Friday, August 31, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Having some technical difficulties right now (internet problems; I'm writing this from a public computer).

No posts until fixed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Solar Technology are 10x Less Expensive

New Zealand (ToGW) - Solar cell technology developed by Massey University’s Nanomaterials Research Center will enable companies to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells.

Dr. Wayne Campbell and researchers at the Center have developed colored dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells.

The synthetic dyes are made from natural compounds, such as hemoglobin.

“The expected cost is one tenth of the price of a silicon-based solar panel, making them more attractive and accessible to home-owners,” he said.

The Center’s new director, Professor Ashton Partridge, says they now have the most efficient porphyrin dye in the world and aim to optimize and improve the cell construction and performance before developing the cells commercially.

The solar cells are the product of more than 10 years research funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Via :: Massey University Press Release

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Solar Cell can be Printed out of a Printer

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets.

"Someday homeowners will even be able to print sheets of these solar cells with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers can then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations," said lead researcher and author Somenath Mitra, PhD, professor and acting chair of NJIT's Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.

"We foresee a great deal of interest in our work because solar cells can be inexpensively printed or simply painted on exterior building walls and/or roof tops. Imagine some day driving in your hybrid car with a solar panel painted on the roof, which is producing electricity to drive the engine. The opportunities are endless. "

The solar cell Mitra helped develop uses carbon nanotubes, which are 50,000 times smaller than a human hair.

One nanotube can conduct a current better than any conventional wire.

Mitra and his research team took the carbon nanotubes and combined them with fullerenes, which trap electrons, to form snake-like structures.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

[POLL] What Alternative Energy Source Do You Find Most Promising?

Voting Booth

What alternative energy source do you find most promising?
Other free polls

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sewage to be Used to Produce Electricity

Government and industry officials in Charles County, Maryland are creating an innovative sewage system that would use sanitized sewage water for cooling and generating power.

Called a closed-loop system, the plan is to pump sewage to treatment stations, than route the treated sewage, known as effluent, to cooling towers and for producing electricity.

The effluent is converted to steam to drive the turbines to generate electricity.

Normally, cooled groundwater is used in cooling towers.

The benefits are twofold. First of all, groundwater would no longer be drawn from the ground. Second, treated sewage wouldn’t be dumped into the Potomac.

The idea is not new, but the size of the system is.

"A big system like this that covers several facilities in volume does not exist," John Reardon, the county’s economic development director said. "Nobody's done anything like this before."

The plan already has two plants on board, and is hoping another will join.

The Maryland Department of Environment has not approved the plan, but is expected to.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Wind Turbine Can Be Lowered At The Flick Of A Switch To Avoid Birds

New Hampshire (TGW) -The wind turbine is flopped over on its side, its blades still.

The turbine isn’t broken; it was lowered from a height of 80 feet to avoid a flock of migratory birds.

The newly installed wind turbine can be lowered at the flick of a switch – the main reason it was given a permit to be constructed on Appledore, an island off the coast of New Hampshire.

The AIRMAP observatory there needed power in the winter; the observatory’s diesel generators were only used in the summer.

Photo credit: University of New Hampshire

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Renewable Energy Slogans

Reader question: Plz gimme slogans on hydropwer,wind power,solar energy,tidal energy & biomass energy.I want dese now?

Hydropower - Got Water?

Wind power - That was windy.

Solar power - The sunny side of life.

Tidal energy - Energy now knows no season.

Biomass energy - Not always so corny.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

China Manages to Cut Some Sulphur Dioxide Emissions

Beijing (ToGW) - China, the world's top emitter of sulphur dioxide, has managed to cut emissions of the acid-rain causing pollutant in first half of 2007, but the government said on Tuesday that meeting national targets would be tough.

China has promised to cut emissions by 10% between 2006 and 2010.

Sulphur dioxide emissions were down .88% in the first half of 2007, Beijing said.

China has offered higher tariffs to power stations with desulphurization equipment.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What's So Special About Hydropower and Hydroelectricity?

What is hydroelectricity? Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. Hydropower is a very broad term; it can refer to using water for irrigation, milling, and even textiles. That is why hydroelectricity is the proper term when referring to the renewable energy resource, which we are.

