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Posts

April 03, 2014

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10:21 PM | 80 years on a troubled planet of the apes, and still full of hope… Happy Birthday Jane Goodall! by Madhusudan Katti
That was Jane Goodall two evenings ago, introducing herself to an audience of c.2600 people in Bakersfield, California. Just one of the hundreds of stops she makes as she travels around the world, almost 300 days a year, speaking on behalf of her beloved Chimpanzees and the rest of Nature, and spreading her message of hope […]
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9:17 PM | Following the flow
While many of us have had to return to more mundane lives, Jennifer Pitt remains in the Colorado River delta, documenting the environmental “pulse flow” as it makes its way toward the ocean. The water’s been slowing as it crosses dry stretches where depth to groundwater is great and dry sand soaks up a big ...Continue reading ‘Following the flow’ » Related posts:Colorado “pulse flow”: fighting deeply held perceptions Minute 320? Plumbing the […]
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8:13 PM | Greenpeace Ranks Internet Companies by Clean Energy Use
In its new report called “Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet,” Greenpeace uses information provided by the internet companies to determine whether those companies are using dirty or clean energy. Read more »
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7:21 PM | Scientists Determine Most Favorable Wind Turbine Positioning
A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has developed a new way to study wake effects that takes into account the airflow both within and around a wind farm and challenges the conventional belief that turbines arrayed in checker board patterns produce the highest power output. Read more »

Stevens, R., Gayme, D. & Meneveau, C. (2014). Large eddy simulation studies of the effects of alignment and wind farm length, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 6 (2) 23105. DOI:

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7:06 PM | Study Reveals New Suspect in the “Great Dying” Mass Exinction Murder Mystery
The latest microbial hypothesis published in a recent paper addresses the ongoing drama of the "Great Dying", a monstrously deadly event that occurred about 250 million years ago and drove some 90 percent of the world's species to extinction.
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6:47 PM | What are those whales doing in Cape Cod Bay?
It's been a bumpy transition from winter, but solid signs of spring are finally here: geese have been spotted flying northward, crocuses are popping out of the ground, and right whales are feeding in Cape Cod Bay! Skim feeding in Cape Cod Bay! Photo: Amy Knowlton The Bay has recently been hosting our beloved creatures as it does every spring, and it will continue to do so for several more
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6:45 PM | Give the people what they want, sort of
Architect Mitchell Joachim, being interviewed by Diana Budds for Dwell: Green technology has to be more affordable. We have to find systems that will leapfrog previous ones and are actually cheaper at the point of purchase. Moreover, we have to accept that we can’t change the American value system. Everyone wants to own property and […]∞
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5:59 PM | San Francisco’s variable parking rates reduce circling for parking
Stephen J. Smith, writing for Next City: SFpark, the city’s variable-rate parking program, is perhaps the most complete implementation of Shoup’s ideas to date. Started three years ago, the program gradually adjusts rates on electronic parking meters in the most congested parts of the city. (All are near downtown.) Rates can differ by time of […]∞
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5:11 PM | Chicago-Style Petcoke Politics
By Susan Cosier On windy days in the Windy City (which happen a lot, as you might imagine), an oily dust wafts into the air and settles on rooftops, patio furniture, and playgrounds all across Chicago’s Southeast Side. When wiped away, the dust leaves a dark smear. This is not a natural phenomenon. The residue comes from petroleum coke, or petcoke, a byproduct of refined oil (particularly tar sands oil) that energy companies like KCBX, owned by the […]
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4:39 PM | New Anode and Cathode Materials to Improve Li-Ion Batteries
Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have improved the performance and capacity of lithium batteries by developing better-performing, cheaper anode and cathode materials for use in anodes and cathodes (negative and positive electrodes, respectively). Read more »

Ge, M., Lu, Y., Ercius, P., Rong, J., Fang, X., Mecklenburg, M. & Zhou, C. (2014). Large-Scale Fabrication, 3D Tomography, and Lithium-Ion Battery Application of Porous Silicon, Nano Letters, 14 (1) 261-268. DOI:

