Pipe: Climate and Health

Economists: Shale oil 'dividend' could pay for smaller carbon footprint

Tue, 2014-08-19 09:40
Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and gas boom could help offset the costs of substantially reducing the US's carbon footprint, agricultural economists say. Using an economic model, they found that "spending" part of this dividend on slashing the nation's carbon emissions by about 27 percent -- about the same amount set forth in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed Clean Power Plan -- would reduce the shale dividend by about half.

Compromise needed on roads through sensitive wild areas

Mon, 2014-08-18 13:51
Compromise solutions must be found when it comes to roads built through sensitive tropical and subtropical areas, say experts. While developing nations need to deploy adequate transportation infrastructure to develop mineral and energy resources, the researchers write, governments too often put development ahead of wildlife without thinking about the long-term consequences.

Success in intracellular imaging of cesium distribution in plants used for cesium absorption

Mon, 2014-08-18 09:48
Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the discharge of radioactive cesium into the environment has become a serious environmental problem. While various decontamination methods are currently being studied, methods involving cesium absorption from soil and water by plants has drawn attention since they can be used to concentrate cesium, produce little waste, are inexpensive, and environmentally benign. The method developed in new research can be used to detect cesium carbonate particles at high resolution (micrometer-level) by using a fluorescent probe called "Cesium Green," which also enables intracellular imaging of cesium distribution.

Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear?

Sun, 2014-08-17 00:00
As climate change alters habitats, once-disparate animals are shacking up, creating hybrids that challenge our notion of what it means to be a species.

China Confronts Its Coal Problem

Sun, 2014-08-17 00:00
If done right, Beijing’s strategy could have a meaningful effect on local air quality and the planet as a whole.

Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers

Thu, 2014-08-14 21:25
Transport accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions in the EU, with emissions rising 36% between 1990 and 2007. New research has found a need to dissect the widely-held view that new technologies, such as biofuel and improved aircraft design, will result in carbon reduction targets being met.

Why do La Niña events linger?

Wed, 2014-08-13 08:00
Why do La Niña events linger?Modeling breakthrough could give prediction a boostFor millions of people, El Niño or La Niña indicates whether they’re likely to face unusually warm, cold, wet, or dry conditions over the coming winter. A new modeling study pins down the process that apparently determines why La Niña events often last twice as long as typical El Niño events—a result with major implications for seasonal predictions.Yes

August 12, 2014 | For millions of people, the onset of El Niño or La Niña in northern autumn indicates whether they’re likely to face unusually warm, cold, wet, or dry conditions over the coming winter. A new modeling study pins down the process that apparently determines why La Niña events often last twice as long as typical El Niño events—a result with major implications for seasonal predictions extending more than a year out.

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Effect of habitat fragmentation on forest carbon cycle revealed by study

Tue, 2014-08-12 12:24
Drier conditions at the edges of forest patches slow down the decay of dead wood and significantly alter the cycling of carbon and nutrients in woodland ecosystems, according to a new study. It has long been known that so-called ‘edge effects’ influence temperature and moisture (the ‘microclimate’) in woodlands, but the influence on the carbon cycle is largely unknown.

Barcelona: sun, sea and start-ups

Tue, 2014-08-12 07:43
The city wants to encourage founders who will stay put in the ‘north of the south’, lured by a combination of climate and networking opportunities

In the Ocean, Clues to Change

Tue, 2014-08-12 00:00
To better understand climate swings, scientists are honing robots that can dive deeper and find out more about the temperature of the oceans.

Carbon dioxide 'sponge' could ease transition to cleaner energy

Sun, 2014-08-10 12:42
A plastic sponge that sops up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) might ease our tranisition away from polluting fossil fuels to new energy sources like hydrogen. A relative of food container plastics could play a role in President Obama’s plan to cut CO2 emissions. The material might also someday be integrated into power plant smokestacks.

Swimming Against the Rising Tide

Sun, 2014-08-10 00:00
Those of us who believe the science on climate change might take a lesson from evangelical Christians.

