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Global Warming

A present-day salt lake in the south of Russia
 Pic Credit: Dr. Ludwig Weißflog/UFZ

A new report by an international team of scientists has suggested that the largest mass extinction in the history of the earth may not have been caused by volcanic eruptions, methane hydrate or the impact of an asteroid as previously surmised. It may actually have been triggered by giant salt lakes, whose emissions of halogenated gases changed the atmospheric composition to such an extent that vegetation was irretrievably damaged. While this is a lot less dramatic than a volcanic eruption or an asteroid, the effect would be no less devastating and may have implications for us today with forecasts predicting an increase in the surface areas of deserts and salt lakes due to climate change that researchers expect will also lead to an increase in the effects of these halogenated gases.  Read More

Just 51% of the population believe that climate change is caused by human activities

It just goes to show you what a bad state the education system is in when just 51% of the population believe that climate change is caused by human activities. Opinion Research Corporation surveyed 1,000 people in late January and found that 29% believe climate change is occurring naturally, 15% believe climate change needs to be proven scientifically either way and 3% believe climate change doesn’t exist. Oh, and for the record, of those who got it right, 55% were male, which means ... we're no longer sure whether to be more concerned about global warming or global ignorance.  Read More

The world's largest solar power facility, located near Kramer Junction, California, consis...

The concept of delaying global warming by adding particles into the upper atmosphere to cool the climate could unintentionally reduce peak electricity generated by large solar power plants by as much as one-fifth, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Read More

The seawater vertical farm would make another stunning addition to the Dubai skyline
 Pic ...

The saying used to go, ‘only in America’, but in recent years it might be truer to say, ‘only in Dubai’, especially when it comes to architectural wonders. Buildings that would be unfeasible just about anywhere else seem to regularly spring from the ground in the oil rich emirate. The next eye-popping construction to grace the skyline could be a seawater vertical farm that uses seawater to cool and humidify greenhouses and to convert sufficient humidity back in to fresh water to irrigate the crops.  Read More

Calcium carbonate in powder form

Expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects are gaining momentum around the world as a way to combat greenhouse gas emissions (or is that sweep them under the carpet?), India’s Economic Times has reported that a team of Indian scientists have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria that could help fight global warming by converting CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3) - a common compound found as rock all the world over.  Read More

NCAR's AMSTAR digital storage library.

Analysis of the Earth’s climate relies on and generates a huge amount of data. No one knows this better than the folks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), who have announced the arrival of AMSTAR, a new digital storage library that will preserve and protect 30 petabytes of valuable scientific data for the next 15 to 20 years. The new system, designed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and based on the Sun StorageTek SL8500 Modular Library, will give NCAR five times its current storage capacity, enabling it to generate increasingly sophisticated computer studies of Earth’s climate.  Read More

BioJet 1 during the record breaking flight

Following on from its breakthrough flight in October last year, Green Flight International has set another green-aviation record, this time flying a jet across the U.S. using environmentally-friendly Biofuel. Piloted by President and CEO Douglas Rodante and Chief Pilot Carol Sugars, BioJet 1 completed the flight from Reno, Nevada to Leesburg, Florida in just over 11 hours at altitudes ranging from 13,000 to 17,000 feet. While 1,776 miles where flown on 100% Biofuel, a 50/50 mix of Biofuel and standard jet fuel was used for the remainder of the 2,486 journey in order to compare performance data and also demonstrate the ability to blend these fuel types.  Read More

The Cool Earth concentrator design

There is no doubt that mankind stands at a pivotal point in our history in relation to our consumption of global resources and the resultant impact on the planet on which we live. By far the biggest concern is our ever-growing appetite for energy to power the lifestyles we have grown not only accustomed to, but also dependent upon. Solar is one answer with great potential, but economics and the amount of power it can produce in comparison to fossil fuel power stations has held it back so far. Now new approaches like Cool Earth’s collectors are becoming advanced enough to effectively tackle these problems with technology that relies on inexpensive and free materials, is scalable, able to compete economically with fossil fuel power plants and is capable of delivering not just megawatts, but gigawatts of clean power.  Read More

Planning ahead: US electricity generation sources

While the current Wall Street financial crisis has many on edge in regard to the short term future of the economy, Google has displayed some far-sighted corporate leadership in releasing its plan for how to reduce fossil fuel use by 2030. "Clean Energy 2030" is designed to stimulate debate on a range of energy consumption issues and includes proposals to slash vehicle oil consumption and CO2 emissions by 38% and reduce US reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity generation by 88% through a significant boost to solar, wind and geothermal output. Importantly, the report also focusses on the "win-win" potential for this aggressive attack on climate change, citing a figure of $1.0 trillion net savings over the 22-year life of the plan.  Read More

Sheraton’s Wild Horse Pass Resort

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa has launched a new initiative called GeoGreen which is designed to ensure environmental and cultural sustainability whilst maintaining the heritage and well-being of the Gila River Indian Community. Guests will find a restaurant menu featuring local ingredients sourced from Gila River farms, grounds filled with native plants watered by a timed drip system, local businesses being engaged in the process of keeping the resort green and will have the opportunity to be exposed to the culture of the Pima and Maricopa people.  Read More

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