October 31, 2016
7 Ways to Power Your Home With Renewable Energy
By Avery Thompson
Unless you’re filthy rich, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to save a couple bucks. One of the best ways to cut your monthly bills is by investing in renewable energy. Not from the power plant, but stuff you can scare up yourself.
Using renewable energy to power your home can reduce or completely eliminate your utility bills, and the tax incentives for installing renewables can make them even more cost effective. Here are seven different ways to power your home with renewable energy.
October 30, 2016
The World Just Made A Major Shift Toward Renewable Energy
by Nick Visser
The world installed more new renewable energy last year than coal, as countries attempt to shift away from fossil fuels and take advantage of massive cost reductions in wind and solar technology.
More than half of all energy generation capacity added in 2015 came from renewable sources, as the world installed more than half a million solar panels a day and two wind turbines every hour, the International Energy Agency announced Tuesday.
October 29, 2016
The Dutch just made a vacuum to suck pollution from the air
by Nathaniel Mott
Breathing polluted air can lead to heart disease, cancer, and other health issues that can take years off someone’s life. As the world lurches towards using energy sources that don’t release these harmful particles into the atmosphere, Dutch scientists revealed on Tuesday that they built a stopgap solution to the problem: A giant outdoor vacuum that filters pollution out of the air around it. This is the device that might help us live long enough to see clean energy take over the world.
October 28, 2016
New model suggests scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere
by Blaine Friedlander
New Cornell research suggests an economically viable model to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to thwart runaway, point-of-no-return global warming.
The researchers propose using a “bioenergy-biochar system” that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an environmental pinch, until other removal methods become economically feasible and in regions where other methods are impractical. Their work appeared in the Oct. 21 edition of Nature Communications.
October 27, 2016
Why investor pressure is growing on oil and gas firms to tackle methane emissions
by Michael Holder
Methane, despite having a far more powerful global warming effect, often plays second fiddle to carbon dioxide when policymakers and businesses are focusing on how to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Certainly, CO2 makes up a larger proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but methane traps heat 40 times more effectively as carbon dioxide and is thought to be responsible for around a quarter of global warming happening today.
October 26, 2016
How crop waste can give it back to soil and keep the air clean too
The Times of India
NEW DELHI: US-based Brian Von Herzen and his team at Climate Foundation India believe that agricultural waste can be processed into not just something useful for farmers but also enrich the soil by putting back carbon into it.
Paddy straw and wheat residues are usually burned by farmers in Punjab and Haryana in the absence of affordable alternatives to dispose them of. Every year, in November and February , burning of agricultural residue in these states causes severe air pollution in Delhi.
October 25, 2016
Freshwater aquaculture project targets climate change impacts
By Jonas Cullwick
A Freshwater Aquaculture Trials and Governance Project for Vanuatu was officially launched Monday by the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biodiversity, Matai Seremiah, at a ceremony at The Melanesian hotel in Port Vila aimed at combating the impacts of climate change.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister Seremiah, emphasized that the Republic of Vanuatu was particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and the country was ranked the most vulnerable country in the world to both geological and climate risks.
“The impacts of climate change affect our people, our prosperity and security. To combat the impacts of climate change on us we need to be active on many fronts,” he reminded attendance.
“We must continually seek to understand what climate change is doing to us and how we can adapt to the challenges that it presents us. We must learn more, enhance our skills and advance the way we are doing things,” he added.
October 24, 2016
New refrigerant from Buffalo cools cars without heating the globe
by T.J. Pignataro
The air conditioner in your car will be changing in the next several years, no longer relying on the coolant that keeps you comfortable in summer.
Scientists believe that is good, because the coolant in most cars today threatens the environment when it gets into the air. In its place will be a new coolant, which is expected to reduce global warming.
In fact, at a global environmental conference last weekend in Kigali, Rwanda, more than 170 nations agreed to phase out refrigerants known as hydrofluorocarbons that contribute to climate change. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the deal “a monumental step forward.”
A new, environmentally friendlier coolant coming to millions of new cars in years ahead will have Buffalo roots.
October 23, 2016
Exposed: The Climate Fallacy of 2100
By Robert Wilder, Daniel M. Kammen
If we do not plan, now, to limit carbon emissions beyond this century, we will foolishly raise the oceans dramatically for thousands of years.
