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Science

Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-line dept.
sciencehabit writes Earth has seen its share of catastrophes, the worst being the 'big five' mass extinctions scientists traditionally talk about. Now, paleontologists are arguing that a sixth extinction, 260 million years ago, at the end of a geological age called the Capitanian, deserves to be a member of the exclusive club. In a new study, they offer evidence for a massive die-off in shallow, cool waters in what is now Norway. That finding, combined with previous evidence of extinctions in tropical waters, means that the Capitanian was a global catastrophe.

Comment: ULA sux (Score 4, Insightful) 78

by Scottingham (#49448809) Attached to: SpaceX To Try a First Stage Recovery Again On April 13

"America’s #1 space launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA), is asking America to help name its next rocket, calling on citizens to play a role in the future of space launch by voting for the name of the new rocket that will be responsible for the majority of the nation’s future space launches.

For the next two weeks, the public can vote for its favorite rocket name – Eagle, Freedom or GalaxyOne – "

Pander much? I am curious to see what it has and if it's in the same decade of development as the Falcon series. My bet is on soviet rehash.

Comment: Re:Great, Let's Build IFR's (Score 2) 417

While you're ultimately correct, what's holding back the IFR is *not* conspiracy, but material science.

The neutron flux for those is insane! They can't get them to run without dissolving for very long. They aren't economical unless they can run for many years without a total refurbishment.

The best arm-chair hand-waving 'solution' I can think of barring some serious material science advances is a set of cores that repair themselves on a regular basis with CNC/3D printing tech.

Earth

The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.
merbs writes: The biggest extinction event in planetary history was driven by the rapid acidification of our oceans, a new study concludes (abstract). So much carbon was released into the atmosphere, and the oceans absorbed so much of it so quickly, that marine life simply died off, from the bottom of the food chain up. That doesn't bode well for the present, given the similarly disturbing rate that our seas are acidifying right now. A team led by University of Edinburgh researchers collected rocks in the United Arab Emirates that were on the seafloor hundreds of millions of years ago, and used the boron isotopes found within to model the changing levels of acidification in our prehistoric oceans. They now believe that a series of gigantic volcanic eruptions in the Siberian Trap spewed a great fountain of carbon into the atmosphere over a period of tens of thousands of years. This was the first phase of the extinction event, in which terrestrial life began to die out.

Comment: Re:Well done, smart guy (Score 1) 247

by Scottingham (#49196761) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

You do realize that many people, including me, don't see this problem in the RED TEAM vs BLUE TEAM terms you lay out. Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same ass-penny.

Whenever I hear people like you shout 'bbbut bbbut the democRATS did it first! They do it too! waaaa, blame them!!!'

Well buddy, I blame both. So kindly sit on a partisan pole.

Businesses

French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles 384

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-times dept.
mdsolar writes with bad news for France and its nuclear industry. "France's nuclear industry is in turmoil after the country's main reactor manufacturer, Areva, reported a loss for 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — more than its entire market value. The government of France, the world's most nuclear dependent country, has a 29% stake in Areva, which is among the biggest global nuclear technology companies. The loss puts its future — and that of France as a leader in nuclear technology — at risk. Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday she asked Areva and utility giant Electricite de France to work together on finding solutions, amid reports of a possible merger or other link-up. The government said in a statement that it's working closely with Areva to restructure and secure financing, and would 'take its responsibility as a shareholder' in future decisions about its direction. Areva reported Wednesday 1 billion euros in losses on three major nuclear projects in Finland and France, among other hits. Areva has lost money for years, in part linked to delays on those projects and to a global pullback from nuclear energy since the 2011 Fukushima accident."

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe

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