Sci/tech

A bright future for clean technology in China
January 9, 2009 09:06 AM - Science and Development Network

Government policy, entrepreneurship and consumer awareness will accelerate clean technology innovation in China — and the future is bright for investors, says venture capitalist Gary Rieshel. Cleaner and more efficient technologies are needed in all China's industries.

Cornell technology makes biogas greener
January 9, 2009 08:46 AM - Marissa Fessenden, Cornell University

Cornell plant scientists have invented a new method that uses manure and other farm byproducts to remove toxic hydrogen sulfide from biogas -- a renewable energy source derived from the breakdown of animal waste. Hydrogen sulfide can combine with water to cause acid rain and to corrode engines. Its removal makes biogas a more viable alternative fuel source. The new method will be marketed under the name SulfaMaster.

UN Climate Conference: The countdown to Copenhagen
January 9, 2009 08:22 AM - The Independent

In 331 days' time, 15,000 officials from 200 countries will gather in the Danish capital with 1 goal: to find a solution to global warming. Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, presents the first in a series of dispatches on the crucial summit Three hundred and thirty-one days, plus a final frantic fortnight: not very long, really, to put together the most complex and vital agreement the world has ever seen. But that's all the time there is: in 331 days from now, on 7 December, the UN Climate Conference will open in Copenhagen and the world community will try to agree a solution to the gravest threat it has ever faced: global warming.

California Scientists Create E.Coli-based Fuel That's Much More Efficient Than Ethanol
January 8, 2009 09:00 AM - Angelique van Engelen, Global Warming is Real

U.S. scientists say they can turn E.coli, a strain of bacteria present in the human digestive tract, into a fuel that is twice or three times more efficient than ethanol. The scientists, attached to theUniversity of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) managed to create a strain for the first time that generates alcohol with five carbon atoms per molecule instead of the regular two or three. That´s important because the larger, longer chain molecules contain more energy, something of a "holy grail" for the fuel industry.

Corals in peril
January 8, 2009 08:27 AM - Rhitu Chatterjee, American Chemical Society

Nearly one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs have already succumbed to the combined onslaught of global warming, water pollution, and overfishing. Without immediate measures to mitigate climate change and reduce the local pressures on reefs, the world is set to lose another 15% of coral reefs over the next 10−20 years and 20% over 20−40 years. Those are the main conclusions of a new report, produced jointly by a handful of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations from around the world, including the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Tracking greenhouse gases from space
January 7, 2009 08:31 AM - Asahi

In a world first, Japan will attempt to monitor the Earth's "breathing" from space, via satellite, as part of efforts to better understand the greenhouse effect. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)--working in conjunction with the Environment Ministry and the National Institute for Environmental Studies--will launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) Ibuki using the H-2A rocket on Jan. 21.

Japan races to build a zero-emission car
January 5, 2009 08:24 AM - The West Austrailian

"Please erase your image of electric cars being like golf carts," a spokesman for Japan's fourth-biggest automaker said before taking a zero-emission vehicle out for a spin. As mass-produced electric cars come closer to reality, their makers are trying to polish the image of what experts say could be a hard sell in the current recession.

How Green Is Apple?
December 31, 2008 09:30 AM - Wall Street Journal

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc.'s eye-catching logo - an apple with a bite taken from it - has come in many colors in the past. Now, the iconic computer company is trying to prove its commitment to the color green. In recent advertising, the Cupertino, Calif., company presents itself as an environmental leader. Apple's Web site bills its new line of MacBook computers as "the world's greenest family of notebooks." It now makes iPods and iPhones free of polyvinyl chlorides and brominated flame retardant, and it's in the final stages of making all of its products without bromine and chlorine. Both chemicals have been criticized for creating toxic byproducts.

The New Science of Sustainable Dynamics
December 30, 2008 12:32 PM - By Roy Morrison , Global Policy Innovations

In 1948, Norbert Wiener pondered a new science in his classic book Cybernetics, one that flirted with the "boundary regions of science." Sustainability today occupies a similar state, but the concept is used more as a policy guide and buzzword than as a true science. As policy, the Bruntland Report in 1987 defined sustainability as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Beyond this important sense of applied ethics, sustainability must also be approached as a discipline governed by the scientific method.

Seawater science can help climate change forecasts
December 29, 2008 09:24 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A team of scientists has come up with a new definition of seawater which is set to boost the accuracy of projections for oceans and climate. Oceans help regulate the planet's weather by shifting heat from the equator to the poles. Changes in salinity and temperature are major forces driving global currents as well as circulation patterns from the surface to the seabed.

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