NYTimes.com: A study released on Monday by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin found that only about half of the 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and fewer than a third believed that climate change was “caused mostly by human activities.”
More than a quarter of the weathercasters in the survey agreed with the statement “Global warming is a scam,” the researchers found.
The split between climate scientists and meteorologists is gaining attention in political and academic circles because polls show that public skepticism about global warming is increasing, and weather forecasters—especially those on television—dominate communications channels to the public.
A study released this year by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities found that 56% of Americans trusted weathercasters to tell them about global warming far more than they trusted other news media or public figures like former Vice President Al Gore or Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate.
Nature: Gold nanoparticles coated with a thin layer of an oxide allow molecules adsorbed on surfaces of materials as diverse as platinum, yeast cells, or citrus fruits to be characterized routinely in the laboratory through the use of spectroscopy.
Shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Geoscientist: How did the Mediterranean fill up after the Straits of Gibraltar were breached? Geoscientist‘s Ian Randall reports on a new model that constrains the evolution of the “Zanclean Flood.”
ABC News: Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who has been missing since last summer, has defected to the US, reports ABC News.
NYTimes.com: Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists.
After staying quiet for a year, the scientists say they plan to make their concerns public at an FDA meeting to discuss how to protect patients from unnecessary radiation exposure. The two-day meeting is part of a reassessment of the risks of routine radiology. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980, driven in part by the increasing popularity of CT scans. Such scans can deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest x rays.
ScienceNOW: In an effort to curb global warming, scientists have proposed everything from launching sunlight-blocking dust into the stratosphere to boosting the number of carbon-sucking algae in the oceans.
Now, a Harvard University physicist has come up with a new way to cool parts of the planet: Pump vast swarms of tiny bubbles into the sea to increase its reflectivity and lower water temperatures. “Since water covers most of the Earth, don’t dim the Sun,” says scientist, Russell Seitz, speaking at an international meeting on geoengineering research. “Brighten the water.”
Physics Today: In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, University of California Berkeley scientists Hugh F. Wilson and Burkhard Militzer have come up with an explanation for why the top layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere are severely depleted in helium and neon compared to other protosolar values.
Physics Today: CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has finally started colliding two 3.5-TeV circulating beams of protons together to produce 7-TeV collisions and the official start of the LHC research program.
The collisions above (image credit: CERN) occurred at 13:06 Central European Summer Time, according to a live broadcast from CERN, with a couple hundred thousand collisions taken in the first hour.
“It’s a great day to be a particle physicist,” said CERN director general Rolf Heuer. “A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends.”
Chemistry World: Researchers in the US have shown that perovskites—a class of mixed oxide minerals—can perform as well as platinum in certain types of catalytic converter for removing pollutants from diesel exhaust. Although it is early days in the research, the finding could eventually result in cheaper, more robust catalytic converters for diesel engines that do not rely on expensive and scarce platinum group metals.
Strontium-doped perovskites rival platinum catalysts for treating nox in simulated diesel exhaust
NPR: At the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco last week, scientists presented work on everything from the greenhouse gas emissions of livestock to the effect of human skin oils on office air quality. Ira Flatow and guests discussed these stories and other news from the meeting on Science Friday.