It’s no secret that Earth is a wet and wild place—from grade school onward, most people can readily cite the fact that water covers about 70 percent of the planet’s surface. And images taken from space show our home world as a “blue marble” awash in oceans, rivers and lakes.
But life on Earth depends on a lot of water that we can’t see, from vapor in the air we breathe to freshwater in deep aquifers used to irrigate crops. Figuring out where this water came from, where it is now, how it moves around and how humans are affecting its flow will be critical to management of this most precious resource. Read more
Robots seem to be able to do anything these days — from clearing clogged arteries to sniffing out disease in crops. Now robots can add jumping on water to their resume, Sid Perkins reports for Science. Scientists have designed a tiny robot that’s so light, it can bounce at the surface of a puddle.
To build their bot, the team drew inspiration from an unusual source: insects called water striders. These bugs possess the handy ability to leap across a puddle or a pond without a single splash. Water striders weigh so little that water’s surface tension can support them, explains Perkins. Hairs on their feet also help keep them afloat. Read more
Our oceans, it is thought, came from space, as ice-rich comets rocked the early Earth. But some of that water, which set the conditions for life to arise, may have been born from the Sun.
On top of providing us with heat and light, and forming the gravitational basis of our solar system, the Sun is constantly pumping out a flow of ions known as the solar wind. Made up of charged particles, mostly the bare nuclei of hydrogen atoms, the solar wind streams out across the solar system, driving the aurorae, affecting the chemistry of our atmosphere and, according to a new study, sprinkling space with water. Read more
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has estimated how much the world ocean is. The figure was not so astronomical: 24.2 trillion dollars. And about two and a half trillion is the total budget of transportation on the seas. If you sum up these two numbers, then the oceans will be only the seventh economy of the world after the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and Britain.
However, many experts believe that it is unreasonably low, and it’s simply impossible to evaluate in monetary terms all we get from the reservoirs of the planet. Read more
The University of Technology, Lappeenranta (Finland) suggests using lower temperatures for wastewater treatment in the mining industry.
The surface layer of ice is cleaner in crystallization. It can be melted and reused in the production process after filtration.