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SKYE on AOL

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    A view of Manhattan that clearly shows the power outages experienced by lower Manhattan on Oct. 30, 2012, after the Superstorm Sandy brought widespread damages to New York City. (Christopher Lane/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Climate change and extreme weather already are causing disruptions in the U.S. energy supply that are likely to worsen as more intense storms, higher temperatures and more frequent droughts occur, the government says in a new report.

    The report, released Thursday by the Energy Department, says blackouts and other problems caused by Superstorm Sandy and other extreme weather events are likely to be repeated across the country as an aging energy infrastructure struggles to adapt to rising seas, higher storm surges and increased flooding. A range of energy sources are at risk, from coal-fired power plants to oil wells, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.

    Climate-related disasters have already costs tens of billions of dollars, and the report says costs could grow exponentially unless a more comprehensive and accelerated response is adopted.

    On the Gulf Coast, for instance, the report cites a study by an energy company and wetland foundation projecting that by 2030, nearly $1 trillion in energy assets in the region will be at risk from rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes. Based on an analysis of hazards, assets and vulnerabilities, the Gulf Coast energy sector faces an average annual loss from climate change and extreme weather of $8 billion in 2030, the report said.

    The report urges private companies, governments and research institutions to take action to further understand the risks of climate change and reduce them. The report does not offer immediate recommendations, but says power plants and oil companies should use less water and recycle what they use.

    Electricity providers should harden transmission grids and build emergency backup systems, the report says, and operators of hydroelectric dams should improve turbine efficiency. The report also recommends that governments and utilities work together to reduce demand for electricity.

    "Water is obviously the big question," said Jonathan Pershing, deputy assistant secretary of energy for climate change policy and technology, who oversaw the report. "In drought you don't have enough water. As seas rise, you have too much."

    While the risks from drought, floods and hurricanes are clear, water plays an important role in less obvious ways as well, Pershing said. Both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, for instance, need large volumes of water for cooling. As temperatures rise, that becomes more difficult.

    The report cites several examples from 2012, the hottest year in the United States since record-keeping began in 1895:

    - In August, a nuclear power station in Connecticut shut down one reactor because the temperature of the intake cooling water, withdrawn from Long Island Sound, was too high. The two-week shutdown resulted in the loss of 255,000 megawatt-hours of power, worth several million dollars, the report said.

    -In the Midwest, drought and low river water depths disrupted the transportation of commodities, such as petroleum and coal, delivered by barges along the Mississippi River.

    -In California, reduced snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains limited hydroelectric power generation capacity by about 8 percent.

    "Costs are already happening and it's getting worse," Pershing said. "We are seeing damages across all parts of the energy sector."

    Rising heat in the West will drive a steep increase in demand for air conditioning, which has already forced blackouts and brownouts in some places, the report said. The Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory found that air conditioning demand in the West will require 34 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity by 2050, equivalent to the construction of 100 power plants.

    The report sends a "significant message about the risks and vulnerabilities" facing the U.S. energy sector, Pershing said. It should provide a blueprint for states and municipalities to consider, along with utilities and other energy providers and even consumers, who can do their part by reducing energy use or seeking alternative forms of energy, he said.

    The report is the first of many to be produced across a range of economic sectors as the Obama administration responds to climate change and makes recommendations, Pershing said.

    President Barack Obama announced a wide-ranging plan last month to combat global warming. The plan for the first time would put limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants as well as boost renewable energy production on federal lands, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Indelible Images from Superstorm Sandy
    Superstorm Sandy

     

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    Consumers could begin to see a rise in dairy costs after late June and early July dealt a stretch of record-breaking high temperatures to the West, and the coming weeks will yield prolonged heat for the Midwest.

    Keeping livestock healthy and productive requires a delicate balance. Temperatures that are either too warm or too cold affect the energy levels in dairy cows, and in turn, cause them to produce less milk.


    Dairy cows experiencing heat stress in the summer months are less productive. Photo by Scott Bauer and the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Marie teVelde, Director of Communications for California Dairies, explained that cows will eat less when it's hotter outside and milk production decreases as a result.

    "Once temperatures abate, cows recover and return to normal production levels," she said.

    Consumers are only really affected if hot weather is widespread and persists for a long period of time.

