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Warm waters, everywhere

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WASHINGTON - US scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have discovered a significant warming of the world's oceans during the past 40 years. This provides new evidence that computer models may be on target when they predict global warming. The study of temperature data from the oceans, dating to the 1950s, shows average temperatures have increased more than expected - about half a degree Fahrenheit close to the surface, and one-tenth of a degree even at depths of up to 10,000 feet. "We've known the oceans could absorb heat, transport it to subsurface depths, and isolate it from the atmosphere. Now, we see evidence that this is happening," says Sydney Levitus, principal author of the study.

Olive power

MADRID - The world's biggest olive producing nation will soon use olives to make electricity. Spain's largest power company, Endesa, is building two plants (due in the second half of 2001) in the provinces of Jaen and Ciudad Real. They will generate electricity from olive residues. The waste left from olive crushing, known as orujillo, can be dangerous for the environment. Endesa's investment is worth more than 6.7 billion Spanish pesetas ($39.1 million) with a combined generating power of 32 megawatts, enough to supply the household needs of 100,000 people. Every kilowatt hour consumed by a family will burn 0.92 kilograms (2 lbs) of olive waste. Each plant is expected to consume about 105,000 tons of orujillo a year.

Manatee door opener

ARLINGTON, VA. - Thanks to the Office of Naval Research, endangered manatees are a little safer. The new protection system at Port Canaveral, Fla., operated by acoustic sensors, prevents lock gates in canals from closing if a manatee is detected. The Manatee Protection System contains 320 individual sensors installed in bundles of 10 sensors each. It operates like a garage-door opener that stops if it senses someone or something beneath the door.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society