Dec 8, 2013
Threat of 'dead zone' developing off Sonoma Coast... unprecedented mass of oxygen-poor water off the Sonoma Coast, a phenomenon that could harm the region's prized Dungeness crab and other marine life.
Scientists at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, who were the first to detect the hypoxic (low-oxygen) waters, aren't calling it a "dead zone" yet, despite the similarity to a lethal condition along the Oregon coast for the past 12 years and forecasts that it will occur worldwide with global warming.
"There's nothing dead," said John Largier, an oceanographer at the UC Davis research facility on Bodega Head. But equipment on a bright yellow buoy anchored about a mile offshore has recorded dissolved oxygen levels low enough to cause "significant distress" for some marine organisms, he said.
Oxygen-poor water is common in deep water of the open ocean, but until this year had never been documented over the continental shelf close to the Sonoma coast, he said.
The flow of terrestrial groundwater to the sea is an important natural component of the hydrological cycle. This process, however, does not explain the large volumes of low-salinity groundwater that are found below continental shelves. There is mounting evidence for the global occurrence of offshore fresh and brackish groundwater reserves. The potential use of these non-renewable reserves as a freshwater resource provides a clear incentive for future research. But the scope for continental shelf hydrogeology is broader and we envisage that it can contribute to the advancement of other scientific disciplines, in particular sedimentology and marine geochemistry.
Vast freshwater reserves have been discovered under the ocean floor which scientists believe could sustain future generations.
Australian researchers claim to have found 500,000 cubic kilometres (500 trillion tons) of freshwater buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa. The water could be accessed using the technology of deepwater oil drilling rigs. The infrastructure of pipelines could be setup to access millions of tons per day.
The discovery comes as United Nations estimates suggest water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population of the world over the last century.
published on Next Big Future // visit site
Dec 7, 2013
A study released by the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry on Thursday confirmed a long-suspected link between chemical contaminants in tap water at the Marine Corps base and serious birth defects such as spina bifida
It also showed a slightly elevated risk of childhood cancers including leukemia.
Dr. Vikas Kapil, a medical officer and acting deputy director of the CDC agency that produced the study, said it surveyed the parents of 12,598 children born at Lejeune between 1968 and 1985, the year most contaminated drinking water wells at Camp Lejeune were closed.
Dec 6, 2013
Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction on Friday as China's financial hub suffered one its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline.
The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze and noticeably fewer people walked the city's streets. Vehicle traffic was thinner, as authorities pulled 30% of government vehicles from the roads. They also banned fireworks and stopped all public sporting events.
Protective masks and air purifiers were selling briskly at local stores.
"I feel like I'm living in clouds of smog," said Zheng Qiaoyun, a local resident who kept her 6-month-old son at home. "I have a headache, I'm coughing, and it's hard to breathe on my way to my office."
Please continue reading from Schoolchildren ordered indoors as air pollution cloaks Shanghai | Environment | theguardian.com | shared via feedly mobil
Dec 5, 2013
More electric MINI cars in China meansmore demand for electricity from coal-burning power plants blamed for much of Beijing's chronic air pollution.
Dec 4, 2013
..."Practical thermionic generators have reached efficiencies of about 10 percent. The theoretical predictions for our thermoelectronic generators reach about 40 percent, although this is theory only," noted Mannhart. "We would be much surprised if there was a commercial application in the marketplace within the next five years, but if companies that are hungry for power recognize the potential of the generators, the development might be faster."
EPA, USDA Roll Out Expanded Water Quality Trading can mean a better bottom line for farmers and ranchers
"China and India hold the world's fate in their hands as energy use skyrockets in poorer countries. "
The Energy Shift now under way is as much geographical as it is technological. Case in point: By 2040, the developing world will account for 65 percent of the world's energy consumption, according to a report released today by the United States Energy Information Administration.