Happier consumers can lead to healthier environment, research reveals

Sat, 2014-08-09 14:14
The pursuit of true happiness can lead people to lifestyles that will not only be satisfying but will be better for the environment, according to an overview of psychological research. Several studies have determined that people’s basic psychological needs include competence, autonomy, positive relationships, self-acceptance and personal growth. And research has shown that rather than fulfilling these needs, the pursuit of money and possessions takes time away from more personally fulfilling activities and social relationships.

Air traffic growth set to outpace carbon reduction efforts

Thu, 2014-08-07 21:55
Carbon reduction efforts in the airline industry will be outweighed by growth in air-traffic, even if the most contentious mitigation measures are implemented, according to new research. Even if proposed mitigation measures are agreed upon and put into place, air traffic growth-rates are likely to out-pace emission reductions, unless demand is substantially reduced. "There is little doubt that increasing demand for air travel will continue for the foreseeable future," says a co-author and travel expert.

Colorado politics: Ground war

Thu, 2014-08-07 11:01
UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  A personal choice Fly Title:  Colorado politics Rubric:  What a row about fracking says about politics in America’s liveliest state Location:  LOVELAND, COLORADO EVERY February thousands of American romantics send their Valentine’s Day cards via Loveland, a small city north of Denver, where they are stamped with a cheesy poem and sent on. But in recent months, as Loveland has found itself on the front line of Colorado’s fracking wars, the mood has been darker. Locals, complaining that energy firms were threatening their children’s health and poisoning water supplies, placed a moratorium on the ballot. B. J. Nikkel, a former state legislator who campaigned against the ban, found herself compared to Joseph Goebbels. Television ads depicted anti-fracking campaigners as semi-crazed flat-earthers. Ms Nikkel prevailed in Loveland, but the row dragged on. State and industry lawsuits flew against other cities that passed bans, and campaigners, egged on by Jared ...

Arctic science: A glide-path to knowledge

Thu, 2014-08-07 11:01

THE Arctic is called by some the canary in the global-warming coal mine. Like that fated bird, carried in cages by pitmen well into the 20th century, it is sensitive to changes which might otherwise not be obvious. Canaries expired in contact with gases such as carbon monoxide and methane, warning miners to leave the area. The Arctic—or, rather, its sea ice—is similarly expiring as the Earth warms up in response to more of another gas, carbon dioxide.The area of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the height of summer has been shrinking by 11% a decade for the past 35 years. But the details are obscure—because gathering data in the Arctic Ocean is hard. This year, therefore, a systematic approach to that gathering has begun. The Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) programme, paid for by the United States Navy, is seeding the Beaufort Sea—the part of the ocean north of Alaska—with many sensors.In March the programme’s researchers laid dozens of devices along a transect running 400km north from the ice’s edge. Some of these instruments are weather stations sitting on the ice’s surface. Others are buried in holes punched through it. These measure the thickness of the icy layer,...

Lucky heather plant earns its name in carbon study

Wed, 2014-08-06 12:49
Researchers have found that heather has an important role to play in keeping carbon locked in the earth. The findings show that the type of plants growing on the surface of our peaty moorlands can change how quickly dead plant material is broken down, influencing the speed with which carbon from dead plant matter is released back into the air we breathe.

Burrowing animals may have been key to stabilizing Earth's oxygen

Wed, 2014-08-06 09:51
Evolution of the first burrowing animals may have played a major role in stabilizing the Earth's oxygen reservoir, researchers hypothesize. The first burrowing animals significantly increased the extent to which oxygenated waters came into contact with ocean sediments. Exposure to oxygenated conditions caused the bacteria that inhabit such sediments to store phosphate in their cells. This caused an increase in phosphorus burial in sediments that had been mixed up by burrowing animals. This in turn triggered decreases in marine phosphate concentrations, productivity, organic carbon burial and ultimately oxygen.

Population Curbs as a Means to Cut Carbon Emissions

Wed, 2014-08-06 00:00
Concern about climate change has reignited interest in finding ways to reduce the pace of population growth.

Combustion mechanism to better predict warming by wildfires uncovered by scientists

Mon, 2014-08-04 17:15
Scientists have uncovered key attributes of so-called 'brown carbon' from wildfires, airborne atmospheric particles that may have influenced current climate models that failed to take the material's warming effects into account.