Environmental Policy

Saving money with wasted heat
April 18, 2014 08:18 AM - Megan Fellman, Northwestern University

Nearly two-thirds of energy input is lost as waste heat. Now Northwestern University scientists have discovered a surprising material that is the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity. This outstanding property could be exploited in solid-state thermoelectric devices in a variety of industries, with potentially enormous energy savings.

Scenario development yields environmental success story
April 17, 2014 03:37 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

With so much scenario modeling currently available, we are able to better predict our future and anticipate the outcomes of various habits and activities. While invaluable in the area of prediction, how has that information transformed our environmental status? Is our environmental future optimistic or dismal? Will we be able to celebrate Earth Day in the future knowing that we have responded appropriately to the bleak prophecies?

Weather throws a curve
April 16, 2014 07:14 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Apparently the intense curve of the jet stream can predict the variability of an entire season and it is part of a 4,000 year pattern. Last winter's curvy jet stream in North America resulted in mild western temperatures and harsher cold temperatures in the east. University of Utah researchers reveal that a similar pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, suggesting that it may worsen as Earth's climate warms.

IPCC concludes: Renewable energy shift is a must
April 15, 2014 10:34 AM - ENN Editor

Conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's are simple: rapid shifts to renewable energy are needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The IPCC's report was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by each major government in the world. The report documented increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, the source of those gases, and their climatic effect. The most significant conclusions resulting from IPPC report are: - Current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are not enough. - Energy supply is not the only thing driving emission increases. - Big changes will be needed to avoid disaster scenarios.

To bee or not to bee
April 15, 2014 09:33 AM - Staff, ClickGreen

Bumblebees are among the most loved and familiar of garden insects. The sight and sound of them buzzing from flower to flower is a quintessential part of summertime, but sadly these charismatic creatures are now struggling to survive. In our modern world of paved gardens and intensive agriculture our bumblebees find themselves hungry and homeless.

Climate Change: We have met the enemy and they are us
April 14, 2014 09:35 AM - ENN Editor

According to McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy, we have no one to blame but ourselves for global warming in the industrial era. Lovejoy and his research team have just completed an analysis of temperature data covering more than 500 years. This study all but rules out the possibility that global warming is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate.

Largest Cleanup in EPA History Proposed
April 14, 2014 08:14 AM - ENN Staff

In an historic action that will protect people's health and the environment, and benefit riverfront communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan to remove 4.3 million cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. The sediment in the Passaic River is severely contaminated with dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants from more than a century of industrial activity. Ninety percent of the volume of contaminated sediments in the lower Passaic are in the lower eight miles of the river.

Belgium crushes Ivory, condemning poaching and illegal trade in wildlife
April 12, 2014 07:41 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2

This week Belgium took a symbolic stand for elephants by crushing its entire stockpile of confiscated ivory in a move that condemns poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife. The event was hosted by Belgian Vice Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx, who was joined by members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), who helped organize the event, and officials from European and African countries, including elephant range states.

Who could EVER live in New Zealand's Kermadec Trench?
April 11, 2014 01:16 PM - Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution Newsroom

An international team of researchers led by deep-sea biologist Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will use the world's only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench. The 40-day expedition, which begins on April 12th, kicks off an ambitious three-year collaborative effort funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the project, known as Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES), is to conduct the first-ever systematic study of life in ocean trenches, comparing it to the neighboring abyssal plain—flat areas of the seafloor usually found at depths between 3,000 and 6,000 meters.

US EPA finds the most energy efficient buildings in top 10 cities
April 11, 2014 08:52 AM - US EPA Energy Star

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its sixth annual list of the 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in 2013. The list demonstrates economic and environmental benefits achieved by facility owners and managers in America’s leading cities when they apply a proven approach to energy efficiency to their buildings.

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