"Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate."
"PITTSBURGH -- An ongoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on natural gas drilling and its potential for groundwater contamination has gotten tentative praise so far from both industry and environmental groups."
"A mercury-containing preservative rarely used in the United States should not be banned as an ingredient in vaccines, U.S. pediatricians said Monday, in a move that may be controversial."
"An anonymous donor is giving Georgetown University $20 million to support a major initiative for the study of the environment, school officials say."
"Google's Street View maps are headed into the backcountry. Earlier this week, two teams from Google strapped on sophisticated backpacks jammed with cameras, gyroscopes and other gadgets and descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But this is just the first step in the search giant's plan to digitally map and photograph the world's wild places."
The Earth Institute at Columbia University held a "State of the Planet" conference today, in New York city. It was open to the public, online, and interactive. Twitter hashtag: #SOP2012. A star-studded list of major speakers included Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. An archived video of the event will be posted when ready. See the SOP website.