TIME climate change

Get Ready for More High-Tide Flooding on the U.S. Coast, Report Says

The number of high-tide floods is set to triple in coastal communities by 2030, according to a new report

Rising sea levels are causing more frequent flooding in coastal areas in the U.S., scientists said in a new report released Wednesday, with the number of high-tide floods set to triple in coastal communities from Texas to Maine by 2030.

Many East Coast cities and towns already see dozens of tidal floods each year even in the absence of storms, covering coastal roads and damaging homes, said the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Researchers found that more than half of the 52 communities studied in the report will average more than two dozen tidal floods per year by 2030, and one-third will see tidal flooding more than 180 times a year by 2045 due to sea level rises induced by global warming.

Cities including Miami, Washington, DC, Atlantic City and Charleston will see a dramatic increase in the number of flooding events. Moreover, floods will get worse and cause more damage further and further inland as sea levels continue to rise, according to the report.

Global sea levels rose eight inches from 1880 to 2009 as global warming accelerated the melting of land-based ice and expanded seawater as it heated up.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found earlier this year that flooding has increased on all three U.S. coasts by between 300% and 925% since the 1960s, USA Today reports.

Around 100 million people, or nearly one-third of the U.S. population, live in coastal counties, said Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist at UCS.

“Several decades ago, flooding at high tide was simply not a problem,” said Fitzpatrick. “Today, when the tide is extra high, people find themselves splashing through downtown Miami, Norfolk and Annapolis on sunny days and dealing with flooded roads in Atlantic City, Savannah and the coast of New Hampshire.”

TIME space

Watch the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse in One GIF

Blood moon lunar eclipse 2014
Ritchie B. Tongo—EPA (7); Gif by Mia Tramz for TIME

For those who were able to see it in person, Wednesday morning’s Blood Moon lunar eclipse didn’t disappoint as skywatchers spotted Earth’s always-orbiting pal turn a deep shade of red.

Why that color? During a Blood Moon lunar eclipse, Earth gets between the Sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the lunar surface. The red color comes as Earth’s atmosphere scatters the sunlight, stripping away blue light and leaving behind the red to reach the moon’s surface.

If you missed Wednesday’s Blood Moon — the second of the year and fourth lunar eclipse — check it out here in a single GIF. Then check out past Blood Moons, too.

TIME space

See the Best Photos of Wednesday Morning’s Blood Moon

The second blood moon - and fourth lunar eclipse - of 2014 did not disappoint

TIME Chemistry

2 Americans, 1 German Win Chemistry Nobel

A screen showing the names and pictures of the laureates of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is pictured at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm Oct. 8, 2014.
A screen showing the names and pictures of the laureates of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is pictured at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm Oct. 8, 2014. Reuters

(STOCKHOLM) — Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner and German scientist Stefan Hell won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for developing new methods that let microscopes see finer details than they could before.

The three scientists were cited for “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy,” which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said had bypassed the maximum resolution of traditional optical microscopes.

“Their ground-breaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension,” the academy said.

Betzig, 54, works at the Howard Hughes Medfical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia. Hell, 51, is director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany. Moerner, 61, is a professor at Stanford University in California.

Last year’s chemistry prize went to three U.S.-based scientists who developed powerful computer models that researchers use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs.

This year’s Nobel announcements started Monday with U.S.-British scientist John O’Keefe splitting the medicine award with Norwegian couple May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser for breakthroughs in brain cell research that could pave the way for a better understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

On Tuesday, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura won physics award for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes — a breakthrough that spurred the development of LED technology that can be used to light up homes and offices and the screens of mobile phones, computers and TVs.

The Nobel Prize in literature will be announced Thursday, followed by the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the economics prize on Monday.

The prizes are always handed out in ceremonies on Dec. 10, the date that prize founder Alfred Nobel died in 1896. A wealthy Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, Nobel wanted his awards to honor those who “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind,” but gave only vague instructions on how to select winners.

TIME Environment

Garlic Is Being Used in the U.K. to Cure Trees of Deadly Diseases

Autumn Colours Begin To Show In The UK
Autumn colors begin to show on trees in Royal Victoria Park in Bath, England, on Oct. 7, 2014 Matt Cardy—Getty Images

The bulbs contain the compound allicin, which can fight bacterial and fungal infections

It might not be great for vampires, but it turns out garlic can be very good for trees.

Trees in the U.K. are being injected with a garlic extract to cure them of deadly diseases, the BBC reports.

“Over the last four years we have treated 60 trees suffering badly with bleeding canker of horse chestnut. All of the trees were cured,” said Jonathan Cocking, an arboreal specialist involved with the development and deployment of the treatment.

“This result has been broadly backed up by 350 trees we have treated all over the country, where we have had a 95% success rate,” Cocking told the BBC.

