Large amounts of ozone — around 50% more than predicted by the world’s state-of-the-art climate models — are being destroyed in the lower atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. A team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Science and the Universities of York and Leeds made the discovery, which is significant (more…)
What has six-hundred tons of volcanic rocks sitting in a giant steel tub, thousands of gallons of water spouting from a network of pipes, and 1,800 sensors scattering three identical hillslopes collecting information? If you guessed the world’s only and largest manmade experimental watershed, then you’re correct! (more…)
The vast amounts of water pumped out of the ground for irrigation, drinking water, and industrial uses will increasingly contribute to global sea level rise in the coming decades, according to a new study.
According to researchers at Utrecht University, humans pumped about 204 cubic kilometers (49 (more…)
The sun is the base energy source for the Earth. What it emits is either absorbed or reflected. Observations showed some “missing energy” in this balance. Two years ago, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth’s heat and measurements of (more…)
A series of pole-to-pole research flights conducted by U.S. researchers have provided the most comprehensive picture of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and confirmed some of climate scientists’ more dire concerns about human-caused (more…)
The Asilomar conference on geoengineering had been touted as a potentially historic event. What emerged, however, were some unexpected lessons about the possibilities and pitfalls of manipulating the Earth’s climate to offset global warming.
In the beginning, I had my doubts. The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies, held last week at the Asilomar conference grounds near Monterey, Calif., was touted as an “unprecedented” gathering of 175 scientists, environmental groups, philosophers, and public policy wonks to discuss the governance of geoengineering — that is, large-scale, intentional manipulation of the Earth’s climate to offset rising temperatures.
The meeting was obviously set up to channel the spirit of the first Asilomar conference in 1975, during which biologists drew up voluntary guidelines to help reassure the public that genetically modified organisms would not be released into the world. Asilomar 1.0 is remembered as a landmark event in the evolution of scientific ethics and a turning point in the public acceptance of biotechnology.
Asilomar 2.0 seemed to pale in comparison. For one thing, geoengineering may be a scary idea, but the dangers were nowhere near as immediate as the unintentional release of genetically modified organisms. (more…)
Biofuels – made from algae and non-food plants – are emerging as a potentially viable alternative to conventional jet fuels. Although big challenges remain, the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could be major.
Earlier this year, a Continental jet accelerated down the runway at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Nothing out of the ordinary for Capt. Rich Jankowski, who countless times in his 38-year career had eased such two-engine Boeing 737-800s into the sky. Except on this experimental flight, one of the engines Jankowski relied on was burning fuel derived from microscopic algae to push the 45-ton aircraft into the air and keep it aloft — a first in aviation history.
“No doubts remain. Climate change is real and the build-up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is increasingly at an alarming rate.” With these words, Rafael Quiroga, General Manager of Accion RSE, initiated the seminar “Corporate Strategic Management of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.” This is not another “green business” seminar from a European or North American city, it took place here — in Santiago, Chile.
The event brought together speakers from the Chilean private sector that gave concrete examples of their companies’ climate change and GHG management initiatives. First, it showed how Essbio, a water purification company, has been dealing with the ever-prescient and escalating challenges of decreasing water reserves due to climate change. Second, it illustrated the emissions and energy reductions Xstrata Copper, a mining company, has committed to and the steps it has taken to minimize the release of contaminants in its industrial processes. Third, it explained what Natura cosmetics has done since 2007 to become a “carbon neutral” business by calculating all GHG emissions in the company’s supply chain, transportation, and production of its various cosmetics products, and purchasing the equivalent amount of CO2 tonnage in carbon credits on the international carbon markets.