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Environment


— Environment

Study suggests volcanic eruptions behind pause in climate change

By - July 10, 2015 3 Pictures

Over the last few years, many possible explanations have been bandied about for the so-called pause in climate change, a plateau in global surface air temperatures that is out of step with rising greenhouse gas concentrations. But now an international research effort is laying responsibility at the feet of volcanic eruptions, whose particles it has found reflect twice as much solar radiation as previously believed, serving to temporarily cool the planet in the face of rising CO2 emissions.

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Azura wave energy system deployed in Hawaii

Although wave energy-harvesting systems are often just presented as concepts that may someday see actual use, one was recently deployed in Hawaii to provide power to the municipal grid. Built by Northwest Energy Innovations, the Azura device will remain in operation for a 12-month assessment period, with an eye toward eventual commercialization.

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— Environment

Adidas uses ocean trash to make footwear – and a statement

By - July 7, 2015 2 Pictures

The world’s oceans are in peril due to a combination of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Recently, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, a German center for polar and marine research, sent out a strong warning about fundamental changes that are occurring in those ecosystems. But awareness is growing and the fight to preserve the oceans has found an ally in Adidas, which has teamed with conservation group Parley for the Oceans to create footwear made with trash harvested from the ocean.

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— Environment

Atomic clocks could be used to monitor volcanoes and predict eruptions

By - July 7, 2015

If you've ever been to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, you may have been aware of two things; its magnificent grandeur, and the fact that it's an active supervolcano that, if it ever erupted again, would be worst event to hit the Earth since the dinosaur-killing asteroid. To help keep an eye out for this and similar events, a team at the University of Zurich have developed a means of monitoring volcanic events using atomic clocks.

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— Environment

Kepler Energy reveals plans for tidal energy scheme in Bristol Channel

By - July 5, 2015 4 Pictures

With its large tidal range, Britain's Bristol Channel has a huge potential for generating tidal electric power. The problem is that, until now, schemes for tapping that power have required building dams and barrages so gigantic they would have given even the most wild-eyed Victorian engineer pause. As a more economical alternative, Kepler Energy has announced plans for a 30 MW tidal energy fence to be built in the Channel. With an estimated cost of £143 million (US$223 million), the underwater fence would be built in the water somewhere along the line between Aberthaw and Minehead and could be operational by 2021.

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— Environment

Australia's vast geothermal energy resources represent thousands of years worth of untapped power

By - July 5, 2015 3 Pictures

Australia is sitting on top of some of the world's most potent geothermal energy sources, according to government estimates. Just one percent of the hot rock energy less than 5 km under the surface would be enough to meet the whole country's entire power needs for 26,000 years if it was tapped. So why aren't we seeing more movement on it?

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— Environment

European climate at mercy of retreating sea ice

By - June 30, 2015

An international team of scientists has found that retreating sea ice between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans is linked to weakened air-sea heat exchange in the region. This, it warns, could result in a cooler climate in western Europe and an altered or slower Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which would have knock-on effects for the Gulf Stream and consequently for the atmosphere.

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