That's up from 54 percent in 2010, and over the next three decades energy consumption is predicted to grow at a 2.2 percent annual clip in non-OCED (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. OCED nations – including Europe, the US, Canada and Australia – in contrast, will see their energy use increase by just 0.5 percent a year, roughly in line with population growth.
Dec 3, 2013
Coal companies look to cash in by capturing leaking methane from mines and selling carbon credits to California
And there's plenty of methane waiting to be sold. "The air coming out of the Enlow mine is about 0.8 percent methane, but there's 181,000 cubic feet of it being ventilated each minute," Litvak writes. At Consol's McElroy mine in Marshall County, West Virginia (Wikipedia map), "the air is 1.2 percent methane, and 209,000 cubic feet of it is released each minute. Destroying that methane offsets the emissions of a 50 megawatt coal plant each year."
The only hurdle is that critics "have argued that awarding credits to coal-mine methane would deflect resources from greener technologies with a more local impact," a fear that stalled a decision by the Air Resources Board in October, Litvak writes. But if the board approves a protocol, it will mean big money for coal companies, because of the higher cost of selling into the California carbon market. "For a project the size of Enlow or McElroy, the difference between selling on the voluntary market and selling into the California carbon market is the difference between $300,000 and $3 million a year." (Read more) published on The Rural Blog // visit site
Does being #GREEN can give people feelings of guilt, hopelessness; and self-equivocators, who become psychologically derailed by doubt.
USPS knowingly and willingly did not complete necessary facility safety repairs welcoming, injuries and OSHA violations
The video recording of the webinar presentation by Dr. Bruce Blumberg (University of California) is now available on the Michigan
The webinar entitled "Transgenerational Inheritance of Prenatal Obesogen Exposure" was broadcast on October 31, 2013 as a part of the Phone Seminar Series on Green Chemistry hosted by the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network and the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse.
The PDF of Dr. Blumberg's presentation can be found here.
"The grid was not built for renewables," said Trieu Mai, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The frailty imperils lofty goals for greenhouse gas reductions. Concerned state and federal officials are spending billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer money in an effort to hasten the technological breakthroughs needed for the grid to keep up with the demands of clean energy.
Making a green energy future work will be "one of the greatest technological challenges industrialized societies have undertaken," a group of scholars at Caltech said in a recent report. The report notes that by 2030, about $1 trillion is expected to be spent nationwide in bringing the grid up to date.
The role of the grid is to keep the supply of power steady and predictable. Engineers carefully calibrate how much juice to feed into the system as everything from porch lights to factory machines are switched on and off. The balancing requires painstaking precision. A momentary overload can crash the system.
California has taken some of the earliest steps to address the problems. The California Public Utilities Commission last month ordered large power companies to invest heavily in efforts to develop storage technologies that could bottle up wind and solar power, allowing the energy to be distributed more evenly over time.
Whether those technologies will ever be economically viable on a large scale is hotly debated. The commission mandate nonetheless requires companies to produce enough storage by 2024 to power about 1 million homes.
"Energy storage has the potential to be a game changer for our electric grid," Commissioner Mark Ferron said.
Dec 2, 2013
Microplastic transfers chemicals, impacting health: Plastic ingestion delivers pollutants and additives into animal tissue
Dec 1, 2013
Please continue reading post 99 Percent Of New Electric Capacity Installed In October Comes From Renewable Energy on ThinkProgress.
