Posts

August 21, 2014

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7:04 PM | Laser Helps Channel Electricity Through Air
Researchers at the University of Arizona have created a column of plasma in the air between two electrodes using a femtosecond laser.
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5:51 PM | JRC Releases Overview of Nuclear Safety and Security Research
The European Commission’s own research body, the Joint Research Center (JRC), has released a new report presenting an overview of its research on nuclear safety and security.
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4:15 PM | U.S. DOE Invests $67 Million in Nuclear Energy Research
The Energy Department announced nearly $67 million in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards.
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2:30 PM | Bionic Liquids to Improve Biofuel Production
So-called bionic liquids derived from lignin and hemicellulose show remarkable performance in the biomass pretreatment process.

August 20, 2014

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11:02 PM | Anthropogenic climate change and glacial loss explained in a single number: 25!
A new analysis combining climate modeling with glacier dynamics has given us the first estimation of the percent of glacier loss directly due to anthropogenic climate change.  This is strong evidence and important data to understand to educate the general … Continue reading →

Marzeion, B., Cogley, J., Richter, K. & Parkes, D. (2014). Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1254702

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6:52 PM | Molecular Shuttle Improves Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production
Scientists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) have found a way to enhance photocatalytic hydrogen production by using a novel molecular shuttle.
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5:35 PM | Research Identifies Method to Optimize Fracking
A study by the University of Leicester has identified a new method to optimize fracking, improving gas yields and reducing environmental impacts.
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3:23 PM | U.S. Coal Exports to South Korea Could Cut Emissions
Counterintuitively, exporting U.S. coal to power plants in South Korea could lead to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, according to scientists at Duke University.
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2:29 PM | Flood in the Desert
By Jason Bittel Heavy rains hit Phoenix yesterday morning, prompting massive flooding across the region that knocked out power grids and caused widespread damage. Authorities had to perform numerous rescues like the one in the video above. Many rescues required helicopters. Although no single instance of flooding can be tied to climate change, the most recent deluge fits a growing pattern: Arizona has had seven major water-related disasters since 2000. […]
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1:30 PM | Mixed Industrial Slags Generate Energy, Fuels
NETL researchers have found a way to use mixed industrial slags to generate energy and fuels, reduce carbon emissions.

August 19, 2014

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7:45 PM | ABB to Connect Europe’s Largest Tidal Project to UK Grid
MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth, the largest tidal energy project in Europe, will use ABB technology to feed energy into the onshore distribution grid.
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6:51 PM | We're in the Red
By Melissa Mahony Happy Earth Overshoot Day! Um, what? According to the Global Footprint Network, it’s the day of the year that humanity’s use of the earth's natural resources exceeds our planet’s ability to replenish those assets (a.k.a., forests, clean water, fertile soil, carbon absorption, etc.). Every year, the international think tank takes datasets from the United Nations to calculate the day that humanity’s ledger goes into […]
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6:40 PM | 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report Released
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. continues to be a leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world.
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5:31 PM | Solar Panel Array Designed Using Origami Principles
Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory think that origami principles could help utilize space solar power for Earth-based purposes.
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2:52 PM | Infrastructure Upgrades Mean Texas No Longer Wasting Wind Power
According to a report by the Energy Information Administration, curtailments of wind generated electricity in Texas have dropped steadily and substantially since 2011 thanks mostly to the state’s completion of 3,500 miles of transmission lines as part of the Competitive … Continue reading →
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2:18 PM | California Is Hot, Hot, HOT
By Jason Bittel You don’t need a beautiful mind to spot the pattern in this National Climatic Data Center graph. See where the red squiggly fires up at the far right, kinda like a Jupiter missile? That’s where California’s 2014 average temperature climbs 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than ever before in the state’s recorded history. But the less dramatic orange line is actually scarier. It represents a temperature […]
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2:12 PM | Shale Oil Profits Can Pay for Emission Reduction
Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and natural gas boom could help offset the costs of reducing the U.S.’s carbon footprint, say agricultural economists at Purdue University.

August 18, 2014

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7:30 PM | German Wind Farms Kill Foreign Bats
In a recent study scientists have identified the geographical origin of the most common bat species found dead below German wind turbines.
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5:45 PM | EU Transport Policy Is Insufficient to Achieve Emission Reductions
A new study has found that a focus on new technology is not enough to meet CO2 reduction targets in the transport industry.
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2:22 PM | Slow Internet? Blame a Shark
By Jason Bittel We don’t know why sharks bite undersea cables, but we know that they do (so much so that Google is putting protective armor over its submerged cables). Perhaps the electromagnetic fields of all those wires are confusing the sharks, or maybe these toothy predators are just curious. Whatever the case may be, this footage serves as a reminder that we affect ecosystems in all kinds of unpredictable ways. While the cable doesn't appear […]
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2:21 PM | Water Lens Uses Sunlight to Purify Drinking Water
A 6-foot-tall, self-sustaining magnifying glass uses sunlight to heat and disinfect polluted water.

August 15, 2014

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8:06 PM | 8/15/2014 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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6:00 PM | Halide Salts Make Lithium Batteries More Durable
Chemical engineers at Cornell University used halide salts to create safer, longer-lasting lithium batteries.
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4:34 PM | Reduction of Aerosol Emissions to Affect Photovoltaic Energy
According to the Joint Research Center (JRC), the EU in-house scientific service, a global reduction on aerosol emissions is going to affect photovoltaic energy production.
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3:01 PM | A Conversation With ‘Her Deepness’
By Brian Palmer She knows the ocean better than any other person alive. Reverently nicknamed “Her Deepness,” Sylvia Earle has spent 7,000 hours underwater over seven decades. And on those dives she has witnessed first hand the havoc we wreak upon the sea—from coral bleaching and shark finning to the disappearance of once-abundant species such as tuna and menhaden. She has received virtually every honor in exploration and conservation […]
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2:43 PM | DTE Energy, Ford to Construct Largest Solar Array in MI
Ford Motor Company is partnering with DTE Energy to construct the Michigan’s largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters.
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1:57 PM | A Shark Fin Whodunit
By Jason Bittel Every year, humans catch around 100 million sharks, hack off their lucrative fins, and toss the rest overboard. To make matters worse, many of the species caught are endangered and protected, and it’s really difficult to know what kind of shark made it into that shark fin soup. Thankfully, scientists have come up with a new way to ID shark DNA within the soup—a step toward holding fisherman accountable for their often illegal […]
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12:25 AM | Few but strong: dense tornado clusters on the rise in the United States
Driving along a US highway, this is not something you want to see out your side window.  The United States has the highest rate of tornadoes per year compared to any other country, so unfortunately this is something many US … Continue reading →

JB Elsner, SC Elsner, TH Jagger (2014). The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States, Climate Dynamics,

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August 14, 2014

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7:18 PM | Garnet Electrolyte Based Safe Wins NASA Funding
The University of Maryland Energy Research Center faculty, Eric Wachsman, Liangbing Hu, and Chunsheng Wang have been awarded funding from NASA for their Garnet Electrolyte Based Safe, lithium-sulfur energy storage technology.
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4:56 PM | Nanotubular Material Could Be Used for Energy Storage
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have created a new material that is 10 times stronger and stiffer than traditional aerogels of the same density.
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