News, Pollution, Renewable Energy

Public transportation holds key for cleaner city, fights against climate change

A bus in Dubai - public transportation can go a long way in sustainability and climate stability.

It may seem clear, but you need a study to have certainty: public transportation is cheap and “green”. A recent research concluded that effective public transit systems can provide a cost-effective solution to fighting global change at a global level. If public transits are improved throughout the entire world, the report shows that urban transportation could be cut by more than half by…

News, Pollution, World Problems

Greenland’s ice is no longer white – and that’s bad news for climate change

Dark snows, dark tides. Image via Dark Snow.

Everyone knows that Greenland isn’t exactly green – it’s covered in snow, so it should be white. Except… it’s not white anymore. Jason Box, a member of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, has been studying the snow in Greenland over the summer and his observations are seriously disturbing. According to him, the snow is darker than ever, and this…

Environment, News, Pollution

BP caught using ‘college’ tricks to cheat page count in court document

The ruling related to BP's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Photo: EPA

The BP trial just keeps getting more and more interesting. After being fined $17.8 billion the giant oil company keeps trying to do funny stuff – even in court. A judge reprimanded BP for using tactics that would “not be appropriate for a college term paper”, after they tried to sneak in an extra 6 pages into a document by manipulating line spacings….

Climate, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

World deforestation surprisingly results in net cooling effect

Cropland bordering rainforest in Iguacu National Park, Argentina, Brazil. Photo: Watson Institute, Brown University

In the 1950s rainforests  covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. It’s believed that deforestation accounts for about 20% of global emissions of CO2, because of the a reduced carbon storage capacity. Yet there may be a hidden side…

Chemistry, News, Pollution

US drinking water contaminated with gas because of faulty wells, but not fracking

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Stanford researchers traced back methane leaks from contaminated drinking water in Pennsylvania and Texas to shale gas wells. However, they note that they did not find a link between the contamination and the technique used to drill for shale gas itself, called hydraulic fracturing or more commonly known as fracking. Instead, the researchers concluded that well integrity is the main…

Environment, News, Pollution

China sees big drop in carbon emissions: “There is no turning back in China’s commitment to a sound eco-system”

Image via Clean Biz

This year has been full of encouraging news from China – apparently, they’re committed to their war on pollution, and not only has their coal consumption decreased, but coal consumption has also decoupled from economic growth – that is, their economy is growing even as they use less coal. Now, China’s carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years –…

News, Pollution, World Problems

Ground ozone pollution in India destroys enough crops to feed 94 million

smog

Like most developing nations, India is burning a lot of coal to catch ground. As always the case with compromises such as these, economic growth comes at the expense of the environment. Pollution in Delhi, the capital, has reached levels comparable to Beijing, which is when you know you’ve hit a new low. A new study found high concentrations of surface…

Environmental Issues, Pollution

Coal plant receives EPA approval to inject carbon emissions underground

Photo: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

The  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued the first ever permit that will allow a coal plant to store some of its carbon emissions underground, as a means of mitigating global warming. The idea has been around since George W. Bush, but time and time again its been scrapped largely for economic considerations. Ten years later, FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. has now…

News, Pollution, World Problems

High level of arsenic contamination found in groundwater near fracking sites

peak_oi

Researchers at University of Texas at Arlington conducted tests on more than 100 water wells in Texas and found 30% of these contained ‘alarming’ amounts of arsenic, enough to be considered carcinogenic and seriously threatening human health. These contaminated wells were found in the vicinity of known fracking sites and prior to drilling these were found to be free of arsenic…

Environment, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

Ozone-depleting chemicals still spewed in atmosphere despite international ban

The ozone hole (purple and blue) covered much of Antarctica in 2006. Image: CAROLYN GRAMLING

NASA reports significant quantities of ozone-depleting chemicals are still leaching into the atmosphere despite an international ban signed by all the world’s governments thirty years ago. …