• Refrigerated Trucks To Use Fuel Cell Technology

    In order to transport our favorite ice creams, frozen foods, and fresh produce, certain trucks are equipped with powerful refrigeration systems often powered by small diesel engines. These engines are constantly running all the way from the manufacturers of these frozen goods to the market in order to keep these groceries frozen or cool. As a result, refrigeration trucks tend to use more energy and resources to run. In an effort to reduce some reduce emissions and use a quieter, more efficient alternative to these refrigeration units, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are overseeing a project that will use an alternative energy source: fuel cells. >> Read the Full Article
  • Smartphones could provide weather data in poor nations

    Smartphones can now be used to collect weather data such as air temperatures through WeatherSignal, a crowdsourcing app developed by UK start-up OpenSignal. This helps crowdsource real-time weather forecasts and could one day help collect climate data in areas without weather stations, its developers say. Once installed, the app automatically collects data and periodically uploads them to a server. >> Read the Full Article
  • Old Concrete can have Second Life Protecting Nature

    Usually we think of demolished concrete walls and floors as environmental contaminants, but in fact this material may turn out to be a valuable resource in nature protection work. This is the conclusion from researchers from University of Southern Denmark after studying the ability of crushed concrete to bind phosphorus. "We have shown that crushed concrete can bind up to 90 per cent of phosphorus, "says PhD student and environmental engineer, Melanie Sønderup, Department of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark. >> Read the Full Article
  • Envisioning Future Sea Level Rise

    In the past one hundred years, the Global Mean Sea Level has risen between 4 and 8 inches, and is currently rising at a rate of approximately 0.13 inches a year. However, the sea level rise "lock-in" – the rise we don't see now, but which, due to emissions and global warming, is being locked in for the future – is increasing 10 times faster. While our current sea level rise is at a modest, but still threatening inch per decade, the future rise is at a foot per decade. >> Read the Full Article
  • Crocodiles and Alligators Caught Eating Fruit

    Alligators and crocodiles seem a little less intimidating now that new research reveals they enjoy an occasional fruit during meals. While usually known as being top predators, a new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Zoology confirms that alligators do not live on meat alone. Neither do Nile crocodiles. A study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society says that the American alligator and a dozen other crocodile species occasionally eat fruit along with their normal meat-heavy diets of mammals, birds, and fish. >> Read the Full Article
  • Plans to Remap Coastal Areas after Hurricane Sandy Announced this week

    Preliminary U.S. damage from Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast in October of last year is estimated to be near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone to hit the United States since 1900. Full recovery from Sandy will take years, but plans for remapping altered seafloors and shorelines were announced yesterday by a joint collaboration between the USGS, NOAA, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The project includes acquiring data to update East Coast land maps and nautical charts by conducting a new survey of coastal waters and shorelines. >> Read the Full Article
  • What is the coldest temperature that life can exist?

    Life has been found in some very unexpected places on Earth. In deep caves, in ice cores, and at the deepest depths of the oceans. An interesting question; is there a temperature below which life cannot exist? A new study, published in PLoS One, reveals that below -20 °C, single-celled organisms dehydrate, sending them into a vitrified – glass-like – state during which they are unable to complete their life cycle. The researchers propose that, since the organisms cannot reproduce below this temperature, -20 °C is the lowest temperature limit for life on Earth. >> Read the Full Article
  • Warning Labels for Gasoline Pumps?

    Tobacco packaging warning messages have recently been required on cigarettes and other tobacco products in many countries worldwide in an effort to enhance the public's awareness of the harmful effects of smoking. In a similar fashion, a Canadian campaign is calling for all gasoline pumps to have warming labels on nozzles to inform consumers on the effects fuels have on climate change. Michelle Reeves at Our Horizon, the non-profit executing the campaign, states, "It's a cheap, simple idea that has the potential to change the way we think about, and address, climate change. They are modeled after cigarette package warning labels, which have been proven to work. Some people's behavior might change, but our ultimate goal is to create a shift in the political will to demand for alternatives, and create a space in the market for affordable alternative mobility solutions." >> Read the Full Article
  • Shale gas fracking linked to earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio

    A leading seismologist has linked the process of shale gas fracking with more than 100 earthquakes that blighted a city in the US Midwest within the space of just 12 months. Since records began in 1776, the Ohio city of Youngstown had never experienced a single earthquake, until a deep injection well was built to pump waste-water produced by fracking in neighboring Pennsylvania. The Northstar 1 site started pumping operation in December 2010 and within the following 12 months seismometers in and around Youngstown recorded 109 earthquakes; the strongest being a magnitude 3.9 quake. >> Read the Full Article
  • Light Ordinance in France has Benefits for Wildlife

    Last month, France implemented one of the world's most comprehensive "lights out" ordinances. Conditions include turning off shop lights between 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., shutting off lights inside office buildings within an hour of workers leaving the premises, and waiting only until sunset before turning lights on, on building facades. Over the next two years, regulations restricting lighting on billboards will also go into effect. These rules are designed to eventually cut carbon dioxide emissions by 250,000 tons per year, conserve energy consumption, and cut the country's overall energy bill by 200 million Euros ($266 million). >> Read the Full Article