Ancient Fossils Points to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming
October 2, 2007 12:37 PM -
PASADENA, Calif.--A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming.
In the current issue of the journal Nature, geologists and environmental scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Ottawa, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Brock University, and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve report the results of a new method for determining the growth temperatures of carbonate fossils such as shells and corals. This method looks at the percentage of rare isotopes of oxygen and carbon that bond with each other rather than being randomly distributed through their mineral lattices.
USDA seeks help from consumers after beef recall
October 1, 2007 05:44 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday said consumers play a major role in avoiding any of the 21.7 million pounds of ground beef, at risk for the E. coli bacteria, flagged in the fifth-largest meat recall in U.S. history.
The recall by Topps Meat Company LLC has generated reports of 27 illnesses suspected to be linked to the recalled meat, USDA said, but just three have been confirmed.
The department suspended the raw processed meat operations of Topps on September 26 after an initial recall of 331,582 pounds of frozen ground beef products.
"This is frozen product" and could still be in home freezers, said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department's undersecretary for food safety. He added that "consumers have a big role" in getting the meat out of circulation.
Air Fresheners Unregulated, Potentially Dangerous, Group Says
October 1, 2007 10:45 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
A study of 14 common household air fresheners has found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “There are too many products on the shelves that we assume are safe, but have never even been tested,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, NRDC senior scientist. “The government should be keeping a watchful eye on these household items and the manufacturers who produce them.”
Turning Your Office Wasteland Into A Recycling Haven
October 1, 2007 10:29 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
For several years, colleagues within our office looked around at the mountains of used printer paper, newspapers and other waste that surrounded them and made mild mutterings about how awful it was that it all just went into the main waste skip and wasn’t recycled. Yet while many were keen to see the waste dealt with in a better way, no-one was particularly keen to take on the recycling role themselve Yet, when we finally got the bit between our teeth at the start of the year and decided once and for all that the waste must stop, it turned out to be much easier than anticipated.
Cost of Coal
October 1, 2007 09:55 AM - Reuters
AYFORD MOUNTAIN, W. Va - Larry Gibson's tiny house sits in a green oasis on top of the Appalachian peak his family has called home for 230 years. The setting would be peaceful if not for the roar of machinery scraping away the surrounding mountain in search of coal "It's a noisy, dusty place. They dynamite constantly," said Gibson, 61. "It's the genocide of Appalachia, the destruction of a people who have lived in these mountains forever. Gibson has emblazoned the wooden cabin he calls home with a banner calling for an end to mountaintop mining, along with the words "We are the keepers of the mountains ... don't destroy them" -- his defiant stand against coal companies who have offered to buy his land.
Europe's Largest Mobile Phone Recycling Facility to Open in UK
October 1, 2007 09:46 AM - , Green Progress
In a recent announcement made by Excel Fortune Holdings Ltd, it has been confirmed that Europe's largest mobile phone recycling facility will be established in Wales, UK to service and supply what has until now been a fragmented supply chain. The company, headed up by telecoms industry veteran Mike Bandeira, has committed GBP6million to the venture with an estimated total start-up investment, including capital turnover, of GBP15million. The project has also been offered funding by the Welsh Assembly Government.
RWE to develop new process to cut pollution
September 30, 2007 08:18 PM -
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility RWE, Europe's largest polluter, said on Friday it plans to develop a new process to remove carbon-dioxide from the emissions of coal-fired power plants as countries throughout Europe make it more expensive to emit the greenhouse gas.
Germany's largest power producer will spend 80 million euros ($113.5 million) on the process, which it is devising with Industrial-gases producer Linde and chemicals firm BASF, and plans to use it commercially by 2020.
BASF will test technologies and solvents for the process to remove CO2, known as scrubbing, while Linde will supply the engineering and construction for the test site at an RWE, lignite-fired power plant in Niederaussen, the parties said.
Researchers Challenge Assumptions Of GMO Agriculture
September 29, 2007 06:42 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Manhatten, Kansas - A researcher is challenging the assumption that genetically engineered plants are the great scientific and technological revolution in agriculture and the only efficient and cheap way to feed a growing population. They are working on non-GMO methods to accelerate plant breeding. It's called "market-assisted selection". The research is focused on breeding methodology, finding more efficient ways to breed better varieties of corn, sorghum, wheat or barley that yield higher, require less irrigation and are resistant to diseases in farmers' fields. The work was recently published in an edition of the scientific journal Crop Science.
Microbes At Work (Cleaning Up The Environment)
September 29, 2007 06:25 PM -
LIVERMORE, Calif. – It may sound counterintuitive to use a microbial protein to improve water quality. But some bacteria are doing just that to protect themselves from potentially toxic nanoparticles in their own environments, and clean up crews of the future could potentially do the same thing on a larger scale.
A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that bacteria from an abandoned mine excrete proteins that cause metal nanoparticles to aggregate. The bacteria are binding and immobilizing the metals in the nanoparticles and the nanoparticles themselves, which are potentially toxic to the bacteria.