Category Archives: Science & Technology

Topics such as cyber security, severe weather, space, Earth, oceans, and scientific research.

NASA to Make Announcement About First Mission to Touch Sun

NASA will make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere during an event at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 31, from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Close-up View of Neutron Star Mission’s X-Ray Concentrator Optics

A new NASA mission, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), is headed for the International Space Station to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. In this photo, NICER’s X-ray concentrator optics are inspected for dust and foreign object debris that could impair functionality once in space.

FTC Releases Alert on Identity Theft

Original release date: May 25, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an alert about how quickly criminals begin using your personal information once it is posted to a hacker site by an identity thief. FTC researchers found that it can take as few as 9 minutes for crooks to access stolen personal information posted to hacker sites. To prevent identity theft, a user should follow password security best practices, such as multi-factor authentication, which requires a user to simultaneously present multiple pieces of information to verify their identity.

US-CERT encourages users to refer to the FTC alert and the US-CERT Tips on Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft, Choosing and Protecting Passwords, and Supplementing Passwords for more information.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS IN FINE PARTICULATE MATTER EMITTED FROM BURNING KEROSENE, LIQUID PETROLEUM GAS, AND WOOD FUELS IN HOUSEHOLD COOKSTOVES

This study measured polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) composition in particulate matter emissions from residential cookstoves. A variety of fuel and cookstove combinations were examined, including: (i) liquid petroleum gas (LPG), (ii) kerosene in a wick stove, (iii) wood (10% and 30% moisture content on a wet basis) in a forced-draft fan stove, and (iv) wood in a natural-draft rocket cookstove. LPG combustion had the highest thermal efficiency (~57%) and the lowest PAH emissions per unit fuel energy, resulting in the lowest PAH emissions per useful energy delivered (MJd). The average benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) emission factor for LPG was 0.842 µg/MJd; the emission rate was 0.043 µg/min. The highest PAH emissions were from wood burning in the natural-draft stove (209-700 µg B[a]P/MJd). PAH emissions from kerosene were significantly lower than those from the wood burning in the natural-draft cookstove, but higher than those from LPG. It is expected that in rural regions where LPG and kerosene are unavailable or unaffordable, the forced-draft fan stove may be an alternative because its emission factor (5.17-8.07 µg B[a]P/MJd) and emission rate (0.52-0.57 µg/min) are similar to kerosene (5.36 µg B[a]P/MJd and 0.45 µg/min). Compared with wood combustion emissions, LPG stoves emit less total PAH emissions and less fractions of high molecular weight PAHs. Relatively large variations in PAH emissions from LPG call for additional future tests to identify the major factors influencing emissions. These future tests should also account for different LPG fuel compositions and burner types.

A Quasi-Global Approach to Improve Day-Time Satellite Surface Soil Moisture Anomalies through the Land Surface Temperature Input

Abstract: Passive microwave observations from various spaceborne sensors have been linked to the soil moisture of the Earth’s surface layer. A new generation of passive microwave sensors are dedicated to retrieving this variable and make observations in the single theoretically optimal L-band frequency (1-2 GHz). Previous generations of passive microwave sensors made observations in a range of higher frequencies, allowing for simultaneous estimation of additional variables required for solving the radi…

University-Level Teaching of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) via Student Inquiry

Abstract: This paper reviews university-level efforts to improve understanding of anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) through curricula that enable student scientific inquiry. We examined 152 refereed publications and proceedings from academic conferences and selected 26 cases of inquiry learning that overcome specific challenges to AGCC teaching. This review identifies both the strengths and weaknesses of each of these case studies. It is the first to go beyond examining the impact of specific …

Synoptic Scale Influences on Increasing Summertime Extreme Precipitation Events in the Northeastern United States

Abstract: Over the past 15 years, the northeastern United States has seen a statistically significant increase in the frequency of extreme precipitation events that is larger and more widespread than anywhere else in the country. This increase in events is more likely to be associated with frontal and low-pressure systems, rather than being caused by more tropical cyclones impacting the region.

Revisiting Short-Wave-Infrared (SWIR) Bands for Atmospheric Correction in Coastal Waters

Abstract: The shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands on the existing Earth Observing missions like MODIS have been designed to meet land and atmospheric science requirements. The future geostationary and polar-orbiting ocean color missions, however, require highly sensitive SWIR bands (greater than 1550nm) to allow for a precise removal of aerosol contributions. This will allow for reasonable retrievals of the remote sensing reflectance (R(sub rs)) using standard NASA atmospheric corrections over turbid coast…

Beyond 3-D: The New Spectrum of Lidar Applications for Earth and Ecological Sciences

Abstract: Capturing and quantifying the world in three dimensions (x,y,z) using light detection and ranging (lidar) technology drives fundamental advances in the Earth and Ecological Sciences (EES). However, additional lidar dimensions offer the possibility to transcend basic 3-D mapping capabilities, including i) the physical time (t) dimension from repeat lidar acquisition and ii) laser return intensity (LRI?) data dimension based on the brightness of single- or multi-wavelength (?) laser returns. Th…

TOXCAST AND THE USE OF HUMAN RELEVANT IN VITRO EXPOSURES: INCORPORATING HIGH-THROUGHPUT EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY TESTING DATA FOR 21ST CENTURY RISK ASSESSMENTS (BRITISH TOXICOLOGICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL CONGRESS)

The path for incorporating new approach methods and technologies into quantitative chemical risk assessment poses a diverse set of scientific challenges. These challenges include sufficient coverage of toxicological mechanisms to meaningfully interpret negative test results, development of increasingly relevant test systems, computational modeling to integrate experimental data, putting results in a dose and exposure context, characterizing uncertainty, and efficient validation of the test systems and computational models. The presentation will cover progress at the U.S. EPA in systematically addressing each of these challenges and delivering more human-relevant risk-based assessments. This abstract does not necessarily reflect U.S. EPA policy.

Performance and Durability of Environmental Barrier Coatings on SiC/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites

Abstract: This presentation highlights advanced environmental barrier coating (EBC) and SiC-SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) systems for next generation turbine engines. The emphasis will be placed on fundamental coating and CMC property evaluations; and the integrated system performance and degradation mechanisms in simulated laboratory turbine engine testing environments. Long term durability tests in laser rig simulated high heat flux the rmomechanical creep and fatigue loading conditions will al…

US EPA – A*STAR PARTNERSHIP – ACCELERATING THE ACCEPTANCE OF NEXT-GENERATION SCIENCES AND THEIR APPLICATION TO REGULATORY RISK ASSESSMENT (A*STAR SYMPOSIUM, SINGAPORE)

The path for incorporating new alternative methods and technologies into quantitative chemical risk assessment poses a diverse set of scientific challenges. Some of these challenges include development of relevant and predictive test systems and computational models to integrate and extrapolate experimental data, and rapid characterization and acceptance of these systems and models. The series of presentations will highlight a collaborative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) that is focused on developing and applying experimental and computational models for predicting chemical-induced liver and kidney toxicity, brain angiogenesis, and blood-brain-barrier formation. In addressing some of these challenges, the U.S. EPA and A*STAR collaboration will provide a glimpse of what chemical risk assessments could look like in the 21st century.