Hydroelectricity is the world’s leading source of renewable energy, supplying 19% of the world’s electricity, and accounting for 63% of the total renewable energy electricity generated. Large hydroelectric and small hydroelectric are the common names for the two types of hydroelectric installations. As you probably could have guessed, small hydro is “the application of hydroelectric power on a commercial scale serving a small community or medium sized industry.” Meanwhile, large hydro is used on a large scale.

So what’s so special about hydroelectricity? The fact that it’s already being used. As mentioned previously, hydroelectricity provides 19% of the world’s energy. Commercial industry can already expand off of hydro; it’s low tech, it’s been in use for over a hundred years, and it works inexpensively.

Does hydroelectricity have any harmful side effects? Let’s see what Wikipedia says:

Hydroelectric projects can be disruptive to surrounding aquatic ecosystems. For instance, studies have shown that dams along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America have reduced salmon populations by preventing access to spawning grounds upstream, even though most dams in salmon habitat have fish ladders installed.
As important as salmon is, this small disadvantage should not be a reason to not use hydro.
If hydroelectricity is expanded upon and used with other technologies, hydroelectricity could become even greater than it already is.

More Alternative Energy Series:

Why Corn Ethanol is Bad
The Temporary Solution: Coal
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
5 Reasons Solar Power Works
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination
Another Look at Nuclear Power - Nuclear Waste
What's So Special About Hydropower and Hydroelectricity?
Top 5 Advantages of Geothermal Power

Sunday, August 19, 2007

[POLL] Plastic or Paper?

Voting Booth

Do you use plastic, paper, or cloth bags?
Other free polls

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reader Question - Global Warming

From Yahoo! Answers:
ive got a few questions about global warming:

1.How is man perpetuating (making it worse) the problem?
Man is making the problem worse by sending greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, cause the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect makes sure the Earth is warm enough for humans to live by trapping radiation and heat inside of the Earth's atmosphere. (This is a very simplified way of thinking about it.)

2.What can man do to stop or slow down the problem of global warming?

To slow global warming, we have to stop the extra release of greenhouse gases. To do that, we have to stop burning fossil fuels like oil, coal or natural gas. In other words, we have to switch to renewable energy sources.

3. Highlight the social and enviromental impacts of global warming?
No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on our climate (it is already). Some effects if we DON'T take action:

Ice caps are going to melt.
Sea levels are going to rise.
Species are going to go extinct.
Hurricanes are going to become more frequent and stronger.
Lakes are going to warm and become shallower.
Heatwaves will become more common and more powerful.
Rain patterns will change.

But if we do take action, the effects of these will be limited.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Scientists Tracking Atlantic Current

Atlantic (ToGW) - Scientists are now tracking the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation with a sense of urgency.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation -- fondly known as the conveyor belt – was featured in “An Inconvenient Truth” and in “The Day After Tomorrow” as a force that could wreak havoc on the climate of Europe and North America if slowed down.

Now scientists are taking detailed measurements of its massive flows.

The current is called the conveyor belt because it forms a giant loop from the Gulf of Mexico to Iceland and back. Warm water (the Gulf Stream) flows near the surface of the ocean along the east coast of the United States. It then veers northeast towards Greenland.

There it cools and desalinizes -- becomes less salty -- from the fresh water melting off Greenland glaciers (see The Day After Tomorrow).

Some scientists have suggested that the increasing desalinization of the current could have cooling effects on North America and Europe. Others have predicted that the desalinization could make slow the effect of global warming in current’s area.

Creative Commons License

Arctic Sea Ice to Hit Record Low

Arctic Sea IceArctic (ToGW) - There is a 92% chance that Arctic sea ice will have melted to a record low, partially due to global warming, according to researchers at the University of Colorado.

They had originally predicted a 33% chance for the record to occur in April, but later revised their forecast. Their current prediction stands at a 92% chance for the ice to be at its lowest levels in September.

The university said man-made global warming was partially to blame.

The Colorado University Boulder department used satellite data from the Department of Defense and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the ice forecasts.

Creative Commons License

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Plug-in Hybrid Video

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flesh-Eating Disease Is On The Rise Due To Global Warming

Scientists at the University of Hull are working on an improved treatment for a debilitating flesh-eating disease which is on the rise due to global warming.

Should global warming continue to ravage our planet at current rates, the numbers of people suffering Leishmaniasis, a flesh-eating and sometimes fatal disease will increase dramatically. Leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite transmitted via sand fly bites usually found only in tropical climates. Rising temperatures will increase the number of countries the sand fly colonises, moving further north and through Europe.

