The chemical signature of water vapor emitted by combustion sources such as vehicles and furnaces has been found in the smoggy winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City. The discovery may give researchers a new tool to track down the sources of pollutants and climate-changing carbon dioxide gas.
University of Utah scientists measured ratios of rare and common isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water, and estimated that water vapor from burning fossil fuels makes up as much as 13 percent of the water vapor in smog during Salt Lake’s winter inversions, with the percentage starting smaller and increasing as the inversion persists. Read more
The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.” Bradford leads one of the teams that made the discovery. His team’s research is partially funded by NASA and appears in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Read more
Burn baby burn. Today, we use water to put out fires. But what if we could use it for the opposite effect? Astronaut researchers on the International Space Station are experimenting with water that can start a fire.
It’s called supercritical water and it might offer benefits such as clean-burning municipal waste disposal and improved saltwater purification. Read more
As his state endures its worst drought in a century, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is praying for rain. Lake Lanier, the reservoir that waters the endlessly growing colossus of metro Atlanta, is receding from its banks, shriveling to a shiny puddle. Georgia has restricted car washing and lawn watering. It has shut off its outdoor fountains.
In San Diego, which just experienced its driest summer in recorded history, the hills are charred from October’s wildfires. The state of California is so tapped out that the pumps that carry water from the Sacramento River to San Diego were tightened in December. Water authorities are urging San Diegans to tear up their grass and replace it with cactus and succulent. Read more
A father-of-eight from Texas has come up with an invention that could transform the way hot summer days are spent and will likely have you asking yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that.”
The product is called Bunch O Balloons and it’s just that, a bunch of balloons, 100 to be exact, with a special hose attachment that allows you to fill those 100 balloons with water in under one minute.
“Our family does a lot of water ballooning in the summer and we’ve always filled and tied them the old fashioned way and tried the gadgets that are supposed to help but didn’t,” the inventor, Josh Malone, told ABC News. “After tens of thousands of balloons we started thinking of a better way.” Read more