Football field-sized kite powers latest heavy freight ship
December 7, 2007 09:12 AM -
A kite the size of a football field will provide most of the power for a German heavy freight ship set to launch in December.
The Beluga shipping company that owns the 140-metre 'Beluga' said it expects the kites to decrease fuel consumption by up to 50 percent in optimal cases as well as a cutback of the emission of greenhouse gases on sea by 10 to 20 percent. Interestingly, the ship will be hauling windmills from Esbjerg, Denmark to Houston, Texas.
The company that makes the kite for the German transport, SkySails, has made kites for large yachts but is targeting commercial ships with new, larger kites. And it has the ambitious goal of equipping 1,500 ships with kites by 2015.
The SkySails system
'Hellish' Hot Springs Yield Greenhouse Gas-eating Bug
December 7, 2007 08:54 AM - University of Calgary
A new species of bacteria discovered living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth could yield a tool in the fight against global warming.
In a paper published on Dec. 6 in the prestigious science journal Nature, U of C biology professor Peter Dunfield and colleagues describe the methane-eating microorganism they found in the geothermal field known as Hell’s Gate, near the city of Rotorua in New Zealand. It is the hardiest “methanotrophic” bacterium yet discovered, which makes it a likely candidate for use in reducing methane gas emissions from landfills, mines, industrial wastes, geothermal power plants and other sources.
Combustion of waste may reduce greenhouse gas emissions
December 7, 2007 08:46 AM - VIT
A joint research project of VTT and Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) has proved that development of waste management is a cost-efficient means to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. Considerable reductions can be achieved by combustion of waste and by collecting methane from landfills. The collected methane can either be used directly in energy production or flared off, i.e. eliminated through combustion without energy production.
Landfills are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, mostly because of methane. Compared with carbon dioxide, methane is a twenty times stronger greenhouse gas, and landfills originate 4 % of the anthropogenic emissions. To reduce the emissions, the greenhouse gases generated in landfills should be collected, and biodegradable waste should be treated by other methods than landfilling.
Senators ask Bush for greater food safety funding
December 7, 2007 08:30 AM - Reuters
"Additional funding for (the Food and Drug Administration) is an important step toward improving our ability to protect human health and welfare," 23 senators from both parties wrote in the letter, also directed to budget director Jim Nussle.
U.S. Emissions Reductions May Be Cheaper Than Thought
December 7, 2007 08:28 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
For years, the United States has resisted mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions because of the perceived cost to the national economy. But a new report suggests that significantly reducing U.S. carbon emissions could cost far less than the trillions of dollars some have projected. McKinsey & Co., a privately owned management consulting firm, predicts that making substantial emissions cuts may cost the economy only a few billion dollars, and that at least 40 percent of the reductions would actually bring economic savings.
Emissions cap for poor unlikely at Bali talks
December 7, 2007 07:06 AM - Reuters
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - The chance that developing countries would accept firm emissions-cutting targets receded on Friday, as U.N.-led talks to launch negotiations on a climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol inched forwards.
About a dozen trade ministers meet in Bali at the weekend and finance ministers from Monday, their first-ever visit to the annual U.N. climate meeting normally attended by environment ministers, to help spur a booming global "green" economy.
"Nothing's been ruled out," said Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat at the December 3-14 talks being held at a luxury beach resort in Bali, Indonesia.
Tanker Leaks Oil Off S.Korea Coast
December 7, 2007 05:45 AM - Reuters
SEOUL (Reuters) - A large oil tanker gushed thousands of tons of oil into the sea near one of South Korea's most scenic coastlines after being hit by a barge, South Korea's maritime ministry said on Friday.
The Hong Kong-registered Hebei Spirit was struck while at anchor off Daesan port in the Taean region on the country's west coast and the ministry said it had already leaked some 10,800 metric tons of crude oil.
"A barge ship being towed ... collided with the oil tanker at anchor, breaching the cargo section and leaking crude oil," ministry official Lee Jang-hoon told reporters.
California sets key climate targets
December 7, 2007 04:25 AM - Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California on Thursday set key emissions targets and became the first state to require heavy industries to report their greenhouse gases, major steps in its landmark law to reduce global warming.
Starting in 2008, owners of power plants, oil refineries, cement plants and other big polluters will tell the state how much carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases they spew. By 2010, those reports will be independently verified.
Also on Thursday, the California Air Resources Board set a specific emissions target for the state to meet by 2020 .
Hong Kong chokes on pollution
December 7, 2007 04:10 AM - Reuters
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong warned people with heart or lung problems to avoid outdoor activities on Friday as the territory experienced one of its most polluted days of the year, with the hills across the harbor almost invisible.
Pollution monitoring stations registered "very high" readings in several spots around the former British colony, and the Environmental Protection Department said the poor air was expected to continue.
Hong Kong's air has become increasingly clogged with pollutants from cars, ships, power plants and a booming manufacturing sector across the border in China's Guangdong province.
Polish energy sector to be hit hardest by CO2 quota
December 6, 2007 02:23 PM - Reuters
WARSAW (Reuters) - Energy will be among the sectors that bear the brunt of the European Union's decision to cut by 27 percent Poland's 2008-2012 carbon emissions quota, the environment minister said on Thursday.
The European Commission cut the annual quota for central Europe's biggest economy to 208.5 million tonnes as part of its attempts to shore up the emissions trading scheme, the EU's key tool to curb global warming.