Environmental Update

By Max Guinn | Innovation, science, people and ideas that inspire care of our planet

'Impossible To Save': Scientists Are Watching China's Glaciers Disappear

At the end of every summer, scientist Li Zhongqin takes his seasonal hike near the top of a glacier in the Tianshan mountains in China's far northwestern region of Xinjiang.<p>Li scrambles over a frozen ridge and heads toward a lone pole wedged in the ice. Clouds emerge from a peak above and quickly …

Climate Change

In 5 Years, Batteries Will Blanket The U.S., Duke Executive Says

Five years. That’s how soon batteries can be expected to sprout all over the electric grid as utilities and homeowners drop in on a wave of falling prices, a Duke Energy executive said in Chicago Thursday.<p>“There’s going to be a lot of excitement around batteries in the next five years. And I would …

Energy

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe

Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming<p>Thirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide …

Nature

More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

<b>All sea life will be affected because carbon dioxide emissions from modern society are making the oceans more acidic, a major new report will say.</b><p>The eight-year study from more than 250 scientists finds that infant sea creatures will be especially harmed.<p>This means the number of baby cod growing to …

Oceans

How Asia's Oil Hub Is Going Green

Singapore plans to develop solar power and energy-storage technologies as the oil-trading hub of Asia pushes to generate more of its power from …

Renewable Energy

Report says rooftop solar panels are sufficient to meet Israel's energy goals

Building mass solar fields as the government intends, the report argues, would diminish reserves of open space and cause unnecessary environmental …

Renewable Energy

Dive Australia's Great Barrier Reef with Netflix and Google

Virtual reality travelling is here. So sit back on your couch and visit Australia's amazing reef.<p>You don't have to visit Australia to experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.<p>Google, Netflix and Twitter, as well as the BBC and Australian nonprofit New Horizons, have produced digital …

Oceans

Teen to plant a trillion trees

When Felix Finkbeiner was in fourth grade, his teacher assigned a simple class project: Research climate change and give a presentation. The …

Climate Change

Rhino attacks and injures suspected poacher in Namibia

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A rhino turned the tables on a suspected poacher in Namibia, charging and injuring the man while he was allegedly tracking it.<p>The Namibian newspaper reported last week that the incident happened in Etosha National Park after suspect Luteni Muharukua and other alleged poachers …

Wildlife

Electric utility in Florida lobbies against solar for regular people, but uses it for its own portfolio

A recent press release by FPL (formerly Florida Power and Light) talks highly of on-going solar construction. FPL exclaims that they’ve built 300MW of solar power across eight power plants. They also communicate that FPL is the largest holder of solar resources in Florida – 375MW.<p>It’s a facade.<p>FPL …

Renewable Energy

Tesla Plant in China May Be a First

BEIJING — Tesla is moving closer to becoming the first foreign car company to have a wholly owned manufacturing operation in China, a deal that would test the relationship norms between a foreign automaker and the Chinese government.<p>For Tesla and other manufacturers, their production options in …

China

EPA Abruptly Blocks 3 Agency Scientists From Giving Talks On Climate Change

It's the latest sign of the administration's assault on climate science.<p>The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly barred three agency scientists from giving talks about climate change at a conference in Rhode Island days before they were scheduled to speak.<p>The researchers were booked to …

Climate

Climate change will mean more rain for some—and none for others

We need to figure out who gets floods and who gets drought.<p>“When the well's dry, we know the worth of water,” Benjamin Franklin wrote in a 1746 edition of "Poor Richard’s Almanac". Although his intention was allegorical—the 18th century equivalent of “we don’t know what we’ve got ‘till it’s …

Climate Change

Mr. Trump Outdoes Himself in Picking a Conflicted Regulator

President Trump has made a habit of filling important jobs with people dedicated to undermining the laws they’re supposed to administer while pampering the industries they’re supposed to regulate. His nominee for the Environmental Protection Agency’s top clean air post, William Wehrum, is a retread …

Chemical Industry

E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.<p>John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former …

Climate

New Artificial Leaf Creates Fuel From Sunlight, Water

Scientists have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water, an advance that may provide clean energy for …

Coal’s future as a power source in Colorado flickering

Xcel Energy Colorado has closed several coal plants over the past decade, usually to address air quality concerns in metro Denver. Those early …

Energy

Your solar panels could power the neighborhood during a blackout

A new set of algorithms could make it possible for renewable energy-generating homes to not only access their power reserves during outages, but share their resources with their neighbours -- a move which could play a significant role in disaster relief efforts.<p>Self-sufficiency is an attractive …

Renewable Energy

Climate Change Could Wipe Out One-Third of Earth's Parasite Species by 2070

Weirdly, that's NOT actually a good thing.<p>That we are in the midst of a mass extinction event is no secret. As climate change melts glaciers, warms …

Climate Change

Up to 381 new species discovered in the Amazon – in pictures

A strong-beaked bird named after Barack Obama, a fire-tailed titi monkey and a new pink river dolphin are among species recorded by the Living Amazon Initiative of the WWF Network

Nature

California Proves That Environmental Regulations Don't Kill Profits

To anyone who believes environmental regulation is poison for profits, California must be infuriating. The state’s pollution policies rarely wilt its …

Climate

If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen

With the Trump Administration’s surprising U-turn on the COP21 Paris Agreement, the U.S. finds itself with some strange bedfellows, joining Nicaragua and Syria in abstaining from this important treaty. The White House’s argument for leaving the treaty is based on economic nationalism: President …

Climate

Japan's new mushroom solar farms produce sustainable energy and food

Japan’s agricultural sector could find a much-needed boost with an innovative approach to growing that combines solar power generation and mushroom …

Farming

Former President Jimmy Carter Just Made a Solar Farm to Power Half His City

Steady Solar Supporter<p>In 1979, in the throes of the U.S. energy crisis, then President Jimmy Carter addressed the nation as he installed 32 solar …

Renewable Energy

The Best Fish Species for Backyard Aquaculture & How to Source Them

You’ve spent months researching the perfect aquaculture or aquaponics system and getting it all set up. Now it’s time to stock your tanks with fish. …

Fish

Want to save the bees? Here's what you should know.

Plus some bee-utiful photography.<p>Most bees are solitary. This may come as a surprise, especially if your bee knowledge comes from reading about colony collapse disorder and that one time you saw <i>The Bee Movie</i> once on a plane. To most people, bees are fat, buzzing, social insects that live in hives …

Bees

Melting permafrost in the Arctic is unlocking diseases and warping the landscape

The consequences of climate change can be weird and apocalyptic.<p>You can find evidence of a changing climate everywhere on Earth. But nowhere are the changes more dramatic than in the Arctic.<p>Our world’s northern polar region is warming twice as fast as the global average. And the consequences are …

Climate Change

World has three years left to stop dangerous climate change, warn experts

Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres among signatories of letter warning that the next three years will be crucial to stopping the worst effects of global warming<p>Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change is still just about possible, but will require unprecedented effort and coordination …

Climate

Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed

It’s often said that of all the published scientific research on climate change, 97% of the papers conclude that global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity.<p>But what about those 3% of papers that reach contrary conclusions? Some skeptics have …