Due to travel and tourism, nations affected are already on the increase. Military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are also exposed to the conditions associated with contracting Leishmaniasis.

Dr Ross Boyle, lead researcher on the project at the University of Hull said, “Global warming and the military presence in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan mean that this horrific and debilitating disease is affecting more people than ever before. My co-investigator, Dr Tim Paget at the Medway School of Pharmacy, Hull PhD student Carrie-Anne Bristow and myself wanted to work towards finding a significantly better treatment.”

Source: ScienceDaily
Image courtesty University of Hull.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Plastic Bags Statistics - And They're Not Looking So Good

Petroleum-based grocery bags hit the checkout aisle in 1977. Presented as a revolutionary idea, they are now recognized as an environmental hazard. Just like bottled water, plastic bags are made from crude oil, contributing to global warming.

The Numbers

Up to 1000 - Estimated years for a plastic bag to decompose.
1460 - Plastic bags used in a year by an average family of four in the U.S.
12 million - Barrels of oil used to make the plastic bags that the U.S. consumes annually.
Less than 1% - Percentage of all plastic bags that get recycled in the U.S.
88.5 billion – Plastic bags consumed in the U.S. last year.
500 billion – Estimated plastic bags sold worldwide each year.

The Countries

San Francisco has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery stores.
Ireland has a $.20 tax per bag.
France is banning plastic bags starting 2010 and starting 2008 in Paris.
South Africa has banned thin plastic bags
Uganda has banned thin plastic bags and has taxes on thicker ones.
Kenya is banning plastic bags starting 2008.
Zanzibar Islands have banned all plastic bags.
Mumbai, New Delhi, and two states in India have banned all plastic bags.
Bangladesh has banned all plastic bags.
Taiwan has banned all plastic bags as well as disposable plastic plates, cups, and cutlery.

Solar Power Companies Doing So Well They Can't Meet Demand

German solar firms boost capacity to meet demand

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's solar companies are driving up capacity to meet strong demand for renewable energy, while access to silicon remained the make-or-break factor for their second-quarter results on Tuesday.

Q-Cells (QCEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's second-largest solar cell producer after Japan's Sharp Solar (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research), posted a 52 percent rise in quarterly operating profit, beating analysts' forecasts.

Q-Cells now expects production output of 370 megawatts peak (MWp) this year, more than the 360 MWp it had forecast earlier, and as a result lifted its full-year outlook.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Predicting Climate Risks - Renewable Energy is Cheaper in the Long Run - Research is Best - Texas Braces for Record Electrical Use

Wind turbines with the moon
Scientists try new ways to predict climate risks

Scientists are trying to improve predictions about the impact of global warming this century by pooling estimates about the risk of floods or desertification.

Scientists in the U.N. climate panel, for instance, rely on several complex computer models to forecast the impacts of warming this century, ranging from changing rainfall patterns over Africa to rising global sea levels.

But these have flaws because of a lack of understanding about how clouds form, for instance, or how Antarctica's ice will react to less cold. And reliable temperature records in most nations stretch back only about 150 years.

Study says low-carbon research offers big payoff

It would cost up to $1.8 trillion to dramatically reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, but spending $35 billion on research into cutting edge technology for nuclear and low-emission coal plants could cut the price tag in half, researchers said on Monday.

Without key technology advances, it would cost $1.8 trillion to reduce U.S. CO2 emissions by 2 percent a year starting in 2010, or about 50 percent below 2010 levels by 2050, the study found.

That number drops to $900 billion if U.S. industry spends about $1.4 billion annually in research and development through 2030 - about $35 billion total.

Texas power grid braces for record electric use

Temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and higher forecast for Monday afternoon across Texas may push electric use in the state to an all-time record, according to the grid operator.

New Comments System - Intense Debate

Does everybody like the new comments system? They're the 'Intense Debate' comments system. Thanks to being a member of Political Grind, we are able to try them while they are still in the 'beta-ish' stage. To sign up to try after the beta, visit the website:

You can either register and get an account to earn account based points, or you can post anonymously.

What's great about Intense Debate is that the system doesn't delete the old comments, so the old comments are still there if you would care to look.

