THE MELTDOWN in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor terrified people in the densely packed nation of Japan, persuaded the government to close all reactors and turned public opinion there and in many other places decidedly against the technology.
Yet last week Japan restarted a reactor at the Sendai nuclear power plant. More Japanese nuclear units could begin producing electricity again soon. This should not concern the world. It should be a relief.Full Story
Brazil’s drive to nip illicit tree-felling in the bud has shifted the nature of the problem, according to researchers.
Small-scale illegal logging is – proportionally speaking – on the rise, says a report by the Climate Policy Initiative and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.Full Story
Despite its benefits, switching to solar power can be a daunting prospect for the average homeowner. From the cost of purchasing or leasing your own solar panel system to uncertainties about how much power it’ll actually generate, taking the leap can seem like a risk.
A new Google project is seeking to allay some of these concerns with a tool that estimates the amount of energy and savings solar power could generate for any given home. Project Sunroof, which just launched in pilot form on Monday, allows users to search their address and find out the number of square feet available on their roof for solar panels, the number of hours of usable sunlight that could be generated, and the amount of money it could save. It’s currently available for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and Boston.Full Story
Reducing the greenhouse emissions has been an international goal for years, but now scientists have a solution about the carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere: They want to turn them into nanofibers.
A group of scientists from George Washington University, led by Dr. Stuart Licht, say they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers.Full Story
Developed nations are on track to cut their greenhouse emissions by almost 30 percent by 2030, Reuters calculations show, falling far short of a halving suggested by a U.N. panel of scientists as a fair share to limit climate change.
Australia became on Tuesday the last big developed nation to submit its strategy for cuts in the run-up to a U.N. summit in Paris in December, rounding off pledges by nations led by the United States, the European Union and Japan.Full Story
California is experiencing one of its most severe droughts on record, and its local municipalities have an astounding strategy to save water: turn their reservoirs into massive, floating ball pits.
During the past couple years, cities across the state have dumped millions of “shade balls” — black, plastic balls weighted down with water — into their reservoirs.Full Story
President Barack Obama is traveling to Alaska later this month to visit the front lines of climate change, which he called "one of the greatest challenges we face this century" in a video posted Thursday.
The effects of climate change in Alaska are "our wake up call," the president said.Full Story
“The ambition of the museum is to be a lab and a hub of climate awareness by making things concrete and giving people a shared space,” Massie said. “It’s critical to building people’s confidence that what they do and say and think about climate can matter.”
Massie is a lawyer by trade, but she now runs the Climate Museum Launch Project, an idea that came to her in the wake of Sandy’s floodwaters in 2012. What started as a vision in her head has since been sketched by architects, approved by the New York Board of Regents and is about to see its first round of seed funding this fall.Full Story
Over the last three decades, Europe's wild boar population has continued to rise. New research suggests their numbers have been buoyed by mild winters brought on by climate change.
Wild boars can tolerate cold temperatures via thermoregulation, but they must consume more food to conserve energy. This puts a strain on available resources and provides a natural constraint to population sizes.Full Story
Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper.
The paper maps the geographic sources of China’s toxic air and concludes that much of the smog that routinely shrouds Beijing comes from emissions in a distant industrial zone, a finding that may complicate the government’s efforts to clean up the capital city’s air in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.Full Story