Pipe: Climate and Health

Pentagon Says Global Warming Presents Immediate Security Threat

Tue, 2014-10-14 00:00
A Defense Department report says the military will begin planning for the risks of climate change across all of the armed forces’ operations.

Balancing renewable energy costs and optimizing energy mix

Mon, 2014-10-13 09:04
Increasing reliance on renewable energies is the way to achieve greater carbon dioxide emission sustainability and energy independence. As such energies are yet only available intermittently and energy cannot be stored easily, most countries aim to combine several energy sources. Scientists have now come up with an open source simulation method to calculate the actual cost of relying on a combination of electricity sources.

Global health: A new challenge

Thu, 2014-10-09 10:58

TEN years ago the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began divvying up the money for what it hoped would be a novel approach to the task of solving the world’s health problems. The new programme’s organisers, led by Mr and Mrs Gates themselves, had identified 14 “grand challenges” in the field—from “preparing vaccines that do not require refrigeration” to “developing a genetic strategy to deplete or incapacitate a disease-transmitting insect population”—and had invited suggestions from the world’s scientists for specific projects of a sort that might not otherwise get funded, which might meet these goals. Not surprisingly, since the foundation had announced a year earlier that it was making $200m available to pay for all this, hundreds of research groups lined up to dip their bread in the gravy.A bold idea then, perhaps bordering on the naive. And that word was used more than once by Mr Gates, in a tenth-anniversary review meeting of the Grand Challenges in Global Health programme, as it is known, which was held this week in Seattle. He and his fellow board members had hoped their philanthropic version of venture capitalism would lead to breakthroughs in the...

Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought, new evidence suggests

Thu, 2014-10-09 10:09
Conventional estimates for the collapse of the Aegean civilization may be incorrect by up to a century, according to new radiocarbon analyses.

A cost-effective and energy-efficient approach to carbon capture

Thu, 2014-10-09 09:19
Scientists have developed a slurry-based process that can revolutionize carbon capture. The slurry, consisting of a porous powder suspended in glycol, offers the efficient large-scale implementation of a liquid while maintaining the lower costs and energy efficiency of solid carbon-capturing materials.

Like Sea Level, Times Environmental Coverage on the Rise

Tue, 2014-10-07 11:37
After a period of decline, The Times is refocusing its attention on climate change.

Due to landscape fragmentation, Brazil's rainforests are releasing more carbon dioxide than previously thought

Tue, 2014-10-07 09:23
Because of the deforestation of tropical rainforests in Brazil, significantly more carbon has been lost than was previously assumed. The effect of the degradation has been underestimated in fragmented forest areas, since it was hitherto not possible to calculate the loss of the biomass at the forest edges and the higher emission of carbon dioxide.

E-car sharing comes of age

Tue, 2014-10-07 09:22
Every day, private motor transportation causes traffic jams, pollution and a shortage of parking spaces. The number one mode of transportation – the automobile – is one of the biggest burdens on urban spaces and their inhabitants. But does it have to be this way? Other options have emerged that offer reliable, low-emission mobility in cities and the surrounding areas: not just electromobility, but digital networking and car sharing, too.

A Gulf in Ocean Knowledge

Tue, 2014-10-07 00:00
Scientists have probably underestimated warming since the 1970s, a study says. That could affect some climate change measures.

Low-carbon energy future is clean, feasible

Mon, 2014-10-06 15:21
A future where electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources is not only feasible in terms of material demand, but will significantly reduce air pollution, a study says.

98% forward, 125% back: China's economic boom thwarts its carbon emissions goals

Mon, 2014-10-06 13:32
Efforts to reduce China’s carbon dioxide emissions are being offset by the country’s rampant economic growth, according to new research. Research reveals how carbon efficiency has improved in nearly all Chinese provinces. But the country’s economic boom has simultaneously led to a growth in CO2-emitting activities such as mining, metal smelting and coal-fired electricity generation – negating any gains.

The Walrus and the Politicians

Sat, 2014-10-04 00:00
You’d think that lawmakers in places where ice is melting and the sea levels are rising, like Alaska and Louisiana and Florida, would be on the forefront of climate science, right?

Getting Beyond the 2-Degree Threshold on Global Warming

Fri, 2014-10-03 11:03
An author of a commentary questioning the value of a hard danger threshold for planetary temperature defends his views.

Making oxygen before life: Oxygen can form directly from carbon dioxide in upper atmosphere

Fri, 2014-10-03 09:22
About one-fifth of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running. Scientists have now shown that oxygen can be formed directly from carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere, changing models of how the atmosphere evolved early in Earth's history.

Funding boost for UK bioscience studies

Fri, 2014-10-03 06:02
£125m has been allocated to support research into food security, bioenergy and health

Staying Upbeat and Engaged in a Turbulent, Complicated Climate

Thu, 2014-10-02 17:38
Seven climate-focused people explain how they sustain their energy and enthusiasm.

Longevity and the sense of smell: The scent of death

Wed, 2014-10-01 15:18

Vital organ? PEOPLE whose hearts are failing, or who have had cancer or lung disease, have good reason to be concerned about their future. People who have merely lost their sense of smell might not be so worried. Actually, though, their prospects are worse. You are more likely to die within five years if you cannot recognise common smells than if you have ever been diagnosed with one of those more obviously deadly illnesses. That, at least, is the conclusion of a sobering study just published in PLOS ONE, by Martha McClintock and Jayant Pinto of the University of Chicago.Dr McClintock and Dr Pinto were prompted to conduct their investigation because they knew olfactory problems can forewarn of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They are also associated with abnormally shortened telomeres (the caps on the ends of chromosomes), and that shortening is, in turn, implicated in the process of ageing. Moreover, a good sense of smell helps keep people healthy by detecting...

Nanoparticles accumulate quickly in wetlands: Aquatic food chains might be harmed by molecules 'piggybacking' on carbon nanoparticles

Wed, 2014-10-01 10:26
Using mesocosms that closely approximate wetland ecosystems, researchers show carbon nanotubes accumulate quickly in sediments -- a tendency that could indirectly damage aquatic food chains by piggybacking harmful molecules.

Ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

Tue, 2014-09-30 11:34
The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton -- microscopic aquatic plants important for fish populations and Earth's carbon cycle.

Florida's climate boosts soil-carbon storage, cuts greenhouse emissions

Tue, 2014-09-30 11:16
Sequestration helps mitigate carbon-based gases from getting into the atmosphere. A new study shows Florida's warm, wet climate helps keep carbon in the soil. Soil-stored carbon can slow the build-up of carbon-based gases in the atmosphere, a phenomenon believed to be a cause of global climate change.