    According to AccuWeather.com expert senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski and head of AccuWeather.com's long-range forecasting team Paul Pastelok, heat will be coming in and out of the Plains over the next 30 days.

    For the next two weeks, the Midwest will have temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

    The Southwest will catch a break as building monsoon conditions trim the heat down for the Four Corners area, but temperatures will increase over the Great Basin and West.

    The mercury will be especially high come September when this region will reach its hottest point of the year.

    "On average, dairy cows start to experience heat stress when the temperature/humidity index is 72 degrees," Dr. Tamilee Nennich, associate professor of animal sciences at Purdue University, explained in a Purdue Dairy Digest Podcast.

    "New research has shown that high-producing dairy cows may start to experience heat stress at temperatures closer to 68 degrees."


    Drought conditions have persisted over the Midwest, where a large percentage of the nation's dairy supplies come from. If the high heat and low precipitation continue for much of the summer, milk prices could potentially rise.

    When high, prolonged heat is expected, dairy cow farmers take measures to minimize the impacts.

    "California dairymen take the comfort of their cows seriously and work hard to meet the animal's needs," teVelde said. "During the hot summer months, adequate shade and water is provided to minimize the effects of high temperatures."

    To combat heat issues, Nennich recommends that dairy farmers use fans and soakers in their barns but warns that to be effective, both need to be used properly. Fans need to be positioned to move the air over the cows and need to be kept clean. Soakers need to produce droplets of water that are big enough to wet cows to their skin. If water droplets are too small, they will sit on the cows' fur and may actually work to insulate heat instead of helping to cool.

    "Keeping cows cool during the summer will help them be both comfortable and productive," she said.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 20 Tips for Surviving a Heat Wave
    Smart ways to beat the summer heat

     

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    (AP Photo)

    Persistent downpours and thunderstorms will continue to bring the threat for flash flooding across the mid-Atlantic and Southeast Friday as a stalled front sits nearby.

    Flooding may impact Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Richmond and Norfolk, Va., Raleigh, N.C., Charleston, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla.

    The heaviest downpours will produce over an inch of rain per hour, which will lead to flooding along streets, highways and areas of poor drainage. Some roads may even become impassible due to high water.

    The heavy rainfall rates can also push small streams and creeks out of their banks, many of which are already swollen thanks to recent heavy rain.

    The most numerous showers and thunderstorms should develop from eastern Florida up to Virginia and the Washington, D.C., area.

    Heavy rain already pounded much of the Washington area Thursday night, leading to flooded roadways and even a handful of water rescues. It will not take much rain to cause additional flooding problems on Friday.

    Farther north and east, the showers will not be as widespread around the Philadelphia area, but any shower or thunderstorm can produce a flooding downpour in any given location.

    RELATED:
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    Soaking Rains Threaten to Drench the East This Weekend
    Severe Weather Center

    The ground is already saturated in many areas from recent rainfall. Streams and creeks from eastern Georgia to Virginia are already near or above flood stage. Any additional rainfall will only act to exacerbate existing flooding problems.

    One example of the recent heavy rain is Greenville, S.C. Measurable rain has been recorded through each of the first 11 days of the month, totaling 10.19 inches. That total is already more than double the average of 4.80 inches for the entire month of July.

    The flooding threat will persist into Saturday and spread into the central and southern Appalachians as the energy helping to fuel the storms drifts west. The moisture from Tropical Rainstorm Chantal will also help to enhance the rainfall, especially across the Carolinas and eastern Virginia.

    The good news for these rain-soaked areas is that the showers and thunderstorms will not be nearly as widespread by Sunday and early next week, allowing more opportunities to dry out.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

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    In this undated illustration provided by the European Space Agency, an artists impression of one of Earth's nearest planets outside the solar system. (AP Photo/ESA-Hubble, M. Kornmesser)

    LONDON (AP) - Astronomers have for the first time managed to determine the color of a planet outside the solar system, a blue gas giant some 63 light years away.

    An international team of astronomers working with the Hubble Telescope made the discovery observing HD 189733B, one of Earth's nearest planets outside the solar system.

    Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter in England said Friday that "measuring the planet's color is a real first - we have never managed it before with a planet outside our own solar system."

    To ascertain the planet's color the astronomers measured the amount of light reflected of its surface as it eclipsed its host star.

