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Tonight's editor: Ellinorianne
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WASHINGTON — The number of naturally occurring microbes that eat methane grew surprisingly fast inside a plume spreading from BP's ruptured oil well, an oceanographer who was one of the first to detect the plumes said Tuesday.
Samantha Joye, a marine sciences professor at the University of Georgia at Athens, said it's good news that the microbes are eating the methane. However, the microbes also use oxygen in the water, and Joye said the repercussions of the resulting oxygen depletion aren't yet known.
Joye said she hadn't completed her analysis yet, but that the data so far show that the microbes are much more abundant in the plume than they are in the water layers above and below it.
The natural gas component of BP's blowout is mainly methane. Joye said the microbes her team collected in water samples appear to be methane-eating bacteria. They took the samples from a deep-water plume of dispersed oil and gas about two miles from the wellhead.
More experiments will also be needed to determine whether other microbes are also responding in similar ways. The presence of oil stimulates the growth of oil-eating microbes as well, Joye said. Scientists also want to know how long the microbe populations can grow before they run out of nutrients.
It's a slight glimmer of hope, not much though because there is so much oil out there and there can be so many other arguments against this being an important finding but it is good, and I will take anything I can get right now.
When Katie Stagliano was in third grade, she planted a cabbage in her family's small garden. When it grew to an astounding 40 pounds, she donated it to a soup kitchen, where it was made into meals for 275 people (with the help of ham and rice). "I thought, 'Wow, with that one cabbage I helped feed that many people?'" says Katie, now entering sixth grade. "I could do much more than that."
So Katie started planting vegetable gardens as part of her nonprofit Katie's Krops — she has six right now — including one the length of a football field at her school in her hometown of Summerville, S.C. Classmates, her family and other people in the community help plant and water, and Bonnie Plants donates seedlings. This past year, Katie took her commitment to a new level: she has given soup kitchens over 2,000 pounds of lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables. Katie and her helpers are now harvesting the spring planting, and another 1,200 pounds will be donated by October.
Kids know growing food is fun and empowering, but not just for themselves, this amazing young woman fed hundreds of other people along her journey. Imagine what we could all do if we just had our own gardens and grew just enough extra for those who need fresh fruits and vegetables?
That's a garden of giving and love.
GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation testing of Volt battery packs since 2007, as well as each pack's [161 battery components,] nine modules and 288 cells.
The development, validation and test teams have met thousands of specifications and validated each of the Volt battery's components.
Tests include short circuit, corrosion, dust, impact, water submersion, crush and penetration, and extreme temperature swings combined with aggressive drive cycles, also known as "Shake, Bake and Roll."
Good news for those who might be wary of a new generation car, it means more people may venture into this new category of car, and get a Volt. It's exciting to me, I can't wait to get one myself. Is it perfect, no, but hell, it's certainly a step in the right direction.
Even with a declining population, otters play a significant role in cutting of greenhouse gases, according to Chris Wilmers and his team, of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sea otters feast on sea urchins and keep vast forests of kelp healthy. These kelp forests, in turn, sequester about 0.18kg (0.40lb) of carbon for every square meter of habitat the otters occupy. The numbers may not seem like much at first, but when multiplied across the coastal waters that support kelp forest systems, it actually makes a pretty hefty impact. This makes sea otters cute and very helpful.
But how much is this kind of sequestration of greenhouse gases actually worth? After all, money talks. The New Science article reports that if otters were restored to healthy populations along the coast of North America, they would add up to about $700m in carbon credits.
SO, we've got cute carbon sequesters, not literally but they help tremendously as being very important keystone species in the ocean and they can be victims impacted by things like oil spills.
They are adorable, I love watching them eat, interact and play. It was my second favorite part of my families trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
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In no particular order:
Regina in a Sears Kit House
Please give them some mojo if you see them, they deserve it!