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Sustainability

EPA doles out grants to replace old diesel engines on tug boats
May 27, 2014 03:17 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

The shipping industry is one of the most under-regulated industries in the world due to outdated and international regulations that are difficult to enforce on a global scale. And as these ships enter our harbors and ports close to home, their operations have the potential to generate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants that are linked to various health problems in susceptible populations. In an effort to combat some of the pollution expelled from dirty diesel engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted over one million dollars to help two specific organizations replace their old engines with less polluting models. According to the EPA, the projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants which are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.

Ancient soils found to contain significant amounts of carbon
May 27, 2014 11:31 AM - University of Wisconsin-Madison, via ScienceDaily

Soils that formed on Earth's surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet's carbon cycle. The finding, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, is significant as it suggests that deep soils can contain long-buried stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human activities, contribute to global climate change.

Warming climate found to increase hybridization in Western Trout
May 26, 2014 10:31 AM - USGS Newsroom

Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate. In the study, stream temperature warming over the past several decades and decreases in spring flow over the same time period contributed to the spread of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout — the world's most widely introduced invasive fish species —across the Flathead River system in Montana and British Columbia, Canada.

Air Conditioning: Cooler on the Inside, Hotter on the Outside!
May 25, 2014 09:30 AM - Editor, ENN

We all love to be comfortable in our homes and businesses. We use air-conditioning to provide comfortable temperatures indoors. Air conditioners work basically by moving hotter air from inside to outside. Does this have an impact on climate? Global warming? A team of researchers from Arizona State University has found that releasing excess heat from air conditioners running during the night resulted in higher outside temperatures, worsening the urban heat island effect and increasing cooling demands. "We found that waste heat from air conditioning systems was maximum during the day but the mean effect was negligible near the surface. However, during the night, heat emitted from air conditioning systems increased the mean air temperature by more than 1 degree Celsius (almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit) for some urban locations," said Francisco Salamanca, a post-doctoral research scientist at Arizona State University's School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

Why don't building owners install modern controls?
May 24, 2014 08:08 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Commercial buildings use large amounts of electricity and natural gas. Significant reductions in energy use can be achieved by installing new modern systems but this requires a significant capital cost, It is possible to install modern control systems at much lower cost and these can also significantly reduce energy use, and improve comfort at the same time! A new study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls, according to a year-long trial of the controls at malls, grocery stores and other buildings across the country. The study demonstrated higher energy savings than what was predicted in earlier computer simulations by the same researchers.

World's First Community Tidal Turbine Scheme Starts Generating Power
May 23, 2014 10:24 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

The world's first community-owned tidal power turbine has started exporting electricity to the local grid, the Scottish Government has announced.

Volvo and Electric charging on the go
May 23, 2014 08:18 AM - Bill DiBenedetto, Triple Pundit

There are electric satellites from Boeing and electric planes from Airbus, so why not electric roads, brought to you by Volvo Group? Volvo, in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration, is studying the potential for building electric roads where city buses—built by Volvo, of course—can be charged from electricity in the road while the bus is in operation.

African nation seeks $1 billion to save its rainforest
May 23, 2014 07:24 AM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM

The Democratic Republic of Congo is seeking a billion dollars for a plan to protect up to 9 million hectares of rainforests, reports the Financial Times. In a presentation given at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, DR Congo Minister of Environment Bavon N'sa Mputu Elima said his country needed foreign assistance to protect forests. He cited Indonesia as a precedent for such an approach.

Climate change threatens US landmarks
May 22, 2014 09:10 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

The growing consequences of climate change are putting more than two dozen of the most iconic and historic sites in the US at risk, according to a new report. From Ellis Island to the Everglades, Cape Canaveral to California's César Ch├ívez National Monument, a lengthy list of treasured sites is being threatened by the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and fires.

Glacial Water Flows
May 22, 2014 07:53 AM - Harriet Jarlett, Planet Earth Online

Subglacial lakes in Antarctica might have nutrient-rich groundwater flowing into them, say scientists investigating the origin of the water in ice streams. Ice streams are huge, fast-flowing glaciers that meander across Antarctica. They are responsible for nearly all of the Antarctic's contribution to sea-level rise, yet scientists have little understanding of where the water flowing through them comes from. This means that the contents of the subglacial lakes which lie underneath these streams is also a mystery.

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