SciDataCon2014, the International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability, was motivated by the conviction that the most significant research challenges - and in particular the pressing issues relating to global sustainability in the face of ongoing natural and human-induced changes to the planetary system - cannot be properly addressed without paying attention to issues relating to equitable access to quality-assured and interoperable datasets and their long-term management and preservation.
A new study performed by a team of international scientists reveals that a complex ecosystem response to iron fertilization in the Southern Ocean might reduce the efficiency of biological carbon pump in transporting carbon dioxide into the deep ocean.
The new method can be used in harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations of the environment and converting it into electricity. Energy harvesters are needed, for example, in wireless self-powered sensors and medical implants, where they could ultimately replace batteries.
A new professional master's program will launch at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in fall 2015 and become the first in the world specifically designed to train analytically minded students to evaluate energy efficiency and other resource-conservation initiatives.
'Islanding', or isolating, from the grid, is a fundamental benefit of microgrids - small systems powered by renewables and energy storage devices. The benefit is that microgrids can disconnect from larger utility grids and continue to provide power locally.
Rechargeable battery manufacturers may get a jolt from research where a team of scientists has discovered a safe, inexpensive, sodium-conducting material that significantly outperforms all others in its class.
Engineers developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ignite the fuel. These new fuel cells can be used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors.
A debate has broken out between politicians and scientists as to whether atmospheric warming can be delayed by reducing short-lived climate forcing agents. An international research team has now confirmed that a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is the only long-term remedy for global warming.
The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.
Treatment plants cannot completely keep microplastics out of wastewater by conventional means. This is one of the results of a pilot study. The findings will be used to better protect flora and fauna in rivers and seas.