It’s shocking for me (Robert) to accept that my home could be wiped out by greatly rising seas. That’s because I live on a hill north of San Diego, 45 feet above sea level and more than a mile inland from the coast. Equally shocking to me (Dan) is that the current coastline of my beloved Mendocino County, California, could largely disappear, a place where I spend weekends with my daughters exploring rivers that run inland, deep into wine country. These inundations won’t happen this century, but that is little solace. At the rate the world is going, land so dear to our hearts could slip under the sea and stay there for thousands of years.
October 22, 2016
New copper catalyst could close the carbon cycle, making ethanol from atmospheric CO2
by Jessica Hall
In a quest to find a way to convert carbon dioxide into something useful, researchers from Oak Ridge National Labs in TN stumbled across an inexpensive, room-temperature catalyst for turning CO2 into ethanol. The new catalyst is made of copper nanoparticles, electroplated onto a substrate of vapor-deposited, nitrogen-doped graphene nanospikes, all atop a slice of n-type silicon semiconductor.
“We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said lead author Adam Rondinone. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”
October 21, 2016
The gap between ambition and action in tackling global warming
by Sabine Fuss and Jan Minx
Sabine Fuss and Jan Minx: The world’s governments have agreed to ambitious climate goals. But if we are to hit our new targets, scientists and innovators need to move quickly to close the gap between hope and reality.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has been a big surprise to many. All countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keeping the world “well below” 2°C or even at 1.5°C of warming. By including the 1.5°C target, the Agreement has become more ambitious than many observers had expected. And the party is still not over: against the odds, countries required less than a year for the Agreement to enter into force. This seems a triumph for climate diplomacy.
October 20, 2016
Stop waiting for a big breakthrough on climate change. This is what we’ll get instead.
by Brad Plumer
Global warming can sometimes feel like this big, hopelessly intractable problem that no one’s doing much about. But the first two weeks of October have seen a genuinely impressive barrage of climate action around the world.
Consider what’s gone down so far:
October 19, 2016
Nearly Cooked: What 400 Parts Per Million Of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Really Means
by Dr. Cara Augustenborg
“In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate.”
Kahn was referring to news that in a month when we would expect to observe the lowest concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere over the year, the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration remained over 400 parts per million (ppm).
To many, 400 ppm is just a number and this news appears insignificant, but to those who follow climate science 400 ppm is an ominous milestone. That number has risen exponentially since the Industrial Revolution, before which our atmosphere contained just 275 ppm of CO2.
October 18, 2016
Breaking Ground on a Bold New Vision to Address Climate Change: Restoring North America’s Amazon
by P.J. Marshall
On November 4, the historic Paris Agreement for global action on climate change will enter into force, catalyzing collective action by governments, civil society organizations, and businesses to collaborate on building a 2°C future.
“Now we must move from words to deeds and put Paris into action,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “We need all hands on deck—every part of society must be mobilized to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to inevitable climate impacts.”
October 17, 2016
The world just took one of the biggest steps yet to fight global warming
by Brad Plumer
Climate change will never get solved in a single flourish. If the world’s nations are ever going to stop the planet from warming unbearably, they’ll have do so step by step, pushing down emissions across a dizzying variety of sectors and sources.
On Saturday, the world quietly took one of those steps — and it was a crucial one. In fact, this was one of the single biggest measures ever taken to address global warming.
October 16, 2016
The UAE’s Clean Energy Sector: Opportunities Aplenty For Entrepreneurs
by Neil Petch
It has been one of the biggest stories of our age.
Our polluting technologies have been a key factor behind climate change, pumping excessive carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels like oil and gas to get the necessary energy for our daily living needs. Meanwhile, our very reliance on these fossil fuels has meant they have become harder and more expensive to source. So we know we need energy to keep the lights on and we also know oil, gas and coal are finite resources that are causing a great deal of damage.
It’s for these reasons that the UAE has led the way in becoming an early adopter and leading country for promoting renewable energy sources.
October 15, 2016
Clean Power Just Turned Back the Clock on Global Warming Gases
by Joe Ryan
It looks as if all those wind and solar farms in the U.S. are making a dent in greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
During the first six months of the year, carbon dioxide emissions from America’s energy industry dropped to the lowest point since 1991, according to a statement Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
October 14, 2016
An Overview of the current Biochar and Activated Carbon Markets
By Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE — Lee Enterprise Consulting, Inc.
