Overuse of fertilizer in China leads to soil acidification

Overuse of nitrogen fertilisers in China is leading to rapid soil acidification and is causing lasting damage to ecosystems, according to soil study Nitrogen fertilisers used to increase crop yields in China are having "extreme" environmental consequences, according to a study from leading soil scientists.

Wind Energy taking off worldwide

The Global Wind Energy Council, a trade association based in Brussels, estimates that wind power capacity grew by 31 percent worldwide in 2009, with 37.5 additional gigawatts installed, bringing global wind power capacity to 157.9 gigawatts. China accounted for a third of the new capacity, and the Chinese market experienced more than 100 percent growth. According to the trade group, more than 500,000 people are now employed by the wind power industry around the world, and the market for wind turbine installations last year was worth about $63 billion. The primary markets today are in Asia, Europe and North America.

U.S. Climate Data Reliable

A study by scientists from the U.S.'s National Climatic Data Center refutes claims from climate change skeptics that data from U.S. weather stations was seriously flawed and exaggerated the rate of temperature increases. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, says that U.S. weather stations may have actually slightly underestimated temperature increases. Anthony Watts, a former meteorologist who publishes the WattsUpWithThat blog, compiled photo evidence of what he considered poorly located weather stations across the U.S., including locations that could be influenced by artificial heat, such as those near parking lots and air conditioning systems.

Balkan Heat Wave

The Balkans are located in south east Europe. A new data set of high quality homogenized daily maximum and minimum summer air temperature series from 246 stations in the eastern Mediterranean region (including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey) has been developed and used to quantify changes in heat length and intensity between 1960 and 2006. Daily temperature analyses suggest that many instrumental measurements in the 1960s are warm biased, correcting for these biases regionally averaged heat wave trends are up to 8% higher.

Glimpse of an Asteroid Possible Now

NASA tracks asteroids all the time. They are difficult or impossible for the rest of us to ever glimpse. Now, the most prominent asteroid in the sky can be seen with binoculars -- and perhaps even the naked eye, if you are in an area with reasonably dark skies at night. Tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 17, Vesta, the second most massive object in the asteroid belt, reaches what astronomers like to call "opposition." An asteroid (or planet or comet) is said to be "in opposition" when it is opposite to the sun as seen from Earth.

Yemen water crisis

Yemeni water trader Mohammed al-Tawwa runs his diesel pumps day and night, but gets less and less from his well in Sanaa, which experts say could become the world's first capital city to run dry. "My well is now 400 meters (1,300 feet) deep and I don't think I can drill any deeper here," said Tawwa, pointing to the meager flow into tanks that supply water trucks and companies.

How Animals Change Due to Climate

What makes an animal large or small? Part of it may be due to climate change. It may be that these are reactions to rapidly rising temperatures due to global climate change according to Professor Yoram Yom-Tov of Tel Aviv University, who has been measuring the evolving body sizes of birds and animals in areas where climate change is most extreme.

Reflections on Copenhagen: The Economics of Green

Last year's disappointing climate summit in Copenhagen demonstrated if not proved two important things about "saving the earth": 1. Sustainability is a very emotional topic for some 2. Sustainability is a financial topic for most Unfortunately, what transpired in Copenhagen is probably the rule, rather than the exception. It was disheartening to realize the events probably represent and reflect the domestic and world population's perspective on saving the environment. Perhaps due to decades of protesting, a wide array of real or perceived injustices, unruly public demonstrations have for the most part become unproductive. Even the nightly news has lost interest in well meaning protesters being hauled away by force. I recall the first time I saw an eco activist chained to a tree in the seventies, and thinking "how cool is that." It did not matter what the cause was, I really admired the commitment.

Electric Cars on the Move in Germany

Electric cars have many merits: They are quieter and require less maintenance than cars with internal combustion engines. A network of smartly located charging stations covering the entire Harz region in Germany is bound to make electric cars a regional feature. The Harz region is banking on electric cars. Electric cars will soon be rolling through Quedlinburg, Werningerode and other cities in the region. Seventeen partners from research, academia and industry have committed themselves to this with their project Harz.ErneuerbareEnergien-mobility or Harz.EE-mobility for short.

Is the Copenhagen Accord already dead?

Less than two months after it was hastily drafted to stave off a fiasco, the Copenhagen Accord on climate change is in a bad way, and some are already saying it has no future. The deal was crafted amid chaos by a small group of countries, led by the United States and China, to avert an implosion of the UN's December 7-18 climate summit. Savaged at the time by green activists and poverty campaigners as disappointing, gutless or a betrayal, the Accord is now facing its first test in the political arena -- and many views are caustic.