EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"For the first time, antimatter has been observed occurring naturally on Earth, as scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have documented beams of antimatter produced above thunderstorms."
The earth's glaciers and icecaps seem to be melting faster in recent years. Climate change is suspected, but the behavior of the earth's cryosphere does not lend itself to simple generalizations.
News accounts often present a false balance between the central estimate of 5 or 6 degrees Fahrenheit global warming (for doubled carbon dioxide) and much lower estimates put forth by fossil-industry-funded "skeptics" at the fringes of legitimate science. In fact, the skeptics' take should be balanced by the real worst-case estimate from mainstream science: 18 or 20 degrees of warming.
"The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Friday issued long-awaited guidelines to prevent political interference in science and promote transparency at federal agencies, a move that drew cautious praise from activists in the scientific community who had been dismayed by an 18-month delay at the science office."
"A federal judge yesterday threw out a federal scientific study that forms the basis for protecting the delta smelt in California's sprawling Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta."
"The United States government lobbied the head of the U.N. climate panel to block the appointment of an Iranian scientist to a key position, saying it would be problematic, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables show."
"In what promises to be one of the most impressive innovations to come out of the Cancun climate talks, the philanthropic arm of Google is launching a new technology platform Thursday that will allow worldwide monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth's environment."
"At a 2 p.m. news conference streamed live over the Web, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said they found microbes in the mud beneath a California lake that can use arsenic -- usually considered toxic -- rather than phosphorus as one of the building blocks of its DNA. Phosphorus is one of the elements that sustains all other life forms on earth."
"The author of a report critical of climate scientists defended himself against plagiarism charges Tuesday, and denied he was pressured by Republicans to tilt the report."
A House Energy subcommittee held one last hearing on climate science before GOP deniers take over the gavels. It was quite a show.
"Not only is Earth's surface warming, but the troposphere -- the lowest level of the atmosphere, where weather occurs -- is heating up too, U.S. and British meteorologists reported on Monday." The findings may put to rest a 20-year-old controversy over differences between satellite and surface measurements of warming.
"Eighteen months after the Environmental Protection Agency announced reforms to its controversial process for evaluating health hazards posed by dangerous chemicals, significant problems continue to hamper the program and leave the public at risk, according to a new report by a nonprofit research group."
"In the face of probes by a state attorney general, hints of hostile congressional hearings and assaults from critics in the blogosphere, hundreds of members of the American Geophysical Union are forming a rapid-response team aiming to challenge disinformation and misinformation deployed in the policy wars over global warming."
"Federal financing of science research, which has risen quickly since the Obama administration came to power, could fall back to pre-Obama levels if the incoming Republican leadership in the House of Representatives follows through on its list of campaign promises."