Biochar is an emerging market; growing rapidly, still in its infancy, but with gigaton market potential when we, as in humanity, start addressing the climate crisis. Activated carbons are a mature market of about one million tons annual production, which is growing slowly. They are basically like fraternal twins; they have a lot in common, they share the same world, and they are different.
First, let’s explain the basic difference between THREE materials: activated carbon, charcoal and biochar. Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal and several other ‘active/activated source-material’ names, all come down to the implication of the modifier ìactivatedî. When used in conjunction with adsorbents, ‘activated’ refers to a small set of processing techniques that increase the internal microporosity of the original carbon-rich source material. All ‘activation’ processes remove individual carbon atoms and create individual nooks and crannies in the carbon-rich material, which are the adsorption sites. The key to activated carbon is that it is optimized for specific adsorption application (water, vapor, certain adsorbates, etc.) and the adsorption capacity is packed into as dense a material as possible to minimize the volume of adsorbent necessary. In the end, activated carbon is an adsorbent ñ intended to remove something, typically organic compounds, from either vapor or liquid streams.
October 13, 2016
Wind-powered device can produce 11 gallons per day of clean drinking water from the air
by Derek Markham
WaterSeer is a low-tech, low-cost atmospheric water condenser that could help create water self-sufficiency in communities around the world.
A new device developed by VICI-Labs, in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the National Peace Corps Association, aims to provide a sustainable source of clean safe water for the millions without a reliable water supply. In the developed world, where most homes and businesses have ready access to clean water at the turn of a tap, we don’t really have to worry about most waterborne diseases, or dehydration, or the ability to wash our selves, our clothes, or our eating utensils, but those worries are still very real for the millions around the world without a reliable clean water source. The WaterSeer could help to alleviate some of those water poverty issues.
October 12, 2016
India Joins the Paris Agreement: Another Big Step for the World, One Giant Leap for India
by Neha Mathew
Earlier this week, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change finally met the requirements for entry into force, marking a historic global moment and demonstrating unprecedented cooperation between the world’s biggest carbon emitters — including China, the U.S., the EU, and India. This news has ensured that the Paris Agreement will enter into force well ahead of schedule, and it is because of leadership from countries like India that we have witnessed the biggest step forward yet in strengthening the global commitment to climate action.
And for India — the world’s fourth largest carbon emitter — this announcement is a strong affirmation of its commitment to its sustainable development and carbon emission reduction goals.
October 11, 2016
This Smog-Eating Tower Is Cleaning Beijing’s Dirty Air
by Charlie Schmidlin
Last week brought the public opening of the Smog Free Tower in Beijing, a 7-meter high structure that’s being billed as the largest outdoor air purifier in the world—it collects 75% of pm2.5 and pm10 airborne smog particles, cleans 30,000 cubic meters per hour using ion technology and green electricity, and creates a radius of clean air around the Tower in which to gather.
The mind behind it is Dutch artist and architect Daan Roosegaarde, who first struck upon the idea in 2013 when visiting Beijing and noticed the intense pollution that blanketed the city. Instead of passing through and letting the environmental problem worsen, he decided to use his collaborative resources at Netherlands-based design firm Studio Roosegaarde to tackle a creative solution.
October 10, 2016
A desert farm is growing tomatoes on seawater and solar power
by Ephrat Livni
Agriculturalists dream of making deserts bloom. Now the dream is coming true using sun, seawater, and little else.
On 20 hectares in the South Australian desert, Sundrop Farms—officially launched on Oct. 6—uses a field of 23,000 mirrors to produce energy for electricity and water conversion. Seawater is the sole irrigation source, piped in from the Spencer Gulf five kilometers away. The water is thermally desalinated, nutrients are added to nourish plants, and the greenhouse growing begins. But the farm is not entirely energy independent yet, relying on the grid for up to 15% of its power supply, particularly in winter when the sun is weak.
October 9, 2016
Whoops, We Haven’t Been Counting A Huge Source Of Carbon Emissions: Dams
by Adele Peters
When Costa Rica brags about running on 100% renewable electricity for months at a time, it’s because the country relies on hydropower for a big chunk of its grid. But dams are not quite the clean energy source they seem to be. In a new study, researchers calculated that the dams around the world—used for hydropower, flood control, water supply, and other human needs—emit more greenhouse gases than the entire country of Canada.
