The environment has a more formidable opponent than carbon dioxide. Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is 300 times more potent and also destroys the ozone layer each time it is released into the atmosphere through agricultural practices, sewage treatment and fossil fuel combustion. Luckily, nature has a larger army than previously thought combating this greenhouse gas.
Renewable energy has become the most cost-effective way to generate electric power for hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are not on the grid, a new IRENA policy brief reveals. Renewable energy has also become the least-cost option for extending grid supply in areas with suitable resources, such as sun and wind.
The European SustainValue research project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland develops new types of tools for sustainable industrial development. According to Senior Scientist Teuvo Uusitalo of VTT, the methods and indicators used at present entail risks, since they tend to over-emphasise the economic perspective and that of individual companies.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the results of the state's first auction for greenhouse gas allowances under its cap-and-trade program. Allowances for the equivalent of 28.7 million tons of CO2 emissions were sold at the auction on November 14th, 2012.
The increased use of renewable energy sources, particularly sunlight, is highly desirable, as is industrial production that is as CO2-neutral as possible. Both of these wishes could be fulfilled if CO2 could be used as the raw material in a system driven by solar energy. Japanese researchers have now introduced an approach to this type of process.
In a recent issue of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Richard K. Morgan of the University of Otago, New Zealand, reviews the progress of the EIA, with particular emphasis on the last 15-20 years. He also assesses whether EIA is ready for future challenges.
The identified critical threshold for dangerous climate change saying that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius seems not to have helped the climate negotiations so far. New research shows that negotiations based on such a threshold fail because its value is determined by Nature. Climate negotiators should focus on other collective strategies.
Stony Brook University engineers have won a national award for an innovative energy harvester that has the potential to save millions of dollars in energy costs for railroads while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Scientists at The University of Manchester have identified how a plant hormone can affect the rate of cell division in vascular tissue in plants. The findings demonstrate how the hormone controls plant growth to produce more biomass which could be used to make the next generation of biofuels.