Posts

July 23, 2014

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7:14 PM | Prototype Meter Tests Accuracy of Hydrogen Fuel Dispensers
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a prototype field test standard to test the accuracy of hydrogen fuel dispensers.
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5:56 PM | Bombs for Butterflies
By Jason Bittel I’m here to tell you about a weapon that could change the world. It’s small, inexpensive, and easy to conceal. Discharging it in public wouldn’t harm any living creature; it wouldn’t even land you in jail. What it would do, believe it or not, is save millions of lives. Butterfly lives. Brothers and sisters, I speak of the milkweed seed bomb: a golf-ball-size grenade of dirt, clay and seeds that might just help […]
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5:41 PM | Wind Turbines Provide Feeding Opportunities for Wildlife
Scientists at the University of St Andrews have discovered that offshore pipelines and wind turbines can provide new feeding opportunities for the wildlife population in the area.
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4:13 PM | Whither technical books?
Leafing through our pile of new books on seismic analysis got me thinking about technical books and the future of technical publishing. In particular: Why are these books so expensive?  When will we start to see reproducibility? Does all this stuff just belong on the web? Why so expensive? Should technical books really cost several times what ordinary books cost? Professors often ask us for discounts for modelr, our $9/mo seismic modeling tool. Students pay 10% of what pros pay in our […]
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2:55 PM | Team to Create Single-Cell Fuel Cell Device for Home Use
Researchers at Colorado School of Mines are going to develop a single-cell fuel cell device that can produce electricity from natural gases.
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2:38 PM | Beetles Eat Beatle Tree, Nestle Chugs Away California’s H20, EPA Goes Kim K. Krazy
By Jason Bittel Liquid loophole: California is in its third year of drought, and by state law districts must report their water consumption and well levels. But Nestle’s Arrowhead bottled water division has found a way around all that silly reporting: it buys its water from the Morongo Tribe, which is technically a sovereign nation and thus, not beholden to California’s laws. So how much water are we talking about? In 2009, the Nestle plant […]
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1:36 PM | Material Efficiently Traps Gases From Nuclear Fuel
A new porous material called CC3 effectively traps radioactive krypton and xenon gases that are released when nuclear fuel is recycled.

July 22, 2014

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7:40 PM | Treacherous Times
By Suzanne Goldenberg This post originally appeared at The Guardian. OnEarth is part of the Guardian Environment Network.Forget the future. The world is already nearly five times as dangerous and disaster prone as it was in the 1970s, because of the increasing risks brought by climate change, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts, […]
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6:44 PM | Exfoliating Method Makes Water-Splitting Catalysts More Efficient
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new method for improving the catalysis of water-splitting reactions.
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4:55 PM | OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014 Released
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has released the 49th online edition of its Annual Statistical Bulletin.
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3:44 PM | New Material Stores Industrial, Coal Plant Waste
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created a new material that combines sodium bentonite clay and polymers to create a substance that can withstand industrial, coal plant waste.
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3:29 PM | Tackling the dilemma of local actions and planetary boundaries
Wiley’s open-access journal devoted to documenting global change and sustainability, published online a commentary by scientists from IIASA and Brazil tackling the tough question of how to ensure that actions taken locally do not—collectively—contribute to overreaching planetary boundaries. Continue reading →
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2:24 PM | EIA Expects Light-Duty Vehicles’ Share in Energy Use to Decrease
Transportation energy consumption, including energy demand from light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, aircraft, marine vessels, rail, and other sources, reached 13.8 million barrels per day oil equivalent (boe/d) in 2012 (28% of all energy consumption in the United States), down from a peak of 14.6 million boe/d in 2007.
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2:23 PM | NHL Crosschecks Climate Change, Shazam for Bird Song, Hey New Orleans, Show Us Your Butts!
By Jason Bittel Sanctuary!: The Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to phase out neonicotinoid pesticides in federal wildlife refuges in the Northwest, Hawaii, and U.S. territories in the Pacific. (Earlier this month NRDC—which publishes OnEarth—filed a legal petition asking the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the use of these pesticides.) Neonics wreak havoc on bee populations, and recent research also links them to declines in bird […]
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1:13 PM | World’s Largest Carbon Capture Facility To Be Built Near Houston
The world’s largest carbon capture facility is coming to Texas.  The US Department of Energy has announced that work will soon begin a project to capture up to 90% of the carbon emissions from the W.A, Parish Generating Station; a … Continue reading →