    HD 189733B belongs to a class of "hot Jupiters" and has an atmosphere temperature of around 1,832 Fahrenheit.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Breathtaking New Photos of Earth From Space

     

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    (Getty Images)

    DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - It gets so hot in Death Valley that you can fry an egg with sun power.

    That's what one Death Valley National Park employee did last week, when she took a frying pan to the pavement and posted the video online.

    Park visitors were quick to imitate her, but they didn't use skillets and left gooey messes. The park then issued a plea on its Facebook page to crack down on the egg-frying fiasco.

    Death Valley highs have been hovering around 120 degrees, and on Wednesday the park marked the 100th anniversary of the world's hottest day on record - 134 degrees - set there in 1913.

    Park rangers say the egg frying has since stopped due to rain and clouds that have rolled across Death Valley.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 20 Tips for Surviving a Heat Wave
    Smart ways to beat the summer heat

     

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    In this photo taken Monday, July 8, 2013, the New Century Global Center, the world's largest single building, stands in the suburbs of Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. (AP Photo)

    BEIJING (AP) - Move aside Dubai. China now has what is billed as the world's largest building - a vast, wavy rectangular box of glass and steel that will house shops, hotels, offices and a faux ocean beach with a huge LED screen for video sunsets.

    The mammoth New Century Global Center that opened last month in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu has 19 million square feet of floor space - or about 329 football fields - edging out the previous record-holder, the Dubai airport.

    The structure is half a kilometer long, 400 meters wide and 100 meters high.

    The New Century project is a sign that China's growth has spread from the country's more prosperous eastern and southern regions to the west, where wages are lower and the central government has encouraged development with subsidies and tax breaks. With its booming economy, China has become home to some of the largest and tallest buildings in the world.

    Backed by local governments, the building in a planned urban district south of Chengdu aims to boost the global stature of the capital city of Sichuan province, known for its spicy cuisine.

    Once fully completed, the centerpiece of the building will be a water park with a 400-meter coast and beaches under a gigantic glass dome. Up to 6,000 visitors at a time will be able to sunbathe, play in a wave pool, sip cocktails or feast on seafood. A 150-meter-by-40-meter LED screen will rise above a section of water with videos of an ocean horizon.

    The center will include two five-star hotels as well as high-end boutiques set in a replica of a Mediterranean town under faux blue skies. The shopping section has been open to the public since late June, though the building's office space has been occupied for some time.

    The building also has a 14-screen movie theater and an ice rink.

    RELATED ON SKYE: The World's Most Amazing Buildings

     

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    'Sharknado' Premiere Gets Celebrity Reaction on Twitter
    The absurdly awesome disaster film on the SyFy channel sparked a big response Thursday night.

     

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    MESA, Ariz. (AP) - A dust storm temporarily grounded some flights out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and knocked out electricity to about 2,000 customers in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek areas.

    The rolling wall of dust appeared to start early Thursday afternoon in southern Pinal County and moved northwest through Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.

    Officials at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport halted some flights until wind gusts of up to 60 mph subsided.

    It isn't immediately clear how many flights were affected.

    Airport officials say flight operations were back to normal by 2 p.m. Thursday.

    Salt River Project officials say about 2,000 of their customers in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area went without electricity due to the storms and crews are working to restore power.

    @Monsoon_Madness posted this panoramic photo of the haboob to Twitter today:

     

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    (AccuWeather's Jesse Ferrel) This image shows the effects of overloaded storm drains and torrential rain fall in the streets of West State College, Pa., on July 12, 2013.

    Additional rounds of rain and the potential for flash, urban and small stream flooding will continue in a large swath along the East coast and into part of the Appalachians this weekend, due in part to Tropical Rainstorm Chantal.

    While flooding problems are likely to be isolated over most of this area, the ongoing downpours and locally strong thunderstorms will continue to bring travel delays, road closures and interruptions to vacations, ball games and construction projects.

    A flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean will not be in a hurry to leave from northern Florida to southeastern New York.

    Throw in Tropical Rainstorm Chantal in part of this area and the situation could get worse before it gets better.

    An observation over the years among AccuWeather.com meteorologists is that old tropical systems and their impact are slow to diminish, despite official government classifications. In short, these systems often retain some sort of circulation, continue to produce rainfall and can flare up on occasion. Because of this, AccuWeather.com has chosen to continue to track Chantal even though the system was downgraded from tropical storm status late Wednesday.


