• Rutgers University study looks at climate change and interrelated variables

    The changing climate is more complicated to model than we assumed. There are interrelated variables that work together to amplify the effects. For example, as summer sea-ice and snow shrink back in the Arctic, the number of summertime "extreme" weather events in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is increasing, according to research published recently in Nature Climate Change by two Chinese scientists and their Rutgers colleague. "It's becoming increasingly clear, I think, that the loss of sea ice and snow cover is setting up the conditions that jump-start summer," said Jennifer Francis, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "The soil dries out earlier and that allows it to get hotter earlier. This phenomenon is also changing circulation patterns in the atmosphere." >> Read the Full Article
  • COLLEGIATE CORNER: Must we drink bottled water?

    More than 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the population of the United States. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water, yet almost every U.S. household has access to safe drinking water. >> Read the Full Article
  • EU asks the U.S. to share the energy wealth

    Taking note of the United States recoupment of natural gas, most specifically from shale, the EU is pressing its Washington counterparts to include energy exports in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP) trade pact currently being negotiated. The pact will account for half of the world's economy covering goods and services to include everything from agriculture to finance. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tesla and SolarCity Partner to Provide Energy Storage for Commercial Buildings

    It looks like Elon Musk and his friends at Solar City are at it again. First, there was the Tesla electric car. Then came solar energy provider Solar City. Then came the financial innovation of bonds backed by solar power. Now they appear to be combining all of these, with Solar City offering commercial energy storage systems based on batteries produced by Tesla Motors. >> Read the Full Article
  • Carbon dioxide takes on geothermal energy

    Geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of minerals. In 2010, the United States led the world in geothermal electricity production with 3,086 MW of installed capacity from 77 power plants. Though geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, it has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries, such as The Geysers in California. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mapping Antarctica

    Described as being the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, it's no wonder why there are so many unknown mysteries of Antarctica. But now, for the first time scientists have begun mapping one of the "last frontiers" of the continent. The area, called the Recovery Catchment, sits around 400 km inland from the British Antarctic Survey's Halley VI Research Station in northeast Antarctica. It is important because it the vast area contains enough ice to raise sea-levels by up to 3 meters and the bedrock on which it sits is poorly understood. Another important aspect is that the rock hidden by the ice could hold the key to understanding how Antarctica was formed from the break-up of the supercontinents hundreds of millions of years ago. >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewable energy is young generation's top investment choice

    A nationwide survey has found that renewable energy is the British public’s top investment choice after property but is the number one alternative for 18 to 24-year-olds. The findings show the country’s investment preferences reflect fast growing public support for clean power. >> Read the Full Article
  • Land Use Decisions Impact Forest Benefits

    A new study by Harvard University's Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institution reveals that, if left unchecked, recent trends in the loss of forests to development will undermine significant land conservation gains in Massachusetts, jeopardize water quality and limit the natural landscape's ability to protect against climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • Environment and genetics

    Interplay between genes and the environment has been pondered at least since the phrase "nature versus nurture" was coined in the mid-1800s. But until the arrival of modern genomic sequencing tools, it was hard to measure the extent that the environment had on a species' genetic makeup. Now, researchers with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech studying fruit flies that live on opposite slopes of a unique natural environment known as "Evolution Canyon" show that even with migration, cross-breeding, and sometimes the obliteration of the populations, the driving force in the gene pool is largely the environment. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Unintended Consequences of Reflective Pavements

    Among the most interesting exhibitors at the recent Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia may have been the Asphalt Pavement Alliance challenging what we thought we knew about urban heat island effect with new research from Arizona State University. >> Read the Full Article