EU Imposes Large Duty on Solar Panels from China
May 10, 2013 06:17 AM - EurActiv
The European Commission agreed to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in a move to guard against what it sees as dumping of cheap goods in Europe, prompting a cautious response from Beijing which called for further dialogue. EU commissioners backed EU Trade Chief Karel De Gucht's proposal to levy the provisional duties by 6 June and make Chinese solar exports less attractive, two officials said. Shares in German manufacturers SolarWorld, Phoenix Solar and Centrotherm rose sharply, while China's Suntech fell heavily.
May 9, 2013 04:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Plants and animals adapt to their world so when the climate changes they either change, move, or die. For plants and animals forced to tough out harsh winter weather, the coverlet of snow that blankets the north country is a refuge, a place beneath-the-snow that gives an essential respite from biting winds and subzero temperatures. But in a warming world, winter and spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is in decline, putting at risk many plants and animals that depend on the time beneath the snow to survive the chill of winter. Snow, in this case, is like a warm blanket.
Light-Scattering Properties are Risk Factor for Coral Reef Survival
May 9, 2013 12:58 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
Coral reefs have been gaining a lot of attention by conservation groups as environmental and human stresses are causing irreparable damage to these reefs. Stresses such as warming oceans and climate change are going to serve as future obstacles for these coral populations. However, the study of dying corals is complex, and researchers have found that some corals die while others do not, even when exposed to the same environmental conditions. In order to figure out this conundrum, a research team from Northwestern University and The Field Museum of Natural History found that corals themselves play a role in their susceptibility to deadly coral bleaching due to the light-scattering properties of their skeletons.
Chili Pepper is Good for You
May 9, 2013 09:34 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
The chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Chili peppers originated in the Americas. Chili pepper has spread across the world and is used in both food and medicine. New research has revealed that Solanaceae—a flowering plant family with some species producing foods that are edible sources of nicotine—may provide a protective effect against Parkinson's disease. The study appears in the Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society. It suggests that eating foods that contain even a small amount of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes, may reduce risk of developing Parkinson's.
Black Widow Myth Reversed
May 9, 2013 09:15 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
We've all heard of the dreaded Black Widow — no not the Marvel comic super hero, but the infamous spider with a deadly bite that is mainly known for it's sexual cannibalism. Not only do black widow spiders have a venomous bite (with females being up to three times more venomous than males), but the female really lives up to her "black widow" namesake as she will often eat her male partner after mating. However, a new study has shown that the tendency to consume a potential mate is also true of some types of male spider. The study by Lenka Sentenska and Stano Pekar from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic finds that male spiders of the Micaria sociabilis species are more likely to eat the females than be eaten.
The Regional Centre for Climate Change and Decision-Making
May 9, 2013 06:53 AM - Daniela Hirschfeld, SciDevNet
South America has got its first think-tank aimed at providing climate change knowledge to decision-makers to help them design tools tailored to local needs. The Regional Centre for Climate Change and Decision-Making was launched earlier this year (19 March) in Montevideo, Uruguay, where it will have its headquarters and where it is organising its first training event for policymakers. The centre is a joint initiative by the Panama-based Avina Foundation, which promotes sustainable development in Latin America, and UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Mt. Sharp on Mars
May 8, 2013 04:44 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
There is a 3.5-mile high Martian mound that scientists suspect preserves evidence of a massive ancient lake. Well maybe not, May be the wind did it. If correct, the research could dilute expectations that the mound holds evidence of a large body of water, which would have important implications for understanding Mars' ancient habitability. Researchers based at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology suggest that the mound, known as Mount Sharp, most likely emerged as strong winds carried dust and sand into the 96-mile-wide crater in which the mound sits. They report in the journal Geology that air likely rises out of the massive Gale Crater when the Martian surface warms during the day, then sweeps back down its steep walls at night. Though strong along the Gale Crater walls, these slope winds would have died down at the crater's center where the fine dust in the air settled and accumulated to eventually form Mount Sharp, which is close in size to Alaska's Mt. McKinley.
Poachers seen at unique elephant habitat
May 8, 2013 12:48 PM - WWF
Poachers have entered one of Africa's most unique elephant habitats this week, threatening to cause one of the biggest elephant massacres in the region since poachers killed at least 300 elephants for their ivory in Cameroon's Bouba N'Djida National Park in February 2012. According to WWF sources, a group of 17 armed individuals on Monday entered the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park and headed for the Dzanga Bai, locally known as the "village of elephants", a large clearing where between 50 and 200 elephants congregate every day to drink mineral salts present in the sands.
Agriculture and Livestock Remain Major Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
May 8, 2013 12:25 PM - Maddy Traynor, Worldwatch Institute
Global greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector totaled 4.69 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available), an increase of 13 percent over 1990 emissions. By comparison, global CO2 emissions from transport totaled 6.76 billion tons that year, and emissions from electricity and heat production reached 12.48 billion tons, according to Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs Online service.
Ground Water Flow Rate
May 8, 2013 09:16 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Ground water flow rates can be a slow process. USGS hydrologic researchers, for example, have found that the movement of nitrate through groundwater to streams can take decades to occur. This long lag time means that changes in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizer (the typical source of nitrate) — whether the change is initiation, adjustment, or cessation — may take decades to be fully observed in their effect on streams, according to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Water quality experts have been noting in recent years that nitrate trends in streams and rivers do not match their expectations based on reduced regional use of nitrogen-based fertilizer. The long travel times of groundwater discharge, like those documented in this study, is the likely cause.