    RELATED:
    AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center
    AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Center
    Chantal Rain, Other Moisture Aim for Southeast US

    Even without Chantal, enough Gulf and Atlantic moisture will remain in parts of the South and the East to continue a risk of sporadic flash, urban and small stream flooding.

    Where Chantal's leftover moisture becomes involved, most likely in the zone between northern Florida and Virginia, flooding could be more widespread and potentially more serious.

    The risk zone for torrential downpours will tend to drift slowly inland with time toward the southern Appalachians.

    Many areas from Georgia to New England have received close to a foot of rain since June 1. This rainfall is between two and three times that of normal for the approximate 40-day period.

    The ground is saturated in many areas. Much of any additional rain that falls over next several days will run off quickly into streams and then the rivers.

    Into Saturday, the bulk of Chantal's drenching showers and thunderstorms will move northward east of the Florida Peninsula, mainly over the Bahamas.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos

     

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    Updated: July 13, 2013, 12:30 p.m. ET

    Fallen trees damaging vehicles lie on a street after Typhoon Soulik hit Taiwan early Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Taipei. The powerful typhoon surged across northern Taiwan on Saturday, killing at least one person and disrupting transportation and commerce around the island of 23 million people, before heading westward toward the heavily populated Chinese coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

    BEIJING (AP) - A powerful typhoon surged across northern Taiwan on Saturday, killing at least one person before moving to southeast China and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from a coastal province.

    Typhoon Soulik disrupted transportation and commerce across Taiwan, with emergency crews around Taipei and in its environs struggling to restore power to the 520,000 homes where it had been disrupted, and to remove hundreds of trees uprooted by the storm from streets and roads.

    The storm then made another landing in the heavily populated Chinese coastal province of Fujian on Saturday afternoon, packing winds of 74 miles per hour, according to China's National Meteorological Center. That was down from the 101 mph winds the typhoon had boasted on making landfall in Taiwan around dawn.

    About 300,000 people in Fujian were evacuated from their homes, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

    In Fujian and Zhejiang, another coastal province, train services were suspended, flights canceled and fishing boats called back to ports. China's weather service warned of possible floods and landslides.

    Earlier, torrential rains buffeted large areas of northern and central Taiwan, with Hsinchu and the neighboring county of Miaoli reporting totals of up to 31 inches by early Saturday.

    Schools and businesses throughout northern Taiwan were closed by government order on Friday, and the military evacuated 8,000 people from mountainous villages considered vulnerable to flash flooding.

    Just after midnight on Saturday, a falling brick took the life of a policeman in the Taipei suburb of Tanshui, while elsewhere, the National Fire Agency reported there were at least 21 injuries.

    Dozens of flights at Taipei's main international airport were canceled beginning Friday afternoon, though operations were expected to return to normal by late Saturday. Taiwan's high speed rail system also suspended operations, at least until early Saturday afternoon.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

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    Buildings Collapse in China Floods
    BEIJING (AP) - At least 100 tourists, including 38 Vietnamese nationals, were trapped in northwest China after a landslide cut off a road amid weeklong storms that have flooded rivers and triggered mudslides, killing at least 69 people, state media reported Saturday.

    The tourists got trapped Friday night in the northwest province of Gansu after a landslide cut off traffic, China's official Xinhua News Agency said. They were en route to a nature reserve in Sichuan province, which has been hit the hardest by the storms, and road repair work was under way in an effort to free them, the report said.

    Sichuan has reported at least 31 storm-related deaths over the past week. A massive mudslide that struck a scenic resort outside the city of Dujiangyan in Sichuan killed 26 people and left 123 people missing, according to Xinhua.

    An entire hillside collapsed onto clusters of holiday cottages where city dwellers escape summer heat, a survivor told the news agency.

    Flooding in Sichuan was the worst in 50 years for some areas, with more than 220,000 people forced to evacuate.

    Mudslides and flooding are common in China's mountainous areas, killing hundreds of people every year, but in some areas the current floods are already the worst in half a century.

