If this is Monday, this must be the time to take a science break and escape the politics of the day for a bit.  Pull up that comfy chair, rest yourself, and prepare for some exciting and tantalizing news in the realm of science.  New discoveries.  New takes on old knowledge.  The base of information and knowledge grows at a rate much too fast to keep up with all that is happening.

Over the fold are some of my favorite selections the past two weeks (vacation took last week away) from a few of the many excellent science news sites around the world.  Today's tidbits include reduced wind velocities across the nation, climate fund for third world backed by British Prime Minister, wildfires influenced by both climate and fuels, high altitude wind machines for power, cap-and-trade for fish, and evidence of ancient lake on mars.  Follow down the yellow brick road for one more session of science education and entertainment.

Wind speeds are decreasing in some parts of the nation.

The study found that across the country wind speeds were decreasing - more in the East than in the West, and more in the Northeast and the Great Lakes.

The potential impact of this information on the wind energy production is obvious.  Less obvious is the potential effect on crops as well as on air pollution.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown thinks wealthy nations

should establish a fund that could spend 60 billion pounds (about $113 billion Cdn) a year to help developing countries combat climate change.

In the warming West of the United States climate plays a large factor in wildfires.

The study revealed that climate influences the likelihood of large fires by controlling the drying of existing fuels in forests and the production of fuels in more arid ecosystems. The influence of climate leading up to a fire season depends on whether the ecosystem is more forested or more like a woodland or shrubland.

As alternative power sources are evaluated some engineers are looking to high altitude wind machines for power generation.

Wind’s power — energy which can be used to do work like spinning magnets to generate electricity — varies with the cube of its speed. So, a small increase in wind speed can lead to a big increase in the amount of mechanical energy you can harvest. High-altitude wind blows fast, is spread nicely across the globe, and is easier to predict than terrestrial wind.

Since even high altitude wind fails at times backup or storage power must be retained.  The infrastructure to support this idea may be too much for practicality but at least the idea is being considered.

A system for fish catches is proposed to set strict limits for commercial fishing in an effort to slow the current race to the maximum number of fish in a season.  The plan is

to shape a system for setting strict catch limits and distributing total catch shares to commercial fishers, usually based on their historical catch.  Fishers can then buy and sell their shares.

Definitive shorelines indicating an ancient lake on Mars were found by researchers.

Planetary scientists think the oldest surfaces on Mars formed during the wet and warm Noachan epoch from about 4.1 billion to 3.7 billion years ago that featured a bombardment of large meteors and extensive flooding. The newly discovered lake is believed to have formed during the Hesperian epoch and postdates the end of the warm and wet period on Mars by 300 million years

Bonus stories.  Follow the link to read the full story.
Sophisticated weather satellite rockets into orbit.
Is bismuth telluride the new silicon?
Beetles add new dynamic in wildfire contro.
Biofuel production may lead to drink or drive choice.
The Parthenon's hidden color.
Wind's power potential quantified.
Test your environmental knowledge in this quiz.
Newly uncovered enzymes turn corn plant waste into biofuel.
Many sharks facing extinction.

For even more science news:

General Science Collectors:
Eureka Science News
New Scientist
Science Daily
Space Daily
BBC News Science and Environment
Scientific American

A Few Things Ill Considered Techie and Science News
Cantauri Dreams space exploration
Deep Sea News marine biology
Laelaps more vertebrate paleontology
List of Geoscience Blogs
Space Review
Techonology Review
Tetrapod Zoologyvertebrate paleontology
Wired News
Science RSS Feed: Medworm
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe--a combination of hard science and debunking crap

Daily Kos regular series:
Daily Kos University, a regular series by plf515
This Week in Science by DarkSyde
This Week in Space by nellaselim
Overnight News Digest:Science Saturday by Neon Vincent.
The daily science story by vladislaw.

NASA picture of the day.  For more see the NASA website.  These pictures are evidence of your tax dollars hard at work.

Whirlpool Galaxy, NASA, Public Domain


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Originally posted to possum on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM PDT.

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