Posts

October 01, 2014

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8:41 AM | DNews: New Approach to Nuclear Power on the Way
Nuclear power delivers about 19 percent of energy in the United States, and while it has many pluses, its waste and potential meltdown issues still make some people nervous. Julian explains how molten salt reactors might be the best nuclear option.
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Richard Platt and Mary Platt
Special thanks to Richard and Mary Platt for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – Don’t flush: lifting the lid on the science of poo and wee Richard Platt is the author of more than […]

September 30, 2014

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11:00 AM | Bats May Mistake Wind Turbines for Trees
The bats get close when the turbines aren't spinning, then they're in the line of fire when the turbines spin up.
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12:52 AM | There’s nothing quite like renewables: Modeling indicates natural gas production will not reduce future greenhouse gas emissions as hoped
Appropriate and useful climate policy-making requires accurate and reliable data about the future.  Nowhere is this more important than when setting carbon emission standards and projecting percentages of each energy source to match energy needs (coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewables, etc.). … Continue reading →

Steven J Davis and Robert H Socolow (2014). Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions, Environmental Research Letters, 9 (084018)

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September 29, 2014

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7:04 PM | Wind Turbines Kill Bats by Impersonating Trees
Survival tip: don’t hang around machines that have giant spinning blades. It’s a lesson bats have been slow to learn, judging by the large numbers of their corpses found beneath wind turbines. New video footage suggests some bats are attracted to wind farms because they can’t tell turbines apart from trees. If it’s true, this […]The post Wind Turbines Kill Bats by Impersonating Trees appeared first on Inkfish.

Paul. M. Cryan, P. Marcos Gorresen, Cris D. Hein, Michael R. Schirmacher, Robert H. Diehl, Manuela M. Huso, David T. S. Hayman, Paul D. Fricker, Frank J. Bonaccorso, Douglas H. Johnson & Kevin Heist (2014). Behavior of bats at wind turbines, PNAS, Other:

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3:00 PM | 3.5 M new cellulosic RINs in August?!? Or did EPA just sink the 2nd-gen biofuel market?
What drove the registration of 3.5 million new cellulosic RINs in August, after less than 5,000 the month before??  Looks like EPA recently changed the rules in a huge way: http://bakken.com/news/id/218997/new-biogas-rules-renewable-fuel-standards/ Now, bio-methane produced from all sorts of sources (wastewater … Continue reading →

September 27, 2014

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12:25 AM | Flooding the Landscape: The Site C Dam on B.C.’s Peace River
This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz. As the small Piper Super Cub climbs, this beautiful valley spreads out below…

September 26, 2014

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12:45 PM | The Politics of Fracking: Polarization in New York State
While public opinion is fairly skewed against the fracking process, policy actors in New York State can best be described as polarized. Predictably, the pro-fracking group generally disagrees with environmental groups while the anti-fracking group generally disagrees with the oil industry. Policy actors in New York had stark differences in answers on a wide variety of questions.
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12:05 AM | Are Consumers or Corporations Responsible for Reducing Carbon Emissions?
From KQED Education Do Now: Climate change has been on the minds of a lot of people with the release of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and the third National Climate Assessment. Who is responsible for curtailing carbon emissions?

September 25, 2014

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9:08 PM | Eyeless Mexican cavefish lost metabolic circadian rhythm
The metabolism of most animals follows a circadian rhythm that differs between the day and night. Mexican cavefish living in constant darkness, lost this circadian rhythm some time ago. In a newly published study in PLOS ONE, researchers compared the metabolic rate of both cave- and surface-dwelling Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus). They hypothesized that…
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7:14 PM | Two New Studies Underline How Methane Matters to Global Carbon Cycle
Natural gas is often called a "bridge fuel" that will help ease us off of carbon-based energy. But a study suggests that without policies to push us toward renewables and away from fossil fuels, natural gas will still leave the sky as a waste dump.

September 24, 2014

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8:56 PM | Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agreement
From the Andes to the Amazon, Peru houses some of the world's most spectacular forests. Proud and culturally-diverse indigenous tribes inhabit the interiors of the Peruvian Amazon, including some that have chosen little contact with the outside world. And even as scientists have identified tens-of-thousands of species that make their homes from the leaf litter to the canopy.
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12:53 AM | U.N. Climate Summit Harvests a Host of Commitments
The U.N. Secretary General builds public and private commitments that could slow global warming and blunt its impacts.

