by Catherine Griffin
Scientists have made a discovery that could help with understanding a bit more about water circulation. They’ve found the highest latitude perennial spring known in the world, which could shed light on how deep groundwater circulation through the cryosphere occurs.
The northernmost perennial spring in the world is called the Ice River Spring, and is located on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canadian High Arctic. This specific area is north of Otto Fiord in a mountainous region that’s underlain by carbonates of the Nansen Formation. In all, the spring discharges at a 300 meter elevation from colluvium on a south-facing mountain slope. This unnamed mountain rises about 800 meters above sea level.
If you want to find earth’s vast reservoirs of water, you may have to look beyond the obvious places like the oceans and polar ice caps. Scientists say they have found a vast reservoir of water – enough to fill the world’s oceans three times over – trapped up to 660km beneath the crust of the earth, potentially transforming our understanding of how the planet was formed.
But do not expect to quench your thirst down there. The water is not liquid – or any other familiar form like ice or vapour. It is locked inside the molecular structure of minerals called ringwoodite and wadsleyite in mantle rock that possesses the remarkable ability to absorb water like a sponge.
Earth’s gravitational pull is so powerful that it creates a small bulge on the surface of the moon. For the first time, scientists have observed this bump from orbit, using NASA satellites.
The gravitational tug-of-war between Earth and the moon is enough to stretch both celestial bodies, so they each end up having a slight oval shape, with the tapered ends facing each other.
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, Gawker MediaJun 13, 2014, 01.20 AM IST
When most of us imagine what the core of the Earth is like, we see ball of burning hot ball of rock and magma (and maybe satan hanging out for good measure). But scientists have discovered evidence that all that rock may be hiding huge amounts of water-three times the volume of all our oceans combined.
The scientists behind the study, which was published online today in the journal Science, think they’ve figured out the answer to a question that has long plagued Earth science: Just how much water is there on Earth in total? “I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet,” said study co-author and Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen to PhysOrg. “Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.” Read more
From The New Zealand Herald…
A technology for extracting drinkable water from manure is on its way to commercial application this year, a US university said today. The technology is particularly useful for animal operations in dry regions where water is at a premium, according to Michigan State University.
The McLanahan Nutrient Separation System is an add-on to an anaerobic digester, which extracts energy and chemicals from manure. The system adds ultrafiltration, air stripping and a reverse osmosis system to produce water that’s clean enough for cattle to drink.
Paul Sutherland News Editor
Sen—Scientists are using rare rocks found on Earth, but which originated on Mars, to discover more about the early history of our planetary neighbour.
The igneous rocks are the small number of meteorites discovered that have been identified as coming from Mars. They were blasted out of the Red Planet by massive asteroid or comet impacts billions of years ago.
Trapped within these martian meteorites are samples of the planet’s ancient air, and so analysing its chemistry helps geologists to learn what Mars’ atmosphere was like when the planet was much younger.
By studying 40 of the meteorites, researchers have found that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth developed in very different ways in the very early days of the Solar System. Their results, published in the journal Nature, are another piece in the jigsaw of information that will help discover whether life exists or ever existed on Mars, plus the history of its water.
Article from http://www.sen.com website
by Henry I. Miller
Celebrating Earth Day: Science And Technology Must Join The Party
A few years ago seventh graders at a tony private school near San Francisco were given an unusual Earth Day assignment: Make a list of environmental projects that could be accomplished with Bill Gates’ fortune. This approach to environmental awareness fits in well with the Obama-Pelosi-Reid worldview that the right to private property is subsidiary to undertakings that others think are worthwhile – the redistributive theory of society. And how interesting that the resources made “available” for the students’ thought-experiment were not, say, the aggregate net worth of the members of Congress but the but the wealth of one of the nation’s most successful, innovative entrepreneurs.
Another Earth Day assignment for those same students was to read Rachel Carson’s best-selling 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” an emotionally charged but deeply flawed excoriation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides for the control of insects. As described by Roger Meiners and Andy Morriss in their scholarly yet eminently readable 2012 analysis, “Silent Spring at 50: Reflections on an Environmental Classic,” Carson exploited her reputation as a well-known nature writer to advocate and legitimatize “positions linked to a darker tradition in American environmental thinking: neo-Malthusian population control and anti-technology efforts.”