UPDATE: It takes a little while to load, so be patient.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

[POLL] How Do You Fight Global Warming?

If you comment, your comment will be posted with a link to your blog.

Voting Booth

How do you fight global warming?
Everyday things
I drive a Hybrid
I battle deniers
I invest in alternative energy
I use alternative energy
Other (please comment)
Multiple (please comment)
None free polls

Anonymous says: My family has three possible drivers, 4 bikes, 3 trikes and one Prius. We try to do many of the everyday things, such as using cloth bags, hanging up wet clothes, reusing plastic and paper bags, composting, growing a lot of our own food, etc. Our electric bills go partially to renewable energy sources. We try to proselytize both by example and word.

BHUVAN CHAND JUYAL from GREEN HOUSE EFFECT IN GLOBAL WARMING says: This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Know Any Good Environmental or Alternative Energy Blogs?

If you know any good environmental, alternative energy or some sort of green blog send over an email, and it'll probably get linked to.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Global Warming to Step Up in 2009

Maybe now they'll listen. It's going to affect us. Soon.

Global warming will step up after 2009: scientists

Global warming is forecast to set in with a vengeance after 2009, with at least half of the five following years expected to be hotter than 1998, the warmest year on record, scientists reported on Thursday.

Climate experts have long predicted a general warming trend over the 21st century spurred by the greenhouse effect, but this new study gets more specific about what is likely to happen in the decade that started in 2005.

To make this kind of prediction, researchers at Britain's Met Office -- which deals with meteorology -- made a computer model that takes into account such natural phenomena as the El Nino pattern in the Pacific Ocean and other fluctuations in ocean circulation and heat content.

More Hurricanes; Warmer and Less Deep Lake Superior; Earth Facing Extreme Weather -- All Caused by Global Warming?

Could all of these be caused by global warming?

Tropical storms doubled due to global warming, study says

The number of tropical storms developing annually in the Atlantic Ocean more than doubled over the past century, with the increase taking place in two jumps, researchers say.

The increases coincided with rising sea surface temperature, largely the byproduct of human-induced climate warming, researchers Greg J. Holland and Peter J. Webster concluded.

Lake Superior changes puzzle scientists
Deep enough to hold the combined water in all the other Great Lakes and with a surface area as large as South Carolina, Lake Superior's size has lent it an aura of invulnerability.

Changes to Lake Superior could be signs of climate change, although scientists aren't sure.

But the mighty Superior is losing water and getting warmer, worrying those who live near its shores, scientists and companies that rely on the lake for business.

Around the globe, 2007 is on track to be a year of extreme weather
Extreme weather has plagued the globe this year, a U.N. agency says, causing some of the highest temperatures on record.

The World Meteorological Organization said "global land surface temperatures for January and April will likely be ranked as the warmest since records began in 1880," according to the United Nations.

WMO said temperatures were 1.89 degrees Celsius (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average for January and 1.37 degrees C (2.45 degrees F) higher than average for April.

The agency found that climate warming was unequivocal and most likely "due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels."

Here are some of the extreme instances the United Nations cites:

Four monsoon depressions, double the normal number, caused heavy flooding in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. On Monday, floodwaters receded in parts of South Asia, but the death toll rose to 347, officials said.

Millions remain displaced and homeless, and authorities fear waterborne disease could spread. Indian officials say more than 1,200 people have died in their country alone since monsoon season began in June.

England and Wales have experienced their wettest May-to-July period since record-keeping started in 1766. In late July, swollen rivers threatened to burst their banks. At least eight people died during weeks of torrential rain, and thousands were without tap water.
Don't Miss

* A view from the vineyards on climate change
* Report: Tropical storms double due to global warming
* UK flood victims line up for water
* Climate change action: Too little, too late?
* Global warming: Natural cycle or manmade?

Late last month in Sudan, floods and heavy rain caused 23,000 mud brick homes to collapse, killing at least 62 people. The rainfall was abnormally heavy and early for this time of the year.

In May, swell waves up to 15 feet high swept into 68 islands in the Maldives, causing severe flooding and damage. Also in May, a heat wave swept across Russia.

Southeastern Europe did not escape the unusual weather. The area suffered record-breaking heat in June and July.

Guess Who's Back

And we're back!

I'd just like to announce that from now on, news stories will NOT take up whole posts. Instead, they will be linked to with a paragraph quotation and maybe some opinion.