Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now published in the journal Nature Energy. Unlike what some critics argue, the researchers not only found that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions. They also show that a full decarbonization of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.

Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency

With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market’s next generation of photovoltaics. In particular, organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites offer manufacturing versatility that can potentially translate into much higher efficiency: studies have already shown photovoltaic performances above 20% across different solar cell architectures built with simple and low-cost processes.

Device makes power conversion more efficient

Power electronics, which do things like modify voltages or convert between direct and alternating current, are everywhere. They’re in the power bricks we use to charge our portable devices; they’re in the battery packs of electric cars; and they’re in the power grid itself, where they mediate between high-voltage transmission lines and the lower voltages of household electrical sockets.

Stopping the next wave of invasive species in Saskatchewan lakes

Invasive species continue to be a critical threat to freshwater ecosystems in Saskatchewan and across North America.But the species that have yet to enter Saskatchewan waters might be of greatest concern.

Scientists Home in on Causes of High Radium Levels in Key Midwestern Aquifer

Oxygen levels, dissolved minerals among factors responsible for high concentrations of radium in untreated water from aquifer that underlies six statesU.S. Geological Survey scientists have shed new light on processes that happen deep underground.

Researchers establish long-sought source of ocean methane

An abundant enzyme in marine microbes may be responsible for production of the greenhouse gas.  Industrial and agricultural activities produce large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Many bacteria also produce methane as a byproduct of their metabolism. Some of this naturally released methane comes from the ocean, a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists because there are no known methane-producing organisms living near the ocean’s surface.

Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.

New screening technique will allow crop breeders to develop drought resistant varieties faster

Chithra Karunakaran and Karen Tanino’s team developed a simple non-destructive method to screen hundreds of wheat leaf samples in a day, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional breeding programs to select varieties for drought tolerance. Their findings were published in the November issue of Physiologia Plantarum.“Developing these types of tools better enables physiologists to complement breeding programs,” said Tanino, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan.

Successful Nigerian business-NGO partnerships rooted in collaboration

What’s the key ingredient to successful partnerships? York University Development Studies Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia reviewed existing research on an unorthodox union between a non-governmental organization (NGO) and an oil company with a history of spills in Nigeria. He found that collaboration was beneficial even when innate creative tensions exist, and to reach sustainable targets, the company needs to align its overall strategy with the goals of the partnership.

Quantifying the Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Crop Cultivation

"Climate-smart” crop cultivation, characterized by a low greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, low synthetic nitrogen consumption, and simultaneously high yields (Figure 1), is an approach in agriculture for implementing the Paris Agreement as part of mitigating climate change. The GHG footprint is an index used to indicate the climate change impact potential exerted by crop production. It is therefore crucial to accurately quantify the GHG footprints of crop cultivation systems. However, severe problems or drawbacks in the quantification of GHG footprints still exist, which has limited the applicability of the GHG footprint in crop cultivation.