Natural Gas and Pure Water
February 5, 2013 08:51 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Water is always precious. Increased natural gas production is happening ion the US. But natural gas wells have problems: Large volumes of deep water, often heavily laden with salts and minerals, flow out along with the gas. That so-called produced water must be disposed of, or cleaned. Once cleaned it has beneficial reuse in often arid regions.
Chevron Moving Forward on Permits for Shale Gas Projects in Romania
February 1, 2013 05:55 AM - Business Review Romnania
The county council in Vaslui County, Romania awarded last December Chevron the right to drill an exploratory well for shale gas in a locality within the Barlad concession that covers some 600,000 hectares in North East Romania. Chevron will drill its first exploratory well in the Paltinis village, within the Bacesti locality in rural Vaslui. People in this region took to the streets three times last year to protest the exploitation of shale gas through franking. Dumitru Buzatu, president of the Vaslui county council, said that Chevron's permitting is legal.
Urban Heat Climate Effects
January 28, 2013 02:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day, and is most apparent when winds are weak. The main cause of the urban heat island is modification of the land surface by urban development which uses materials which effectively retain heat. Waste heat generated by energy usage is a secondary contributor. As a population center grows, it tends to expand its area, and increase in its average temperature. How far away does this effect persist? Does it significantly contribute to global warming?
Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food
January 28, 2013 09:12 AM - Elizabeth Royte, The Ecologist
While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or "fracking") operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil. Last year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca, New York, veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first and only peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals.
Massachusetts Leads the Divestment Charge
January 27, 2013 07:48 AM - LESLIE FRIDAY/ecoRI News
Harvard University is a world leader in higher education, but sophomore Chloe Maxmin wants her college to also blaze trails battling climate change. The social studies and environmental science major helps coordinate Divest Harvard, an offshoot of a 350.org-sponsored campaign pushing colleges, local governments, nonprofits and pensions to divest from the 200 companies with a majority of the fossil-fuel reserves. Maxmin's group started speaking to students in August about the urgency for action on global climate change while pitching divestment as a powerful financial tool. The group then launched a successful petition drive that placed divestment on last November’s student ballot and earned 72 percent support for a non-binding referendum urging Harvard to steer its $31 billion endowment away from fossil fuels. Divest Harvard's next step is to meet Feb. 1 with Harvard's Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility to pitch its case.
Dominating vistas around Italy’s Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24 in the year 79 AD, a cataclysm that brought an end to the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and its denizens, preserving their remains in volcanic ash. The looming presence of Vesuvius is a stark reminder of the destructive power of volcanoes for residents of Naples, as well as the vulnerability of populations around the world who reside in their presence. Today, however, the city of Naples is looking to tap into and harness Vesuvius’ energy to improve lives, the environment and living conditions.
From Light Green to Sustainable Buildings
January 23, 2013 05:04 PM - Supriya Kumar, Worldwatch Institute
As more people move to urban areas in search of economic opportunities, the number of buildings that are needed to house them continues to rise. It is estimated that by 2030, an additional 1.4 billion people will live in cities, of which 1.3 billion will dwell in cities of developing countries. The increasing number of buildings has long-term impacts on both the environment and natural resources. Fortunately, a variety of policy tools hold promise for promoting sustainability in buildings, according to Kaarin Taipale, contributing author of the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity. The buildings in which we live and work are a major consumer of energy, responsible for some 30—40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, a similar share of total solid waste, and 12 percent of all fresh water used. With the rate of urbanization reaching record levels, there will be more construction and buildings than ever before.
Europe is Worried that Oil Shale will be a big economic advantage for the US
January 23, 2013 06:14 AM - EurActive
A US industrial boost following its ability to tap abundant shale gas reserves is provoking fears that imperilled energy-intensive European businesses will find it harder than ever to compete. But calls for the EU to deliver a 'silver bullet' and emulate the US by tapping shale gas through 'fracking' remain controversial because of environmental and logistical concerns. Partly due to its shale reserves, the United States is expected to become almost self-sufficient in oil and gas by 2035 and will overtake Russia in gas production by 2015 and Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017, a recent International Energy Agency forecast shows.
NASA Images Reveal 'Kuwait on the Prairie'
January 22, 2013 10:03 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Last month, we published a story about newly released NASA satellite images and we were amazed at the quality and detail of the pictures. Looking at the United States at night, we expect to see patches of light around major cities and brightness from dense populations along the coasts. But after studying the photos, Rovert Krulwich a correspondent for NPR, reports on a mysterious patch of light that shows up in North Dakota. With a population of under 700,000 for the whole state, and a state who’s largest industry is agriculture, what can these lights possibly be from?
Roadmap for Fusion
January 22, 2013 07:58 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world's largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in the south of France. The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) has published a roadmap which outlines how to supply fusion electricity to the grid by 2050 with ITER as one of its units. The roadmap to the realization of fusion energy breaks the quest for fusion energy down into eight missions. For each mission, it reviews the current status of research, identifies open issues, proposes a research and development program and estimates the required resources. It points out the needs to intensify industrial involvement and to seek all opportunities for collaboration outside Europe.