Reducing emissions to combat climate change
June 2, 2014 08:22 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Climate engineering is unlikely to provide an effective or practical solution to slowing global warming, according to a new study. Reducing the release of carbon remains the only likely answer to tackling climate change ahead of fanciful projects such as positioning giant mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight being trapped in the earth's atmosphere or seeding clouds to reduce the amount of light entering earth's atmosphere.
Utility emissions in US trending down
May 31, 2014 09:16 AM - NRDC
A new report on U.S. power plant emissions from the country's top 100 electric power producers shows a downward trend in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides (SO2), mercury and carbon dioxide (CO2) since 2000, with CO2 emissions decreasing 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. The findings show that the industry is already shifting toward a combination of increased energy efficiency and lower carbon fuel sources, which should help it meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon standards expected to be announced on June 2. "The electric power industry is firmly on the path toward a low carbon energy future, and history shows that it is not only capable of meeting new pollution limits, but that it can do so while keeping our lights on and our economy growing," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group which helped produce the report. "EPA's proposed standards will stimulate further investment in low-carbon, low-risk resources like renewable power and energy efficiency."
British Airways Turns Garbage into Jet Fuel: Sustainable Solution or Incineration in Disguise?
May 30, 2014 02:03 PM - Alexis Petru, Triple Pundit
Can garbage power your plane ride from New York to London? That’s the idea behind a new production plant that will transform waste from London's homes and businesses into a jet fuel that costs about the same price as conventional petroleum-based fuel but burns cleaner and produces fewer carbon emissions.
Airport pollution worse than the freeways in LA?
May 30, 2014 07:44 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
A new study has found that heavy airplane traffic contributes to even more pollution to the skies above Los Angeles than the city’s congested freeways. And the research results, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed the effect continues for up to 10 miles away.
Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce harmful air pollution
May 28, 2014 08:58 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power stations would provide the added bonus of reducing other air pollutants that can make people sick and damage the environment. A first-of-its-kind study released today by scientists at Syracuse University and Harvard has mapped the potential environmental and human health benefits of power plant carbon standards and found potential for reductions of more than 750 thousand tons of other harmful air pollutants across the US.
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.