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Scientists studying Titan’s atmosphere have learned it can create complex molecules, including amino acids and nucleotide bases, often called the building blocks of life. They are the first researchers to show it’s possible to create these molecules without water, suggesting Titan could harbor huge quantities of life’s precursors floating in its atmosphere. It’s a breakthrough that even has implications for the beginning of life on Earth.
The quickest way to slow the melting of Arctic sea ice is through reducing soot emissions, according to a new study of soot's climate effects. Eliminating soot entirely could undo nearly a century of global warming, the study says.
Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson is the latest in a line of scientists to suggest reducing soot to slow global warming. He says it is second only to carbon dioxide in its ability to warm the climate -- it's even more powerful than methane, according to his models.
In a move to curb smog, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the tightest regulations ever on ground-ozone-causing emissions. The new standards would replace 2008 ozone regulations implemented by the Bush administration that allowed so much smog emission that environmental advocates took the EPA to court, arguing that the weak emissions regulation didn't actually protect people's health.