Pipe: Climate and Health

Microalgae: Factories of the future

Mon, 2014-09-08 08:35
A biology professor is making microalgae fit for industry. The microorganisms could produce a variety of products from carbon dioxide and light, he says. These potential saviors of the world's climate are just a few micrometers in size and should not be confused with their larger cousins, the macroalgae, which we find in our sushi. Microalgae can be found nearly everywhere: "From the North Pole to the South Pole, and even in deserts." According to estimates, there are over 100,000 species, but not even a hundred have been studied in detail.

Yale Fund Takes Aim at Climate Change

Mon, 2014-09-08 00:00
Yale’s chief investment officer asked its money managers to talk with company managers about “the financial risks of climate change” and the implications of government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

California blue whales rebound from whaling; first of their kin to do so

Fri, 2014-09-05 09:02
The number of California blue whales has rebounded to near historical levels and, while the number of blue whales struck by ships is likely above allowable U.S. limits, such strikes do not immediately threaten that recovery.

Critics fume over call for ecigarette curbs

Thu, 2014-09-04 19:01
The debate over the safety of electronic cigarettes intensified as UK public health experts criticised a WHO report calling for sales restrictions

Clues to trapping carbon dioxide in rock: Calcium carbonate takes multiple, simultaneous roads to different minerals

Thu, 2014-09-04 14:18
Researchers used a powerful microscope that allows them to see the birth of calcium carbonate crystals in real time, giving them a peek at how different calcium carbonate crystals form.

The two-party system: Pandering and other sins

Wed, 2014-09-03 18:39
AMERICA'S two-party system is a creaking monstrosity that has helped bring its politics to a grinding halt. The country urgently needs a nationally competitive third party (if not a fourth and a fifth) to crack up its frozen ideological landscape, and to shift incentives away from the politics of total resistance and towards deal-making and compromise. That said, it is not entirely clear just how big a role the two-party system plays in creating America's policy paralysis. Many factors have combined to hobble American governance. How important is the two-party system, specifically?Salomon Orellana, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, thinks it plays a big role. In a post at the Monkey Cage, Mr Orellana argues that in two-party systems, politicians tend to "pander", promising voters easy material gains without corresponding costs. He applies this theory to the issue of climate change. In two-party systems, when one party panders on material comfort (e.g., “gasoline prices have risen under the current government”) or even survival (e.g., “carbon taxes will cost jobs”) versus doing something about climate change, the other party feels great pressure to follow suit. This dynamic also tends to reduce dissent on issues like carbon taxes....In multiparty systems, smaller parties can take the risk of promoting dissenting ideas, including suggestions that ...

Carbon stored in world's soils more vulnerable to climate change than expected

Wed, 2014-09-03 13:33
The response of soil microbial communities to changes in temperature increases the potential for more carbon dioxide to be released from the world's soils as global temperatures rise, scientists have revealed.

Breakthrough for carbon nanotube solar cells: Twice as efficient as current models

Wed, 2014-09-03 10:58
Scientists have developed a carbon nanotube solar cell that is twice as efficient as its predecessors.

Carbon emissions of downloaded PlayStation 3 games revealed

Tue, 2014-09-02 14:42
It's not always true that digital distribution of media will have lower carbon emissions than distribution by physical means, at least when file sizes are large.

Scientists create renewable fossil fuel alternative using bacteria

Tue, 2014-09-02 11:44
Researchers have engineered the harmless gut bacteria E.coli to generate renewable propane. The development is a step towards commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide an alternative to fossil fuels. Propane is an appealing source of cleaner fuel because it has an existing global market.

Ride-sharing could cut cabs' road time by 30 percent

Mon, 2014-09-01 21:15
Cellphone apps that find users car rides in real time are exploding in popularity. What if the taxi-service app on your cellphone had a button on it that let you indicate that you were willing to share a ride with another passenger? How drastically could cab-sharing reduce traffic, fares, and carbon dioxide emissions? Analysis suggests that ride-sharing could cut taxis' road time by 30 percent.

Nature's tiny engineers: Corals control their environment, stirring up water eddies to bring nutrients

Mon, 2014-09-01 21:14
Conventional wisdom has long held that corals -- whose calcium-carbonate skeletons form the foundation of coral reefs -- are passive organisms that rely entirely on ocean currents to deliver dissolved substances, such as nutrients and oxygen. But now scientists have found that they are far from passive, engineering their environment to sweep water into turbulent patterns that greatly enhance their ability to exchange nutrients and dissolved gases with their environment.

China Plans a Market for Carbon Permits

Mon, 2014-09-01 00:00
The nation plans to use the market, expected to be introduced in 2016, to slow its rapid growth in climate-changing emissions.

On Climate, a Younger Bush’s Ideas Stray From Party Ideology

Sun, 2014-08-31 00:00
In his campaign for Texas land commissioner, George P. Bush sounds like someone the Tea Party can get behind on most issues. The exception is the environment.

'Devil is in the details': Documenting carbon sequestration in Borneo

Thu, 2014-08-28 18:47
It’s that time of year again -— the dry season in southeastern Asia when smoke and particulates from Indonesian peat swamp fires on the island of Borneo drift across to neighboring countries. Indonesia is trying to reduce carbon emissions, but documenting carbon sequestration to reward nations for their efforts through programs such as REDD and REDD Plus can be challenging.

Accounting for the Expanding Carbon Shadow from Coal-Burning Plants

Thu, 2014-08-28 14:55
A pitch for considering a lifetime’s worth of carbon dioxide emissions when examining power plants in the context of climate change.

Global warming pioneer calls for carbon dioxide to be taken from atmosphere and stored underground

Thu, 2014-08-28 11:09
Wally Broeker, the first person to alert the world to global warming, has called for atmospheric carbon dioxide to be captured and stored underground.

WHO warns 20,000 at risk from Ebola

Thu, 2014-08-28 10:36
UN’s health body warns more than 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola as it scales up plans to combat the disease

20 Types of Coral Listed as Threatened

Thu, 2014-08-28 00:00
The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.

Rubber meets the road with new carbon, battery technologies

Wed, 2014-08-27 15:16
Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries that provide power to plug-in electric vehicles and store energy produced by wind and solar, say researchers. By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tires, a team is developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries.