Fish farmers in Scotland killing estimated 2,000 seals a year

Campaigners warn legislation to protect seals is "no where near tight enough" as industry initiative attempts to find alternatives to shooting Major retailers and animal welfare groups, including Sainsburys and the RSPCA, are to attempt to end the killing of seals by the salmon industry. Seals are a problem for fish farms as they can damage nets and release salmon, potentially damaging the wild populations.

Stanford University breakthrough solar cell research

Ultra-thin solar cells can absorb sunlight more efficiently than the thicker, more expensive-to-make silicon cells used today, because light behaves differently at scales around a nanometer (a billionth of a meter), say Stanford engineers. They calculate that by properly configuring the thicknesses of several thin layers of films, an organic polymer thin film could absorb as much as 10 times more energy from sunlight than was thought possible. In the smooth, white, bunny-suited clean-room world of silicon wafers and solar cells, it turns out that a little roughness may go a long way, perhaps all the way to making solar power an affordable energy source, say Stanford engineers.

Scotland to get 100 pct green energy by 2025

Scotland should produce enough renewable electricity to meet all its power demand by 2025, First Minister Alex Salmond said Tuesday. "Scotland has unrivalled green energy resources and our new national target to generate 80 percent of electricity needs from renewables by 2020 will be exceeded by delivering current plans for wind, wave and tidal generation," Salmond said.

Texan Flexible Air Permits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced its voluntary Audit Program to help companies with Flexible Permits obtain air quality permits that meet state and federal requirements and the protections of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Texas Flexible Permits program was never approved by EPA into the state implementation plan (SIP). This has been an issue of controversy since the early 1990's between EPA and the state of Texas.

Disappearing Ground Water

The world's aquifers are being used faster than they can be replenished and, in some cases, at rates that have more than doubled since the 1960s. It is mostly agricultural irrigation that is driving the increase, because it accounts for 70 to 80 percent of global groundwater usage.

Is the EPA America’s Secret Economic Weapon?

Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise won the race because he ran the whole race, taking the long view, seeing the big picture, unlike the rabbit who, given his speed, didn’t see the need. While China seems to be roaring ahead right now with unchecked economic expansion, the significant environmental challenges they are accumulating will eventually catch up with them. The International Fund for China’s Environment estimates that the cleanup of this mess will cost well over $100 billion annually, more than 2% of their GDP. In fact, the Academy for Environmental Planning estimates that back in 2004 China spent over 3% of their GDP on environmentally related costs and in 2007, according to the World Bank, that number was 6%

Saudi Arabia vulnerable to volcanoes?

Magma has worked its way up to just under the surface in a remote region of northwest Saudi Arabia, causing a flurry of small to moderate quakes and threatening to form a new volcano, researchers said Sunday. A swarm of 30,000 quakes shook the region of Harrat Lunayyir from May to June last year and opened an 5-mile long rift, the U.S. Geological Survey team reported.

Tropical depression Matthew drenches Guatemala

Tropical Depression Matthew churned over Guatemala on Saturday, soaking already waterlogged sugar and coffee farms, and the government warned that mudslides could occur in the coming days. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom told people to stay home and urged communities in mountains and near rivers to take shelter inland as fast-moving Matthew looked set to slow and hang over Guatemala and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Panel to study Canada oil sands impact

Alberta is forming an independent panel of scientists to study data on water pollution near the Canadian province's oil sands after a report by a noted ecologist concluded the industry's operations were contaminating a northern river system. The move, announced by Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner on Friday, is aimed at ending an emotional debate over the impact of oil sands activity on the Athabasca River, which flows north through the massive industrial development.

Deep Ocean Temperatures

There are many levels in the ocean. In some places it is very deep while in other sites there is only the shallow continental shelf. There have been several reports on global warming in terms of land and surface water temperature, Now come reports from deeper depths. Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica.