Climate

Better Wind Mills
January 21, 2011 08:30 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or pumping water, the device is called a windmill or wind pump. Large wind farms are being built around the world as a cleaner way to generate electricity, but operators are still searching for the most efficient way to arrange the massive turbines that turn moving air into power. To help steer wind farm owners in the right direction, Charles Meneveau, a Johns Hopkins fluid mechanics and turbulence expert, working with a colleague in Belgium, has devised a new formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained.

CO2 Ocean Sequestration
January 20, 2011 04:54 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Carbon sequestration is "The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir." When carried out deliberately, this may also be referred to as carbon dioxide removal, which is a form of geoengineering. The term carbon sequestration may also be used to refer to the process of carbon capture and storage, where CO2 is removed from flue gases, such as on power stations, before being stored in underground reservoirs. The term may also refer to natural biogeochemical cycling of carbon between the atmosphere and reservoirs, such as by chemical weathering of rocks. Using seawater and calcium to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) in a natural gas power plant's flue stream, and then pumping the resulting calcium bicarbonate in the sea, could be beneficial to the oceans' marine life or states a new research report.

NASA images reveal consistent climate warming among different temperature records
January 20, 2011 09:26 AM - Jeremy Hance

New images released by NASA illustrate how four different global temperature records show remarkably consistent warming around the world. Currently, global temperatures are analyzed by four major organizations: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Center's Climatic Research Unit, and the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Although each organization has garnered slightly different results year-to-year, all show a consistent warming trend globally, including that the most recent decade as the warmest since record-keeping began in the late Nineteenth Century.

Climate Models Are Becoming Increasingly Accurate
January 19, 2011 09:45 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Predicting future climates on planet Earth is an extremely hard task due to the myriad of factors involved. To make the necessary calculations requires computers with capacities far beyond the average home computer. However, climate models are become ever more reliable thanks not only to greater computing power, but also to more extensive observation efforts of the current climate, and an improved understanding of the climate system.

Masdar World Future Energy Summit
January 18, 2011 04:36 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Abu Dhabi, UAE, may be a major oil supplier to the world, but the Emirate is also active with ideas and commitments to a green energy future. The World Future Energy Summit 2011 in Abu Dhabi began on January 17th. The summit is taking place not far from the emerging city of Masdar which is designed to be a showpiece of clean tech innovation and green urban planning. Around 33 official delegations and more than 3,000 delegates will participate in the World Future Energy Summit. Masdar is a project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Its core is a planned city, which is being built by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. The city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. The city is being constructed 11 miles east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi.

Eating Insects 'Could Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
January 17, 2011 01:58 PM - Benjamin Kolb, SciDevNet

Dining on crickets, locusts, or even cockroaches, instead of cattle or pigs, could ease both food insecurity and climate change, according to researchers.

Amount of carbon absorbed by ecosystems each year is grossly overstated, says new study
January 17, 2011 09:38 AM - Emily Kirkland, MONGABAY.COM

According to a new paper published in Science, current carbon accounting methods significantly overstate the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by forests, plains, and other terrestrial ecosystems. That is because most current carbon accounting methods do not consider the methane and carbon dioxide released naturally by rivers, streams, and lakes.

The Earth's shrinking snow and ice cover may increase the rate of Global warming
January 17, 2011 06:48 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

Shrinking ice and snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is reflecting ever less sunshine back into space in a previously underestimated mechanism that could add to global warming, a study showed. Satellite data indicated that Arctic sea ice, glaciers, winter snow and Greenland's ice were bouncing less energy back to space from 1979 to 2008. The dwindling white sunshade exposes ground or water, both of which are darker and absorb more heat. The study estimated that ice and snow in the Northern Hemisphere were now reflecting on average 3.3 watts per square meter of solar energy back to the upper atmosphere, a reduction of 0.45 watt per square meter since the late 1970s.

How Hot Can It Get?
January 14, 2011 01:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

In the ancient past temperatures on Earth appeared to have been much warmer than today. It is possible that temperatures may rise as high as then based on current climate change projections. The new study, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl, will appear as a Perspectives piece in this week’s issue of the journal Science. Building on recent research, the study examines the relationship between global temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tens of millions of years ago. It warns that, if carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current rate through the end of this century, atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas will reach levels that last existed about 30 million to 100 million years ago, when global temperatures averaged about 29 degrees F higher than now (in the high eighties F).

NOAA's Weatherman in the Sky
January 14, 2011 11:20 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Forecasting the weather can be a tricky business, especially in winter. When a winter storm approaches, forecasts can range widely across the board from light flurries to a blizzard. As many know, the jet stream over the North American continent moves west to east. That is why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dispatching its state of the art aircraft to gather atmospheric data over the North Pacific Ocean, the region where North America's weather originates.

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