    In the northwest province of Shaanxi, 23 people died in landslides or house collapses. At least 12 workers were killed in the northern province of Shanxi when a violent rainstorm collapsed an unfinished coal mine workshop. Another three people were drowned in a car in Hebei province outside Beijing.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Off-the-Charts Hottest and Coldest Places on Earth
    Hottet Places on Earth

     

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    The Carpenter 1 fire burns in the mountains behind the Red Rock Conservation Area visitor center near Las Vegas on the morning of Thursday, July 11, 2013. Firefighters hoped Thursday that predicted rain showers would help them corral the massive wildfire that for 10 days charred almost 44 square miles and was still just 15 percent contained. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)

    LAS VEGAS (AP) - Firefighters worked amid rainstorms and flash flooding Friday to contain a wildfire that has burned since July 1 in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas, while U.S. Forest Service crews began trying to restore damaged plant and animal habitat.

    Officially, a quarter of an inch of rain fell on the nearly 44-square-mile area charred by flames and left prone to mudslides, said Larry Helmerick, a fire official from Golden, Colo. He was working with more than 1,300 other firefighters and support personnel on the Carpenter 1 fire.

    "It was a nice rain. It wasn't a downpour," he said.

    Still, it rained hard enough on and around Mount Charleston to create flash flooding in eastern parts of the fragile and damaged burn zone, Helmerick said. There was no immediate word of damage to roads or homes.

    Firefighters worked to improve and expand fire lines already constructed around 43 percent of the fire, including near more than 400 homes, a rustic hotel and a scenic alpine lodge in the Kyle Canyon area about 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

    They also worked to limit the spread of the fire southeast toward the scenic Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just 17 miles west of the Strip.

    Elsewhere, Forest Service workers deployed to begin installing erosion barriers, sowing seeds and planting trees to try to stabilize soil in high-risk areas. Officials said the Burned Area Emergency Response effort could continue for a year.

    More than 500 residents remained evacuated from the Rainbow, Old Town and Echo hamlets in Kyle Canyon, heading into a second weekend out of their homes.

    Fire officials determined the danger was still too great to let them return, Forest Service spokeswoman Suzanne Shelp said.

    "I wouldn't say (Kyle Canyon) is out of danger," Shelp said. "There's still fire in cliff bands. There's still a threat."

    No new structures were lost Friday, Helmerick said, and no new injuries were reported.

    One fire support staff member was hurt Tuesday, the same day flames swept through a remote 40-acre ranch resort, claiming a lodge, a cabin, two sheds and an outhouse. A nearby commercial building also burned.

    Officials say the fire was sparked by lightning July 1 in the Spring Mountains National Recreation area near Trout Springs. Fire managers hope to have it contained by July 19. The cost of battling the blaze was expected to top $12 million.

    In northern Nevada, mop-up and fire line rehabilitation began on the sprawling Bison Fire in the Pine Nut Mountains near Gardnerville and Carson City. Officials said the fire there was 80 percent contained.

    The Bison blaze, sparked by lightning July 4, covered roughly 43 square miles of rugged terrain in Douglas and Lyon counties, and cost almost $5.7 million to fight. One old structure in the Slater Mine area burned.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Off-the-Charts Hottest and Coldest Places on Earth
    Hottet Places on Earth

     

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    This undated photo provided by her family on July 9, 2013 shows Sidonie Fery in New York. Fery was about 10 years old when she and a playmate placed a note inside a ginger ale bottle and threw it in the Great South Bay off Long Island. Sidonie was tragically killed in a fall at a Swiss boarding school in 2010. (AP Photo/Mimi Fery)

    PATCHOGUE, New York (AP) - A seaside Long Island village on Saturday honored the memory of a girl whose message in a bottle was found after Superstorm Sandy, discovered by cleanup workers a dozen years after she tossed it into the ocean.

    A plaque was placed on a rock near the bridge at Patchogue Long Island Beach Club, where the bottle was discovered in December. It reads: "Be excellent to yourself dude," the same message inside the bottle.

    The note, a line from the 1989 Keanu Reeves movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," was written by Sidonie Fery and tossed into the ocean inside a ginger ale bottle. She died in 2010 at the age of 18 in a fall from a cliff in Switzerland.

    The bottle only traveled a mile or two westward from where it was likely deposited to the location where parks workers found it. It was intermingled with broken docks, boating gear and a spectrum of sea trash.

