Top Stories

Key to Speeding Up Carbon Sequestration Discovered
July 17, 2017 05:39 PM - California Institute of Technology

Scientists at Caltech and USC have discovered a way to speed up the slow part of the chemical reaction that ultimately helps the earth to safely lock away, or sequester, carbon dioxide into the ocean. Simply adding a common enzyme to the mix, the researchers have found, can make that rate-limiting part of the process go 500 times faster. 

A paper about the work appears online the week of July 17 ahead of publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New assessment identifies global hotspots for water conflict
July 17, 2017 05:32 PM - Oregon State University

More than 1,400 new dams or water diversion projects are planned or already under construction and many of them are on rivers flowing through multiple nations, fueling the potential for increased water conflict between some countries.

A new analysis commissioned by the United Nations uses a comprehensive combination of social, economic, political and environmental factors to identify areas around the world most at-risk for “hydro-political” strife. This river basins study was part of the U.N.’s Transboundary Waters Assessment Program.

Ozone Pollution Connected to Cardiovascular Health
July 17, 2017 02:09 PM - Duke University

Exposure to ozone, long associated with impaired lung function, is also connected to health changes that can cause cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a new study of Chinese adults.

These findings, by a team from Duke University, Tsinghua University, Duke Kunshan University and Peking University, appear in the July 17, 2017 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Harnessing the right amount of sunshine
July 17, 2017 01:59 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photosynthesis, which allows energy from the sun to be converted into life-sustaining sugars, can also be hazardous to green plants. If they absorb too much sunlight, the extra energy destroys their tissue.

To combat this, green plants have developed a defense mechanism known as photoprotection, which allows them to dissipate the extra energy. Researchers from MIT and the University of Verona have now discovered how the key protein in this process allows moss and green algae to protect themselves from too much sun.

Unbalanced wind farm planning exacerbates fluctuations
July 17, 2017 01:53 PM - ETH Zurich

The expansion of renewable energy has been widely criticised for increasing weather-dependent fluctuations in European electricity generation. A new study shows that this is due less to the variability of weather than from a failure to consider the large-scale weather conditions across the whole continent: many European countries are unilaterally following national strategies to expand wind energy capacities without looking beyond their own backyard.

It would be better, however, for individual countries to work together and to promote the expansion of wind capacity in other European regions that are currently making very little use of wind power.  Balancing capacity across the continent would effectively minimise the extreme fluctuations caused by the varied weather conditions that currently affect wind speeds. This is the conclusion reached by a group of weather and energy researchers from ETH Zürich and Imperial College London in a new study, which has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Stronger winds heat up West Antarctic ice melt
July 17, 2017 01:39 PM - University of New South Wales

New research published today in Nature Climate Change has revealed how strengthening winds on the opposite side of Antarctica, up to 6000kms away, drive the high rate of ice melt along the West Antarctic Peninsula.

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science found that the winds in East Antarctica can generate sea-level disturbances that propagate around the continent at almost 700 kilometers per hour via a type of ocean wave known as a Kelvin wave.

Diesel is now better than gas
July 17, 2017 01:30 PM - University of Montreal

Modern diesel cars emit less pollution generally than cars that run on gasoline, says a new six-nation study published today in Scientific Reports whose groundwork was laid in part by an American chemist now working at Université de Montréal.

And since diesel is so much cleaner than before, environmental regulators should increasingly shift their focus to dirtier gasoline-powered cars and other sources of air pollution, says the UdeM scientist, Patrick Hayes.

Oil Impairs Ability of Coral Reef Fish to Find Homes and Evade Predators
July 17, 2017 12:21 PM - University of Texas At Austin

Just as one too many cocktails can lead a person to make bad choices, a few drops of oil can cause coral reef fish to make poor decisions, according to a paper published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution. A team of fisheries biologists led by Jacob Johansen and Andrew Esbaugh of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute have discovered that oil impacts the higher-order thinking of coral reef fish in a way that could prove dangerous for them—and for the coral reefs where they make their home.

Rooftop concentrating photovoltaics win big over silicon in outdoor testing
July 17, 2017 12:14 PM - Penn State

A concentrating photovoltaic system with embedded microtracking can produce over 50 percent more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells in a head-to-head competition, according to a team of engineers who field tested a prototype unit over two sunny days last fall.

"Solar cells used to be expensive, but now they're getting really cheap," said Chris Giebink, Charles K. Etner Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Penn State. "As a result, the solar cell is no longer the dominant cost of the energy it produces. The majority of the cost increasingly lies in everything else — the inverter, installation labor, permitting fees, etc. — all the stuff we used to neglect."

Treated Fracking Wastewater Contaminated Watershed with Radium and Endocrine Disrupters, Study Finds
July 17, 2017 12:06 PM - Yale Environment 360

A study in the Marcellus Shale region of western Pennsylvania has shown that even after being treated, wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations left significant contamination in a waterway downstream of treatment plants. 

Researchers from Penn State University, Colorado State University, and Dartmouth College studied sediments from Conemaugh River Lake — a dammed reservoir east of Pittsburgh — and found that they were contaminated with endocrine-disrupting chemicals called nonylphenol ethoxylates; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens; and elevated levels of radium. 

First | Previous | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next | Last