ScienceDaily...This new compressive combustion principle was formulated by Professor Naitoh through the development of a new thermofluid dynamics theory, as well as thought experiments, supercomputer simulations, and high-speed airflow experiments drawing on that theory. The fundamental principle is that while thermal efficiency can be raised by reaching a high compression ratio, achieved through pulsed collisions of multiple high-speed jets of an air-fuel gas mixture at microscopic regions in the central area of a combustion chamber, expanded uses and ranges of application were attained with the further addition of 3 new measures. This method is also considered to be lower in cost than batteries, as well as having possibilities for noise reduction and the potential to eliminate the need for cooling mechanisms. 1. Prototype engine for automobiles 2. Prototype engine for aircraft
If the effectiveness of this principle can be confirmed through combustion tests, it will not only open up the doors to new lightweight, high-performance aerospace vehicles, but would also lead to prospects of next-generation, high-performance engines for automobiles. The maximum thermal efficiency of present-day gasoline engines for automobiles is on the order of 30%, believed to fall to a level as low as 15% in states from idling to low-speed city driving. Therefore, if automobiles could be equipped with "low-cost, ultimate-efficiency engines," reaching a stand-alone thermal efficiency of 60% or higher over a wide range of driving conditions, it is believed that a substantial fuel consumption superior to that of current hybrid system automobiles could be a reality. Furthermore, if such automobiles, equipped with these high-efficiency engines, could be used to generate power at individual households, it would open up possibilities for improving the total energy efficiency of our entire society (The photographs above are of primary prototype engines produced to confirm the new principle, at the beginning of combustion testing).
ScienceDaily— As 10,000 baby boomers reach 65 each day, the incidence of cancer is increasing, estimated to increase by 67% between 2010 and 2030, bringing attention to the nation's response to cancer care. Cancer is diagnosed at a higher rate, accounts for more survivors, and results in more deaths than in younger patients.
"The increase in the number of older adults, the association of cancer with aging, the workforce shortage, and the financial stressors across the health care system and family networks all contribute to a crisis in cancer care that is most pronounced in the older population," wrote three members of the Institute of Medication Committee on Improving the Quality of Cancer Care: Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population in an editorial published InJAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Enter Cochin, Kinder Morgan's 1,900-mile proposed pipeline to transport gas produced via the controversial hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") of the Eagle Ford Shale basin in Texas north through Kankakee, Illinois, and eventually into Alberta, Canada, the home of the tar sands.
Like Keystone XL, the pipeline proposal requires U.S. State Department approval because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border. Unlike Keystone XL - which would carry diluted tar sands diluted bitumen ("dilbit") south to the Gulf Coast - Kinder Morgan's Cochin pipeline would carry the gas condensate (diluent) used to dilute the bitumen north to the tar sands.
"The decision allows Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC to proceed with a $260 million plan to reverse and expand an existing pipeline to carry an initial 95,000 barrels a day of condensate," the Financial Post wrote.
"The extra-thick oil is typically cut with 30% condensate so it can move in pipelines. By 2035, producers could require 893,000 barrels a day of the ultra-light oil, with imports making up 786,000 barrels of the total."
Increased demand for diluent among Alberta's tar sands producers has created agrowing market for U.S. producers of natural gas liquids, particularly for fracked gas producers.
"Total US natural gasoline exports reached a record volume of 179,000 barrels per day in February as Canada's thirst for oil sand diluent ramped up," explained a May 2013 article appearing in Platts. "US natural gasoline production is forecast to increase to roughly 450,000 b/d by 2020."
"Neither the U.S. nor Canada can afford the risk of polluting the Great Lakes with toxic nuclear waste," U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee, Sander Levin, John Dingell and Gary Peters of Michigan said in a letter to a panel that is expected to make a recommendation next spring to Canada's federal government, which has the final say....The decision on the $1 billion Canadian project could influence the broader debate over burying nuclear waste deep underground, said Per Peterson, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley, who served on a national commission that studied the waste issue in the United States. The U.S. government's plan for building a repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been halted by stiff opposition.
"Demonstrating that this facility can be approved and operated safely is important because it can improve confidence that future high-level waste facilities also can be operated safely," Peterson said.
The Canadian "deep geologic repository" would be the only deep-underground storage facility in North America, aside from a military installation in New Mexico. Other U.S. radioactive waste landfills are shallow - usually 100 feet deep or less.
The most highly radioactive waste generated at nuclear plants is spent fuel, which wouldn't go into the Canadian chamber....Please continue reading from Great Lakes nuclear waste disposal plan makes odd allies - CBS News | shared via feedly mobile