U.S. and China sign memorandum on climate change
July 29, 2009 07:00 AM - Sue Pleming, Reuters

The United States and China, the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, signed an agreement on Tuesday that promises more cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment without setting firm goals. Chinese and U.S. officials signed the memorandum of understanding at the State Department following two days of high-level economic and strategic talks.

European Nations Wary on Environmental Protectionism
July 28, 2009 10:56 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

European nations are wary about a perceived trend in France and the United States to use international competition as a reason to back off on Carbon reduction pledges. They are concerned that carbon tariffs could be used to fend off competition from countries which have not committed to reducing emissions, in effect triggering a green trade war.

New study backs UN panel on ocean rise
July 28, 2009 06:47 AM - AFP, Environmental Health News

The UN's climate panel has been backed over a key question as to how far global warming will drive up sea levels this century, a study published on Sunday says. The UN experts are right that the oceans are unlikely to rise by an order of metres (many feet) by 2100, as some scientists have feared, it says. But, its authors caution, low-lying countries and delta areas could still face potentially catastrophic flooding if the upper range of the new estimate proves right.

Nissan’s New Electric Hatchback
July 27, 2009 04:31 PM - Chuck Squatriglia, Wired from Autopia

Nissan showed off its latest EV prototype today, a slick four-door, five-passenger hatchback that’s good for 100 miles and tells you when and where to charge up. Although it’s just a mule wearing a Tiida body, the car provides the best glimpse yet of the production EV we'll see for the first time Sunday. Nissan plans to offer an all-electric vehicle in Japan and the United States next year, then roll it out globally in 2012. "Nissan will be a leader in zero-emission vehicles," Toshiyuki Shiga said in Tokyo, according to Canadian Press. "EV is the answer."

Vote For the "7 Wonders of the Natural World"
July 27, 2009 02:38 PM - M. Molendyke, ENN Community

Recently, 28 finalists were announced in the search for the "SevenWonders of the Natural World" initiative, being sponsored by the New 7 Foundation. Of the 28, the public has been given the task of voting to choose 7, and the foundation hopes to get over 1 billion votes. This program was launched to foster conservancy, both of the specific wonders and of the world's ecosystems in general, and the nonprofit hopes to inspire the citizens of the world through ecotourism and increased publicity and public sympathy for conservancy. You can vote online. Visit the ENN Community:

Fertile Crescent 'will disappear this century'
July 27, 2009 08:45 AM - Fred Pearce, NewScientist

Diverting water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to supply agriculture, alongside a warming climate, means the once-bountiful region is becoming desert.

Spotlight on Russia’s Role in Climate Control
July 27, 2009 08:35 AM - Tom Zeller Jr., New York Times

Russia is expected, in the absence of any change, to rival the U.S. as the top per capita emitter within the next 20 years. Yet Russia has stayed out of view amid the global hunt for an agreement on how to distribute the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That could change.

Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth?

The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth's crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core. The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced on-line issue of Nature Geoscience.

Advance in Geothermal Energy
July 26, 2009 09:49 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.

Mysteries of Night Clouds Being Solved by NASA
July 24, 2009 04:24 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Noctilucent clouds have fascinated meteorologists for years. Figuring out why they form and what factors affect how and where they can be seen has been difficult since they seem to show up unpredictably, and often in remote areas. Now, a NASA satellite has captured some mysterious shiny polar clouds 50 miles above Earth’s surface.

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