Archive for the ‘Wired Science’ tag
Brandon Keim is justifiably angry that the American Department of Health and Human recently declared a state of anthrax emergency for no discernible reason but the immunity it offers to vaccine manufacturers.
Emergency exemption from legal liability is granted to vaccine manufacturers by the Public Readiness and Preparedness Act, passed in 2005 to protect against paralyzing lawsuits during outbreaks of anthrax, avian influenza or other potentially pandemic diseases.
The Wired Science blog has a cool compilation of the relevant Digg bait.
Perhaps in part to validate their story predicting this occurance, Wired Science says that though China’s making a valient effort, air quality in Beijing isn’t really better. (Though, as anyone who’s been in a big city could have told you, rain and wind do a good deal to improve visibility.)
…of the heart. But aside from my irrationational affinity for cheesy 80s songs, there was a solar eclipse today. And not a mini one. Wired Science pulls some great photos of it.
A picture of the International Space Station transiting the sun. It’s like a mini solar eclipse.
(via Wired Science)
Scientists figured out why the Northern Lights flitter around:
The satellites confirmed that the storm was caused by a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection in which solar energy stretches the Earth’s magnetic field lines until they reach their limits and snap back into equilibrium. Like an earthquake in the sky, this releases enormous amounts of energy, and charged particles go flying into the atmosphere.
At least one scientist doubts China’s ability to keep Beijing’s air quality within acceptable limits for Olympic competition:
China’s basic air problem is that the city experiences roughly weekly meteorological cycles in which stagnant, polluted air coming from the provinces south of Beijing is flushed out by cold fronts from Mongolia. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, there is little that the authorities can do, Rahn said.
“I’m glad I’m not an Olympic organizer responsible for canceling these events,” Rahn said. “It is a borderline situation and unpredictable until the 11th hour. “
Scientists think they may have found the ideal reservoir for all CO2 America needs to remove from the atmosphere.
The answer, say Columbia researchers, lies in huge reservoirs of basalt off the coast of the Pacific northwest. That basalt is buried underneath hundreds of feet of sediment, and that in turn lies thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.
The basalt, located on the San Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, could store about 150 years’ worth of the United States’ yearly load of 1.7 gigatons of emissions.
It’s also worth noting, as this story does, that there are more than a few people who think the whole idea of carbon sequestration is a waste of time and resources.