10 April 2014

This Week in Water

This week's This Week in Water focuses on some developments in the watery sciences.

A U.S.G.S. survey has confirmed that human fracking activity (i.e., the injection of waste-water into subshale layers to force oil and natural gas to the surface) is continuing to cause earthquakes in Oklahoma.

Satellite photos show a seafloor volcano in the Pacific Ocean continuing to rise above the surface and engulfing its neighbor.

The U.S. Navy claims it can now convert seawater into fuel, a move that may signal a move away from fossil fuel-powered ships. A similar method may even help power planes in the future.

Researchers at Arizona State University now believe a Martian crater once contained a body of water.

Underground oceans appear to be venting on Saturn's moon Enceladus, creating its so-called tiger stripes and a cloud of fine ice particles over its South Pole.

The 'tiger stripes' of Enceladus
Is Portugal a jellyfish? "The average adult human consists of 55% water. A newborn baby is made up of about 75% water. A jellyfish contains between 95 and 98% water. Portugal could be a jellyfish: it is 97% water." [It is making the case that its territory should include the extent of its continental shelf.]

Scientists are attempting to test the theory that simple metabolic reactions near ancient seafloor volcanic hot springs were the true incubators of life on Earth.

And here you thought you wouldn't need to do math for this episode! Scientists and mathematicians are trying to come up with formulae to accurately quantify "withdrawals" from specific water sites. Agriculture and energy (as opposed to consumption) are the chief users.

At least one U.S. President is now thought to have been killed by exposure to contaminated water—and as many as three!

A disc developed by students at the University of Virginia, called a MadiDrop, made of ceramics infused with silver, when dropped in water can produce clean, safe drinking water cheaply and could revolutionize access to clean water.

Three London-based design students have created an edible "blob" of water that you can carry around until you need it. This design could replace all those plastic bottles that take decades to decompose.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Survey says...people are still destroying the habitability of the planet faster than they're learning from their mistakes.

At least we still got some birdies, Jim.