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Posts

April 04, 2014

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6:48 PM | Cover cropping
Cover crops are typically defined as crops used to protect agricultural soils and to improve soil productivity. Historically, farmers have relied on green manure crops to add nutrients and organic matter to their soil. Typically, green manure crops are grown for a specific period of time, and then plowed under and incorporated into the soil while green or shortly after flowering. Cover crops have also been used to protect the soil from wind and water erosion, to interrupt disease cycles […]
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6:12 PM | New Thin Film Solar Cell Efficiency Record Announced
Japanese company Solar Frontier announced a new world record conversion efficiency for thin-film-photovoltaic technologies at the 5th International Workshop on CIGS Solar Cell Technology organized by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). Read more »
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5:14 PM | Weekend Reads: West Virginia Is FUBAR, Bill Nye Rises Again, Prairies ... More than Just Grass
By Jason Bittel Chemical ValleyEver since Freedom Industries allowed a cocktail of coal-washing chemicals to contaminate West Virginia’s water supply in January, we’ve learned one horrifying detail after another about the state’s relationship with big business. Now Evan Osnos has assembled them all on a timeline, and tthe story that emerges is like something out of House of Cards. Dig in for a wild, sad ride full of backroom deals, […]
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4:12 PM | ‘A season of flags’ on Nain Island: Bajo culture meets politics
Elena E. Burgos-Martínez is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Durham University writing from her field site on the Celebes Sea in the province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Here she is living amongst the indigenous Bajo people who live a nomadic lifestyle on the sea, making them highly attune to environmental change. The definition […]
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3:44 PM | Clean Edge: Solar Deployment Exceeds Wind in 2013
More new solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity was added throughout the globe than wind energy in 2013, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2014 report issued by clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Inc. Read more »
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3:15 PM | Photo Friday: Rural Electrification (California)
The Point Conception lighthouse is located at the west enterance of the Santa Barbara Channel in Southern California. This photograph is a part of the online photography exhibit “Form and Landscape,”... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:07 PM | Beefalo Trample the Grandest Canyon, Polluters Pay Up Big Time, Freaky Frog Friday!
By Jason Bittel Book, thrown: The Justice Department is forcing Anadarko Petroleum, a company with its fingers in everything from wood treatment to rocket fuel processing, to shell out $5.15 billion to clean up the mess it’s made across the United States over the last 85 years. The environmental cash settlement is the largest in history, and it is well deserved by these ne're-do-wells. Anadarko’s rap sheet includes radioactive waste piles in […]
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2:00 PM | NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Shows Us Something New: A Disintegrating Asteroid
Upholding a long-standing tradition of showing us things in space that we have never seen before, the Hubble Space Telescope recently witnessed the break-up of an asteroid.
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1:55 PM | Analysis: U.S. Energy Use Increased in 2013
Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Read more »
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12:00 PM | Chinese orchids are in trouble, here’s how to save them
Orchid species suffer thanks to their use in Traditional Medicine. Most conservation efforts don't work but some scientists have an unconventional proposal.
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10:59 AM | Soils at Imaggeo: flying over the Saharan Cauldron
Carolina Cavazos-Guerra, Germany The Saharan desert has one of the most extreme climates on Earth. The dust loading and thermodynamics over this region are unique, and have major impacts on the climate of North Africa, Europe and the Atlantic. Fennec is a large-scale programme designed to tackle one of the world’s key climate regions by delivering […]
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8:03 AM | Photo Friday: Opening fusion’s 48-ton door (1979)
This 1979 photo is of a woman at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) opening a 97,000 pound (48.5 ton) door. Eight feet thick and nearly twelve feet... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:03 AM | abandoned citrus
Related posts:Four guys walking down the Colorado River Presa Morelos: when in doubt, make a bird list the fruit frost report
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4:13 AM | Riding the social media wave
Sometime in the last few days I passed 2000 followers on Twitter. I was keeping track because Paige Brown (@FromTheLabBench) wrote a great blog post when she hit 2000 followers, complete with a list of excellent Twitter etiquette tips. I’d recommend them to everyone – whether you’re just starting out or have been here for…
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2:56 AM | Here’s a solution to drought – green paint!
In the 1980s, a film crew came to Iowa to film “Field of Dreams”, carving a baseball diamond out of a corn field: The look of the new ball field itself didn’t inspire confidence: because of a nasty regional drought, the landscape, typically lush, had turned brown and fallow. To make the farmland presentable, the ...Continue reading ‘Here’s a solution to drought – green paint!’ » Related posts:names Texas drought: it’s all about the soil […]
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1:21 AM | NASA’s LADEE Spacecraft Set to Crash Land on the Moon
Having solved a 42-year-old mystery about lunar "streamers," the $280 million LADEE spacecraft is set to vaporize when it collides with the moon around April 21st.
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12:10 AM | Updated Pulse Flow Map
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation sent around this updated map this afternoon on the progress of the Colorado River delta pulse flow (apologies for large file size, trying to offer up the highest resolution I can): Related posts:Following the flow Plumbing the pulse flow Colorado “pulse flow”: fighting deeply held perceptions

April 03, 2014

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10:59 PM | The Great Barrier Reef: an obituary
This interactive from the Guardian takes a bit to get into (click “scroll down” a few times), but it’s worth it. I spent six days on the reef in 2002 after setting out from Gladstone, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I told myself I’d get back one day, now I’m not sure I’ll […]∞
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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:

Citation
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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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