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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Study Questions Value of Natural Gas in Fighting Climate Change

A new study argues that replacing all the world's coal power plants with natural gas would do little to slow global warming this century.

In other environmental news, the Tennessee legislature has given legal protection to public school teachers who challenge the science of climate change and evolution.

Two California researchers whose work has documented the dangers of air pollution have been awarded the 2012 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. They are John H. Seinfeld, a professor of chemical engineering at Caltech, and Kirk R. Smith, a professor of global environmental health, at UC Berkeley.

According to one new study, the average snowfall depth in the Sierra Nevada mountains has been relatively steady over the past 130 years. Study author John Christy at the University of Alabama contends the findings contradict concerns that snowfall in the Sierra Nevada is disappearing due to manmade climate change.

Researchers say that farmers might be putting the monarch butterfly in peril by planting genetically engineered corn and soybeans that are herbicide-resistant. This has allowed the virtual eradication of weeds, including milkweed, which is the host plant for the eggs and caterpillars produced by monarchs.


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Latest Multimedia

VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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