Increasing levels of rare element found worldwide
April 22, 2009 07:51 AM - Dartmouth College

Dartmouth researchers have determined that the presence of the rare element osmium is on the rise globally. They trace this increase to the consumption of refined platinum, the primary ingredient in catalytic converters, the equipment commonly installed in cars to reduce smog.

Atmospheric engineering scheme to combat global warming could diminish solar power
April 20, 2009 06:23 AM - Environmental Science & Technology

A widely discussed "atmospheric engineering" scheme intended to combat global warming could have unanticipated consequences in reducing the effectiveness of certain kinds of solar power around the Earth, a new study has concluded. It is appears in the current issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. In the study, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Daniel M. Murphy examines a proposal to minimize climate change by enhancing the stratospheric aerosol layer, which reduces sunlight to Earth by scattering it to outer space. But this approach has considerable implications on the ability to concentrate solar power, Murphy says. For example, the increased aerosols resulting from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines reduced global sunlight by less than three percent but decreased output from some solar generating plants by about 20 percent.

Chesapeake Bay Group Wants EPA to Be Aggressive
April 20, 2009 06:10 AM - Water & Wastewater News

With its 10th annual State of the Bay report continuing to show no significant progress, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President William C. Baker on April 15 challenged the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency to use its regulatory authority to take aggressive new action to reduce pollution. "That the Chesapeake Bay, a national treasure, remains in critical condition is outrageous. It is a national disgrace," said CBF President Will Baker. "Who are we kidding? It is 2009 and this national treasure is still getting trashed, while government refuses to use every possible tool available to stop it. When will EPA exercise its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to set a strict pollution reduction mandate and enforce it? Do laws mean nothing when it is only nature that is getting injured?"

CA to Secretary Salazar: No Offshore Drilling, More Renewable Energy
April 20, 2009 06:01 AM - , Triple Pundit

Last week, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, hosted the last of 4 public forums around the country to gather input on offshore drilling and offshore renewable energy development. Choosing to end in San Francisco means he is going back to Washington with a resounding “No” in his ears. “No” to offshore drilling and “Yes” to investing in renewable energy, and any other new green technology San Francisco start-ups can figure out.

First Wind Files Permit Application to Build a Proposed 51 Megawatt (MW) Wind Project in Maine
April 19, 2009 07:01 AM - Green Progress

First Wind today announced that it has filed a permit application with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to build a proposed 51 megawatt (MW) wind project in the town of Oakfield in Aroostook County. The proposed Oakfield Wind project will consist of up to 34 GE 1.5 MW turbines that can produce enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes. "Maine continues to foster the development of renewable energy, and we are excited to continue work to provide indigenous renewable and clean wind power,” said Matt Kearns, First Wind’s Vice President of Development for New England. “In addition to its many environmental and renewable energy attributes, the Oakfield Wind project will offer significant economic benefits to the state, Aroostook County, and most importantly to the Oakfield community. We are looking forward to working with members of the community to advance this project."

EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Pose Threat to Public Health, Welfare / Proposed Finding Comes in Response to 2007 Supreme Court Ruling
April 18, 2009 07:36 AM - U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

After a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding Friday that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. The proposed finding, which now moves to a public comment period, identified six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat. "This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” said Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This pollution problem has a solution — one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil."

Water Fight
April 17, 2009 09:11 AM - Bryan Walsh, TIME

The Songhua river in northeastern China doesn't have the history of the Mekong, the spirituality of the Ganges or the sheer power of the Yangtze. But in November 2005, this 1,200-mile (2,000 km) waterway made headlines when a chemical plant in the Chinese city of Jilin spilled massive amounts of the toxic chemical benzene, creating a 50-mile (80 km) noxious slick.

Third-World Stove Soot Is Target in Climate Fight
April 17, 2009 06:51 AM - ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, The New York Times

"It's hard to believe that this is what’s melting the glaciers," said Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, as he weaved through a warren of mud brick huts, each containing a mud cookstove pouring soot into the atmosphere.

The World's Cleanest Countries
April 16, 2009 09:33 AM - Andy Stone, Forbes

The Environmental Performance Index, developed by Columbia and Yale Universities, ranks the environmental performance of 140 countries based on 25 categories ranging from air and water quality to biodiversity and the use of pesticides. This list looks at the top countries in each of six world regions and the ways in which each excel, as well as areas where the countries lag their peers.

EPA Publishes Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report
April 15, 2009 03:15 PM - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the national greenhouse gas inventory, which finds that overall emissions during 2007 increased by 1.4 percent from the previous year. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007, is the latest annual report that the United States has submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

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