Short of a global economic collapse or the construction of a new nuclear power plant everyday, stabilizing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions is impossible, says University of Utah atmospheric scientist Tim Garrett.
In his new Climatic Change study – which is based on the concept that physics can be used to characterize the evolution of civilization – Garrett argues that energy conservation or efficiency doesn't really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerates energy consumption.
While most of the proposals put forth to address climate change so far have called on governments to play a more active role in society, perhaps one of the best things they could do is promote free trade and then get out of the way.
According to research conducted by an economists at Oregon State University, wealthier countries with competitive crop production and few trade barriers would fare the best if climate change, weather events or other factors cause yields of grain and oilseed crops to become more volatile.
By these criteria, the United States is poised to do well, but France would come out on top, according to the study of 21 countries conducted by economists at Oregon State University.
Researchers at the City College of New York say they have developed a new way to generate power for planes and automobiles using piezoelectrics. Piezoelectrics convert the kinetic energy of motion into electricity. The researchers will present their concept later this month at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics.
According to a recent GENETICS study, a family of genes (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase, or ACS genes) are responsible for production of ethylene and since this gas affects many aspects of plant development, it could lay the foundation for future genetic manipulation that could make plants disease resistant, able to survive and thrive in difficult terrain, increase yields, and other useful agronomical outcomes.
The discovery was made with the weed Arabidopsis thaliana but is applicable to plants used in agriculture, they say.
A key riddle surrounding the origin of biological molecules like RNA and DNA is how they first came together billions of years ago from simple precursors but a study appearing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry says researchers in Italy have reconstructed one of the earliest evolutionary steps yet; generating long chains of RNA from individual subunits using nothing but warm water.
Many researchers believe that RNA was one of the first biological molecules present, before DNA and proteins, but there has been little success in recreating the formation on RNA from simple "prebiotic" molecules that likely were present on primordial earth billions of years ago.
According to new research conducted by scientists from the University of Maryland and the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France, smokers may face another serious health risk from the habit and the tobacco industry may have another serious PR problem on their hands as a result.
A study appearing in the upcoming issue of Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that Cigarettes are "widely contaminated" with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people. The research team describes the study as the first to show that "cigarettes themselves could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and other people exposed to secondhand smoke."