Savvy city planners will be tomorrow’s climate heroes

November 8, 2017 by  
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Too much of today’s conversation focuses on energy generation rather than urban design, land-use planning and zoning interventions.

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Savvy city planners will be tomorrow’s climate heroes

Sierra Club’s Michael Brune keeps it real on energy

November 8, 2017 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. In this episode: Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, says “we’ve turned a corner.”

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Sierra Club’s Michael Brune keeps it real on energy

Chinese scientists created a type of rice that can grow in saltwater

October 25, 2017 by  
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For the first time, rice grown in diluted saltwater has yielded a crop sufficient enough to be commercially viable, according to a new study by Chinese scientists . The research team led by agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, also known as China’s “father of hybrid rice,” planted 200 types of rice in spring in the coastal city of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province and then subsequently tested their resilience to saline-alkali soil and diluted saltwater; four types of rice showed particular promise. If successful on a large scale, these salt-resistant rice varieties could turn previously non-arable space into productive agricultural land. In order to test the rice’s resilience in saline-alkali environments, the scientists pumped in saltwater from the Yellow Sea, on which Qingdao is located. The seawater was first diluted to achieve a salinity level of .3 percent, then gradually increased to .6 percent. Although researchers expected only an output of around 4.5 tons per hectare, “the test results greatly exceeded our expectations,” according to Liu Shiping, a professor of agriculture at Yangzhou University. The four mentioned rice varieties ultimately produced yields of 6.5 to 9.3 tons per hectare. While some wild varieties of rice are known to survive in salty environments, they typically only yield 1.125 to 2.25 tons per hectare. Related: 7 plants that could save the world Increased yield from salt-resilient varieties of rice could have significant economic benefits. “If a farmer tries to grow some types of saline-tolerant rice now, they most likely will get 1,500 kilograms per hectare. That is just not profitable and not even worth the effort,” said Yuan. “Farmers will have an incentive to grow the rice if we can double the yield.” The current 100 million hectares of saline-alkali soil in China, one-fifth of which could be cultivated with the right crop, also may experience significant change as farmers move onto previously unusable land. Salt-resilient rice would prove to be an asset for South and Southeast Asia as well, regions where millions of hectare are left unused due to high salinity. The team plans to refine its rice varieties and growing techniques, so that salt-resilient rice may soon become a supplemental extension of the region’s staple crop. Via Xinhua / South China Morning Post Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Chinese scientists created a type of rice that can grow in saltwater

Tasmanian Devils are rapidly evolving to fight cancer

September 1, 2016 by  
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In the quest to conquer cancer , scientists have turned to the natural world for effective solutions. In this case, the details may be in the Devil. An international team of researchers has learned that two specific sections of the Tasmanian Devil genome are changing rapidly in response to the spread of devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). The genetic data compiled by the researchers will be used to help protect the Tasmanian Devil from extinction while providing insight into treatment for humans. “Our study suggests hope for the survival of the Tasmanian devil in the face of this devastating disease ,” said researcher Andrew Storfer. “Ultimately, it may also help direct future research addressing important questions about the evolution of cancer transmissibility and what causes remission and reoccurrence in cancer and other diseases.” The Tasmanian Devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world and is found in the wild only on the Australian island state of Tasmania. It is named for its aggressive behavior against outsiders and fellow Devils. Through this peer-to-peer violence, DFTD may be spread. One of only three types of transmissible cancer, DFTD has wiped out nearly eighty percent of the Tasmanian Devil population in the twenty years since it was discovered. As Dr. Ian Malcolm once so eloquently put it, life finds a way  and some Devils have evolved to endure against this threat. Related: Australian state announces the country’s first permanent ban on fracking The researchers were inspired to explore genetic explanations when some individuals in disease-ravaged populations endured despite scientific models predicting their demise. “If a disease comes in and knocks out 90 percent of the individuals, you might predict the 10 percent who survive are somehow genetically different,” said study co-author Paul Hohenlohe. “What we were looking for were the parts of the genome that show that difference.” The team discovered that two specific genomic regions, which contained genes that are connected to the immune system  and cancer, demonstrated significant changes in the surviving populations. In addition to identifying the specific function for these genes, the researchers hope to use this information to increase genetic diversity and resilience within the Tasmanian Devil population. Via Phys.org Images via Chen Wu/Flickr  and  Greg Schechter/Flickr  

