Archives for Ema Issues

The farmers growing food across frigid northern latitudes

Although frost has arrived in most subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere, farmers still carry on even in the most extreme cold climates with the help of innovative technology and thoughtful design. Polar Permaculture Solutions of Norway and the Inuvik Community Greenhouse of Canada are outstanding examples of defiant, determined agriculture in the Arctic. With features such as hydroponic systems, insulated greenhouses, and compost-warmed geodesic domes, these farms are far from frozen...

The world’s first 100% solar-powered train launches in Australia

The world’s first 100% solar-powered train is now gliding down tracks in Byron Bay, Australia. The Byron Bay Railroad Company refurbished a three-kilometer, or almost two-mile, stretch of tracks and restored a heritage train, outfitting it with a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) solar array with flexible solar panels. A limited service launched over the weekend, with full service set to commence in January. Byron Bay Railroad Company restored tracks and a bridge between the town of Byron Bay and the...

Millions of insect species will go extinct before we even discover them

Only 200 years ago did humans begin to systematically categorize the species, and within that relatively small stretch, we’ve recorded about 2 million species of plants, animals, fungi. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. By some estimates, we still have another 2 million to uncover, and by others, there are upwards of 100 million left to be classified. However, with deforestation, sprawl, and, above all, climate change putting the planet in jeopardy, scientists believe millions of...

Scientists find surprising methane-based ecosystem in underwater Yucatan caves

Underwater caves have been described as one of Earth’s final unexplored frontiers. An international team recently delved into the flooded caves of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and found methane and dissolved organic carbon sustain the food web in these caves, with an ecosystem similar to that of deep ocean cold seeps. Mayan lore described the underwater caves in Mexico as a fantastical underworld. While the caves aren’t mythical, they did hold surprises for the 10 scientists who...

Oil drillers will spend cautiously even as GOP eyes corporate tax cuts, says billionaire oilman Harold Hamm

David Orrell | CNBC Harold Hamm Shale drilling pioneer Harold Hamm on Friday said the U.S. oil industry has entered a new era of fiscal discipline. This comes as Republicans bank on companies using tax savings to invest in economy-stimulating activity to pay for a $1.5 trillion tax cut. Hamm said the reductions will boost the economy, but stressed that drillers are not going back to spending lavishly after a three-year oil price downturn. America's beaten-down oil drillers will be...

A ‘giant leap backward for humankind’ as CO2 emissions rise after years of stability

Researchers had hoped global carbon emissions had peaked after three stable years – but a new projection shatters those hopes. The Global Carbon Project and University of East Anglia (UEA) revealed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could grow by two percent in 2017. Future Earth executive director Amy Luers described the news as a “giant leap backward for humankind.” Researchers presented the information at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. They’re pointing to China’s activities as the main...

World’s cheapest solar power to be generated in Mexico

  Mexico is on track to generate the world’s cheapest solar power — with prices as low as 1.77¢/kWh, according to Mexico’s Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (Cenace). Mexico’s Department of Energy recently announced the companies selected to complete new renewable power projects, and the rates at which this electricity will be sold. The lowest price for solar in Mexico has been set just below that of Saudi Arabia at 1.77¢/kWh, and is expected to continue to decrease to...

Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

Physicists at Tel Aviv University and University of Chicago have discovered that quark fusion could be an even more energy-packed reaction than nuclear fusion. Although the scientists were originally concerned about quark fusion’s potential destructive power and had considered keeping the discovery secret, they came to learn that the process, still theoretical, would most likely be safe for civilian use. The newly identified kind of reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy...

Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

An experimental neighborhood in the U.K. is on a mission to show that smart design can make a big difference when it comes to energy efficiency. 16 homes in Neath, Wales will be outfitted with cutting-edge technology that enables them to generate and store enough clean energy for 100% of their electricity needs. The entire neighborhood will be connected to serve as one autonomous unit of clean energy production.   The “buildings as power stations” program is a collaboration...

Megacities could save $505 million a year thanks to trees

Trees offer enormous monetary benefit to megacities, or those urban areas where over 10 million people reside. New research led by Theodore Endreny of SUNY’s College of Environmental Studies and Forestry highlights the idea that cities shouldn’t overlook the immense value of these plants: every year they could offer a payoff of $482 million in lowered air pollution, $11 million in stormwater remediation, $8 million in carbon dioxide sequestration, and $500,000 savings on heating and cooling...
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