Real leaves are natural energy factories that can split water molecules and create hydrogen ions. Scientists have long tried to copy the molecules involved in creating hydrogen, but a Chinese team took a different tack by creating an artificial structure based on natural leaves as templates. Early tests have shown that the artificial leaves could soak up twice as much light and produce three times as much energy as the real thing, New Scientist reports.
Geoengineering is a popular idea, for Bill Gates and just about everyone else these days. Now the Institute of Mechanical Engineers proposes that the UK adopt technologies such as carbon-capturing artificial trees, biofuel algae tanks on rooftops, and coating surfaces in reflective materials to cut down on heating from the sun's rays.