Rong, J., Ge, M., Fang, X. & Zhou, C. (2014). Solution Ionic Strength Engineering As a Generic Strategy to Coat Graphene Oxide (GO) on Various Functional Particles and Its Application in High-Performance Lithium–Sulfur (Li–S) Batteries, Nano Letters, 14 (2) 473-479. DOI:

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4:29 PM | The Redeemers
By Lynell George On the outskirts of Los Angeles’s Chinatown, in an industrial neighborhood of low-slung, graffiti-bombed buildings made of cinderblock and corrugated steel, three men are hard at work inside a warehouse. Though they’re surrounded by all manner of computer, communications, and video technology—keyboards and cell phones and screens are everywhere—not one of them is typing a word or crunching any numbers. If it’s […]
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3:38 PM | Apes’ insect buffet
Fruit and leaves are known to be the main component to the diet of great apes such as gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan and gibbon. However, these non-human primates have also been known to feast on insects, but this behavior has been difficult to understand and to track in the wild. To this date insect consumption by apes has been reported based on direct observations or trail signs in feces. Now, a group of researchers of Aix-Marseille Université in Marseilles and the […]
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3:16 PM | Iron, Carbon May Replace Platinum as PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts
A research team from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has discovered a new type of iron and carbon-based catalyst, which is stable and active in both acidic and alkaline media, and may even eliminate the need for platinum in catalysts and thus revolutionize the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell industry. Read more »

Hu, Y., Jensen, J., Zhang, W., Cleemann, L., Xing, W., Bjerrum, N. & Li, Q. (2014). Inside Back Cover: Hollow Spheres of Iron Carbide Nanoparticles Encased in Graphitic Layers as Oxygen Reduction Catalysts (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 14/2014), Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53 (14) 3749-3749. DOI:

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2:41 PM | A Sinking City, a Seaside Peepshow, Hello Eagle Cam! (Goodbye Productivity)
By Jason Bittel Pipeline prosecution: A natural gas pipeline burst in a San Francisco neighborhood about four years ago, killing eight people and injuring dozens more. This week, a court ruled that the pipeline’s owner, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., was responsible for the blast and charged the company with 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws. While the fines only come to around $6 million, the charges are viewed by most as an […]
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2:00 PM | Unusual Night Lizard Returns after Eradication of Invasive Species
A rare reptile found only on a few islands off the California coast has become the latest species to recover and leave the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:15 PM | Human Health Risk Assessment—What it’s all about
By Kacee Deener  Scientists need to be able to describe—in a way everyone can understand—what we do and why it’s important.  That’s one reason I’ve decided that I need to strengthen my “elevator speech” about what I do (human health risk assessment).  I will be writing blog posts over the next several weeks trying to […]
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12:30 PM | Jane Goodall: Still Redefining Science at 80
Today is Jane Goodall’s 80th Birthday! I wanted to write a special post for that .. for her, but I really couldn’t imagine what I’d say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before.  I did pay tribute to her in 2011, and I encourage you to go read that post on this occasion. But […]
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11:59 AM | A Climate Mob
In the mid-2000s, I was researching an archaeology story that took me to several national parks in the Southwest. At one of them, the National Park Service (NPS) archaeologist discussed competing theories about the disappearance of a mysterious ancient culture. For decades, there had been heated debate among scholars over what became of this culture. In an […]The post A Climate Mob appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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1:26 AM | Minute 320?
In High Country News, Matt Jenkins on  the Colorado River delta environmental “pulse flow”, which grew out of “Minute 319″, an addendum to the U.S.-Mexico water treaty: Over the past two decades, the Delta’s advocates have argued their case with perseverance, and a lot of good numbers. By monitoring the effect of the pulse flow, ...Continue reading ‘Minute 320?’ » Related posts:“water hoarding” on the U.S. side of the […]
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12:46 AM | Yosemite Opens Areas Closed After Last Summer’s Huge Rim Fire
The fire burned more than a quarter of a million acres in Yosemite and the Stanislaus National Forest. See before-and-after photos from a plot in the national forest.