July 21, 2014

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8:38 PM | Hard Facts About Fracking
By Scott Dodd Growing up in northern West Virginia in the 1970s, I remember seeing a lot of big white plastic candy canes sticking out of the ground, marking the natural gas pipelines that ran just below the surface. You’d encounter them along streams and fence lines and the backcountry roads that always made me carsick. What I didn’t realize as a kid was how much of my family history was intertwined with those hidden gas lines. My […]
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7:27 PM | Giant Lithium Titanate Battery to Be Connected to Grid in UK
The UK’s first 2 MW lithium titanate battery will be connected to the electrical grid later this year, as part of new research as a part of a research effort to tackle energy storage challenges.
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5:15 PM | Report Shows European Countries as World’s Most Innovative
The Global Innovation Index 2014, co-authored by Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management Dean Soumitra Dutta, was released in Sydney, Australia, July 18 at the B20 international business summit.
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3:52 PM | Catalyst Helps Get More Energy From Biofuel
A new, simple catalyst, developed at the University of Twente, improves the quality of oil produced from biomass before it is even sent to the refinery.
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2:45 PM | Drilling the Atlantic, Germany Wins (Again), Synchronized Swimming with Robots and Hippos
By Jason Bittel Cold calculation: The Obama administration announced Friday that it will open the Eastern Seaboard for offshore drilling, and allow oil and gas companies to use sonic surveying cannons, a technology known to disrupt the communication systems of marine mammals, causing them to beach themselves. But hey, apparently that’s OK with the feds. “The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will […]
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2:43 PM | New Insight Into Hot Carriers May Help Make Better Solar Cells
Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method to study the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. This method could hold the key to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells.

July 18, 2014

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8:55 PM | Pebble Mine: Buried for Good?
By Susan Cosier Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced severe restrictions on mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, which supports nearly half of all the world’s sockeye salmon. The rules, if finalized, would be really bad news for efforts to build one of the world’s largest open-pit gold and copper mines in the Bristol Bay headwaters—and really good news for the wildlife, native communities, and fishermen that […]
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7:05 PM | 7/18/2014 This Week in Energy: Beyond Headlines
Here’s a bit of energy news that didn’t make it into our daily coverage during the past week. In this review, we collected some of less big, but nonetheless interesting news, of the week that went by, from the world of energy science and technology.
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5:27 PM | Catalyst Promises Commercially Viable Hydrogen Production
Rutgers researchers have developed a new catalyst for commercially viable hydrogen production. It is based on carbon nanotubes and performs almost as well as cost-prohibitive platinum-based catalysts.
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4:39 PM | Weekend Reads: Much Ado About Ducks, Enviro Spy Games, Saving the World—from Space
By Jason Bittel Duck Dynasty What if I told you about a government program that raked in $25 million last year despite having just three employees? And this very same program has conserved more than 6 million acres of wetlands since 1949, and wait for it … it's based exclusively around artistic renderings of ducks. Don’t call me crazy—it’s Bryan Kevin’s story—and it’s probably one of the weirdest, and coolest, […]
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3:26 PM | GlobalData: Solar PV Leads in Distributed Generation
A new study by GlobalData found that solar Photovoltaics (PVs) are already leading the world in the distributed power market consisting of 48 percent of the total distributed power capacity installed last year. In addition, the amount of annually installed distributed generation is slate to increase from 190 gigawatts in 2013 to roughly 389 gigawatts in 2019.
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2:22 PM | Study: Fire Is Second Leading Cause of Wind Farm Failure
Scientists at the Imperial College London suggest that incidents of wind turbines catching fire are a big problem that is not currently being fully reported.
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2:11 PM | Crushing Blow to Pebble Mine, Germans Are Good Sports, Shark in Lake Ontario? Puh-lease.
By Jason Bittel Go EPA, go EPA, go!: The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose serious restrictions today on filling and dredging activities in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Although the agency isn't implementing an all-out ban on the area’s proposed Pebble Mine project, it will set high standards for any mining activity moving forward. Good thing, too—the watershed supports nearly half of the world’s sockeye salmon. (See […]
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12:58 PM | Six books about seismic analysis
Last year, I did a round-up of six books about seismic interpretation. A raft of new geophysics books recently, mostly from Cambridge, prompts this look at six volumes on seismic analysis — the more quantitative side of interpretation. We seem to be a bit hopeless at full-blown book reviews, and I certainly haven't read all of these books from cover to cover, but I thought I could at least mention them, and give you my first impressions. If you have read any of these books, I'd love to […]

July 17, 2014

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6:58 PM | 3-D Nanostructure Could Efficiently Store Gas
Scientists at at Rice University predict functional advantages of a three-dimensional porous nanostructure that could benefit gas storage, nanoelectronics, and composite materials that perform multiple functions.
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