• Plants and CO2

    Plants absorb carbon dioxide and exhale Oxygen. They are a major part of the global cycle. The global uptake of carbon by land plants may be up to 45 per cent more than previously thought. This is the conclusion of an international team of scientists, based on the variability of heavy oxygen atoms in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere driven by the El Niño effect. As the oxygen atoms in carbon dioxide were converted faster than expected during the El Niño years, current estimates for the uptake of carbon by plants are probably too low. These should be corrected upwards, say the researchers in the current issue of the scientific journal NATURE. Instead of 120 petagrams of carbon, the annual global vegetation uptake probably lies between 150 and 175 petagrams of carbon. This value is a kind of gross national product for land plants and indicates how productive the biosphere of the Earth is. The reworking of this so-called global primary productivity would have significant consequences for the coupled carbon cycle-climate model used in climate research to predict future climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • Global CO2 Emissions Reach All-Time High, Rising More Than 5% in 2010 to Close Out Past 20 Years

    Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reached an all-time high in 2010, rising 45% in the past 20 years. Rising rapidly between 1990 and 2010, global atmospheric CO2 levels totaled 33 billion metric tons last year, according to a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Global CO2 emissions fell 1% in 2009, during the Great Recession, but rose at an unprecedented 5% rate in 2010. That was similar to the drop and greater emissions growth in 1975 and 1976, when the global economy suffered through the first oil crisis, a subsequent stock market crash and began a recovery in 1976, the report authors note. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ford Develops E-Bike Protoype

    Earlier this year, Ford announced its ongoing commitment to vehicle electrification.. The automaker will be sticking to expansions in four-wheel offerings, but, surprisingly they’re also also turning their attention to two-wheelers: E-bikes. While this change represents a radical departure from the company’s core offering, it’s a logical move nonetheless. Vehicle electrification might be the sort of technology that forces a paradigm shift in personal transportation. Although electric vehicles have been around for as long as those powered by internal combustion engines, advanced batteries, sophisticated software controllers and modern and compact electric motors have created new opportunities to reinvent traditional vehicle platforms – the lowly bicycle included. >> Read the Full Article
  • L.A. Air Force Base Will Deploy 100% Electric Vehicle Fleet

    The U.S. Air Force recently announced that its Los Angeles base would be the first federal facility to replace 100 percent of its general purpose fleet with electric vehicles. This switch will mean all 40 vehicles owned or leased by the base, including passenger sedans, two-ton trucks and shuttle buses, will be replaced by fully-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended-range electric alternatives. Force protection, tactical and emergency response vehicles will remain exempt for now. >> Read the Full Article
  • The VOLT goes to Europe as the Vauxhall Ampera

    As GM gets ready to introduce the Chevy VOLT to Europe as the Vauxhall Ampera, this article by ENN Affiliate the Ecologist examines some background, and why this car really IS a game changer. From fossil fuel generated electricity to unreliable batteries, electric cars haven't always lived up to the hype. But with the launch of the Vauxhall Ampera, could all that be about to change? Ruth Styles reports I'm sitting in a huge, futuristic-white room in the Louwman Museum in The Hague when suddenly the back wall swings up to reveal a shiny crimson car. It rolls forward silently before coming to a halt in front of a room packed with journalists. This, the Ampera, say its makers, Vauxhall, is the future of eco-friendly motoring and a good-looking beast to boot. Good looks, I thought. Well yes, OK. But eco-friendly? How eco-friendly can driving really be? The Louwman Museum was the perfect place to find out. The Hague's Louwman Museum is dedicated to cars past and present with the odd plane or two to spice things up. The museum's restaurant is located in a vast hangar-like space tricked out to resemble a turn-of-the-century Dutch town, complete with perfectly realised replicas of a plate-glass fronted haberdashery, a grocer and an impressive recreation of a neo-Palladian town hall facade. >> Read the Full Article