Fighting fires before they spark
October 17, 2017 05:02 PM - University of New Mexico

With warm, dry summers comes a deadly caveat for the western United States: wildfires. Scientists say the hot, dry climates found west of the Mississippi, along with decades of fire suppression efforts, are creating a devastating and destructive combination – leading to fires like the ones currently burning in California.

Paris to Ban Fossil Fuel Cars by 2030
October 16, 2017 03:40 PM - Yale Environment 360

Paris announced it will ban all gas- and diesel-fueled cars within city limits by 2030, allowing only electric vehicles onto its streets, according to Reuters

Will metal supplies limit battery expansion?
October 11, 2017 05:27 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The dramatic rise in production of electric vehicles, coupled with expected growth in the use of grid-connected battery systems for storing electricity from renewable sources, raises a crucial question: Are there enough raw materials to enable significantly increased production of lithium-ion batteries, which are the dominant type of rechargeable batteries on the market?

When Shipping Petroleum, Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Costs More Than Accidents
October 10, 2017 03:18 PM - Carnegie Mellon University

While the policy debate surrounding crude oil transportation costs has emphasized accidents and spills, a new study by Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh researchers indicates the debate is overlooking a far more serious external cost—air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball
October 10, 2017 02:44 PM - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

While burning coal today causes Earth to overheat, about 300 million years ago the formation of that same coal brought our planet close to global glaciation. For the first time, scientists show the massive effect in a study published in the renowned Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences. When trees in vast forests died during a time called the Carboniferous and the Permian, the carbon dioxide (CO2) they took up from the atmosphere while growing got buried; the plants’ debris over time formed most of the coal that today is used as fossil fuel. Consequently, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere sank drastically and Earth cooled down to a degree it narrowly escaped what scientists call a ‘snowball state’.

Planning for the Future
October 5, 2017 04:56 PM - University of California - Santa Barbara

Over the past decade, increasing temperatures across much of Africa and decreasing rainfall across East Africa have come to represent an alarming climate trend. Chief among concerns is the impact such conditions have on human health.

Australia Experiences Surge in Deforestation
October 5, 2017 04:46 PM - Yale Environment 360

Nearly 1 million acres of trees were cut down in Queensland, Australia from 2015 to 2016, representing a 33 percent rise in deforestation, according to a new government land survey.

Scientists Find New Source of Radioactivity from Fukushima Disaster
October 2, 2017 04:14 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.

“No one is either exposed to, or drinks, these waters, and thus public health is not of primary concern here,” the scientists said in a study published October 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But “this new and unanticipated pathway for the storage and release of radionuclides to the ocean should be taken into account in the management of coastal areas where nuclear power plants are situated.”


Antarctic Glacier Loses Chunk of Ice Four Times the Size of Manhattan
September 25, 2017 04:48 PM - Yale Environment 360

A section of ice more than 100 square miles in size — four times as large as Manhattan — has broken off the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. It is the fifth major calving, or ice loss, event on the glacier since 2000.

This year's hurricanes are a taste of the future
September 22, 2017 05:41 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In a detailed talk about the history and the underlying physics of hurricanes and tropical cyclones, MIT Professor Kerry Emanuel yesterday explained why climate change will cause such storms to become much stronger and reach peak intensity further north, heightening their potential impacts on human lives in coming years.

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