Painting the skies a bright white with geoengineering

Clouds in the skyOne idea for fighting global warming is to increase the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, scattering incoming solar energy away from the Earth’s surface. But scientists theorize that this solar geoengineering could have a side effect of whitening the sky during the day. New research from Carnegie’s Ben Kravitz and Ken Caldeira indicates that blocking 2% of the sun’s light would make the sky three-to-five times brighter, as well as whiter. Their work is published June 1st in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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Amazonian highway is bad for the climate and hardly helps the economy

Paving a highway across South America is providing lessons on the impact of road construction elsewhere.

That’s what a University of Florida researcher and his international colleagues have determined from analyzing communities along the Amazonian portion of the nearly 4,200-mile Interoceanic Highway, a coast-to-coast road that starts at ports in Brazil and will eventually connect to ones in Peru.

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Zeolites can reduce carbon capture energy costs by 30 per cent

Zeolite structure

In this zeolite structure, the arrangement of oxygen atoms (red) and silicon atoms (tan) influences the regions in the pores (colored surface) where CO2 can be captured.

A detailed analysis of more than 4 million absorbent minerals has determined that new materials could help electricity producers slash as much as 30 percent of the “parasitic energy” costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions.

The research by scientists at Rice University, the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was published online this week in the journal Nature Materials (In silico screening of carbon-capture materials”).

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Nano-giraffe leaves opposition behind in Science as Art competition

Out of 150 entries an image of a nano-structure resembling a giraffe has won first prize in the 2012 Science as Art competition of the Materials Research Society. The creator of the picture is Shaahin Amini a Ph.D. student at … Continue reading

Injecting various drugs without needles made possible by new device

Needleless hypodermic deviceGetting a shot at the doctor’s office may become less painful in the not-too-distant future.

MIT researchers have engineered a device that delivers a tiny, high-pressure jet of medicine through the skin without the use of a hypodermic needle. The device can be programmed to deliver a range of doses to various depths — an improvement over similar jet-injection systems that are now commercially available.

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Rising thunderstorm clouds increase warming

As a regular you will be well aware that some clouds cool the climate and other clouds warm. Determining the exact balance of the cloud-climate feedback will help decrease uncertainty margins for 21st century warming forecasts. Unfortunately it’s a complicated … Continue reading

Disturbence of long ecological chains: how planting palm trees can affect manta rays

Palm tree on beachDouglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles did not set out to discover one of the longest ecological interaction chains ever documented. But that’s exactly what they and a team of researchers — all current or former Stanford students and faculty — did in a new study published in Scientific Reports.

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Solar energy to be beamed to Earth from space

Solar cellsSolar power gathered in space could be set to provide the renewable energy of the future thanks to innovative research being carried out by engineers at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Researchers at the University have already tested equipment in space that would provide a platform for solar panels to collect the energy and allow it to be transferred back to earth through microwaves or lasers.

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