Sustainability

Ecology: Life's Connections
October 24, 2013 04:41 PM - Glen Barry, Ecologist

Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel - a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life. Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems - the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.

Dead battery troubles will soon be a thing of the past
October 24, 2013 04:26 PM - Debra Goldberg, ENN

With technology almost always at our fingertips, it’s hard to avoid constantly being on our smart phone, camera, or tablet. It distracts us from our boredom, connects us quickly to friends, helps navigate us to local restaurants, and points out the nearest gas stations when we’re running low on fuel.

Wind power could generate 18% of global power by 2050
October 24, 2013 08:45 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Wind power could generate up to 18% of the world's electricity by 2050, compared with 2.6% today, according to new IEA research. The Technology Roadmap: Wind Energy — 2013 Edition finds that nearly 300 gigawatts of current wind power worldwide must increase eight- to ten-fold to achieve the roadmap's vision, with the more than USD 78 billion in investment in 2012 progressively reaching USD 150 billion per year.

Air Pollution and Cancer Spikes linked in Alberta
October 23, 2013 11:48 AM - Editor, ENN

Alberta is Canada's industry epicenter and home to more than 40 companies that produce industrial emissions. Recent studies conducted by the University of California and the University of Michigan have indicated higher levels of contaminants which can potentially be linked to spikes in the incidences of cancer in the region.

Green Building is Now the Law in Dallas
October 23, 2013 09:45 AM - Stuart Kaplow, courtesy Green Building Law Update via, Clean Techies

Dallas has now accepted the first building permit applications under its green building ordinance. Dallas is one of the first major cities in the nation to implement comprehensive mandatory green building standards for both all new residential and commercial construction. By Resolution 08-1070 adopted unanimously on April 9, 2008 Phase 1 of the law was effective in 2009 and Phase 2 (originally to be effective October 1, 2011) was fully implemented October 1, 2013.

Great Progress in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Remediation Efforts
October 23, 2013 08:27 AM - Editor, ENN

United Nation experts are encouraging the Japanese government to better communicate contamination goals with the public but are otherwise very positive about the progress that has been made in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident remediation efforts in Japan. The experts are from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a U.N. task force who oversees and reviews remediation efforts. They have been conducting ongoing reviews of the situation since the 2011 earthquake.

How life in ocean sediments responds to climate change
October 23, 2013 06:08 AM - ScienceDaily

Traces of past microbial life in sediments off the coast of Peru document how the microbial ecosystem under the seafloor has responded to climate change over hundreds of thousands of years. For more than a decade scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and their colleagues at MARUM and the University of Aarhus have investigated microbial life from this habitat. This "Deep Biosphere," reaching several hundred metres below the seafloor, is exclusively inhabited by microbes and is generally considered as stable. Nevertheless, only little is known about how this system developed over millennia and how this microbial life influences the cycling of carbon in the oceans. In a new study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Dr. Sergio Contreras, a palaeoceanographer, and his Bremen colleagues use a careful examination of drill-cores from the continental shelf of Peru to actually show how surprisingly dynamic this deeply buried ecosystem can be.

Patagonia Goes Fair Trade
October 22, 2013 11:53 AM - Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit

Patagonia made headlines when they admonished us: "Don't buy that jacket." In fact, they made so many headlines, we bought them anyway. Their commitment to environmental sustainability keeps them at the top of GoodGuide’s apparel recommendations.

Liquid air technology could boost the role of renewable energy
October 22, 2013 09:37 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Liquid air technologies could help Britain tackle some of its toughest energy challenges, says a new report launched at Parliament today. The report, "Liquid Air Technologies — a guide to the potential," shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by intermittent renewables; provide strategic energy storage to keep the lights on; sharply reduce CO2 and tail-pipe emissions from vehicles; and convert low grade waste heat into usable energy throughout the economy.

Red Smog alert chokes northern China
October 21, 2013 12:23 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

A red alert has been issued for several cities in northern China including Changchun and Harbin. A red alert is the highest level on the four-tiered alert system and is defined as serious air pollution for three consecutive days. According to Xinhuanet News, "the density of PM 2.5 -- airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, exceeded 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning." Visibility is presently less than 50 meters in the downtown capital city of Harbin of Heilongjiang Province.

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