Environment

  • World’s first zero emission sports car is built-at-home electric car

    A new partnership has developed the world’s first build at home electric race car kit, an all-electric sports car designed and engineered to support a growing demand for zero emission racing vehicles. The iRacer kit, available from £13,999, can be transformed quickly between hybrid, pure electric, or internal combustion engines.

  • Global warming opening new shipping routes in Arctic Ocean

    The Arctic Ocean has captured the imagination of explorers because of the possibility it offers for traveling between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans through the Bering Strait. Until recently, however, sea ice has blocked access to the potential shortcut between Asia and North America or Europe. In the past two years, the ice has begun to melt in late summer to such an extent that even ordinary seagoing vessels have been able to enter its frigid waters. For vessels traveling between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Yokohama, Japan, the Northern Sea Route is approximately 40 percent shorter than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.

  • Arsenic in groundwater in Bangladesh naturally occurring

    Human activities are not the primary cause of arsenic found in groundwater in Bangladesh. Instead, a team of researchers found that the arsenic in groundwater in the region is part of a natural process that predates any recent human activity, such as intensive pumping.

  • Norfolk, Virginia, tries to cope with sea-level rise

    Norfolk, Virginia, is home to the largest U.S. naval base in the country, and the second biggest commercial port on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Floods are an ever-present problem, a problem which has become worse in recent decades. The relative sea level around Norfolk has risen 14.5 inches (.37 meter) since 1930, when the low-lying downtown area routinely flooded. The frequency of storms-induced surges has increased as well.

  • The impact of sea-level rise on coastal military installations

    The Pentagon says that climate-related effects are already being observed at Department of Defense (DoD) installations in every region of the United States and its coastal waters. The effects of climate change will adversely impact military readiness and DoD natural and built infrastructure unless these risks are considered in DoD decisions. A new white paper developed by the Pentagon’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) identifies key climate-related policy questions that need to be addressed.

  • Volcanic aerosols, not pollutants, slowed recent Earth warming

    Researchers looking for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010 now thinks the culprits are hiding in plain sight — dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide.

  • No gloom-and-doom: science does not back global tipping point view

    A group of international ecological scientists have rejected a doomsday-like scenario of sudden, irreversible change to the Earth’s ecology. The scientists argue that global-scale ecological tipping points are unlikely and that ecological change over large areas seem to follow a more gradual, smooth pattern.

  • Water security experts at U Arizona annual conference

    How can Arizona secure a safe, sustainable water supply for its current and future residents? The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center will take on this complex issue at its annual conference on 5 March.

  • Much less additional land available for biofuel production

    Amid efforts to expand production of biofuels, scientists are reporting new estimates that downgrade the amount of additional land available for growing fuel crops by almost 80 percent.

  • Radioactive leaks at Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation

    Earlier this month, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank at one of the nation’s most contaminated nuclear sites is leaking, bringing more bad news to Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation. The 177 tanks at the plant, which hold millions of gallons of highly radioactive waste from plutonium production, are way past their intended 20-year life span.

  • Guam uses dead mice to fight snake invasion

    Guam has declared war on brown tree snakes, believed to have been carried to Guam around the end of the Second World War. The snakes have become a serious problem, eradicating native bird populations on the island.

  • Weather extremes caused by giant waves trapped in the atmosphere

    The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years, such as the heat wave in the United States in 2011 or the one in Russia 2010, coinciding with the unprecedented Pakistan flood. Behind these devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists in a new study. The study suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe’s Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.

  • Wind power’s contribution has been overestimated

    People have often thought that there is no upper bound for wind power — that it is one of the most scalable power sources. After all, gusts and breezes do not seem likely to “run out” on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry. Yet the latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling  suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.

  • Georgia wants to redraw its northern border to tap Tennessee River water

    Lawmakers in Georgia are renewing efforts to claim Georgia’s right to tap into the Tennessee River’s  water supply. The lawmakers hope to achieve this by raising questions about the exact demarcation of the border between the two states.

  • Russian fireball largest ever detected by nuke monitoring organization

    Infrasound has been used as part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) monitoring tools to detect atomic blasts since April 2001 when the first station came online in Germany. Infrasonic waves from the meteor that broke up over Russia’s Ural Mountains last week were the largest ever recorded by the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System.