Today’s science news in a bulleted list.
* Many folks think that oil means gasoline and jet fuel, but in fact a huge fraction of the materials that we use in our daily lives, plastics for example, start out as petroleum derivatives. In an age when demand threatens to outstrip supply and send oil prices into wacky world it is encouraging to know that synthetic chemists have worked out a way to make similar materials from the sugar commonly found in fruits, fructose.
* The idea that increased CO2 will increase crop yields has taken another hit. Estimated time until Exxon-funded advocacy groups absorb this new information: never.
* The San Andreas fault is due for a major quake. The basic math of earthquakes is that they build up strain at a constant rate, so the longer you wait between quakes the bigger the quake will be. The San Andreas fault is pretty good about releasing pent-up strain as far as highly-active faults go (compared to, say, this) but let’s hope that it doesn’t wait too long.
* At Kos, Darksyde has a must-read on the problem of accelerating glacial melt.
What else is up? Chat about science and science-related program activities.