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A new genre of electric power-generating stations could supply electricity for more than a half billion people by tapping just one-tenth of the global potential of a little-known energy source that exists where rivers flow into the ocean, a new analysis has concluded. A report on the process, which requires no fuel, is sustainable and releases no carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas, appears in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Forestry biomass will increase greenhouse gas emissions, study warns
April 18, 2012 03:50 PM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
A large, global move to produce more energy from forest biomass may be possible and already is beginning in some places, but scientists say in a new analysis that such large-scale bioenergy production from forest biomass is unsustainable and will increase greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenland's ice cover appears to be sliding into the ocean
April 17, 2012 07:10 AM - Editor, ClickGreen
Like snow sliding off a roof on a sunny day, the Greenland Ice Sheet may be sliding faster into the ocean due to massive releases of meltwater from surface lakes, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Such lake drainages may affect sea-level rise, with implications for coastal communities, according to the researchers. "This is the first evidence that Greenland's 'supraglacial' lakes have responded to recent increases in surface meltwater production by draining more frequently, as opposed to growing in size," says CIRES research associate William Colgan, who co-led the new study with CU-Boulder computer science doctoral student Yu-Li Liang.
Europe announces huge green energy package for developing nations
April 16, 2012 04:11 PM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
The European Commission has announced a new multi-million Euro initiative to support developing countries in their drive towards sustainable energy generation. The green aid programme will prove specialists from across Europe to help poorer nations develop low-carbon sources of energy. And the scheme will provide hundreds of millions of Euros to underwrite the roll-out, which has the goal of providing sustainable energy to 50 million people by 2030. Speaking at the EU Sustainable Energy For all Summit in Brussels today, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, announced details of the plan. He said: "We have now clear scientific evidence that we need to embrace new ways of producing energy to avoid damaging global climate; we need to act upon this advice. The EU is therefore ready to help those countries that demonstrate such commitment, and to increase its efforts. To that end, I am delighted to announce today the launch of a new Commission initiative: Energising Development. Firstly, we will create a world-leading EU Technical Assistance Facility, initially in excess of 50 million euro over the next two years, to stand behind and support those countries that "opt in" to the initiative and commit to the necessary reforms. We will draw on the best EU experts in the field and promote the development and growth of expertise in developing countries themselves. I mentioned before that the Commission is already spending over 600 million euro per year in supporting energy; collectively EU Member States are spending even more than this, as we will no doubt hear later today. This is a strong base and, with our Agenda for Change and the mainstreaming of "green aid", we can confidently expect this figure to significantly increase from 2014 onwards, concentrating on sustainable and inclusive energy investments."
Birds sing louder than 30 years ago to be heard over city din
April 3, 2012 01:35 PM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
Bird song is rising in volume after a new study found astonishing changes over the past 30 years. The research found sparrows in San Francisco's Presidio district changed their tune to soar above the increasing cacophony of car horns and engine rumbles. "It shows a strong link between the change in song and the change in noise," says David Luther, term assistant professor in George Mason University's undergraduate biology program. "It's also the first study that I know of to track the songs over time and the responses of birds to historical and current songs."
Scotland on the High Road to Sustainable Energy
March 30, 2012 07:10 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
Scotland is on course to smash its renewable energy targets after official figures revealed record-high levels of green power generation. The Scottish Government's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the publication of the statistics that confirms Scotland will beat the 2011 renewables target. Statistics published today show that the amount of renewable electricity generated in 2011 rose 45 per cent on 2010 to 13,750 Gigawatt hours.
Dolphins show signs of severe illness in wake of Gulf oil spill
March 27, 2012 08:41 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
Bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, are showing signs of severe ill health, according to NOAA marine mammal biologists and their local, state, federal and other research partners. Barataria Bay, located in the northern Gulf of Mexico, received heavy and prolonged exposure to oil during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Based on comprehensive physicals of 32 live dolphins from Barataria Bay in the summer of 2011, preliminary results show that many of the dolphins in the study are underweight, anemic, have low blood sugar and/or some symptoms of liver and lung disease. Nearly half also have abnormally low levels of the hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.
London to ban old black cabs!
March 26, 2012 06:44 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
London's taxi regulators are to withdraw 2,600 ageing black cabs in an attempt to reduce air pollution in the capital. No black cab over 15-years-old will be licensed by the Taxi and Private Hire Office — taking off the road 2,600 taxis this year. Now Mercedes-Benz has launched an initiative to help London cabbies keep the city moving and at the same time delivering cleaner air.
Global aviation sector commits to support a sustainable future
March 22, 2012 09:48 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
Leaders of the aviation industry have sent a reminder to governments of the vital role the sector plays in economic growth, providing jobs whilst taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. At a meeting in Geneva today, chief executives and directors from 16 global aviation companies and organisations signed the Aviation & Environment Summit's Declaration as a joint message to world governments due to meet at Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The industry leaders, representing airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and the makers of aircraft and engines, signed the declaration in a show of unity on the issue of sustainable development. Paul Steele, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the organisation coordinating the Summit, said that the declaration shows that aviation takes its role in sustainable development seriously. "Sustainable development — and the Rio+20 process — is about finding ways to balance the needs of growing economies and higher standards of living across society with the need to more carefully manage the resources we are using and the impact that we have on the world. I am pleased to say that aviation is committed to doing just that. In 2008, we were the first global sector to commit to global cross-industry action on climate change. That declaration set the agenda for cooperative action across the aviation industry to reduce fuel use and emissions. The cooperation between industry partners and the projects underway are impressive."
New report links an increased public cancer risk with fracking sites
March 20, 2012 11:36 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
Air pollution caused by hydraulic fracking has for the first time been linked to acute and chronic health problems for those living near the drilling sites, a new report has found. A three-year study by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health has shown the process of hydraulic fracturing increases the levels of toxic gases in the local atmosphere, which include traces of cancer-causing chemicals.