First ever completely carbon solar cell captures infrared light

About 40 percent of the solar energy reaching Earth’s surface lies in the near-infrared region of the spectrum — energy that conventional silicon-based solar cells are unable to harness. But a new kind of all-carbon solar cell developed by MIT researchers could tap into that unused energy, opening up the possibility of combination solar cells — incorporating both traditional silicon-based cells and the new all-carbon cells — that could make use of almost the entire range of sunlight’s energy.

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New sustainability index created that looks at more than gross domestic product

The world’s fixation on economic growth ignores a rapid and largely irreversible depletion of natural resources that will seriously harm future generations, according to a report which today unveiled a new indicator aimed at encouraging sustainability – the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI).

The IWI, which looks beyond the traditional economic and development yardsticks of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI) to include a full range of assets such as manufactured, human and natural capital, shows governments the true state of their nation’s wealth and the sustainability of its growth.

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Trees starting to grow in the Arctic due to climate change could cause carbon dioxide release

Carbon stored in Arctic tundra could be released into the atmosphere by new trees growing in the warmer region, exacerbating climate change, scientists have revealed.

The Arctic is getting greener as plant growth increases in response to a warmer climate. This greater plant growth means more carbon is stored in the increasing biomass, so it was previously thought the greening would result in more carbon dioxide being taken up from the atmosphere, thus helping to reduce the rate of global warming.

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