Six Caribbean Islands Sign On to Replace Diesel with Renewables

Brought together on Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean island retreat by the Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute, to work out a framework to effect a transition away from fossil fuels, six Caribbean island nations have agreed to replace diesel-fueled power with a mix of clean, sustainable renewable power generation, energy storage systems, and greater energy efficiency.

Breakthrough reported in search for the “holy grail” of fusion energy

Scientists are reporting a world-first landmark discovery in the quest to unlock the secrets of triggering and harnessing the energy from fusion science. Ignition - the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel - has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement fusion science.

More contaminant troubles for West Virginia

On February 11, just one month after a chemical spill tainted drinking water for 300,000 people in and around the state's capital of Charleston, West Virginia experienced another environmental disaster: 100,000 gallons of coal slurry pour into stream.

Spotting Whales from Space!

Counting individuals of a species is important in order to track wildlife trends. Absence or decline of a species could mean detrimental habitat modifications or that parts of the ecosystem are unbalanced. For marine populations though, trying to count and monitor these species is often a daunting and expensive task as finding these individuals in the vast ocean can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, scientists lead by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have demonstrated how new satellite technology can be used to count whales, and ultimately estimate their population size.

Golden Rice – a complex tangle of unanswered questions

Advocates of Golden Rice - a GMO rice that produces Vitamin A - present the debate over its use a clear moral choice with only one possible conclusion. But as Clare Westwood writes, the reality is very different...

Biodiversity conservationists get a little help with new online freshwater atlas

An online repository of maps has been launched to make information on freshwater biodiversity available on a common platform for use by scientists, policymakers, conservationists and NGOs. The Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas will help developing countries identify biodiversity-rich areas for conservation. It was launched last month (29 January), as part of an EU-funded project called BioFresh, with the aim of putting together published maps and sharing them under a creative commons license.

Calculating your water footprint

Water scarcity affects 2.7 billion people worldwide for at least a month each year and in the same way that each of us has a carbon footprint, Professor Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands posits that every person also has a "water footprint". Our water footprint is calculated by counting the amount of fresh water that we each use daily and the amount of water required to produce the goods and services that we consume. Due in large part to our monthly water bill, we recognize our daily fresh water use more than we do the amount of water that it takes to produce other foods and products that we consume. We more commonly think about water consumption in terms daily showers dishwasher and sprinkler usage or dripping spigots.

African Monsoon Project to Benefit Crops and Healthcare

Researchers unraveling the complexities of the West African monsoon say they are set to bring major agricultural and health benefits to people in the region — despite setbacks caused by terrorist threats and wars in the Sahel region. The African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) programme, a consortium of over 400 researchers from 30 countries that was started 14 years ago, has gathered a wealth of new data about the West African monsoon from across the Sahel, and is now inspiring similar projects elsewhere in Africa.

Extreme Winter Weather Puts Strain on Power Systems, Lets Wind Energy Shine

The North American cold wave has wreaked havoc on energy systems this winter, plagued by natural gas shortages, rising peak power demand and power plants going offline due to extreme weather conditions. The displaced polar vortex, with its frigid temperatures and strong winds, has caused energy use to soar–creating supply shortages and rising energy costs.

With Climate Change, Greenland Is Bracing For Exploitation

The ill effects of climate change are becoming well known, and now here's another: The melting ice cap in Greenland has the country now bracing for a gold rush. As the ice melts at record pace in Greenland, the world's miners, oil workers and construction teams are planning to descend on the country in the next few years, to start digging below the retreating icecap for its ores, hydrocarbons and minerals.