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Global Warming

Science

Link found between global warming and increased volcanic activity

It’s no secret that volcanic eruptions can cool the planet by spewing ash and droplets of sulfuric acid into the atmosphere that obscure the sun. Now researchers at Germany’s GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Harvard University have found evidence that suggest the reverse could also be true. The researchers have discovered a strong historical link between global temperature increases and increases in volcanic activity.Read More

Environment

Air + water = gasoline? Not quite...

Air Fuel Synthesis, Ltd. (AFS), a small company in the northern English county of Durham, has recently made headlines for a chemical process that claims to synthesize gasoline from air and water. In essence, AFS is using energy to unburn fuel so that it can be burned as fuel again – a great deal of energy. Sixty kWh of electric energy are used up to store 9 kWh of that energy in a liter of gasoline. When you take into consideration that gasoline vehicles are about 15 percent efficient, a car fueled with synthetic gasoline would use roughly 35 times more energy on a given trip than would an electric vehicle. Not, it would seem, a prescription for a commercially valuable green product.Read More

Environment

Solar geoengineering could lead to whiter, brighter skies

We’ve already heard reports that placing small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere could actually improve crop yields, but would also significantly reduce the amount of electricity generated by solar power plants and do little to arrest the acidification of the world’s oceans. Now another potential side effect has been theorized by Californian researchers, who say that solar geoengineering could lead to whiter skies.Read More

Science

Newly discovered molecule has potential to offset climate change and cool the planet

Researchers claim a newly discovered molecule found in the Earth’s atmosphere holds the potential to help offset global warming by actually cooling the planet. The molecule is a Criegee biradical or Criegee intermediate, which are chemical intermediaries that are powerful oxidizers of pollutants produced by combustion, such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. They have the ability to naturally clean up the atmosphere by helping break down nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide to form sulfate and nitrate, which ultimately leads to cloud formation that could help cool the planet.Read More

Science

Thermometer-equipped cod provide valuable data

With the advent of robust, miniaturized electronic devices, an increasingly common method of studying wild animals involves temporarily attaching data-logging sensors directly to them. Some readers might have seen point-of-view video footage obtained with National Geographic's "Crittercam," for instance, or heard about the study where the migratory routes of Arctic terns were determined by putting tiny light loggers on the birds. Now, a consortium of scientists from nine European research institutions have tagged cod fish with mini-thermometers, to find out how they will be able to cope with rising ocean temperatures.Read More

Architecture

Oasis at sea: The Ark hotel concept

Russian architectural firm Remistudio has taken the concept of a man-made biosphere and gone to sea with its vision for the floating "Ark Hotel." Designed to withstand floods, tidal waves and rising ocean levels as well as earthquakes and other natural disasters, the hotel concept would float and function independently on the surface of a body of water, providing a green, self-sustaining environment for guests who presumably, would never have to leave.Read More

Science

IMOS monitors almost one-third of the world's oceans

Australian climate and ocean scientists are studying some of the planet's most remote areas using a multi-million dollar array of high-tech underwater equipment that provides data vital for the monitoring of almost one-third of the world's oceans. The kit of technology includes sensor floats and autonomous underwater vehicles, which combine with sensor tagged animals, moored scientific stations and satellite remote sensing to form the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). All data collected is made available online, which represents a big step forward in climate science. Gizmag's Grant Banks takes a closer look at what makes IMOS tick.Read More

Aircraft

ScanEagle UAV and image recognition software used to track seals

The Arctic region is currently experiencing a warming trend which is seeing the ice cap break apart, and may even ultimately result in the total absence of ice in the summer months. Many scientists attribute this trend to man made global warming, but whatever the cause, it’s not good news for the seals that breed, rest, and escape marine predators on the ice. In an effort to understand the full scope of the situation, scientists have turned to the Boeing-designed Scan Eagle – an unmanned aerial vehicle more often used for military reconnaissance. Read More

Environment

Eggshells could be used to fight global warming

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a hot area of research in the effort to fight global warming through the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and ferreting it away within carbon soaking materials, a team from the University of Calcutta has found an unexpected (or should that be uneggspected) material that could trap carbon from the atmosphere in the form of eggshells. The team has demonstrated that the membrane that lines an eggshell can absorb almost seven times its own weight of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, allowing the gas to be stored until environmentally friendly methods of disposing, or even using it, can be found. Read More
Environment

Wind farms can cause change in local temperatures

The benefits of wind farms in terms of global climate change are well recognized but according to researchers at the University of Illinois they can also affect local climates as well. The researchers observed that the area immediately surrounding a wind farm is slightly warmer at night and slightly cooler during the day compared to the rest of the region. The discovery could allow for strategies to mitigate those effects in areas where they are undesirable, or take advantage of them in others. Read More

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