Today, more than 16 years of space-weather data is publicly available for the first time in history. The data comes from space-weather sensors developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory on board the nation’s Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The newly available data gives researchers a treasure trove of measurements they can use to better understand how space weather works and how best to protect critical infrastructure, such as the nation’s satellites, aircraft, communications networks, navigation systems, and electric power grid.
Dust released by an active coal mine in Svalbard, Norway, reduced the spectral reflectance of nearby snow and ice by up to 84 percent, according to new University of Colorado Boulder-led research.
The study illustrates the significant, localized role that dark-colored particulates — which absorb more solar radiation than light-colored snow and keep more heat closer to the Earth’s surface — can play in hastening Arctic ice melt.
The study was published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
In the global effort to mitigate carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, all options are on the table—including help from nature. Recent research suggests that healthy, intact coastal wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are particularly good at drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it for hundreds to thousands of years.
China’s rapid ascent to global economic superpower is taking a toll on some of its ancient ways. For millennia, people have patterned their lives and diets around the vast fisheries of the East China Sea, but now those waters are increasingly threatened by human-caused, harmful algal blooms that choke off vital fish populations, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.
“There has been massive growth in emissions from China’s factories and cars over the past few decades, and what comes out of the smokestacks and tailpipes tends to be richer in nitrogen than phosphorus,” said Katherine Mackey, assistant professor of Earth system science at UCI and lead author of the study, published recently in Frontiers in Marine Science.
Asian grass carp pose a significant ecological threat to the Great Lakes and that threat could be extreme over the next 50 years.
This is the major finding of a large binational risk assessment authored by a team of American and Canadian researchers, including Nick Mandrak, associate professor of biological sciences at U of T Scarborough.
Tiny air pollution particles — the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles — may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, according to USC-led research.
Scientists and engineers found that older women who live in places with fine particulate matter exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard are 81 percent more at risk for global cognitive decline and 92 percent more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
OTTAWA – Canada’s wind energy industry had another year of strong growth in 2016, adding 702 MW of new capacity through the commissioning of 21 projects in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Sixteen of these projects are owned, at least in part, by aboriginal or local communities, or municipal governments. Canada now has 11,898 MW of installed wind generation capacity, enough to supply six percent of Canada’s electricity demand and meet the annual electricity needs of more than three million homes.
CO2 emissions caused by changes of land use may possibly be higher than assumed so far. This is the outcome of a study made by the team of Professor Almut Arneth of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The work presented in Nature Geoscience (DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2882) for the first time considers processes, such as slash-and–burn agriculture or different ways of managing forests and cropland. The results also imply that reforestation is important to increase the ecologically important CO2 uptake by land ecosystems.
Scientists have long known of the potential of microalgae to aid in the production of biofuels and other valuable chemicals. However, the difficulty and significant cost of growing microalgae have in some ways stalled further development of this promising technology. Bendy Estime, a biomedical and chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate, has devoted his research to this area, and developed a new technology for energy efficient cultivation and harvesting of microalgae.
Estime’s research has been published as a peer-reviewed article in Scientific Reports on Jan. 19. He and his research advisors, Distinguished Professor Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, chair of the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, and Professor Dacheng Ren, have secured a provisional patent for the technology.
Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid.
In a paper published in Nature Energy on Jan. 30, researchers assessed the trade-offs of adding home energy storage to households with existing solar panels, shedding light on the benefits and drawbacks of adding storage considering today’s full energy grid mix.
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