Climate change will delay transatlantic flights
February 10, 2016 07:21 AM - Pete Castle, Reading University.
Planes flying between Europe and North America will be spending more time in the air due to the effects of climate change, a new study has shown.
By accelerating the jet stream – a high-altitude wind blowing from west to east across the Atlantic – climate change will speed up eastbound flights but slow down westbound flights, the study found. The findings could have implications for airlines, passengers, and airports.
Disease may wipe out the world's bananas
February 8, 2016 07:11 AM - Angelina Sanderson Bellamy, Cardiff University, The Ecologist
Bananas are at the sharp end of industrial agriculture's chemical war on pests and pathogens, writes Angelina Sanderson Bellamy. But even 60 pesticide sprays a year isn't enough to keep the diseases at bay. It's time to seek new solutions with little or no use of chemicals, working with nature, growing diverse crops on the same land - and breaking the dominance of the banana multinationals.
Air pollution in Europe and the EU lack of action
February 3, 2016 06:40 AM - Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor, The Ecologist
Air pollution from vehicles is killing tens of thousands of people every year in the UK alone, write Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor, an outrage set into stark focus by VW's 'test cheating'. The EU's response? To relax tests and allow cars to be more polluting - with the full support of the UK government.
Rather than clamping down on the car industry's irresponsible approach to pollution, EU governments and the Commission instead want to rewrite existing law, providing loopholes which will allow cars to legally pollute more.
Faced with a public health crisis, responsible for nearly half a million premature deaths in Europe each year, we would expect an emergency response.
How Modular Construction is Keeping Waste Out of U.S. Landfills
February 2, 2016 07:23 AM - Mark Meyers, Triple Pundit
When we think about the overflow of our nation’s landfills, we probably picture limiting our food waste; recycling plastics, glass and paper; and keeping out potentially harmful hazardous waste. What we probably don’t consider is one of the largest sources of waste generation, construction and demolition (C&D) waste. It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste, with only 20 percent of C&D waste being recycled.
Flint's Water Crisis 'infuriating' given knowledge about lead poisoning
January 27, 2016 07:13 AM - Harvard School of Public Health
Flint, Michigan temporarily switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014 to cut costs. Should officials have known that lead contamination would result?
Hyperloop moving to full-scale testing
January 24, 2016 09:05 AM - Mary Mazzoni , Triple Pundit
Clean-tech visionary Elon Musk first unveiled his idea for a high-speed ground transport system called Hyperloop back in 2013. The concept — in which passengers are transported in magnet-propelled capsules at more than 750 miles per hour — was quickly dismissed by many as a pipe-dream.
But, while most of us weren’t paying attention, a handful of private companies have been quietly working to make Musk’s vision a reality. Now two of these firms (both unaffiliated with the Tesla and SpaceX CEO) say they are ready to begin testing the technology.
Majority of meals at restaurants tip the calorie scale
January 20, 2016 07:16 AM - Tufts University via EurekAlert!
Meals consumed at fast-food restaurants are often seen as one of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic. But according to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 92 percent of 364 measured restaurant meals from both large-chain and non-chain (local) restaurants exceeded recommended calorie requirements for a single meal. In 123 restaurants in three cities across America, the research team found that a single meal serving, without beverages, appetizers, or desserts sometimes exceeded the caloric requirements for an entire day.
How much methane IS leaking at Porter Ranch?
January 15, 2016 07:08 AM - University of California, Davis via ScienceDaily
A UC Davis scientist flying in a pollution-detecting airplane provided the first, and so far only, estimates of methane emissions spewing from the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in Southern California since the leak began on Oct. 23, 2015.
Those estimates were provided to the California Air Resources Board in November. Pilot and UC Davis project scientist Stephen Conley continues to measure emissions from the still uncontrolled leak, which has displaced thousands of residents in the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood in northern Los Angeles. On Jan. 6, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the community.
To date, Conley estimates that the leak has emitted nearly 80,000 tons of methane, or about 1,000 tons per day.
Denmark breaks its own world record in wind energy
January 15, 2016 07:04 AM - EurActiv
Danish wind turbines set a new world record in 2015. Wind power is now counted for 42.1% of the total electricity consumption in Denmark, according to data published on Friday (15 January).
The percentage of wind power in Denmark's overall electricity mix is the highest in the world. Last year, the share was 39.1%, which was a record, according to Energinet, which runs the power grids.
California, Feds Reject Volkswagen Recall "Fix"
January 14, 2016 07:16 AM - Jan Lee, Triple Pundit
Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) said “no deal” to Volkswagen’s proposal to buy back some of the vehicles that were outfitted with cheat devices. According to CARB, the plan, which would see the recall of only a fraction of the 600,000 U.S. cars affected in the latest VW scandal, does “not adequately address overall impacts on vehicle performance, emissions and safety,” and would not fix the cars’ pollution problems quickly enough.