Earth Sciences

Installing a microgrid, such as a cooperative of power generators and power consumers operating in a coordinated system, within a regulated electricity market, will not work any better than the type of regulated de-regulation that led to California having utility rates 50 percent higher than other states.

It can work, it just depends on how heavily things are regulated. Microgrids are touted as hybrid alternatives to smooth out kinks in existing electricity networks. Wealthy elites with electric cars, for example, believe they are using no fossil fuels, without factoring in that each charger is equivalent in load to a whole new house on the grid, with power draws from nuclear or coal or natural gas just the same.

A new paper in American Journal of Geophysics, Geochemistry and Geosystems criticizes alarming projections of up to 2 meters in sea level rise due to increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions - and implicitly media that acts as cheerleaders by foregoing critical thinking - because those claims are not based on data. 

Instead of noting that tide gauges with enough information to infer a trend don't show increased relative rate of rise, but instead show small positive negative and positive fluctuations, papers with claims of up to 2 meters in sea level rise are heavily promoted, including by groups who insist policy makers need to include those claims in flood maps. 

Though wind energy is not viable everywhere, there are places it can work. The Galapagos Islands, a fragile ecosystem, is touted as one example, because it otherwise has to import diesel fuel. 

A performance summary and recommendations for the expansion are contained in a new report by the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), which led and financed the $10 million project. The project's three 51-meter-tall wind turbines and two sets of solar panels have supplied, on average, 30% of the electricity consumed on San Cristóbal, the archipelago's second-largest island in size and population, since it went into operation in October 2007.

In the 1970s, current Obama administration science czar Dr. John Holdren wrote a book advocating various measures to stop global starvation, including a world government and mandatory birth control.

Food is no longer an issue, science took care of that despite the protestations of Holdren and fellow doomsday prophet Professor Paul Ehrlich, so culture moved onto something new that would require social engineering and selecting who gets to give birth: global warming.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information released a report projecting that by 2040, world energy consumption will have grown by 48% from 2012 levels.  

That sounds like a terrific advancement for developing nations.  We worry about water in other countries, we worry about food, we worry about education and culture. Every single one of those is resolved with affordable energy. Energy is the great equalizer and America's second most important strategic resource after, obviously, food. 
The Australian dairy farming industry is in a state of crisis. Cheap dairy products and fluctuations in both the domestic and global markets have taken a financial toll on farmers. Consumers have rallied to help struggling dairy producers.

But this is only half the problem. The true cost of dairy is also paid by dairy cows and the environment.

We’re not even halfway through the year but already you may have heard talk of 2016 being the hottest on record. But how can scientists be so sure we’re going to beat the previous record, set just last year?

SAR11 are the most abundant plankton in the world's oceans. They are also a massive source of two sulfur gases that play important roles in the Earth's atmosphere.

In the wake of the damaging Alberta fires, there has been a lot of attention paid to what role climate change plays in wildfires. Yet 2016 is also a powerful El Niño year, which has created ideal conditions for the extraordinary fires in Alberta.

So what climate phenomena could have led to the persistent warm, dry conditions and the extreme fire events?

I have analyzed weather trend data and found that higher temperatures and lower precipitation created the conditions for the extensive fires. It is by looking at exactly when those warmer months occur that we can begin to sort out the role of El Niño versus climate change.

A new study has implicated farms as a bigger source of fine-particulate air pollution than all other sources. This is no surprise in Europe, China, Russia and Europe, since food is the most important strategic resource everywhere. 

And it's an easy enough problem to solve. As technology continues to improve, emissions will go down anyway, so fumes from nitrogen-rich fertilizers and animal waste that combine in the air with industrial emissions to form solid particles could double and particulate matter would still go down.