Powdery mildew-resistant wheat has been created using a pair of DNA-clipping and insertion tools. These are tools developed by Editas Medicine for editing defective DNA and are being used in the fight against a number of genetic diseases. And with wheat they are proving to be useful in overcoming the devastating impact of mildew.
This is not the first time I have written about the future of the Colorado River Basin and it probably won't be the last. But by then I may be describing the Colorado wadi, a former river.
Climate change is threatening the credit rating of nations. Standard & Poor's has indicated that the credit ratings of 128 nations are at risk. S&P sees climate change as a more challenging problem than the changing demographics of our human population from aging in the Developed World to surging population in Developing Nations.
Without the ocean Earth would be a pretty inhospitable place even though we lie within our Sun's Goldilocks Zone. Those of you who live by the ocean can probably figure out why that is the case. You see the ocean is a temperature moderator and a heat transport mechanism that evens out the climate across the planet.
I remain skeptical about the economics of industrial technologies for carbon capture. Almost every project started has been heavily subsidized by government. But for the operators without government subsidy there seems to be no return on investment. First of all, all existing industrial carbon capture technologies are expensive to implement.
Some of you who know me personally know that in my formative years I started studying geophysics in university before a physical accident laid me up for more than a year and I in an epiphany changed my major to Islamic Studies and Medieval History. So I was both a science and history nerd all at the same time. Well nothing has changed.
Look below. Have you seen this image before? It's taken from the International Space Station flying over the Earth at night. What looks like three different land areas separated by water is not. What you are seeing here is an image of the Korean peninsula with two areas of China on the left and South Korea to the right. The black area in the middle between China and South Korea is not the Yellow Sea. It's North Korea. And what appears to be an island in the middle is North Korea's capital, a solitary point of light in a sea of darkness.
As I scanned the pages of my morning business-oriented newspaper I noted an opinion piece that suggested a future of water wars brought on by freshwater scarcity.
The Costa Concordia salvage operation has been ongoing for more than two years and has involved a parbuckling process on a scale never conceived before. It includes building a platform near and under the ship, attaching flotation tanks to the ship sides, righting the vessel to a vertical position, and refloating it off the rocks before towing it away.
This morning, I came across a headline from The National, a paper published out of the United Arab Emirates — "How Satellites could help to contain oil spills in the Arabian Gulf." The author points out the Arabian or Persian Gulf as we here in the West call it, contains 800 offshore platforms for oil and gas and 25 major drill and terminal sites. These produce eight major spills annually. Because of the damage these spills do to the environment the oil producers are using real-time satellite surveillance communicated to the Masdar Institute's Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing facility. The data collected predicts the size and trajectory of each spill so that the UAE can deal with the cleanup and recovery.