Harvesting the Canadian Oil Sands
New technology for extracting oil from tarry sands could more than double the amount of oil that can be extracted from these abundant deposits while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
What's the Latest Development?
A Canadian energy company has developed new technology capable of extracting double the amount of oil from the country's plentiful tar sands while reducing the amount of greenhouse gas associated with extraction. "Most oil sands production currently involves digging up oily sand deposits near the surface and processing the sludgy material with heat and chemicals to free the oil and reduce its viscosity so it can flow through a pipeline." The new extraction technique uses a special solvent to separate the tarry substance bitumen from the sands.
What's the Big Idea?
The oil sands of Canada represent one of the world's most massive oil resources, containing enough petroleum to power the U.S. for decades. "But they are made up of a tarry substance called bitumen, which requires large amounts of energy to extract from the ground and prepare for transport to a refinery. This fact has raised concerns about the impact of oil sands on climate change." Pipelines currently being built in order to send crude oil from the tar sands to refineries in the U.S. worry environmentalists concerned with net CO2 increases.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
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