Environment

//Environment

Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction

In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the

2017-09-21T04:21:45+00:00 Tags: |

Air Conditioning System Beams Excess Heat Into Space–And Uses 70 Percent Less Energy

Air conditioning use takes a toll on the electrical grid--and on wallets. Now, a California startup has a space-age idea for changing that. SkyCool Systems, a company spun out of Stanford, has created a system that could change the way people cool their homes. It doesn't just involve keeping your home or office pleasant. The system will

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion

Scientists have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies tackling the challenge of a creating a clean chemical manufacturing system that can put carbon dioxide to good use. More at DOE/Lawrence Berkeley

2017-09-19T10:23:19+00:00 Tags: |

Long-range communication barrier for near-zero-power devices shattered

University of Washington researchers have demonstrated for the first time that devices that run on almost zero power can transmit data across distances of up to 2.8 kilometers -- breaking a long-held barrier and potentially enabling a vast array of interconnected devices. For example, flexible electronics -- from knee patches that capture range of motion

2017-09-18T07:06:24+00:00 Tags: |

New Orleans greenery post-Katrina reflects social demographics

New Orleans greenery post-Katrina reflects social demographics more than hurricane impact. Popular portrayals of "nature reclaiming civilization" in flood-damaged New Orleans, Louisianna, neighborhoods romanticize an urban ecology shaped by policy-driven socioecological disparities in redevelopment investment, ecologists argue in a new paper in the Ecological Society of America's open access journal Ecosphere. "Observers can be taken

2017-09-16T05:45:45+00:00 Tags: |

High-Tech Electronics Made from Autumn Leaves

WASHINGTON, D.C., August, 29, 2017 -- Northern China’s roadsides are peppered with deciduous phoenix trees, producing an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder season, exacerbating the country’s air pollution problem. Investigators in Shandong, China, recently discovered a new method to convert this organic waste matter into a

2017-09-13T08:10:03+00:00 Tags: |

Extreme weather has limited effect on attitudes toward climate policies

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- People who recently experienced severe weather events such as floods, storms and drought are more likely to support policies to adapt to the effects of climate change, according to a new study co-authored by an Indiana University researcher. But the relationship between exposure to extreme weather and support for climate policies is

2017-09-13T07:52:06+00:00 Tags: |

‘Keep it local’ approach more effective than government schemes at protecting rainforest

Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research. In some cases in the Amazon rainforest, grassroots initiatives can be even more effective at protecting this vital ecosystem. This is particularly important due to widespread political resistance to hand over control over

2017-09-13T07:47:04+00:00 Tags: |

Scientists make methanol using air around us

Scientists have created methanol from methane using oxygen from the air. Methanol is currently produced by breaking down natural gas at high temperatures. But researchers have discovered they can produce methanol from methane through simple catalysis that allows methanol production at low temperatures using oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The findings have major implications for cleaner,

2017-09-11T17:19:26+00:00 Tags: |

How Openings in Antarctic Sea Ice Affect Worldwide Climate

In 1974, images acquired from NOAA satellites revealed a puzzling phenomenon: a 250,000 square kilometer opening in the winter sea ice in the Weddell Sea, south of South America. The opening, known as a polynya, persisted over three winters. Such expansive ice-free areas in the ocean surrounding Antarctica have not been seen since, though a

2017-09-11T17:11:13+00:00 Tags: |

Cooling system works without electricity

It looks like a regular roof, but the top of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford University has been the setting of many milestones in the development of an innovative cooling technology that could someday be part of our everyday lives. Since 2013, Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering, and his students and research

2017-09-09T06:26:14+00:00 Tags: |

Tarlac university develops solar-powered generator

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) successfully tested and launched recently in Tarlac City a multi-voltage system solar power generator developed by the Tarlac State University (TSU) which can generate enough power to run airconditioners,  lights, refrigerators, television sets and electric fans simultaneously and at a lower cost. In a bulletin post, the DOST

2017-09-04T09:51:58+00:00 Tags: |

Poor contract enforcement in India is turning away renewable power investors

Falling renewable energy tariffs in India have prompted some state governments to tell generators that they can’t buy the energy at prices agreed upon, exposing the businesses to risks due to poor enforcement of contracts in Asia’s third-largest economy. Investors panicked earlier this year when the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which account

2017-09-04T09:29:30+00:00 Tags: |

Put solar power in the poor’s hands. It’ll pay off for all

Arizona is the sunniest state in the nation. Yet only about 5 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from solar energy. And Arizona added fossil-fuel pollutants faster than any other state between 1990 and 2007, worsening air quality, contributing to climate change and increasing the frequency and severity of forest fires, drought, heat waves

2017-09-07T02:24:20+00:00 Tags: , |

Forget heatwaves, our cold houses are much more likely to kill us

A pervasive myth in Australia is that hot weather is the greatest danger to our health. In reality, it’s more likely cold weather will kill you. For all our concern about the dangers of heatwaves, simple analysis of mortality data suggests the cold months present a much greater health risk. Almost 7% of deaths in

2017-09-06T03:40:23+00:00 Tags: , |

Solar garden is first in nation linked to an energy assistance program

Five groupings of solar panels are now catching sunlight around the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, producing electricity that will ultimately help tribal families in need. The shared community solar garden is the first of its kind dedicated to help low-income people in Minnesota, and the first in the nation formally integrated with an energy assistance

2017-09-03T20:20:39+00:00 Tags: |

What changes when you warm the Antarctic Ocean just 1 degree? Lots

After warming a natural seabed in the Antarctic Ocean by just 1° or 2° Celsius, researchers observed massive impacts on a marine assemblage, as growth rates nearly doubled. The findings of what the researchers call the "most realistic ocean warming experiment to date" reported in Current Biology on August 31 show that the effects of

2017-09-03T20:13:08+00:00 Tags: |

This Sustainable Clean Energy Solution Costs Less Than an iPhone

Avant Garde Innovations, an Indian cleantech startup, has developed an affordable and small wind turbine that generates energy for less than three-quarters of the cost of its traditional counterparts, promising to make clean energy affordable to enterprises and households alike. “It will bring down the cost of setting up small wind turbine equipment from a

2017-08-29T07:30:07+00:00 Tags: |

139 Countries Could Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Under New Plan

A research group based at Stanford University has drawn a plan for nations to reduce global warming by relying on solar and wind power. Nations that create the vast bulk of the Earth’s greenhouse gases can eliminate carbon emissions — thereby slowing climate change and other damaging consequences — if they move aggressively toward energy