Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests

A new study of re-growing tropical forests has concluded that plant biodiversity takes longer to recover than carbon storage following major disturbances such as clearance for farming. The findings, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, have important implications for conservation since there are now many re-growing forests in South and Central America. The new study is the first large-scale analysis of the recovery of both plant biodiversity and carbon pools in re-growing forests. Over half…

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Climate Change: Study Shows People Do Not Place High Value on Climate Protection

Without further incentives selfish behavior will continue to dominate People are bad at getting a grip on collective risks. Climate change is a good example of this: the annual climate summits have so far not led to specific measures. The reason for this is that people attach greater value to an immediate material reward than to investing in future quality of life. Therefore, cooperative behaviour in climate protection must be more strongly associated with short-term incentives such as rewards or…

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Turfgrass tested in shallow green roof substrates

Many of us get absolutely excited about the idea of a green roof. It’s not so easy as our vision might like it to be, however. First of all, there are structural issues that have to be considered in order to support the added weight of so much dirt. Second, there is the issue of water — whatever is planted up high will require some form of irrigation. Third, there is the daunting challenge of planting something that will survive,…

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Cleaner and greener cities with integrated transparent solar cells

High power conversion of new solar cells that are thin, flexible, and transparent makes them ideal for a wealth of new applications Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun’s light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment.…

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How Detergent In The Atmosphere Is Regenerated

For all of the junk we put into out atmosphere, there is at least some positive news to keep on file about how the atmosphere has cleansing agents. Read the press information below from AAAS. Juelich troposphere researchers demonstrate effective recycling of radicals during isoprene degradation Hydroxyl (OH) radicals – known as the detergent of the atmosphere – decompose isoprene in the air. This leads to the creation of new OH radicals, which are then able to purify the air…

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Clean Energy Becomes First Ever Commercial Distributor of Transportation Fuel Made from Waste

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., North America’s largest provider of natural gas for transportation, announced today that it will be the first company to commercially distribute a renewable natural gas vehicle fuel, called Redeem, made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants directly to fleets around the country and at the 35 public Clean Energy stations throughout California. Thousands of cars, taxis, shuttles and industrial fleets in California are now using Clean Energy’sRedeem, which is up to 90% cleaner…

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Energex: Rooftop Solar Is Destroying Our Business Model

Joining the rest of the utility power companies, Energex, a Queensland electricity network operator, believes that rooftop solar is destroying its traditional business model. The concept of generating power at a centralized location, and then distributing it to thousands of people via an electricity grid was created to benefit from economies of scale, while keeping the source of power plant pollutant and noise emissions out of residential areas. However, such benefits of scale apply only to fossil-fueled and nuclear power…

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China’s Synthetic Gas Plants Would be Greenhouse Giants

Synthetic gas is sometimes not the best alternative available, especially when it has been produced in coal-powered factories. Read the following release. Huge scale of gas-from-coal plants ‘an environmental disaster in the making DURHAM, N.C. — Coal-powered synthetic natural gas plants being planned in China would produce seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional natural gas plants, and use up to 100 times the water as shale gas production, according to a new study by Duke University researchers. These…

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NREL Calculates Emissions and Costs of Power Plant Cycling for Increased Renewable Energy

Economic research on renewable energies like wind and solar  will provide an advanced foundation for the development and expansion of viable sustainable energy programs. Read the following press release from NREL. New research from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifies the potential impacts of increasing wind and solar power generation on the operators of fossil-fueled power plants in the West. To accommodate higher amounts of wind and solar power on the electric grid, utilities must ramp down…

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How Technology Could Curb Illegal Logging

There can be no doubt the illegal timber trade is a pervasive problem, causing untold harm to forests, communities and economies of the countries affected.  Yet, despite the economic importance of the timber trade to producer countries, many of them do not have any legal means of stemming illegally sourced timber. In addition, the process of identifying timber that has been logged or traded illegally has proved technically difficult and ultimately impractical. Experts in the timber industry have estimated that…

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Carbon Absorption: Princeton Research News on Tropical Forests

According to recent research news, tropical forest carbon absorption may hinge on an odd couple. A unique housing arrangement between a specific group of tree species and a carbon-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a Princeton University-based study. The findings suggest that the role of tropical forests in offsetting the atmospheric buildup of carbon from fossil fuels depends on tree diversity, particularly in forests recovering from exploitation. Tropical forests…

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Climate Change May Quicken Forest Life Cycles

Climate science models may sometimes show unanticipated results. Read below on news from a Duke-led study finding most species studied aren’t yet shifting their geographic distributions as expected. Many climate studies have predicted that tree species will respond to global warming by migrating via seed dispersal to cooler climates. But a new study of 65 different species in 31 eastern states finds evidence of a different, unexpected response. Nearly 80 percent of the species aren’t yet shifting their geographic distributions to…

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Air Conditioner Power Consumption Increasing In The Southern U.S.

In the southern states of the U.S., air conditioner power consumption increased by 43% since 1993. While that isn’t a shocking explosion, it has been on the rise for a long time. This isn’t just a brief spike. In that region, air conditioners now account for 21% of all power consumption. This is very significant for a single type of appliance. The rest of the appliance account for much smaller fractions than that.

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Electrochemical Step Towards Better Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen is seen as a versatile energy carrier for the future. Unfortunately, the element practically does not occur in the free state on Earth. Therefore, it must be first generated (e.g., by electrolysis of water), then stored, to be finally used — ideally in fuel cells transforming chemical energy directly into electrical one. Hydrogen storage represents, however, a serious challenge. The drawbacks of conventional storage tanks for gaseous and liquid hydrogen force us to look for other solutions. One of the promising methods for hydrogen storage makes use of the capability of some metals and alloys to easily uptake this element.

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