September 23, 2014

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10:40 PM | A shale’s life: first life cycle assessment of shale gas used for electricity in Great Britain
An interesting article came out a few days ago in Applied Energy that is of particular importance because its directly relevant to current politics in Great Britain.  With an estimated 38 trillion cubic meters of shale gas estimated to be lurking underneath … Continue reading →

Stamford, L. & Azapagic, A. (2014). Life cycle environmental impacts of UK shale gas, Applied Energy, 134 506-518. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.08.063

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11:25 AM | New CO2 Emissions Report Shows China’s Central Role in Shaping World’s Climate Path
Fresh data reveal the central role of China in driving the global buildup of greenhouse gases -- and its daunting challenge if it chooses to cut emissions.
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3:24 AM | When energy conservation doesn’t add up (or does it?)
In the last few weeks holes have been popping up all over Cambridge. They are being dug by 'ditch-witches'  - pieces of machinery designed for making small-diameter tunnels for cabling - as part of the installation of fibre-optic cables for the much vaunted ultra-fast broadband. A ditch-witch is about the ultimate in machinery-obsessed-toddler heaven. We've been avidly following their movement around the Cambridge streets, or at least the youngest member of our family has. They went down […]
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2:27 AM | Extracting the facts on Australian attitudes to mining
It’s no secret that mining is important to Australia, but that doesn’t necessarily make it popular with society at large. We wanted to have a better understanding of what Australians think about mining, so in 2013/14 we conducted an online survey of 5,121 Australians. The survey results have now been published as Australian attitudes toward […]

September 22, 2014

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8:34 PM | Free Climate Change and Energy Book Chapter
I recently reviewed Climate Smart and Energy Wise by Mark McCaffrey. The National Center for Science Education is giving away a free chapter, as a PDF, of this book. CLICK HERE TO GET IT. Also, there is an event coming up. CLEAN Call: Climate Smart & Energy Wise Book Preview with Mark McCaffrey. Click through…
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4:46 PM | Humanity’s Long Climate and Energy March
The giant climate march in Manhattan was just one facet of humanity's long climate and energy march.
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10:00 AM | From Sustainable IT to IT for Sustainability
Zhenhua Liu, HLF14 participant: Today it is recognized that data centers are a significant consumer of energy resources and a substantial source of greenhouse gas pollution. Statistics abound: Worldwide data centers consume as much electricity as the United Kingdom does. The Internet produces emissions comparable to the airline industry. An individual server has emissions nearly as large as a car. And IT companies such as Facebook spend millions each month on the electricity bills for […]

September 21, 2014

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10:18 PM | Global carbon report: emissions will hit new heights in 2014
By Pep Canadell, CSIRO and Michael Raupach, Australian National University As heads of state gather in New York for tomorrow’s United Nations climate summit, a new report on the state of the world’s carbon budget tells them that greenhouse emissions hit a new record last year, and are still growing. The Global Carbon Project has […]
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10:18 PM | Global carbon report: emissions will hit new heights in 2014
By Pep Canadell, CSIRO and Michael Raupach, Australian National University As heads of state gather in New York for tomorrow’s United Nations climate summit, a new report on the state of the world’s carbon budget tells them that greenhouse emissions hit a new record last year, and are still growing. The Global Carbon Project has […]
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8:26 PM | Organizers Hope U.N. Climate March Will Be Largest In History
Streets in New York City and other towns are being taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers hope will be the largest climate change protest in history.
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2:58 PM | Why Natural Gas, Including Fracking, Is Better For The Environment Than Wind And Solar
There is nothing inherently superior about natural gas from hydraulic fracturing - fracking - it has the same emissions as regular natural gas. But it is a lot lower than coal and does not have the political baggage of nuclear energy and that is why environmentalists lobbied for it over the last 40 years.read more

September 20, 2014

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5:52 PM | Solving the metal problem: new polymer used in organic solar cells to allow wide use of metal cathodes, improve efficiency
Organic solar cells (OSC) are an exciting next-generation option for photovoltaics.  The main advantage is that they’re cheap, easily processed using solution-based methods, which opens up many innovative applications – printable cells, even solar paint! The main issue holding OSCs back is … Continue reading →

Page, Z., Liu, Y., Duzhko, V., Russell, T. & Emrick, T. (2014). Fulleropyrrolidine interlayers: Tailoring electrodes to raise organic solar cell efficiency, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1255826

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September 18, 2014

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8:31 PM | The Cost of Fixing Climate Change
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions could boost the economy rather than slow it, according to a new study by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report finds that roughly $90 trillion will be spent in the next 15 years on new infrastructure around the world. Adopting rules that redirect that…

September 17, 2014

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10:47 PM | Queensland survey reveals lukewarm view of coal seam gas
By Andrea Walton, CSIRO; Rod McCrea, CSIRO, and Rosemary Leonard, CSIRO Residents in Queensland’s Western Downs region have mixed feelings towards coal seam gas (CSG) development taking place in their midst, according to our CSIRO survey. More than two-thirds of locals described themselves as “tolerating” or “accepting” CSG, while only 22% had openly positive attitudes. […]
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4:55 PM | Photo Essay: Open House at Lamont-Doherty
Bend a rock. Channel your historic 'birthquake.' Check out rocks, fossils, sediment cores and more at Lamont's Open House on Saturday, October 11.
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3:34 PM | What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change
Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, "What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?" He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.
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2:54 PM | DARPA Asked This Grad Student To Design A Jetpack That Makes You Faster. He Delivered
Jason Kerestes is a graduate student studying engineering at Arizona State University. Not long ago, Jason was approached by a team from ASU’s Human Machine Integration Labs. They had heard that he owned his own welding business and wanted his help on a project they were working on designing robotic prosthetics to help amputees. The project was being funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency responsible for developing new […]
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