    But because the note included the girl's New York City phone number, what otherwise would have been a worthless piece of trash became a priceless memento. Workers in Patchogue, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Manhattan, called the number and returned the bottle to her mother, Mimi Fery. Fery said she sobbed when she heard workers had found the bottle and was grateful to them.

    "It's unbelievable," she said Saturday of the commemoration. "The town is amazing, my daughter was a lovely and lively person and very fun, she would do fun things. She always brought joy to everybody no matter how she felt."

    Maria Giustizia, an employee with the Village of Patchogue Parks Department, said she thought the plaque would be a great tribute to the girl.

    "We just love her so much and she has given her mom the best gift that any daughter could give," she said.

    After the dedication ceremony family friends and workers in the village threw carnations into the water.

    The plaque also reads: "I learned that even though someone is very small they may have a big heart" and bears a photo of a smiling, young Sidonie along with the date the bottle was found: Dec. 6, 2012.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Indelible Images from Superstorm Sandy

     

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    Astronaut Karen Nyberg, an Expedition 36 Crew Member, demonstrates how she washes her hair in space onboard the International Space Station (NASA)

    American astronaut Karen Nyberg is blessed with long blond hair, yet the lack of gravity on the International Space Station makes her hair stand straight up on her head. So, instead of the gorgeous flowing locks she sports on Earth, she's stuck with a decidedly hedgehog-esque look throughout her mission. (Which reminded us of former Space Station commander Sunita William's "big" hair in this video.)

    Nyberg often gets asked how she washes her hair in space, so she made this simple-but-compelling video of her grooming process.

    The process, it turns out, is pretty simple. Nyberg's tools -- a squeeze-bag of warm water, no-rinse shampoo, a comb, towel and mirror -- are all attached to a wall of the space station by Velcro.

    How effective is a shampoo in space? "My hair actually feels pretty squeaky-clean right now," Nyberg proclaims at the video's end.

    Afterward, there is no fancy blow-out or styling routine; she just combs her hair straight up and that's it. Like any good astronaut, Nyberg is careful of conserving resources on the station, especially water. She explains, post-shampoo: "As the water evaporates from my hair it will become humidity in the air. Then our air-conditioning system will collect that into condensate. Then it won't be long until our water-processing system turns it into drinking water."

    We think that's pretty genius.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Amazing Photos of the International Space Station
    International Space Station, Shuttle

     

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    (Getty Images)

    High heat and humidity will dangerously bake New England and the mid-Atlantic through the balance of this week.

    The majority of New England and the mid-Atlantic had a day in the upper 70s to mid-80s to start off the weekend on Saturday.

    Hotter temperatures are closing out the weekend and will continue to dominate through at least Wednesday or Thursday.

    After some communities cracked the 90-degree mark on Sunday, many more will see temperatures soar into the 90s on Monday. That includes Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Providence.

    Boston will also warm to around 90 degrees this day as the 90-degree heat expands across the Ohio Valley.



    Even hotter temperatures are in store for the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, while the 90-degree heat grips many from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast.

    Worsening the situation is the fact that oppressive humidity will also in place, making the air feel dangerously hotter each day.

    AccuWeather.com RealFeel(R) temperatures will generally top out between 95 and 100 degrees across New England and 100 and 105 degrees across the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley. These values could even eclipse 105 degrees in the latter two regions.

    Such heat is dangerous for those spending a significant amount of time outdoors or in buildings without air conditioners or numerous fans.

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    If you are planning to be outside during this time, especially in the afternoon, be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. It is also important to drink plenty of water in order to remain hydrated.

    Consider spending the day in a mall or friend's house that is air conditioned if your home is not, and be sure to check on the elderly, children and pets to make sure they are staying safe during this heat wave.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 20 Tips for Surviving a Heat Wave
    Smart ways to beat the summer heat

     

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    Michigan City police and firefighters dig with shovels to rescue 6-year-old Nathan Woessner, of Sterling, Ill., who was trapped for over three hours under about 11 feet of sand at Mount Baldy dune near Michigan City, Ind.. (AP Photo/Michigan City Fire Department via The News Dispatch)

    MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) - A 6-year-old boy who spent more than three hours buried under 11 feet of sand after being swallowed by a massive Indiana dune is recovering well but remains in critical condition at a Chicago hospital.

    The boy was identified Sunday night by a hospital spokeswoman as Nathan Woessner (WAYZ-ner).

    Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek said the parents of the boy told him Saturday that the outlook for the child is very good.

    "They are very upbeat and hopeful. They are watching him closely and hoping to speak with him in the next few days," Swistek told The News-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/15diUnZ).

    "The father expressed to me that we didn't give up hope," Swistek said. "He wanted people to know that every minute in this rescue made a difference in this child's life."

    Nathan remained in critical condition Sunday at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, spokeswoman Lorna Wong said. His hometown hasn't been released, but The News-Dispatch reported he was from Illinois. Wong said she could not confirm or deny the information.

    Michigan City Fire Department spokesman Mark Baker told the newspaper he learned the child doesn't have life-threatening injuries or a brain injury from any lack of oxygen he might have experienced. Wong said Saturday the boy had responded to simple commands Friday when he arrived at the hospital.

    Michigan City Fire Chief Ronnie Martin told WSBT-TV that firefighters prodding the dune located the boy in an air pocket that enabled him to survive for so long underground.

    Nathan's family reported he was playing on the dune known as Mount Baldy on Friday when he dropped partially into it, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe said. While they were trying to dig him out, the dune collapsed.

    The family called 911, and emergency responders were on the scene within 15 minutes and began digging by hand, Rowe said. Crews with excavating equipment were brought in to help the rescue effort.

    The dune is part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on the shores of Lake Michigan, east of Chicago.

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    In this June 25, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama wipes perspiration from his brow during an ambitious speech about climate change under a steaming hot sun at Georgetown University in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Frustrated by a recalcitrant Congress, President Barack Obama has vowed to take climate change into his own hands. Now he has to deliver.

    Three weeks after giving an ambitious speech to outline his proposal, the president begins the arduous task of executing it. Obama's plan is a complicated mix of rule-making and federal permitting that's tough to encapsulate in a neat sales pitch - and may be even tougher to put into action.

    By pledging to use his authority under existing laws, Obama freed himself from the need to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers whose support he would need if he had to push a major climate change bill through Congress. Even so, he still needs public support to help shield vulnerable Democrats already facing criticism over the plan; their fate in the 2014 elections will determine whether Obama can accomplish much of anything during his final two years.

    "While he can do some stuff on his own, he can't do others," said Jim Messina, Obama's 2012 campaign manager. "Congress needs to act on some of these things." Messina is now chairman of Organizing for Action, the group formed from Obama's campaign to advocate for the president's agenda.

    The centerpiece of Obama's plan is imposing the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. This will require each state to draft its own compliance proposal, placing a major component of Obama's legacy largely in the hands of governors and state policymakers, many of whom are deeply skeptical about the plan and what it could mean for local economies.

    Obama knows the clock is ticking. Most of what he has proposed will take years to carry out, and he only calls the shots through 2016. So his aides, Cabinet secretaries and allies are fanning out, trying to start putting the plan in place as soon as possible.

    The president took some steps almost immediately after unveiling his proposal. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz overhauled an $8 billion loan-guarantee program, one that had largely sat dormant for 5 years, to spur new technologies. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell approved a wind project in Arizona that the administration says will power up to 175,000 homes.

    And the Environmental Protection Agency quickly sent a reworked proposal for emissions limits on new power plants to the White House.

    When the Obama administration first proposed the limits last year, the energy industry balked, arguing the EPA was being heavy-handed because it used the same standard for natural gas as for coal. The industry argued this would mean a moratorium on new coal plants because the technology needed to retrofit plants to meet the standard isn't commercially available or cost-effective.

    The new version of the rule hasn't been publicly released. But a senior White House official said the limits will now use different standards for natural gas and coal, essentially bowing to claims that the original rule was ill-conceived. The official was not authorized to divulge details about the rule ahead of its release and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Other steps have yet to be taken. The White House and the EPA are focusing on finishing the rules for new plants before they turn to the far trickier proposition of regulating existing plants.

    Coordination and outreach to the 50 states won't ramp up until the fall, the official said. Obama's team insists it is confident it can convince states to go along with Obama's plan.

    Heather Zichal, Obama's top energy and climate adviser, said important steps are being taken even in Republican-led states such as Texas and Utah, where local leaders have been confronted firsthand with drought and other environmental challenges blamed on climate change.

