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Monitoring Pollution

The Aral Sea Disappears: NASA Photos

In a series of dramatic photos, NASA has been able to capture the disappearance of the Aral Sea from space. In the 1960's Russia diverted water from several major rivers to irrigation projects for growing cotton and cialis injectable other crops. The result has been the complete destruction of one what was once the canadian pharmacy levitra generic fourth largest inland sea in the world.

NASA's ability to document this entirely unprecedented event is not only fascinating, but it's a lesson to how quickly entire ecosystems (and the societies that rely on look here buying cialis online them) can collapse. The Aral sea was once surrounded by villages that relied on the Aral seas fisheries. Those towns are now all but deserted, and fishing boats sit on dry land.

Next time some nutjob tells you that humanity is too insignificant to really destroy the environment in significant ways, just send them to this page.


NASA Launching Sea Salinity Satellite in 2010

The failure of the CO2-monitoring spacecraft NASA launched earlier this year is not holding back the agency from launching further climate change monitoring satellites. In May 2010, NASA plans to launch the Aquarius spacecraft into orbit to monitor salinity levels in the world's oceans.

The saltiness of seas can affect the circulation of ocean currents (namely the redistribution of heat within the oceans, which affects climates) and the overall water cycle (which affects the availability of fresh water). It's believed that man-made climate change is raising the salinity of buy cialis next day delivery the seas, particularly in the North Atlantic Ocean, and therefore altering these natural processes.

The Aquarius satellite will measure sea saltiness around the globe for three years. It will fill in blanks where salinity has never been measured and monitor changes in salinity where it's known. The spacecraft will be able to accurately measure salinity levels to 0.2 psu (practical salinity units). The average salinity levels in the open ocean range between 32 and 37 psu.

Scientists hope the mission will provide information that helps us further understand sea salinity's role in the world's climate, especially in major climate events.

via Science Daily


$29,000 Robotic Fish to Monitor World's Oceans, Frustrate Fisherman

Perhaps robot fish make prime fodder for jokes, but humor aside, a team of British researchers is taking the bestellen cialis online idea of building robot fish very seriously.  Their goal is to release the robot fish in the waters north of Spain and use them to monitor pollution levels.

The fish are roughly the size and shape of a carp.  They mimic the movements of real fish to navigate the waters and they're equipped with high-tech chemical sensorous, which detect hazardous pollutants like oil leaks from vessels or underwater pipelines or mercury dumped in the water.  The robots currently cost 20,000 pounds ($29,000 USD) a piece.

The fish transmit their collected data back to shore using a Wi-Fi link.
The really impressive feature of the 1.5 meter long fish (roughly the size of a seal) is that they can navigate autonomously.  Previous models required a human operator at the remote controls, making them less practical.

Rory Doyle, senior research scientist at engineering company BMT Group says that when it comes to exploring the water and collecting data, fish-shaped robots have significant advantages over submarine-shaped designs.  He states, "In using robotic fish we are building on a design created by hundreds of millions of years' worth of evolution which is cheapest prices for viagra cialis levitra incredibly energy efficient.  This efficiency is something we need to ensure that our pollution detection sensors can navigate in the underwater environment for hours on end."

The scientists are deploying five of the fish in the northern Spanish port of Gijon next year.  If the fish hold up to the soft tab levitra elements and prove their worth, they could soon be headed to rivers, lakes, and seas across the world, helping in the fight against pollution.

The fish do require a fair investment of money and levitra on line resources, but ultimately they seem a good idea as they can help fight the accidental or intentional dumping of cheap prescription viagra large quantities of chemicals into the sea, something that sadly occurs on a regular basis.

Check below for a video of the robofish in action.


EPA Proposes Rule to Require Reporting of Greenhouse Gases

As has been expected, the EPA has proposed a rule that would require industries to monitor and report their greenhouse gas emissions. Under the rule, the first data will be reported in 2011 after being collected throughout 2010. This proposal is being viewed as an important first step to regulating greenhouse gases in the near future.

The rule was introduced under the Clean Air Act and would cover 85 to 90 percent of emissions in the U.S. The gases required to be reported will include carbon dioxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide.

A couple of industries that would be required to report emissions are auto companies, who will have to report the grams of emissions per mile for all vehicles they make and power plants, although a lot of mail order levitra data on power plants is already known.

For now, there is a 60-day public comment period before the generic levitra online pharmacy rule can be enacted. While this was an expected move from the EPA, it's still a very welcome and important one. Collecting these numbers from industries and being able to regulate emissions will be necessary if major reforms are to be made.

via Green Inc.


NASA's OCO Satellite Crash a Setback for Studying CO2

NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Project suffered a severe setback when the most recent satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory failed to achieve orbit and crashed into the ocean near Antarctica not long after liftoff. The fairing surrounding the orbiter on cialis online doctor the Taurus rocket apparently failed to separate, which prevented the vehicle from reaching its intended orbit.

The OCO was intended to specifically measure atmospheric CO2 levels in order to provide scientists with a better picture of what is happening in Earth's atmosphere and collect specific information about carbon dioxide sources (where it comes from) and sinks (where it is pulled out of the atmosphere and stored). The OCO was to have collected 8 million measurements every 16 days.

To even out the measurements since CO2 levels fluctuate at different times of day, the OCO was intended to orbit the Earth in a "sun synchronous polar orbit" which would have the best way to use cialis vehicle traveling from pole to pole in order to sweep the entire globe, and would take measurements at approximately 1PM local time across the entire planet.

Launching satellites is still a difficult process, and while space science vehicles have become commonplace, this event reminds us of the difficulty in getting vehicles into space. Unfortunately, the information about the atmosphere this spacecraft would have supplied will now be delayed by several years, at least. It is, of course, too early for NASA to have any plans about replacing the vehicle. But the information it would provide is important, and a replacement should be considered at the earliest opportunity.

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