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Environment

— Environment

New study finds parallels between past and present climate change

By - December 17, 2014 4 Pictures
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
— Environment

Superconducting coil to slash costs and improve efficiency of direct-drive wind turbines

By - December 4, 2014 3 Pictures
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
— Health and Wellbeing

Goodwell open-source toothbrush is built to last a lifetime

By - December 1, 2014 10 Pictures
If we assume everybody is acting on the advice of their dentist and replacing their toothbrush every few months, then there's likely a lot of frayed bristles laying in landfill right now. But must our dental care devices take on such as short lifespan? The Goodwell open-source toothbrush is a modern take on oral hygiene, built from eco-friendly materials and made to last until you haven't got any teeth left to brush. Read More
— Environment

Turning dairy farm waste into Magic Dirt

By - October 30, 2014 11 Pictures
Magic Dirt may sound like the soil used by Jack to grow his beans, but the Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award winner is just one result of a process that’s addressing the environmental issues caused by effluence from factory farm feedlots. The process starts with anaerobic digesters, specifically a patented two-stage model from Wisconsin-based DVO, which more efficiently converts manure into three valuable byproducts. Read More
— Environment

How big data is helping farmers save millions

By - October 27, 2014 1 Picture
Data scientists studying crop growth and weather patterns in Colombia have advised rice farmers not to plant crops, saving millions of dollars. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Colombian Rice Growers Federation have developed a computer model that can work out what crops work best under specific weather conditions in certain areas. Read More
— Around The Home

Ambi Climate gives your air conditioner a brain

By - October 20, 2014 6 Pictures
Your typical air conditioning unit in an apartment or home is a stupid creature, failing to work intelligently to create the most comfortable temperature environment for you in the most efficient way. Start up Ambi Climate thinks it has built the better brain to solve this issue in the form of a new standalone device and smartphone app that tell your air conditioner how to optimize its performance. Read More
— Marine

Rower prepares to cross the Atlantic in futuristic boat

By - October 9, 2014 9 Pictures
Like many fathers with young children, experienced rower Andras Bakos is concerned about what sort of shape the environment will be in by the time his son grows up. That's why in 2011, he began planning a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition to raise awareness of environmental issues. The boat that he had custom-built for the trip is now ready to go, and it looks like it could just as well be used for rowing to Mars. Read More
— Space

Sentinel-1A Earth-monitoring satellite begins operational life

By - October 7, 2014 6 Pictures
Sentinel-1A, the first of a planned fleet of ESA satellites central to the European Commission's Copernicus environmental monitoring program, has begun its operational life. Following the completion of its commissioning and transfer to the team in charge of its operation, users now have access to data from the satellite, which will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services. Read More
— Robotics

European scientists developing a robotic tree

By - October 6, 2014 4 Pictures
The animal kingdom contains many examples of efficient forms of locomotion, so it's no wonder that we've been seeing a lot of animal-inspired robots – recent examples have included a robotic cheetah, fish and snake. Plants, however, just sit there ... don't they? Actually, they do move, just not necessarily in a Point A to Point B manner. With that in mind, Europe's PLANTOID project consortium is now in the process of developing a tree-like robot. Its descendants might ultimately find use in the exploration of other planets. Read More
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