• China Offers Subsidies For Alternative Energy Vehicles

    China's Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology have jointly issued a provisional measure on the management of government subsidies for energy-saving and alternative energy automobiles. The measure details the objective and standards related to the subsidies to be given to the buyers of such vehicles. It says that purchases battery powered buses which are powered more than 50% by electricity will receive a subsidy CNY600,000 per bus in subsidy, this is said to be the highest subsidy offered. >> Read the Full Article
  • Innovation alone is not enough to secure food supplies

    Technical innovation must be matched by political will and social justice to ensure food security in the twenty first century, says Alex Evans. Policymakers should use the recent fall in food prices as an opportunity to create a long-term, global strategy, argues Evans. >> Read the Full Article
  • Inner Workings Of Photosynthesis Revealed By Powerful New Laser Technique

    Instant pictures showing how the sun's energy moves inside plants have been taken for the first time, according to research out February 6 in Physical Review Letters. The images unravel some of the inner workings of the most efficient solar energy process on earth - photosynthesis. Inside a photosynthetic protein, the sun's energy is efficiently guided across the molecule to drive a chemical reaction that stores energy as food and takes in carbon dioxide. Scientists would very much like to harness this process as they search for new energy solutions to replace fossil fuels. To do this, they need to understand this energy transport process in more detail. >> Read the Full Article
  • Carbon catalyst could herald cut-price fuel cells

    Fuel cells have been hailed as saviours of the environment, because they can cleanly and efficiently turn hydrogen and other fuels into electricity. But so far this technology has been hobbled by the high cost of the platinum catalysts needed to make it work. Now a new type of fuel cell based on carbon nanotubes promises to be much cheaper, as well as more compact and more efficient. >> Read the Full Article
  • Steep-Terrain Rover To Explore Other Planets, Help Back On Earth

    Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and students at the California Institute of Technology have designed and tested a versatile, low-mass robot that can rappel off cliffs, travel nimbly over steep and rocky terrain, and explore deep craters. This prototype rover, called Axel, might help future robotic spacecraft better explore and investigate foreign worlds such as Mars. On Earth, Axel might assist in search-and-rescue operations. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.N. chief says domestic politics undermine climate fight

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A climate deal at Copenhagen may not be possible unless politicians take tough decisions without worrying about winning elections and compulsions of their domestic politics, the U.N. Secretary-General said on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon said the situation had been compounded by the global financial downturn that was making it more difficult for the political leadership to take unpopular decisions. >> Read the Full Article
  • Obama's energy secretary outlines dire climate change scenario

    Unless there is timely action on climate change, California's agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, Barack Obama's energy secretary said yesterday. >> Read the Full Article
  • Projecting the future of nitrogen pollution

    Heavier rainfall due to climate change will exacerbate the effects of increased fertilizer use for corn-based ethanol production, causing a significant increase in nitrogen levels in rivers, according to a new study in ES&T (DOI 10.1021/es801985x). The good news is that if farmers choose organic practices and reduce fertilizer use, the impact of heavy rains will lessen and nitrogen pollution levels might drop to below present-day levels, the study concludes. >> Read the Full Article
  • India Planning $10 Laptop

    You thought the $100 laptop was cheap? How about a $10 laptop? That's the promise of the unfortunately named Sakshat computer (it actually means "before your eyes"), to be built in India as soon as the designers get a manufacturer signed up. >> Read the Full Article
  • Google Earth allows web users to explore world's oceans in 3D

    The Ocean tool combines renderings of underwater terrain with expert content from marine biologists and oceanographers, allowing web surfers to swim around virtual underwater volcanoes, watch videos about exotic marine life, read about nearby shipwrecks, and contribute photos and videos of their favourite diving spots. Google said that humans had only ever explored around five per cent of the world's oceans, which cover more than 70 per cent of the earth's surface and contain 80 per cent of all life. >> Read the Full Article