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The first Tropical Storm of the season has formed off the coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to stay well east of Georgia as it passes by on Thursday. Kent Frantz with the National Weather Center says is expected to stay well off Georgia’s coast. The state is on what is called the storm’s “dry side” so there won’t be much of an impact. “We should actually have lesser chances of thunderstorms than we’ve had for several days,” said Frantz. “So we should actually have nicer weather. But it will be a few degrees above normal. We’ll be in the low to mid 90’s for the next couple days as this passes by.”
A new report ranks the Savannah River third in the country for the amount of toxic discharge released into its water. More than 5 million pounds of waste were discharged into the river in 2010, according to the report from Environment Georgia. Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper says officials have been working on a pollution reduction plan for several years. But she says little has changed in the meantime. “What we’ve got on this river is we’ve still got a large amount of pollution going in, we’ve got permits that expired five, six years ago, and it’s the status quo.”
Scientists in coastal Georgia are joining researchers Saturday in more than 160 locations around the world to take simultaneous samples from the world’s oceans – the first ever Ocean Sampling Day. Marc Frischer is a professor of marine microbiology at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He says researchers aren’t yet sure what they’ll learn, but they want to collect the simultaneous data and look for patterns. “The attempt to synoptically, at the same time, sample the world’s aquatic systems – it’s not just oceans. There’s some freshwater systems as well – that’s unique. It’s an unprecedented effort.”
One of the tradeoffs of living near the ocean is vulnerability to risks like hurricanes and floods. Even more vulnerable? Low-income people, the elderly, and those with health problems or disabilities. Scientists at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are pulling together data from a variety of sources - mostly the federal government - to better understand those vulnerabilities.
First, there was the hybrid. Then, there were the plug-in electric vehicles. Now, we have the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi concept car. Think of it as a plug-in electric car with solar panels on the roof. With this vehicle, drivers don’t need a cord to get the power. The idea: leave the car in the sun and let the solar panels do the work. Innovative, yes, but there’s a problem—getting the solar panels to actually charge the cars take a while. That’s where researchers from Georgia Tech come in. Their job is to figure out how to make the panels more efficient. So the researchers turned to the same technology you see in a lighthouse.