Dec 22, 14

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Blue Gold, Information Visualization, and the Question of Methane

Looking back one, two, and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water This piece is a part of "Resources from the Worldchanging Library." In Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water, authors and activists Maude Barlow and Tony Clark aim to document the rapid privatization and commodification of water... 2008 Spatial History and the Mannahatta Project Alex Steffen explores the merging...

planet

Most Accurate Mars Map Ever

NASA has created the most accurate map of Mars ever with imagery from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Researchers at Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility in Tempe, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif have constructed a global map of the red planet using "nearly 21,000 images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System, or THEMIS, a multi-band infrared camera on Odyssey," which were collected over the last eight years (via NASA). The...

planet

Restored Forests Capture More CO2 Than Timber Plantations

This is an example of a ecological restoration project. (Photo Credit: Dr. John Kanowski.) Restoring damaged rainforest is a more effective way of capturing carbon than cultivating industrial, single-species tree plantations, according to a new study. After testing three types of plantations in northeastern Australia — monoculture plantations of native conifers, mixed plantations, and restored rainforests containing a diversity of trees — Australian researchers found that restored...

planet

Mapping Soil Sequestration Hotspots in the UK

Research project to identify the best UK locations for biomass crops. by Roger East When and where is it really smart to use farmland for energy crops? A research team has set out to improve our knowledge of how to do the carbon calculations. And a big part of the answer, it says, lies in the soil. A University of Southampton team is comparing different ways of producing biomass for fuel, such as growing grasses and short rotation coppiced woodland, to yield a new kind of ‘carbon...

planet

Microalgae for Cleaning Coal and the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Looking back one, two and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 China Recruits Algae to Combat Climate Change Jonathan Watts reports on a groundbreaking greenhouse bioreactor, by the Chinese firm ENN, that breeds microalgae, one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet, with carbon captured from gasified coal... 2008 Nothing for today! 2005 Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry Here's a great overview of the recent 2nd International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry,...

planet

New Emissions Measurements Show "Green" Consumerism Failing

Has "green consumerism" reduced climate emissions? Not according to John Barrett. Last week Barrett (from the Stockholm Environment Institute's York (England) office) gave a talk in Seattle titled "A Sustainable Consumption and Production Approach to Climate Change Mitigation.” Barrett presented his team’s latest research on consumption-based, community-scale greenhouse gas emissions inventory methods, policy implications, and lessons learned from his work with the United Kingdom...

planet

A Green Chemistry Primer: "Benign by Design"

Scientific American has an update on what chemists are doing to save the world. In her article, "Green Chemistry: Scientists Devise New "Benign by Design" Drugs, Paints, Pesticides and More," Emily Laber-Warren reports on the origins of the green chemistry movement, the innovations of the last 15 years, the need for more 'benign design' and the major hurdles in the way of increased green chemistry in the United States. Her overall exploration centers around the question: "Will it take...

planet

Jeff Warren: Mapping the Oil Spill with Balloons and Kites

Nominated by Jennifer Marlow Jeff Warren of the MIT Media Lab's Center for Future Civic Media is mapping the BP oil spill one balloon at a time. Launching cheap digital cameras tied to helium balloons floated above the oil booms, he's capturing higher-than-Google-resolution imagery of the spill—injury-by-injury and bird-by-bird. "Seeking to invert the traditional power structure of cartography," Jeff has also worked with kids in Peru and El Salvador to map their communities using...

planet

The Anthropocene Debate: Marking Humanity’s Impact

by Elizabeth Kolbert Is human activity altering the planet on a scale comparable to major geological events of the past? Scientists are now considering whether to officially designate a new geological epoch to reflect the changes that homo sapiens have wrought: the Anthropocene. The Holocene — or “wholly recent” epoch — is what geologists call the 11,000 years or so since the end of the last ice age. As epochs go, the Holocene is barely out of diapers; its immediate predecessor, the...

planet

Interview with Ellen Mosley-Thompson: Unlocking Secrets from the Ice In a Rapidly Warming Region

Earlier this year, climatologist Ellen Mosley-Thompson led an expedition to drill into glacial ice on the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the world’s fastest-warming regions. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Mosley-Thompson explains what the Antarctic ice cores may reveal and describes what it’s like working in the world’s swiftly melting ice zones. Ellen Mosley-Thompson and her husband, Lonnie Thompson, are two of the world’s most respected climatologists and glaciologists,...

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