    "The conversation outside the (Washington) Beltway is much different than the conversation inside the Beltway," Zichal said. "You will see us trying to connect those dots."

    But don't expect Obama to try to sell the plan in the same ways he did with immigration and health care. With climate change, Obama can't fly around the country rallying Americans to demand their House members and senators vote yes on a bill. That's because there isn't one.

    Even so, Obama has signaled he wants Americans engaged on the issue. He's deployed his "Energy Cabinet" - Moniz, Jewell, his agriculture and EPA chiefs and others - around the country to explain what the administration is doing and why. The White House said Obama, too, will be part of that effort, although it hasn't said whether he'll travel or make big speeches to tout the plan.

    Obama's aides see parallels with gay marriage, arguing there's been a dramatic shift in public opinion on climate change that benefits their side.

    On some levels, they're right. When AP-GfK asked Americans in November whether global warming, left unabated, would become a serious U.S. problem, 80 percent said it would - about the same as in 2009. In those three years, though, those who doubt climate change has been occurring have become less certain about it. In 2009, 52 percent of those who questioned climate change said they were sure it was false. In 2012, that figure dropped to 31 percent.

    For Obama's supporters, criticizing those who doubt climate change has become something of a sport - a rallying cry for the Democratic base the same way Obama's so-called "war on coal" has become a conservative mantra. Organizing for Action, Messina's group, is calling out every member of Congress who doubts the planet is getting warmer.

    The challenges ahead are easy to spot. The authority Obama is invoking comes from the Clean Air Act, a labyrinthine 1960s-era law that's never been used to regulate heat-trapping gases from existing power plants. The law says EPA must publish guidelines and give states time to create their own plans to meet those goals. Then the EPA gets to approve or reject those plans, setting up likely confrontations with Republican governors and some coal-state Democrats who want nothing to do with making life harder for local industry.

    But if states simply refuse to propose their own plan, EPA gets to write the plan for them. It's a heavy lift with echoes of Obama's health care law, under which Washington will operate new insurance exchanges in more than half the states, after states refused to do so themselves.

    "There's absolutely no precedent here," said Jeffrey Holmstead, who ran the EPA's air and radiation division under President George W. Bush. "The EPA has been given the task of fitting a very large square peg into a very small round hole."

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    Monumental stone architecture has rarely been found in Veracruz, say archaeologists. The remains of this ancient pyramid were discovered in Jaltipan. (Credit: National Institute of Anthropology and History)

    Construction work in eastern Mexico exposed an ancient settlement, including 30 skeletons and the ruins of a pyramid, believed to be up to 2,000 years old, archaeology officials announced.

    At the site of the graves in the town of Jaltipan, southeast of Veracruz, archaeologists also found clay figurines, jade beads, mirrors and animal remains, according to the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH.

    Researchers believe the settlement was occupied from around the first century A.D. until A.D. 600 or 700. Little is known about the people who lived there. The skeletons are set to be analyzed so that researchers can learn about how they were treated for burial. [In Photos: Ancient Egyptian Skeletons Unearthed]

    "All that is known so far is that of the 30 burials, two at least belong to infants," explained archaeologist Alfredo Delgado in a statement from INAH.

    Deer antlers and bones that may belong to dogs, coyotes, deer, fish and birds were buried with the bodies, perhaps as animal companions for the underworld, the researchers said. There's also evidence that the inhabitants of the site were fossil collectors; among the numerous prehistoric remains were the fossilized teeth of a long extinct Megalodon-type shark.

    The artifacts found at the site represent more than one culture. Some figurines and brickwork look Mayan, while there was also pottery that looks like it came from ancient city of Teotihuacan, the researchers say.

    "Analyses will enable us to see whether this site was multicultural, as is indicated by the materials found, or whether the inhabitants were all of the same genetic type," Delgado said.

    The pyramid found on a hill near the burials is made of stone slabs and stretches 39 feet (12 meters) tall and looks Mayan or Tajin in style, the researchers believe. While pre-Columbian stone monuments have been found in Los Tuxtlas and the Sierra de Santa Marta, archaeologists say this type of ancient stone architecture has rarely been found in the southern part of the state of Veracruz.

    The team says they also discovered bricks in Jaltipan resembling those found at Comacalco, a Mayan city 74 miles (120 kilometers) away in the Tabasco region.

    Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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