Tag Archives: carbon dioxide emissions

Taking concrete steps toward lower carbon dioxide emissions

The hardest thing about concrete just might be the problem of how to make the ubiquitous building material in an environmentally friendly manner. Recent laboratory results at Princeton University indicate that the challenge of making greener concrete may eventually be cracked. (more…)

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New method for methanol processing could reduce carbon dioxide emissions

This new process developed by UCLA researchers could also lower production costs

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a more efficient way to turn methanol into useful chemicals, such as liquid fuels, and that would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. (more…)

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China has potential to be leader in global sustainability

China, with its enormous cities and vast countryside, is a potential star in the ongoing global drama of slashing carbon emissions.

In this week’s Nature, a Michigan State University researcher and an international team of sustainability experts propose a script.

China already is a star in unleashing carbon dioxide emissions. In 2011, it accounted for a quarter of the world’s total. The problems – air pollution, squandered energy resources and economic stresses that squelch growth – also come with tremendous opportunity for China to be leader in slashing emissions. Along the way, China’s vast variety of economic and geographic circumstances offers a chance to set examples for its global neighbors. (more…)

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Grocery delivery service is greener than driving to the store

At the end of a long day, it can be more convenient to order your groceries online while sitting on the living room couch instead of making a late-night run to the store. New research shows it’s also much more environmentally friendly to leave the car parked and opt for groceries delivered to your doorstep.

University of Washington engineers have found that using a grocery delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store. Trucks filled to capacity that deliver to customers clustered in neighborhoods produced the most savings in carbon dioxide emissions. (more…)

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Bugs produce diesel on demand

It sounds like science fiction but a team from the University of Exeter, with support from Shell, has developed a method to make bacteria produce diesel on demand.

While the technology still faces many significant commercialisation challenges, the diesel, produced by special strains of E. coli bacteria, is almost identical to conventional diesel fuel.

This means that it does not need to be blended with petroleum products as is often required by biodiesels derived from plant oils. It also means that the diesel can be used with current supplies in existing infrastructure because engines, pipelines and tankers do not need to be modified. Biofuels with these characteristics are being termed ‘drop-ins’.  (more…)

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Cutting Specific Atmospheric Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

Decreasing emissions of black carbon, methane and other pollutants makes a difference

With coastal areas bracing for rising sea levels, new research indicates that cutting emissions of certain pollutants can greatly slow sea level rise this century.

Scientists found that reductions in four pollutants that cycle comparatively quickly through the atmosphere could temporarily forestall the rate of sea level rise by roughly 25 to 50 percent.

The researchers focused on emissions of four heat-trapping pollutants: methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon. (more…)

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Powerful Mathematical Model Greatly Improves Predictions for Species Facing Climate Change

UCLA life scientists and colleagues have produced the most comprehensive mathematical model ever devised to track the health of populations exposed to environmental change.

The research, federally funded by the National Science Foundation, is published Dec. 2 in the journal Science.

The team’s groundbreaking integral projection model, or IPM, unites various sub-disciplines of population biology, including population ecology, quantitative genetics, population genetics, and life-span and offspring information, allowing researchers to link many different data sources simultaneously. Scientists can now change just a single variable, like temperature, and see how that affects many factors for a population. (more…)

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Preparing for a Thaw: How Arctic Microbes Respond to a Warming World

From the North Pole to the Arctic Ocean, the frozen soils within this region keep an estimated 1,672 billion metric tons of carbon out of the Earth’s atmosphere. This sequestered carbon is more than 250 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the United States in the year 2009. As global temperatures slowly rise, however, so too do concerns regarding the potential impacts upon the carbon cycle when the permafrost thaws and releases the carbon that has been trapped for eons.  Like so many of the planet’s critical environmental processes, the smallest players—microbes—have the most significant influence over the eventual outcome. (more…)

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