Supermarket delivery services are greener than driving to shop

A new academic research study has revealed it is better for the environment to order the weekly supermarket shop to be delivered to your doorstep with carbon emission savings of up to 75%. University of Washington engineers have found that using a supermarket delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store. Trucks filled to capacity that deliver to customers clustered in neighborhoods produced the most savings in carbon dioxide emissions.

Air pollution linked to life-threatening hardening of the arteries

Long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries", according to a University of Michigan public health researcher and colleagues from across the US. Sara Adar, the John Searle Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, and Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and medicine at the University of Washington, led the study that found that higher concentrations of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) were linked to a faster thickening of the inner two layers of the common carotid artery - an important blood vessel that provides blood to the head, neck and brain.

Discovery finds waste sulphur can boost electric car industry

A new chemical process can transform waste sulphur into a lightweight plastic that may improve batteries for electric cars, reports a University of Arizona-led team. The team has successfully used the new plastic to make lithium-sulphur batteries and discovered other potential applications, including optical uses.

Last Turbine Installed at World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Construction of the 125th and last turbine at the London Array Offshore Wind Farm has been completed, marking the end of major construction activities at the massive 630MW renewable energy site. Turbine installation began in January 2012 and has been completed by MPI Discovery, A2SEA's Sea Worker and Sea Jack. With all turbines in place and 55 connected and supplying power to the national grid, the wind farm is on track to be fully operational in Spring 2013. The wind farm has been generating energy since October 2012 when the first turbine began producing power.

NOAA predicts sea level will rise 0.2 to 2 meters by 2100

The worst potential scenario for sea level rise around the US coastline this century is more than two meters, says an authoritative report issued today by NOAA's Climate Program Office. Regardless of how much warming occurs over the next 100 years, sea level rise is not expected to stop in 2100. More than 8 million people in the US live in areas at risk of coastal flooding. Along the Atlantic Coast alone, almost 60 percent of the land that is within a meter of sea level is planned for further development, with inadequate information on the potential rates and amount of sea level rise.

Magnetic Fields from Antarctic research stations a potential problem

Antarctic research stations could be adversely affecting the local environment by emitting magnetic pollution, a new study has found. A new aerial survey is the first to research and assess the possible impact of a research station in Antarctica on magnetic fields. Estimations indicated that the station generated a magnetic field that extends up to 650 metres from the station with a peak strength of 2800 nanotesla (nT) within 100 metres from the station on the ground. This may have implications for organisms in Antarctica that are negatively affected by magnetic fields but the report's authors say further research is needed to investigate this.

Children cite ‘pollution’ as greatest environmental concern

A comprehensive survey of youngsters from around the world has discovered the biggest concern they have about the environment they live in is pollution. The global poll of more than 6,000 children in 47 countries found that, although almost one in three 10-to-12-year-olds had personally experienced such catastrophes as drought, flood or fires, their most pressing ecological concern is not natural disasters but the growing threat of pollution.

Emissions Gap report warns of urgent need for climate change action

Action to tackle climate change needs to be urgently scaled up if the world is to have any chance of keeping a global temperature rise below 2 degrees C this century, according to UN Environment Programme (UNEP) research. The Emissions Gap Report, coordinated by UNEP and the European Climate Foundation, and released days before the convening of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha, shows that greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 per cent above where they need to be in 2020. Instead of declining, concentration of warming gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are actually increasing in the atmosphere-up around 20 per cent since 2000.

Owl wings may inspire new design for quieting aircrafts

Airlines and airports could soon be relying on nature for a unique way to reduce noise pollution after researchers found owl feathers are designed to minimize sound while in flight. Owls have long been known to have the uncanny ability to fly silently, relying on specialized plumage to reduce noise so they can hunt in acoustic stealth. Now researchers from the University of Cambridge, England, are studying the owl's wing structure to better understand how it mitigates noise so they can apply that information to the design of conventional aircraft.

Growth of Renewables will continue with continued subsidies

The International Energy Agency predicts renewables will become the world's second-largest source of power generation by 2015 and close in on coal as the primary source by 2035. But according to the 2012 edition of its flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook, the agency warns this rapid increase is critically dependent on continued subsidies. It says in 2011, these subsidies (including for biofuels) amounted to $88 billion, but over the period to 2035 need to amount to $4.8 trillion; over half of this has already been committed to existing projects or is needed to meet 2020 targets.