A new study, which could help scientists model global change more accurately, finds that typhoons bury tons of carbon in the oceans
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 07.28.2008 at 4:27 pm 5 Comments
When typhoons and hurricanes sweep through mountainous areas, they cause more than human destruction. They also physically and chemically weather the mountains they pass, taking carbon with them and burying it in the oceans in the form of sediment. This in turn allows the planet to cool. While scientists have long predicted that extreme storms cause such effects, only recently have they been able to measure just how carbon much storms take away: tons.
Cow dung could generate enough electricity for millions of homes and offices, and considerably cut down on greenhouse gases
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 07.28.2008 at 4:03 pm 7 Comments
It's mostly bad news when it gets under your shoes, but scientists now believe cow dung may be more of a blessing in disguise than previously believed. According to a team at the University of Texas Austin, if the manure from hundreds of millions of livestock in the U.S. were to go through anaerobic digestion—a fermentation process similar to one to create compost—it could turn into an energy-rich biogas. The gas would be efficient enough to produce 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity; that could meet about 3 percent of North America's entire consumption needs.
Birds and power companies adapt to climate change; scientists downgrade its role in hurricane formation
By Jessica ChengPosted 07.25.2008 at 4:58 pm 31 Comments
So it looks like it's not all gloom and doom after all. A few recent studies have managed to find the slim silver lining of climate change. Below, a look at the three small positive outcomes of global warming.
A team of international scientists discover that one-third of the world's coral-building reefs face extinction
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 07.17.2008 at 2:37 pm 0 Comments
Time and time again we hear news about the danger the world's coral reefs are in. Now, the first-ever comprehensive international assessment of their conservation status reveals that the fate of coral is worse even than scientists previously believed.
Wait, now pollution is preventing global warming? That's the conclusion of a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which says rising temperatures seen in Europe over the last few years result as much from the reduction of air pollution as from the creation of it. The research, which looked at the effects of aerosols on climate, confirms an older concept known as global dimming, and complicates our understanding of how mankind affects the climate.
By PopSci StaffPosted 06.27.2008 at 1:11 pm 9 Comments
This summer, for the first time in recorded history, there may be no ice on the North Pole. In a dramatic symptom of climate change, the thick frozen layer at the pole is likely to melt away entirely, turning the top of the world from sea ice to sea water.
A blueprint for the eco-tropolis of the future with fresh air, pristine water and cheap energy. Plus, 48 audacious ideas to save the planet
By PopSci StaffPosted 06.13.2008 at 12:34 pm 1 Comment
The Green Megalopolis
An eco-savvy blueprint for tomorrow's megacity
In our annual Future of the Environment issue, we take a look at the monumental problems facing our world as we continue into the 21st century, as well as solutions ranging from the audacious to the everyday to, quite literally, save the planet.
Our experts tackle the answer to your burning questions
By Matt CokeleyPosted 06.05.2008 at 3:06 pm 7 Comments
You may find this hard to believe if you’re standing near a swarm of chain smokers, but most scientists think the trace amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants in cigarette smoke have, at most, a negligible effect on the climate. “In fact,” theorizes John M. Wallace, a professor at the University of Washington’s climate-research department, “it might even counteract global warming by an equally minuscule amount, because the white particulate matter in smoke would reflect some of the sun’s energy, thereby minimizing heat.”
An excess of CO2 is having an unforeseen effect on shelled undersea creatures
By Matt RansfordPosted 05.23.2008 at 10:30 am 8 Comments
Global warming is far and away the symptom at the top of the list of indicators that our planet is overloaded with carbon dioxide. Another important, but less considered consequence of the excess CO2 is the effect it has on the world's oceans. The oceans are a natural carbon dioxide sponge, responsible for maintaining the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere by absorbing a measure of the gas in its water. Currently, it is estimated that the ocean is uptaking nearly one-third of all human-produced CO2, which is slowly lowering its overall pH. Put simply: the oceans are becoming acidic.
Federal forecasters issue a prediction for the upcoming storm season, but caution that they could be wrong
By Gregory MonePosted 05.23.2008 at 9:41 am 4 Comments
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced yesterday that 2008 could be a busy hurricane season. Between twelve and 16 storms may be big enough to earn names, and six to nine should be intense enough to be qualified as hurricanes. And of those, two to five could be major.