Posted: December 13th, 2012 | Author: Diana Detaux | Filed under: Science of Green | Tags: Advanced Photovoltaics, Australian Federal Government, Australian Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics, CSIRO, CSIRO National Solar Energy Centre, Photovoltaic Technology, Photovoltaics, Science of Green, Solar-thermal Power, US Department of Energy | Comments Off on Australian Government Joins US Energy Department in $83m Solar Research Project
The Australian Federal Government has announced an $83 million solar research program in partnership with the United States. The eight-year project will bring together six Australian universities, the CSIRO and the US department of energy.
Its aim is to create new technology that will reduce the cost of solar power. Australia’s Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says it is the biggest solar energy research investment in Australia’s history :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: May 20th, 2012 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Applied Science, Biomechanic, Chemically Engineered, Science of Green | Tags: artificial leaf, carbon neutral energy, mit, MITs Artificial Leaf, Photocatalytic water splitting, photosynthesis, solar power | Comments Off on MIT Perfects The Low Cost Artificial Leaf
Back in July 2011 we published an exciting little post on MIT’s work with artificial leaves – MITs Artificial Leaf – based on a silicon solar cell.
The leaf consists of a thin, flat, three-layered silicon solar cell with catalysts bonded to both faces of the silicon. Placed in water and exposed to sunlight, silicon absorbs photons of sunlight, generating electrons with enough energy to conduct through the silicon.
The process leaves behind positively charged electron vacancies called “holes” that can also move through the material. The holes migrate to a cobalt-containing catalyst painted on one face of the silicon cell, where they strip electrons from water molecules, breaking them into hydrogen ions (H+), and oxygen atoms. The catalyst then knits pairs of oxygens together to make O2. Meanwhile, the H+ ions migrate to another catalyst on the opposite face of the silicon cell, where they combine with conducting electrons to make molecules of H2. In principle, the H2 can then be stored and either burned or run through a fuel cell to generate electricity.
Professor Daniel Nocera’s work has finally borne fruit. Nocera’s team developed the catalyst three years ago, the first practical artificial leaf has now been developed, and this new technology may help to deliver efficient carbon neutral energy to the world’s poor and developing nations.
Building on their previous research, the researchers at MIT in Boston have created an artificial leaf that, unlike earlier devices is made from inexpensive materials, and employs low-cost engineering and manufacturing processes :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Climate Change, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Wind Farm | Comments Off on Wind Farms Linked to Localised Climate Change
Turbulence created by wind farms causes air temperatures to rise directly around the supposed green energy producers, researchers say. Scientists including Associate Professor Liming Zhou from the State University of New York examined conditions around 2,358 turbines at four Texas wind farms.
Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Professor Zhou and colleagues reported a temperature increase of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade at wind farm locations, compared to nearby areas. The wind industry in the United States has experienced a remarkably rapid expansion of capacity in recent years and this fast growth is expected to continue in the future.
While converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface–atmosphere exchanges and the transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.
Oddly, researchers also found the effect to be greater at night than during the day. After discounting the impact of surface features such as vegetation, roads, light reflection and surface structures, the researchers concluded that the temperature change was caused by air turbulence generated by the turbines’ giant rotor blades. Professor Zhou said the study could help researchers better understand the impact of wind farms on local environments :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 28th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Climate Change, Ecology, Science of Green | Tags: ARGO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Global Warming, Greenhouse Effect, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ocean Cycles, Ocean Salinity Changes | Comments Off on Our Planet’s Water Cycle is Intensifying With Global Warming
A study published in the journal Science has concluded that climate change is altering oceans and rainfall worldwide. A team of three researchers looked at ocean data over the period 1950 to 2000. The research found salinity levels have changed in all the world’s oceans, wetter areas are experiencing more rain and drier areas have become drier.
Susan Wijffels from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation – CSIRO – says she expects the trend to continue.
“The answer of how much more is going to be in the future depends on how much more warning there is going to be,” she said. “So if we stay on a high emissions pathway we might see warming up around three degrees, which will give us maybe a 24 per cent change in our water cycle.”
The authors say this could have implications for global food security. In the paper, Australian scientists from the CSIRO and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, reported changing patterns of salinity in the global ocean during the past 50 years, marking a clear fingerprint of climate change. :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Climate Change, Science, Science News, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, CSIRO, Science of Green, The Global Carbon Project, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change | Comments Off on Climate Change: Humans Pumped Out 10 Billion Tonnes of Carbon Emissions in 2010
New research has found global carbon emissions surged by a record amount in 2010 after falling during the international financial crisis.
The Global Carbon Project published its yearly analysis of carbon dioxide emissions in the journal Nature Climate Change today.
The report found that global carbon dioxide emissions increased by a record 5.9 per cent in 2010. The report says the overall atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in 800,000 years.
“At current rates, including the increase in emissions that has been occurring over the last few years and continuing and even accelerating this year, we have about 35 to 40 years to go, before we hit that limit of a total of 1 trillion tonnes” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 25th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Climate Change, Engineered Life, Science, Science News, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, CO2, Global Warming, Last Glacial Maximum, Macquarie University, Oregon State University | Comments Off on Global Warming Atmospheric CO2 Link Questioned
High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may have less of an impact on the rate of global warming than previously feared, a new study suggests.
Associate Professor Schmittner notes that many previous studies only looked at periods spanning from 1850 to today, thus not taking into account a fully integrated palaeoclimate data on a global scale.
The authors of the study stress that global warming is real and that increases in atmospheric CO2, which has doubled from pre-industrial standards, will have multiple serious impacts.
But more severe estimates that predict temperatures could rise up to an average of 10 degrees Celsius are unlikely, the researchers report in the journal Science.
The new study suggests temperatures will rise on average 2.3 degrees under the same conditions :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Climate Change, Ecology, Science, Science News, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Energy Agency, IPCC, United Nations | Comments Off on A Century of Extreme Storms
As the Earth’s climate warms, United Nations scientists are predicting an increase in heat waves, rainfall and flooding, stronger cyclones and more intense droughts across the globe this century.
In a report released last week in Uganda, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC – urged countries to rapidly adopt disaster management plans to adapt to the growing risk of extreme weather. The report gives differing probabilities for weather events, but the thrust is that extreme weather is likely to increase and that the likely cause is humans.
The IPCC defines “likely” as a 66-100 per cent probability, while “virtually certain” is 99-100 per cent. The report says it’s virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily temperature extremes will occur on the global scale in the 21st century.
A 1-in-20 year hottest day is likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st century in most regions. It is very likely that the length, frequency and intensity of heat waves will increase. Heat waves would likely get hotter by 1-3 degrees Celsius by mid-21st century and by 2-5 degrees by late-21st century :: Read the full article »»»»