A team of scientists led by researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) found the first direct evidence for the surface exposed water ice in permanently shaded regions (PSRs) of the Moon.
THIS IMAGE SHOWS THE SURFACE EXPOSED WATER ICE (GREEN AND BLUE DOTS) IN THE LUNAR POLAR REGIONS OVERLAIN ON THE ANNUAL MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE (DARKER=COLDER, BRIGHTER=WARMER).
“We found that the distribution of ice on the lunar surface is very patchy, which is very different from other planetary bodies such as Mercury and Ceres where the ice is relatively pure and abundant,” said lead author Shuai Li, a postdoctoral researcher at the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in SOEST. “The spectral features of our detected ice suggest that they were formed by slow condensation from a vapor phase either due to impact or water migration from space.” Read more
Forgot to water that plant on your desk again? It may soon be able to send out an SOS.
MIT engineers have created sensors that can be printed onto plant leaves and reveal when the plants are experiencing a water shortage. This kind of technology could not only save neglected houseplants but, more importantly, give farmers an early warning when their crops are in danger, says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the new study.
“This appears to be the earliest indicator of drought that we have for agricultural applications,” Strano says. “It’s hard to get this information any other way. You can put sensors into the soil, or you can do satellite imaging and mapping, but you never really know what a particular plant is detecting as the water potential.” Read more
25 researchers using radar to probe the planet’s polar ice caps have detected a lake of liquid water under the Martian ice.
It stretches 20 kilometers across, they say. The detection was made using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. MARSIS sends radar pulses that penetrate the surface and ice caps of the planet, then measures how the radio waves propagate and reflect back to the spacecraft. Reflections off sub-surface features provide scientists with information about what lies beneath the surface. Read more
Scientists have used satellite data to monitor underground water reserves in California’s Silicon Valley, discovering that water levels rebounded quickly after a severe drought that lasted from 2012-15.
The research points to the success of aggressive conservation measures. It also helps to lay the groundwork for low-cost monitoring of subterranean water reserves in California and elsewhere in the world.
Underground stockpiles of water — housed in layers of porous rock called aquifers — are one of the world’s most important sources of drinking water. They sustain human populations in places from Silicon Valley to Beijing. Some 2.5 billion people on Earth rely on aquifers for water, and many of these repositories are being drained more quickly than they can be refilled, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Read more
A fear of dying plays a role in people buying bottled water, even though they know it may not be good for them or the planet, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.
The study suggests that most bottled-water advertising campaigns target a deep psychological vulnerability in humans, compelling them to buy and consume particular products. Bottled water ads specifically trigger our most subconscious fear — driving Canadians to buy billions of litres of water annually.
“Bottled water advertisements play on our greatest fears in two important ways,” says Stephanie Cote, who conducted the research while a graduate student at Waterloo. “Our mortality fears make us want to avoid risks and, for many people, bottled water seems safer somehow, purer or controlled. Read more