Sci/tech

The Andes' pulsating rise
April 22, 2014 03:10 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

New research by Carmala Garzione, Earth and Environmental Sciences professor from the University of Rochester suggests that the Antiplano plateau in the central Andes Mountains along with the entire mountain range likely arose in a series of periodic rapid pulses instead of a more continuous gradual surface uplift. According to Garzione, "In geologic terms, rapid means rising one kilometer or more over several millions of years, which is very impressive."

That sinking feeling on the Mississippi Delta
April 21, 2014 09:49 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Every engineering control has its drawbacks. As communities upstream of the Mississippi Delta continue to emplace dams and other flood control measures to prevent community flooding, less sediment is pulled from the lands upstream. Flood control measures have eliminated about half of the annual supply of marshland sediment to the Mississippi Delta. The existing soils continue to compact and sink without sediment replenishment. But researchers have found that the river’s supply of sand, the key ingredient used by engineers for rebuilding, will remain constant for many centuries.

New data on what Greenland was like almost 3 million years ago
April 20, 2014 08:59 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Glaciers and ice sheets are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything — vegetation, soil and even the top layer of bedrock. So a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. "We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years," said University of Vermont geologist and lead author Paul Bierman. The finding provides strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming.

Greenland was green
April 18, 2014 08:55 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Greenland the second largest body of ice on Earth was actually green at one point in history. Researchers, including a scientist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have unearthed cryogenically frozen ancient dirt previously buried under nearly two miles of ice.

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?

Electric car numbers double in one year
April 16, 2014 09:10 AM - Editor, The Ecologist

There are now more than 400,000 electric cars on the world's roads - twice as many as a year ago, and on current trends there will be a million by 2016. Leading the market are the USA, Japan and China - while Europe trails behind. The number of electrically powered automobiles worldwide climbed to just over 400,000 in early 2014. This figure was determined in an analysis conducted by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-W├╝rttemberg (ZSW).

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.

Electricity Prices Fall In Europe As German Renewable Energy Output Increases
April 15, 2014 01:18 PM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

For the fifth consecutive month, electricity prices in countries neighboring Germany have decreased, recently released Platts data reveals, due in large part to increased solar and wind generation in Germany.

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.

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