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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Arctic Warming Brings 'Very Dramatic Changes'

The BBC reported that a Canadian military expedition has uncovered dramatic evidence of the breakup of giant Arctic ice shelves in Canada's far north. The team found a network of cracks stretching for more than 10 miles on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf. Scientists with the troops said it could be another indicator of climate change.

In other environment news, marine scientists in Seattle said at a congressional field hearing last week that increasing acidity in coastal waters along the Pacific Northwest could threaten food chains and, ultimately, the shellfish industry there.

A massive coal-burning power plant under construction in Germany will be one of the biggest in the world, underscoring that however much Europe may be moving toward renewable energy, coal is still a big part of the energy equation there.

And the Associated Press profiled a scientist whose main mission is to protect the $17 billion U.S. wheat crop from such threats as the destructive fungus that has infected fields in Africa and the Middle East. But Congress has reportedly cut his research budget.


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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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