This Girl Scout Is Saving Our Oceans

August 13, 2018 by  
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Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. … The post This Girl Scout Is Saving Our Oceans appeared first on Earth911.com.

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This Girl Scout Is Saving Our Oceans

Coral forests thrive near Sicilys underwater volcanoes

July 10, 2018 by  
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Nearly one kilometer below the water surface near Sicily, a rare ecosystem of corals, sponges and wildlife is thriving. A recent study from conservation agency Oceana discovered healthy and active coral forests near underwater volcanoes just north of Sicily. These coral forests were previously undiscovered by humans but have not been spared from their impact via pollution. As an under-researched area, scientists wanted to learn more about the wildlife near the Aeolians Islands north of Sicily, the location of several underwater volcanoes . Exploring around a kilometer under the surface, the team found coral forests rich with endangered species. At the shallowest levels, a research robot found red algae beds that support both plants and sea animals in the area. Sea fans and horse mackerel were abundant near the surface. At intermediate depths, sharks laid eggs in beds of black coral, complemented with beds of red coral and yellow tree coral. Both colored corals are considered threatened species in the Mediterranean Sea . Related: Red List expands to 26,000 endangered species The most exciting discoveries were found at the bottom of the ocean floor. As far down as 981 meters, researchers found naturally growing bamboo corals on the endangered species list , as well as sea squirts and carnivorous sea sponges that were not known to live in the area. The deep dive also revealed two species never before seen in the area: the skinny sea star  Zoroaster fulgens and a goby fish originally found near the Adriatic Sea. Unfortunately, this unique environment isn’t immune to human damage. The diving robot discovered extensive evidence of fishing pollution , including abandoned traps, nets and fishing lines. Some of those contributed to the death of the wildlife, including turtles and corals. Other discarded waste found includes single-use plastic flatware, glass and even tires. “We have found tens of features that are internationally protected in the Mediterranean, from impressive coralligenous beds to loggerhead turtles and many species of corals and molluscs,” Ricardo Aguilar, senior research director for Oceania, said in a statement. “However, we also found widespread impacts of human activity, even in the farthest and deepest areas, and it is vital that we stop harming marine life if we are to preserve the uniqueness of this part of the Tyrrhenian Sea.” The discoveries will help scientists develop a plan to protect the unique ecosystem from future damage. Oceana’s expedition is part of bigger research expedition with the Blue Marine Foundation to better understand the Aeolians Islands and their  environment . + Oceana Images via  © Oceana

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Coral forests thrive near Sicilys underwater volcanoes

What do the SDGs mean for business now?

February 7, 2018 by  
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International Paper, JPMorgan Chase, Novozymes and Tata may not have a lot in common on the surface, but each company is determined to tackle key U.N. Global Goals.

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What do the SDGs mean for business now?

C.F. Mller’s stunning Low Energy Center in London showcases an innovative use of steel

September 14, 2017 by  
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Europe’s largest new residential heat network – the Greenwich Peninsula Low Energy Center in London – saves over 20,000 tons of carbon every year. C.F. Møller Architects and British artist Conrad Shawcross  designed the groundbreaking facility, which is clad in hundreds of triangular panels that fold and flow across the surface of the tower. The center won this year’s coveted GAGA Architecture Award for the most innovative and effective use of galvanized steelwork. The Greenwich Peninsula Low Energy Center sits at the entrance of the peninsula next to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach. It houses boilers and CHP that provide heat energy to the businesses and homes due to be built in the coming years Its impressive appearance can be attributed to Conrad Shawcross. The artist designed the facade of the 160-foot (49 meter) high tower as a way of communicating commitment to sustainable and affordable energy for all. Related: C.F. Møller Architects designs Danish school that optimizes learning through design The perforated steel panels create a Moiré Effect , and facilitate animated patterns of light at night. Named ‘The Optic Cloak’ the structure is formed of hundreds of triangular panels – each the size of a London bus – folded across the surface of the tower forming complex geometric patterns. + C.F. Møller Architects + Conrad Shawcross Photos by Mark Hadden

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C.F. Mller’s stunning Low Energy Center in London showcases an innovative use of steel

New super-thin film acts like "air conditioner" for buildings

February 13, 2017 by  
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Engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a thin, artificially structured “metamaterial” that can cool objects without the use of water or energy. The film works to lower the temperature of the surface beneath it through a process known as “passive cooling,” meaning that it vents the object’s heat through thermal radiation while bouncing off any incoming solar energy that may negate those losses. As described last week in the journal Science , the glass-polymer hybrid material could provide an “eco-friendly means of supplementary cooling” for thermoelectric power plants, which require colossal amounts of water and electricity to keep their machinery chugging along at optimum temperatures. The film measures a lithe 50 micrometers thick, or just slightly more substantial than the aluminum foil you’d find in your kitchen. And, much like foil, researchers say it can be easily and economically manufactured by the roll for large-scale residential and commercial applications. “We feel that this low-cost manufacturing process will be transformative for real-world applications of this radiative cooling technology,” Xiaobo Yin, an assistant professor who co-directed the research, said in a statement. Buildings and power plants aren’t the only structures that could benefit, Yin said. The material could keep solar panels from overheating, allowing them to not only work longer, but harder, as well. Related: 3D-printed “Cool Brick” cools a room using only water “Just by applying this material to the surface of a solar panel, we can cool the panel and recover an additional one to two percent of solar efficiency,” said Yin. “That makes a big difference at scale.” Yin and his cohorts have applied for a patent as a prelude to exploring potential commercial applications. They also plan to create a 200-square-meter “cooling farm” prototype in Boulder sometime this year. “The key advantage of this technology is that it works 24/7 with no electricity or water usage,” said Ronggui Yang, a professor of mechanical engineering and a co-author of the paper. “We’re excited about the opportunity to explore potential uses in the power industry, aerospace, agriculture and more.” + University of Colorado Boulder Photo by Chris Eason

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New super-thin film acts like "air conditioner" for buildings

5 things climate-conscious companies have in common

May 11, 2016 by  
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As more businesses set emissions goals in line with the latest climate science, best practices are bubbling to the surface.

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5 things climate-conscious companies have in common

Cities, startups tap the wisdom of crowds for sustainability

November 12, 2013 by  
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New York City and various startups have succeeded with citizen-generated data, but experts say we've only scratched the surface.

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Cities, startups tap the wisdom of crowds for sustainability

8 ways to build a business with a higher purpose

November 12, 2013 by  
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Want to make your business really matter? It starts and ends with soul.

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8 ways to build a business with a higher purpose

Are Wood Pallets Safe for Reuse Projects? It Depends

July 30, 2013 by  
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On the surface, the ubiquitous pallet seems ideal for reuse: It’s wood, it’s recycled and it’s free. How can you go wrong? We’ve even featured a roundup of cool pallet crafts here on Earth911. But it turns out that pallet …

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Are Wood Pallets Safe for Reuse Projects? It Depends

Deep green investing: A closer look

February 4, 2013 by  
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Getting under the surface of green investing funds and strategies. 

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Deep green investing: A closer look

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