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial properties and can fight fungal infections too.

The injection device, which is being deployed in forests in the English Midlands, is made up of a pressurized chamber with eight tubes that inject the allicin solution directly into a tree’s sap system. The needles are positioned to ensure the even spread of allicin all around the tree.

According to the BBC, scaling up this method of treatment is costly and impractical. However, it can be used to save trees of historic or sentimental value.

[BBC]

TIME animals

Captive Orcas Can Learn How to Speak Dolphin, Researchers Say

Orca Whale
Amanda Fletcher—Flickr RF/Getty Images

One of few species capable of learning new vocal sounds

Captive orcas who live with dolphins are capable of imitating their sounds, joining an exclusive list of species that are capable of modifying their voices or learning new vocalizations, according to a new study published this month in Acoustical Society of America.

Researchers analyzed 10 captive orcas, seven who lived with only other orcas, and three who lived with only bottlenose dolphins. They discovered that the three orcas who interacted with only dolphins made dolphin-like whistles, clicks and buzzes, while the other seven orcas communicated almost entirely with typical whale pulses. The findings build on two-year-old research that showed that dolphins could similarly mimic sounds of whales and other animals, according to Science Magazine.

Only a few species are capable of vocal learning, a group that includes humans, birds, elephants, bats, seals and dolphins, along with now the orcas, whose acoustic imitation abilities previously had been studied only anecdotally.

TIME space

Here’s Why the Full Moon Is Sometimes Red

NASA explains how and why the yearly event occurs

Ever wondered why the full moon sometimes appears a dull red?

The “blood moon” lunar eclipse happens about twice a year—including early Wednesday morning—when the Sun, Earth and moon line up so that the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, NASA explains in the video above. This causes moon to appear a dull red color due to sunlight scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere.

In other words, if you were to watch the eclipse from the moon, you’d see the Earth blocking the Sun, whose rays creep over the curves of the Earth, basking the moon in a red glow.

For an up-close, clear shot of Wednesday’s blood moon, tune in to the SLOOH Community Observatory‘s live stream here, starting at 5 a.m. ET and likely peaking at around 6:55 a.m. ET.

TIME Physics

Why LED Lights Won the Nobel Prize

Chances are you're using an LED right now

You might have heard that researchers, two Japanese and one American, recently won the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), but you might not know what LEDs are and why they’re important. With energy-saving light bulbs becoming more commonplace and smartphone use as widespread as ever, there might be more LEDs in your life than you realize.

TIME space

See the Most Stunning Moments From ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse

Stargazers gazed in awe at a “Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse early Wednesday morning, with viewing opportunities across the Americas.

But if you missed the celestial display, never fear — SLOOH Community Observatory livestreamed the whole thing for everyone’s enjoyment, and TIME has highlights from the 3.5-hour broadcast right here.

Want a primer on the “Blood Moon” before taking a look? Read TIME Science Editor Jeffrey Kluger’s explanation of the phenomenon here.

TIME

2 Japanese, 1 American Win Nobel Prize in Physics

Shuji Nakamura Nobel Physics Prize LED Lights
American inventor Shuji Nakamura. Japanese scientists Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano and American Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel prize for Physics for inventing a new energy efficient and environmentally friendly light source, the LED, the award-giving body said on Oct. 7, 2014. Lehtikuva—Reuters

(STOCKHOLM) — Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes — a new energy efficient and environment-friendly light source.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the invention is just 20 years old, “but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all.”

Akasaki, 85, is a professor at Meijo University and distinguished professor at Nagoya University. Amano, 54, is also a professor at Nagoya University, while the 60-year-old Nakamura is a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The laureates triggered a transformation of lighting technology when they produced bright blue light from semiconductors in the 1990s, something scientist had struggled with for decades, the Nobel committee said.

Using the blue light, LED lamps emitting white light could be created in a new way.

“As about one fourth of world electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth’s resources,” the committee said.

Nakamura, who spoke to reporters in Stockholm over a crackling telephone line after being woken up by the phone call from the prize jury, said it was an amazing, and unbelievable feeling.

On Monday, U.S.-British scientist John O’Keefe split the Nobel Prize in medicine with Norwegian couple May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser for breakthroughs in brain cell research that could pave the way for a better understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The Nobel award in chemistry will be announced Wednesday, followed by the literature award on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The economics prize will be announced next Monday, completing the 2014 Nobel Prize announcements.

Worth 8 million kronor ($1.1 million) each, the Nobel Prizes are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. Besides the prize money, each laureate receives a diploma and a gold medal.

Nobel, a wealthy Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, provided few directions for how to select winners, except that the prize committees should reward those who “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”

Last year’s physics award went to Britain’s Peter Higgs and Belgian colleague Francois Englert for helping to explain how matter formed after the Big Bang.

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