 10:08 am 3 Comments
More than 325,000 Americans die every year from sudden cardiac arrest, but two simple CPR devices could reduce that number by 10,000. According to a study published in The Lancet this winter, the ResQPump, which is used for chest compressions, and the ResQPOD, which prevents too much air from entering the lungs during CPR, could increase certain cardiac-arrest victims’ chances of survival by 50 percent.
The sun makes an excellent coffee roaster, it turns out
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 04.27.2011 at 10:11 am 0 Comments
In 2004, artist Dave Hartkop was looking for a way to move out of his parents’ house. Pairing his interest in alternative energy with his brother Mike’s passion for coffee, he decided to start an online coffee business, and designed a huge solar-powered roasting system to supply it. Now the brothers are on their fourth, and by far largest, version of the roaster. Dubbed Helios 4, it’s made up of more than 600 mirrors and has a 35-foot-by-35-foot footprint.
Photographer shoots and assembles an entire day of skies
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.26.2011 at 10:51 am 3 Comments
Amateur photographer Chris Kotsiopoulos created this continuous image of the sky over Sounio, Greece, a town near his home. Late last December, he recorded the sun's path across the sky during the day and an 11-hour star trail at night.
Chris McIntosh's first recliner was not your standard La-Z-Boy—it was electric-powered and capable of going 15 mph. After finishing it a year and a half ago, he used it to pull a doughnut on his high school's front lawn, circle the gym during a pep rally, and rule the street near his home in Orinda, California. Now a freshman at the University of Southern California, McIntosh spent his youth building ad-hoc vehicles (he once made a mini hovercraft out of a leaf blower), so when the chair's paltry electric motor burned out, he decided it was time for a monster makeover.
By Matt DellingerPosted 04.25.2011 at 1:00 pm 8 Comments
Traders used to all buy and sell stocks in the same crowded room. Everyone received information at the same time, and the first guy to shout or signal got the sale. Today, using algorithms that exploit slightly different prices changing at slightly different speeds, and computers connected to exclusive fiber-optic lines that can buy and sell stocks within fractions of a second, high-frequency traders are able to buy low and sell slightly higher in virtually the same instant.
By Barry HarbaughPosted 04.20.2011 at 10:20 am 8 Comments
A whirring comes across the sky. From 20,000 feet above the Mexican border or Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, a vehicle as long as the Chrysler building is tall drifts into the stratosphere. It looms like a cloud and stays put for 21 days, scanning for body heat below. These blimps are lighter than air, fuel-efficient and quiet—which is why they could become the military's go-to vehicles for surveillance and transport.