April 02, 2014

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11:09 PM | Are you a welfare queen or an entitlement corp? A #GlobalPOV video by Madhusudan Katti
I just discovered The #GlobapPOV Project from Berkeley’s Blum Center through this video which raises (and answers) the above question (via Ikoe Hiroe on Facebook). It presents a brilliantly visualized analysis, by Ananya Roy, of global poverty, welfare, and entitlement schemes, starting with the US and broadening the POV to countries in the Global South […]
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10:36 PM | Boring Soil Science strikes back
Many scientists are currently debating whether soil science is an academic field in which scientists are engaged in talking to each other, ignoring the rest of society. Of course, traditionally, the dissemination of soil science has been a difficult field. Among other problems, some scientists have reviewed the use of complicated jargon. Soil Science academics […]
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7:30 PM | Using More Wood for Construction Can Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption
A Yale University-led study has found that using more wood and less steel and concrete in building and bridge construction would substantially reduce fossil fuel consumption and global carbon dioxide emissions. Read more »

Oliver, C., Nassar, N., Lippke, B. & McCarter, J. (2014). Carbon, Fossil Fuel, and Biodiversity Mitigation With Wood and Forests, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 33 (3) 248-275. DOI:

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7:00 PM | The Nature of a City Economy: Towards an Ecology of Entrepreneurship
City economies as patterns of connection In a healthy functioning city, various forms of urban capital, including natural, social, cultural — and economic — are enabled to flow smoothly and flexibly, along paths that are productive and enriching to the … Continue reading →
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6:52 PM | Another Warning for the Northwest From Chile’s Earthquake Hot Zone
A powerful earthquake off the coast of Chile provides a fresh warning to the Pacific Northwest.
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6:04 PM | Protecting Our Research Volunteers
Reposted from EPA Connect, the Official Blog of EPA Leadership By Bob Kavlock Protecting human health is both a core mission, and a natural extension of everything we do here at EPA. Our commitments to protecting the nation’s air, water, and natural ecosystems, taking action on climate change, and working with local communities to help them […]
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5:46 PM | March, 2014: This Month in Energy
Energy experts react to the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea; the EU seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas imports; two studies show that wind energy can become, or already is, a viable alternative to fossil fuels; new technologies switch the focus away from conventional onshore natural gas production. We have collected all these stories and more of the most important energy news of the past month conveniently in one place for you to read. Read more »
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4:06 PM | Stand-Alone Container Harvests and Stores Solar Power
Panasonic announced it has developed the “Power Supply Container,” a stand-alone photovoltaic power package, for areas without electricity. The Power Supply Container contains solar modules, lead-acid batteries, as well as a control unit that acts as the energy management system. Read more »
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3:13 PM | Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack
When surveyors for California’s Department of Water Resources skied back down from sites high in California’s Sierra Nevada range yesterday, they brought sobering news: Although late-season storms have boosted the snowpack, it is still shockingly below average as the melt season looms. According to a DWR report issued yesterday, the water content of the snowpack is […]The post Despite Storms, Scant Relief for California Snowpack appeared first on ImaGeo.
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2:39 PM | Exxon ... You're a Bunch of Jerks, Whale-Soup Scrub?, All-You-Can-Eat Jellyfish Buffet
By Jason Bittel The air up there: The air quality is now so bad in China—how bad is it?—they’re trucking in bags of “mountain air” so urban residents can sample a taste of clean oxygen. Happily, the bags were just part of a PR stunt designed to drum up interest in Laojun Mountain, a recreational area outside of Zhengzhou. While the air-bags are a bit of a joke, the city’s AQI (air quality index) is not. It measured 158 on […]
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