Earth

University of Toronto scientists solve puzzle of converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel

University of Toronto scientists solve puzzle of converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel

TORONTO, ON - Every year, humans advance climate change and global warming - and quite likely our own eventual extinction - by injecting about 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A team of scientists from the University of Toronto (U of T) believes they've found a way to convert all these emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Silicon, readily available in sand, is the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust.

Solar activity has a direct impact on Earth's cloud cover

A team of scientists from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space) and the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked large solar eruptions to changes in Earth's cloud cover in a study based on over 25 years of satellite observations.

Hurricanes are worse, but experience, gender and politics determine if you believe it

Hurricanes are worse, but experience, gender and politics determine if you believe it

Objective measurements of storm intensity show that North Atlantic hurricanes have grown more destructive in recent decades. But coastal residents' views on the matter depend less on scientific fact and more on their gender, belief in climate change and recent experience with hurricanes, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton University, Auburn University-Montgomery, the Louisiana State University and Texas A&M University.

Humans have caused climate change for 180 years

Humans have caused climate change for 180 years

An international research project has found human activity has been causing global warming for almost two centuries, proving human-induced climate change is not just a 20th century phenomenon.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s, much earlier than scientists had expected.

Ocean acidification threatens cod recruitment in the Atlantic

24 August 2016/Kiel. Increasing ocean acidification could double the mortality of newly-hatched cod larvae. This would put populations of this economically important fish species more and more under pressure if exploitation remains unchanged. For the first time ever, members of the German research network BIOACID have quantified mortality rates of cod in the western Baltic Sea and the Barents Sea under more acidified conditions which the fish may experience towards the end of the century.

Arctic gives clues on worst mass extinction of life

96 percent of marine species, and 70 percent of terrestrial life died off in the Permian-Triassic extinction event, as geologists know it. It is also known as The Great Dying Event for obvious reasons.

"The mass extinction was likely triggered by a explosive event of volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia. These eruptions lasted for a million years and emitted enormous amounts of volatiles, such as carbon dioxide and methane, which made our planet unbearably hot." says Jochen Knies, researcher at CAGE.

By mid-century, more Antarctic snowfall may help offset sea-level rise

By mid-century, more Antarctic snowfall may help offset sea-level rise

When Antarctica's air temperature rises, moisture in the atmosphere increases. That should mean more snowfall on the frozen continent. So why hasn't that trend become evident in Antarctica's surface mass balance as climate models predict?

NASA sees Lionrock strengthen into a typhoon

NASA sees Lionrock strengthen into a typhoon

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Typhoon Lionrock as it strengthened to a typhoon east of Japan's Ryukyu Islands. The chain of islands stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.

On Aug. 24 at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible light image of strengthening Typhoon Lionrock. The VIIRS image revealed that the typhoon had developed an eye, and it was surrounded by powerful thunderstorms.

Spherical tokamak as model for next steps in fusion energy

Spherical tokamak as model for next steps in fusion energy

Among the top puzzles in the development of fusion energy is the best shape for the magnetic facility -- or "bottle" -- that will provide the next steps in the development of fusion reactors. Leading candidates include spherical tokamaks, compact machines that are shaped like cored apples, compared with the doughnut-like shape of conventional tokamaks. The spherical design produces high-pressure plasmas -- essential ingredients for fusion reactions -- with relatively low and cost-effective magnetic fields.

Green light: USU biochemists describe light-driven conversion of greenhouse gas to fuel

Green light: USU biochemists describe light-driven conversion of greenhouse gas to fuel

By way of a light-driven bacterium, Utah State University biochemists are a step closer to cleanly converting harmful carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion into usable fuels. Using the phototropic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris as a biocatalyst, the scientists generated methane from carbon dioxide in one enzymatic step.