STRAIGHT UP SCIENCE: Cleaning Solution with Dr. Curran

It takes more than a cloud-free day to get full power out of solar panels. An invisible layer of dust and grime can suck energy away on a sunny day. Cleaning the panels is normally expensive, but nanotechnologist Shay Curran thinks he’s found a way for the panels to clean themselves.  To read more about Dr. Curran and his invention, check out this article at Clean Energy Authority.



STRAIGHT UP SCIENCE: Hot Milk with Dr. Mauger

A warm glass of milk might help you get to sleep at night but heatwaves are no help to dairy farmers. University of Washington researcher Guillaume Mauger found out what happens when you cross-reference temperature data and milk production.

It’s Been 27 Years

November 2012 marked the 333rd consecutive month with an above-average global temperature. That means the world has not experienced a cooler-than-average or average temperature month in 27 years. In other words, it’s a clear sign that the world is quickly warming up.

Check out this video for a blast from the past, all the way back to the last cooler-than average month. A lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t: Global warming is still continuing and increasing.

STRAIGHT UP SCIENCE: Emperor Penguins with Dr. Jenouvrier

Antarctica’s majestic emperor penguins have a complex life cycle to survive in this harsh environment.  However, climate change threatens to disrupt their delicate balance.  Dr. Stephanie Jenouvrier of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) studies the ways these creatures are affected, and what this means for the planet.

For more information about Dr. Jenouvrier, visit her page at the WHOI site.  Her latest research on penguins is detailed in this WHOI press release, and was published in the journal Global Change Biology.

STRAIGHT UP SCIENCE: Leatherback Turtles with Dr. Saba

Leatherback turtles have been adapting to a changing world for millions of years. Today’s temperatures, however, might be rising too fast for their populations to survive.

Researcher Vincent Saba has been studying leatherback turtle nesting areas and says for these giants of the sea, life is no day at the beach. Read more about fishery biologist Vincent Saba.

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STRAIGHT UP SCIENCE: Carbon Capture with Dr. Lackner

Carbon dioxide is invisible but that doesn’t mean we can’t reach out and grab it. Klaus Lackner was one of the first scientists to develop new technologies with the potential to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

To learn more about Dr. Lackner, visit his profile page at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.  His work with carbon capture and storage has been covered in National Geographic, as well as in academic publications such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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