Alpine tundra releases long-frozen CO2 to the atmosphere, exacerbating climate warming

Thawing permafrost in high-altitude mountain ecosystems may be a stealthy, underexplored contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, new University of Colorado Boulder research shows.   The new findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, show that alpine tundra in Colorado’s Front Range emits more CO2 than it captures annually, potentially creating a feedback loop that …

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Engineers upgrade sun-powered water-purification technology

The idea of using energy from the sun to evaporate and purify water is ancient. The Greek philosopher Aristotle reportedly described such a process more than 2,000 years ago. Now, researchers are bringing this technology into the modern age, using it to sanitize water at what they report to be record-breaking rates. By draping black, …

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Study: Indian monsoons have strengthened over past 15 years

An MIT study published today in Nature Climate Change finds that the Indian summer monsoons, which bring rainfall to the country each year between June and September, have strengthened in the last 15 years over north central India. This heightened monsoon activity has reversed a 50-year drying period during which the monsoon season brought relatively …

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Climate policy: Americans want states to pick up federal slack

A majority of Americans across the political spectrum believe states are responsible for addressing climate change in the absence of federal policy, according to a new survey by University of Michigan researchers.   The National Surveys on Energy and Environment track public opinion on climate change and energy policy. This update gives a snapshot from …

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Researchers gain key insight into solar material’s soaring efficiency

The rows of blue solar panels that dot landscapes and rooftops are typically made out of crystalline silicon, the workhorse semiconductor found in virtually every electronic device.   Over the last decade, Colorado State University researchers have led pioneering studies into improving the performance and cost of solar energy by fabricating and testing new materials …

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The Earth’s rotation moves water in Lake Garda

Lake Garda has not yet revealed all of its secrets. This attractive tourist destination, unique for its physical and environmental characteristics, is also a case study for several international research teams. One of these, made up of scientists from the universities of Trento and Utrecht, has just made a new and unexpected discovery: the planetary …

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Microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake could hold clues to life on Mars

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake that may rank as one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their findings, published recently online, could guide scientists looking for signs of ancient life on Mars.   The team, led by CU Boulder Associate Professor Brian Hynek, braved …

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Current deforestation pace will intensify global warming, study alerts

The global warming process may be even more intense than originally forecast unless deforestation can be halted, especially in the tropical regions. This warning has been published in Nature Communications by an international group of scientists. “If we go on destroying forests at the current pace – some 7,000 km² per year in the case …

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Making batteries from waste glass bottles

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will extend the range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and provide more power with fewer charges to personal electronics like cell phones and …

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Solar energy helps remove man-made dye pollutants from water

A novel composite material has been developed by scientists in the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University which shows promise as a catalyst for the degradation of environmentally-harmful synthetic dye pollutants, which are released at a rate of nearly 300,000 tonnes a year into the world’s water.     This novel, non-hazardous photocatalytic …

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