Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


How Light-colored Roads, Rooftops Can Help Cool the Planet

New Berkeley Lab study investigates climate consequences of cool roofs and large-scale solar panel deployment.

Climate Change to Potentially Increase Yellowstone Wildfires

An increase in wildfires due to climate change could rapidly and profoundly alter the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, according to a new study authored by environmental engineering and geography Professor Anthony Westerling of the University of California, Merced.

Study: Increase in Aerosols Has Offset Some Recent Climate Warming

A recent increase in the abundance of particles high in the atmosphere has offset about a third of the current climate warming influence of carbon dioxide (CO2) change during the past decade, according to a new study led by NOAA and published today in the online edition of Science.

Researchers Float Framework for Relocating Species Threatened by Climate Change

In a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from CSIRO, University of Queensland and United States Geological Survey present a pragmatic decision framework for determining when, if ever, to move species in the face of climate change.

Wildfires Ignite Issues of Land Management and Public Trust in Agencies

The wildfires currently raging in the southwestern United States bring issues of land management into the public eye. Land management actions, such as prescribed fire, grazing, herbicides, felling trees and mowing, can restore native plants and reduce wildfire. However, the public’s view of land management and their trust in land management agencies can pose another obstacle.

Farms of the Future: Bio-Oil, Biochar from Biomass

Rural landscapes of the future might have pyrolysis plants instead of grain elevators on every horizon —processing centers where farmers would bring bulky crops such as switchgrass to be made into crude oil.

Earthquake Soil Effects Study Could Improve Buildings

The findings were reported in a special issue of the Earth, Planets and Space (EPS) journal. The research was sponsored the National Science Foundation (NSF) and by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

Scientists Examine Behavior of Gulf Oil Spill Plume

Taking another major step in sleuthing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has determined what chemicals were contained in a deep, hydrocarbon-containing plume at least 22 miles long that WHOI scientists mapped and sampled last summer in the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Graphite and Water: The Battery of the Future

A combination of two ordinary materials – graphite and water – could produce energy storage systems that perform on par with lithium ion batteries, but recharge in a matter of seconds and have an almost indefinite lifespan.

Loss of Top Animal Predators Has Massive Ecological Effects

In the Science journal, a review paper titled, “Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth,” concludes that the decline of large predators and herbivores in all regions of the world is causing substantial changes to Earth’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Tsunami Airglow Signature Could Lead to Early Detection System

Researchers at the University of Illinois have recorded an airglow signature in the upper atmosphere produced by a tsunami using a camera system based in Maui, Hawaii.

Protein Complex Found to Regulate Plant Growth

Farmers and other astute observers of nature have long known that crops like corn and sorghum grow taller at night. But the biochemical mechanisms that control this nightly stem elongation, common to most plants, have been something of a mystery to biologists—until now.

EPA Strengthens Key Scientific Database to Protect Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced plans to improve its Integrated Risk Information System program as part of an ongoing effort initiated in 2009 to strengthen the program.

Desalinating Seawater with Minimal Energy Use

At a pilot facility in Singapore, Siemens has cut the energy needed to desalinate seawater by more than 50 percent.

Researchers to Study Effect of CO2 Injection on Geological Formations

In a test project, researchers plan to inject some 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide into a coalbed methane field in southwest Virginia, at a site that is not suitable for underground mining purposes.

Researchers Dig Deep Into Wyoming Basin for Global Warming Clues

About 55 million years ago, the Earth burped up a massive release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – an amount equivalent to burning all the petroleum and other fossil fuels that exist today.

Study Finds Substantial Uncertainty With Natural Proxy Temperature Reconstruction

Since 1998, climate scientists have attempted to reconstruct global annual temperature over the last millennium using natural proxies such as tree rings and ice cores. However, a new study finds substantial uncertainty in these reconstructions.

Climate Change Reducing Ocean’s Carbon Dioxide Uptake

As one of the planet’s largest single carbon absorbers, the ocean takes up roughly one-third of all human carbon emissions, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and its associated global changes.But whether the ocean can continue mopping up human-produced carbon at the same rate is still up in the air.

Most Likely U.S. Metros to Withstand Natural Or Economic Disaster

Which U.S. metro region is most likely to come out of the next recession, natural disaster or other regional “shock” relatively unscathed? Rochester, Minn. A little more battered might be College Station-Bryan, Texas.

Scientist checking corrosion

CBPCs Can Erode Corrosion's Hold on Metal

Chemically bonded phosphate ceramics create a passivation layer that stops corrosion and is protected by a tough ceramic outer layer. These compounds protect metal from corrosion better than other options, such as polymer paints, and are less expensive than using stainless steel.

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