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Tasmanian Devils are rapidly evolving to fight cancer

The Paris Agreement: What’s in this historic deal

December 14, 2015 by  
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The agreement reached by 196 countries at the COP21 meeting in Paris is a turning point towards a climate solution. Here are the details of the pact.

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The Paris Agreement: What’s in this historic deal

New report shows Scandinavian countries are best-prepared for the effects of climate change

February 5, 2015 by  
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Worried about rising water levels, increased frequency and strength of storms as well as other potential natural disasters? Well, according to the latest  Global Adaptation Index  (GAIN) report, which ranks more than 175 countries based on their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness, you would be better off moving to Scandanavia—specifically Norway and Sweden.  Read the rest of New report shows Scandinavian countries are best-prepared for the effects of climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , climate change prepareness , GAIN report , Global Adaptation Index , global warming , norway , Scandanavia , University of Notre Dame , University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index

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New report shows Scandinavian countries are best-prepared for the effects of climate change

Which Country is the Most Prepared for Climate Change?

November 24, 2014 by  
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The University of Notre Dame recently released the 2014 installment of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index ( ND-GAIN .) ND-GAIN shows “which countries are best prepared to deal with the national security risks, droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters that climate change can cause.” More than just a simple ranking list, the index also tracks the progress of countries’ preparedness over the last 18 years, and allows users to run ‘what if’ analyses for various situations. Hit the jump to see which countries came out on top, who stands to lose out – and why. Read the rest of Which Country is the Most Prepared for Climate Change? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2014 , adaptability , adaptation , Africa , chad , Climate Change , development , global warming , infrastructure , interactive map , ND-GAIN , norway , Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index , resilience , scandinavia , University of Notre Dame

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Which Country is the Most Prepared for Climate Change?

Texas Students’ ADAPT Home Design Puts Abundant Desert Sunlight To Good Use

July 9, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Texas Students’ ADAPT Home Design Puts Abundant Desert Sunlight To Good Use Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptation , Architecture , Department of Energy , Design , el paso , net zero , Solar Decathlon , solar panels , Solar Power , texas , university of texas        

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Texas Students’ ADAPT Home Design Puts Abundant Desert Sunlight To Good Use

Atelier CMJN Unveils Plans for Sustainable Great Fen Visiting Center in the UK

April 29, 2013 by  
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Atelier CMJN recently unveiled plans for the new Great Fen Visitor Center , a wooden sustainable structure set halfway between the wetlands and dry lands in Cambridgeshire , UK. The organic shelter is made from locally sourced wood and takes advantage of wind power, a water heat pump and rainwater collection. Read the rest of Atelier CMJN Unveils Plans for Sustainable Great Fen Visiting Center in the UK Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , adaptation , Architecture , Atelier CMJN , Cambridgeshire , Daylighting , eolic turbine , fen , Great Fen Visiting Center , green interiors , green materials , organic architecture , rainwater collection        

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Atelier CMJN Unveils Plans for Sustainable Great Fen Visiting Center in the UK

Sociable Weavers Build Giant Climate-Controlled Nests in the Kalahari Desert

February 19, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sociable Weavers Build Giant Climate-Controlled Nests in the Kalahari Desert Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptation , Africa , Art , assimilation , birds , climate controlled nests , Dillon Marsh , eco-art , Environment , kalahari desert , Nature , nature knows best , Photography , sociable weavers , southern africa , Travel , weaver’s nests

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Sociable Weavers Build Giant Climate-Controlled Nests in the Kalahari Desert

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