CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

April 24, 2017 by  
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Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old news now – concentrations just reached 410 ppm for the first time in millions of years. Last week, researchers at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded the record-breaking level, and scientists warn the rate of increase will only slow when we reduce our carbon emissions . Mauna Loa Observatory scientists just recorded the first CO2 level above 410 ppm since they began recording in 1958. Back then, the first atmospheric CO2 concentration was a mere 313 ppm . In 2013 concentrations hit 400 ppm . Last week’s reading was 410.28 ppm. Related: CO2 levels likely to stay above 400 ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows University of Southampton professor of isotope geochemistry Gavin Foster told Climate Central, “It’s pretty depressing that it’s only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled. These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record.” The United Kingdom Met Office put out a CO2 forecast for the first time ever earlier in 2017, and it turned out to be pretty close to reality; they predicted CO2 concentrations could breach 410 ppm in March but very likely would by April. El Niño is partly at fault for spiking levels of CO2, but more than natural factors, humans burning fossil fuels are to blame. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans said, “The rate of increase will go down when emissions decrease. But carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly. Only when emissions are cut in half will atmospheric carbon dioxide level off initially.” In a March NOAA article , Tans said the rate of CO2 growth over the last 10 years is 100 to 200 times quicker than the rate Earth saw as it transitioned out of the Ice Age, saying “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.” Via Climate Central Images via Flickr , Flickr  and Wikimedia Commons

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CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Lithium-ion batteries made from recycled glass bottles store almost 4x more energy

April 24, 2017 by  
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A team of researchers at UC Riverside developed a low-cost way of turning disgarded glass bottles into lithium-ion batteries that store almost four times more energy and can last much longer than conventional batteries. This could mean significantly fewer charges for laptops, cell phones and electric cars, not to mention reducing waste. The team, led by Cengiz Ozkan, professor of mechanical engineering, and Mihri Ozkan, professor of electrical engineering at UC Riverside, asked themselves whether silicon dioxide found in waste beverage bottles would be able to provide high purity silicon nanoparticles that can be subsequently used for lithium-ion batteries. The three-step process of producing the anodes starts by crushing and grounding glass bottles into fine white powder, silicon dioxide is then converted into nanostructured silicon, followed by coating the silicon nanoparticles with carbon. Related: 94-year-old inventor of lithium-ion cells develops new battery that can store 3 times more energy According to lab test, coin cell batteries that were made using the glass bottle-based silicon anodes considerably outperformed conventional batteries and demonstrated excellent electrochemical performance. The team expect these high-performance batteries to not only extend the range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles, but also provide extra power with fewer charges to laptops, cell phones, and other gadgets. Photos via University of California, Riverside

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Lithium-ion batteries made from recycled glass bottles store almost 4x more energy

Santa Cruz Team Proposes That Sea Otters Could Help Slow Global Warming

September 10, 2012 by  
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Sea Otter Image via Shutterstock Two researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz have suggested that sea otters could play a significant role in the fight against global warming . The duo notes that a healthy population of otters would lead to a reduction in sea urchins—which the otters feed on—and thus allow kelp forests to prosper. Kelp is often consumed by sea urchins, but if enabled to grow to maturity the plant could absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than it does at its current rates of growth. Read the rest of Santa Cruz Team Proposes That Sea Otters Could Help Slow Global Warming Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chris Wilmers , CO2 , co2 atmosphere , co2 storage , conservation , Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , James Estes , sea otters , seagrass , university of california santa cruz

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Santa Cruz Team Proposes That Sea Otters Could Help Slow Global Warming

Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties

September 10, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , BIPV , cleantech , Design , eco design , Europe , green design , madrid , Med in Italy , SDE 2012 , Solar Decathlon , Solar Power , sustainable design , Team Roma , thermal massing

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Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties

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