Climate Change & Environment
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Tesla Wants its Powerwall to Save the Grid and your Bank Account

Our lust for electricity is insatiable. At night we connect a hydra of wires to our phones, computers, smartwatches and tablets. They sip at the electrons being pumped into our homes, filling their batteries to be ready for another day without being tethered to a wall. Tesla wants your house to be ready. Ready for power outages and heat waves. The company says its Powerwall home battery system can untether your home from the power grid for a few hours, which might not sound like much, but could have huge implications for the way we power our lives.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the Powerwall at his company's design studio in Southern California. He said it's a "whole integrated system that just works and is connected to the internet." The battery packs are lithium-ion cells with a liquid thermal-control system. Powerwall -- which Tesla has been testing with select customers for a year -- connects to the internet so it can track power usage and share that information with utilities.

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One in Six Species Could be Wiped out by Climate Change, Study Says

About one in six species now alive on the planet could become extinct as a result of climate change, according to a study edition of the journal Science.

If present trends continue, the Earth’s temperature will wind up 4.3 degrees Celsius higher than it was before the onset of the industrial era. Should that scenario come to pass, as many as 16% of species around the world would be at risk of dying out, the study says.

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Future for Warming U.S.: More Extreme Heat

The combination of global warming and shifting population means that by mid-century, there will be a huge increase in the number of Americans sweating through days that are extremely hot, a new study says.

People are migrating into areas — especially in the Southeast — where the heat is likely to increase more, said the authors of a study published Monday by the journal Nature Climate Change. The study highlighted the Houston-Dallas-San Antonio and Atlanta-Charlotte-Raleigh corridors as the places where the double whammy looks to be the biggest.

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U.S. Senate's Climate Sentry on Lonely Mission

He often speaks to an empty chamber, unheard and unheeded by his colleagues. 

But Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is America's climate soothsayer, repeatedly imploring global warming skeptics to "wake up" and stop courting environmental catastrophe.

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Drought Face-Lift: California Paints Lawns Green

The heat is stifling, the soil dry as a bone, and a new law in drought-stricken California restricts sprinklers.

But far from saying farewell to their beloved lawn, some Californians are coping with the drought by... painting it green.

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Audi is Making Fuel from Air and Water

Audi has begun production of a synthetic diesel fuel made from water, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. Unlike fossil fuels, which release additional carbon into the atmosphere, Audi’s “e-diesel,” which is being produced at a plant in Dresden in conjunction with the German alternative energy company Sunfire, has a net-zero carbon footprint because it is made with carbon dioxide taken from the air.

It’s not the first carbon-neutral fuel, but it’s being hailed by the German government, which provided support for the plant, as an important milestone in the movement for cleaner energy.

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Catching Waves and Turning Them into Electricity

Off the coast of Western Australia, three big buoys floating beneath the ocean’s surface look like giant jellyfish tethered to the seafloor. The steel machines, 36 feet wide, are buffeted by the powerful waves of the Indian Ocean. By harnessing the constant motion of the waves, the buoys generate about 5 percent of the electricity used at a nearby military base on Garden Island.

The buoys are a pilot project of Carnegie Wave Energy, a company based in Perth and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. In late February, the buoys started supplying 240 kilowatts each to the electricity grid at HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base. They also help run a desalination plant that transforms seawater into about one-third of the base’s fresh water supply.

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Who has Planted the Most Carbon-Storing Trees? China's 'Green Great Wall' Takes the Prize

After improving energy efficiency, piloting emissions trading and ramping up renewable energy expansion, China has also been moving on another frontier needed to help ease global warming.

According to a study published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, the total amount of carbon stored in all living biomass above the soil has increased globally by almost 4 billion tons since 2003, with China contributing in a notable way to the increase.

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The Cost of Mobility in Lebanon

It has been well established in numerous studies that the Lebanese passenger transport sector is unsustainable.

This study provides an approach from the cost side of mobility to generate recommendations in order to move the Lebanese passenger transport sector towards sustainable ground. It provides a particular methodology to calculate mobility cost in Lebanon, where data and information are scarce.

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Sea-Level Rise Accelerating, Say Scientists

Sea-level rise is accelerating, not declining as some have hoped, scientists said on Monday citing meltwater from Earth's ice sheets as the likely cause.

In 2013, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the global mean sea level rose by 19 centimeters (7.6 inches) from 1901-2010, an average 1.7 mm (0.06 of an inch) per year. 

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