Computational creativity and the future of AI

Environment

North West Bicester is a government-designated eco-town being built in the UK

An eco-town described as the UK's "most sustainable development" is moving closer to being occupied. The first residents are expected to move into North West Bicester later this year. Planning permission has also just been granted for up to 2,600 homes in the next stage of the project.  Read More

A study indicates electric vehicles could help make cities cooler (Photo: Shutterstock)

Those who question the environmental benefits of electric vehicles over their gas-guzzling brethren often point out that the electricity powering EVs usually comes from fossil fuel-burning power plants. But a study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) and Hunan University in China has revealed some hidden benefits of EVs, regardless of where the electricity originates.  Read More

A process developed at CU Boulder not only cleans up waste water but also generates power ...

A treatment process developed by engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder promises a simpler and more economical way to clean up the wastewater produced by oil and gas operations that is heavily salinated and full of organic contaminants. The technique, which involves the use of a microbe-powered battery, also produces rather than consumes energy.  Read More

Under construction in Sweden, EcoDataCenter will have a positive impact on the world aroun...

Information and communications technology consumes a full 10 percent of the world’s electricity, meaning that whenever a new data center is designed, its efficiency is of paramount concern. A new project, known as EcoDataCenter, will be the world’s first-climate positive data center, utilizing various techniques and technologies to ensure a positive impact on the wider world.  Read More

30-cm (11.8-in)-deep moisture projection based on NASA's high carbon emission scenario in ...

A new NASA study is predicting the occurrence of severe "megadroughts" across the United States in the second half of this century, that are set to be more extreme and prolonged than any droughts that have taken place in the region for the past 1,000 years. According to the study, one of the key driving forces behind the devastating droughts will be the prolific creation of human-produced greenhouse gasses.  Read More

Harvested rice plants could be used for both biofuel and animal feed (Photo: Shutterstock)...

Building on methods used by farmers to produce silage for feeding livestock, Japanese researchers have developed a technology for simultaneous biofuel and animal feed production which doesn't require off-site processing. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) system captures ethanol produced as a result of fermentation resulting from wrapping rice plants grown to feed livestock in a plastic-covered bale containing yeast, enzymes and bacteria.  Read More

One ton of mineral paper can be created from 235 kg of pellets or PET beads

A group of young entrepreneurs from Mexico has developed a system that converts PET bottles into mineral paper and which they claim will save up to 20 trees and 56,000 liters of water per ton of paper produced. The photodegradable, waterproof paper can be used to print books, boxes and general stationery.  Read More

The MCS costs about US$500

According to the World Gold Council, about 195,300 tons of gold have been dug out of the ground in all of human history. Countless lives have been lost obtaining the rare metal, and in the developing world, which currently accounts for 20 percent of the world's gold production, small-scale mining and smelting under primitive conditions poses a major health hazard. To help alleviate this, a team from Argonne National Laboratory and the US Environmental Protection Agency are developing a prototype mercury capture system to reduce heavy metal pollution.  Read More

The banded sedimentary rock layers of the Willwood formation in Wyoming provide clues as t...

There's an element of déjà vu in the most recent political news on climate change: UN-led talks, like the recent Lima summit, that end with disgruntled environmentalists and plans for yet another summit. At this point, our best hope is to mitigate the effects of global warming (which is occurring faster than previously thought) and, if possible, keep temperature rises to a maximum of 2° C (3.6° F). While the future of the planet looks uncertain with unpredictable climate patterns, U.S researchers looking to the past to gain a better understanding of modern climate change have found the rate of modern, human-caused global warming resembles that which occurred almost 56 million years ago much more closely than previously thought.  Read More

Dr Shahriar Hossain is developing a wind turbine that uses a magnesium diboride supercondu...

Conventional offshore wind turbines are expensive and complicated pieces of machinery – in a large part because of their complex and maintenance-intensive gearboxes. Dr Shahriar Hossain from the University of Wollongong in Australia is looking to slash production costs and drastically improve efficiency replacing these gearboxes with a superconducting coil.  Read More

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