The biggest hurdle to widespread implementation of solar power is the fact that the sun doesn't shine constantly in any given place, so backup power systems are needed for nights and cloudy days. But a novel system designed by researchers at MIT could finally overcome that problem, delivering steady power 24/7.
Researchers in the Pacific Northwest have developed a new catalyst material that could replace chemicals currently derived from petroleum and be the basis for more environmentally friendly products, including octane-boosting gas and fuel additives, bio-based rubber for tires and a safer solvent for the chemicals industry.
The previously unexplained differences between model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming have been the source of often contentious debate and controversy for more than two decades.
In the last 30 years, more than 90 percent of the reef-building coral responsible for maintaining major marine habitats and providing a natural barrier against hurricanes in the Caribbean has disappeared because of a disease of unknown origin.
When miners abandoned Michigan’s Copper Country, they left a lot of the red metal behind, and not in a good way. Waste from the mining operations still contains a high fraction of copper, so high that almost nothing can grow on it—and hasn’t for decades, leaving behind moonscape expanses that can stretch for acres.
Erosion happens. But for the modern geologist a vexing question remains: how fast does this erosion happen? For more than a century, scientists have looked for ways to measure and compare erosion rates across differing landscapes around the globe—but with limited success.
New Berkeley Lab study investigates climate consequences of cool roofs and large-scale solar panel deployment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
At a pilot facility in Singapore, Siemens has cut the energy needed to desalinate seawater by more than 50 percent.
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.