As the world tries to figure out how to drastically cut emissions, it turns out we haven’t been counting dams as a major source of those emissions. Every year, the world’s million reservoirs emit roughly a gigaton of greenhouse gases; that’s 1.3% of global emissions, or about the same percentage emitted by coal mining.
October 8, 2016
Scientists May Have Underestimated Global Sea Level Rise
by Mike Brown
The rise in global sea levels has been one of the most tangible results of climate change, and it might be worse than we thought. A study published September 19 in Geophysical Research Letters explained that because the areas measured had lower than average rises, historical data may have leaned more conservative in its findings.
“It’s not that there’s something wrong with the instruments or the data,” said Dr. Philip Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center, in an interview with Phys.org published Monday. Thompson’s team worked with researchers at Old Dominion University and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “For a variety of reasons, sea level does not change at the same pace everywhere at the same time. As it turns out, our best historical sea level records tend to be located where past sea level rise was most likely less than the true global average.”
October 7, 2016
US Consulate General Chiang Mai Goes BioChar After Conference with Warm Heart
by City Life
The US Consulate General Chiang Mai has declared that it will go fully BioChar after a conference today with Michael Shafer from Warm Heart introducing the facts and theory behind the burning technique, followed by a demonstration to officials and a training program for the gardeners at the consulate.
Exactly two months after the new US Consul General in Chiang Mai took her position, Jennifer Harhigh told Citylife that if the training goes well, she hopes to see the US Consulate fully BioChar by the end of the month.
October 6, 2016
Potatoes and biochar are not friends
Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilisation in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.
However, if you are a potato farmer, your joy may be short-lived. Biochar and potatoes do not go very well together – at least not if you are aiming at saving water, according to results from Aarhus University.
October 5, 2016
Donald Trump Says Global Warming Is a Chinese Hoax. China Disagrees.
Two years after President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that their countries would work together to combat climate change, Republicans and conservatives in the United States continue to cite China’s rising carbon emissions as a reason not to bother cutting our own.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore claimed that limiting our carbon pollution is pointless because of China’s supposedly growing coal dependency. “Every time we shut down a coal plant in the US, China builds 10,” Moore told E&E News. “So how does that reduce global warming?”
October 4, 2016
Scientists: Stop celebrating climate change progress. The work’s not nearly done
by Tribune news service
A team of top scientists is telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves on the Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn’t done, global temperatures will likely hit dangerous warming levels in about 35 years.
Six scientists who were leaders in past international climate conferences joined with the Universal Ecological Fund in Argentina to release a brief report Thursday, saying that if even more cuts in heat-trapping gases aren’t agreed upon soon, the world will warm by another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit by around 2050.
That 1.8 degree mark is key because in 2009 world leaders agreed that they wanted to avoid warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. Temperatures have already risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, so that 2 degree goal is really about preventing a rise of another degree going forward.
October 3, 2016
Climate Change And The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene
by Adam Frank
You can’t solve a problem until you understand it. When it comes to climate change, on a fundamental level we don’t really understand the problem.
For some time now, I’ve been writing about the need to broaden our thinking about climate. That includes our role in changing it — and the profound challenges those changes pose to our rightly cherished “project” of civilization.
Today, I want to sharpen the point.
But first, as always, let’s be clear: We have not gotten the science wrong. The Earth’s climate is changing because of human activity. That part has been well-established for awhile now, in spite of the never ending — and always depressing — faux “climate debate” we get in politics.
October 2, 2016
The U.S. is getting closer to Hillary Clinton’s vision of a ‘clean energy superpower’
By Chelsea Harvey
During Monday’s presidential campaign debate, Hillary Clinton predicted, “Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”
The implication was clear: That country could be us. And a new federal report suggests that we’ve recently been making strides in getting there.
The new report, released Wednesday by the Department of Energy, is the latest in an of annual series analyzing the progress of clean energy in the U.S. — specifically the growth in wind turbines, solar technology, electric vehicles and LEDs, and the reduction in their costs. And this year’s update is a rosy one: Costs are down, installations are up and emerging technologies like smart buildings and grid-connected batteries are moving up on the horizon.
October 1, 2016
New Wind Turbines Could Power Japan for 50 Years After a Single Typhoon
by George Dvorsky
Typhoons are generally associated with mass destruction, but a Japanese engineer has developed a wind turbine that can harness the tremendous power of these storms and turn it into useful energy. If he’s right, a single typhoon could power Japan for 50 years.