The problem with older thermostats - Mercury
January 15, 2014 07:51 AM - NRDC
NRDC Study Shows More Than 1.8 Million Thermostats Containing 8 Tons of Mercury Need Safe Recycling In Illinois. The state should raise collection goals for mercury-laden thermostats to avoid contaminating the environment. There are more than 1.8 million thermostats containing eight tons of mercury in Illinois homes and buildings, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Clean Water Fund, which are calling for stronger state rules this year to speed up safe recycling of these thermostats.
Popularity of plug-in vehicles on the rise
January 13, 2014 09:30 AM - Eric Justian, Triple Pundit
Good news for those living at the intersection of manufacturing and environmentalism. Here in the U.S., sales of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles almost doubled between 2012 and 2013 with an 84 percent jump to 96,600 of the vehicles sold. That’s 49,000 plug-in hybrids (like the Volt) and 47,600 pure battery powered plug-in vehicles sold.
Water emergency in West Virginia from chemical contamination
January 10, 2014 03:37 PM - Mark Memmott, NPR
More than 100,000 customers of one water company in West Virginia have been warned not to drink, cook or wash with the water coming from their taps because of chemicals that seeped into the Elk River near Charleston on Thursday. The warning covers all or parts of nine counties. More than 480,000 people live in the affected area — one-quarter of the state's population. Some surely get their water from wells that were not touched by the spill. But as The Charleston Gazette reports, so many people have been affected that "residents swarmed grocery stores, convenience stores and anywhere else with bottled water Thursday evening, and shelves were quickly depleted."
EPA's New Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Now Open for Public Comment
January 10, 2014 02:39 PM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit
Politically contentious as ever, climate change is back in the headlines, as a brutal, deep and prolonged southward shift in the polar vortex has put much of the continental U.S. in a deep freeze. In stark contrast, people living in the Southern Hemisphere — in Australia, Argentina and Brazil, for example — are trying to cope with heat waves, the threat of drought and power outages in major cities. While many are scrambling with the immediacy of such problems, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with longer term, structural fixes to address climate change conceived by the Obama Administration. On Jan. 8, the EPA issued proposed new performance standards that would put an upper limit, or cap, on carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new, stationary power plants under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act.
January 9, 2014 10:41 AM - Nicole Jones, Yale 360
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in one of the largest volcanic blasts of the 20th century. It spat up to 20 million tons of sulfur into the upper atmosphere, shielding the earth from the sun's rays and causing global temperatures to drop by nearly half a degree Celsius in a single year. That's more than half of the amount the planet has warmed due to climate change in 130 years.
Tepco has confirmed that steam is rising from Fukushima's melted-down Reactor 3, but insists there is 'no abnormality'. The steam emanating from the top of Unit 3 Reactor Building indicates "no abnormality", according to plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO). However "steam continues to be confirmed at the top of unit 3 reactor building intermittently since summer when debris removal was conducted on the top floor". The likely cause of the steam is "accumulated rainwater" and "no safety concerns indicated".
Giant wave of understanding in South China Sea
January 8, 2014 03:43 PM - David L. Chandler, MIT
Their effect on the surface of the ocean is negligible, producing a rise of just inches that is virtually imperceptible on a turbulent sea. But internal waves, which are hidden entirely within the ocean, can tower hundreds of feet, with profound effects on the Earth's climate and on ocean ecosystems. Now new research, both in the ocean and in the largest-ever laboratory experiments to investigate internal waves, has solved a longstanding mystery about exactly how the largest known internal waves, in the South China Sea, are produced. The new findings come from a team effort involving MIT and several other institutions, and coordinated by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Suburbs Stomp On City's Eco-Savings with their own Carbon Footprint
January 8, 2014 09:31 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
According to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse-gas emissions per person than other areas of the country. This reasoning seems to makes sense because of resources like public transportation that cut down carbon emissions and shared heating and electricity costs that save on energy. But with every city comes its suburbs and these areas essentially stomp out all environmental benefits that dense cities provide with their own carbon footprint.
Record Winds Cause Energy Prices to Fall in Europe
January 8, 2014 08:58 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Electricity prices across Europe dropped last month as mild temperatures, strong winds and stormy weather produced wind power records in Germany, France and the UK, according to data released by Platts. The Platts Continental Power Index (CONTI) fell 0.4% in December 2013 to €46.80 per Megawatt hour (/MWh) compared to the November 2013 rate of €47.00/MWh, when calmer winds and colder temperatures suppressed wind power and boosted electricity prices. Year-over-year the index was up 8.8%.
Renewables Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels in Australia
January 8, 2014 07:35 AM - Celsias, Clean Techies
A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in Australia has discovered that renewable energy is cheaper to produce than the old conventional fossil fuel sources, and that is without the subsidies. The study shows that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh (USD 83), compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant, including the cost of emissions under the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme. However even without a carbon price (the most efficient way to reduce economy-wide emissions) wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.