TAG: Greenhouse gases

Seals Make The List

Seals Make The List

Two types of Arctic seals have now joined polar bears on the list of species threatened by the loss of sea ice. Scientists reported that the sea ice reached record low levels this year due to climate warming. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and Bearded seals in the Arctic Ocean will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing of the seals came after federal scientists did an extensive review of scientific and commercial data. It has no effect on subsistence hunting by Alaska Natives. The loss of sea ice is mostly from greenhouse… read more

Food For The Future

Food For The Future

In 2011, the Environmental Working Group released a report comparing the environmental impacts of various protein sources. The study found that lamb, beef, cheese, pork, and farmed salmon are the worst for the environment in terms of greenhouse gases produced. With the exception of farmed salmon, they also require the most inputs (feed, fuel, water, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc.) and generate the most manure. Turkey, chicken, canned tuna, and eggs also scored highly for greenhouse gas emissions. Where do all these greenhouse gas emissions come from? A lot of this pollution is caused by feed production and the nitrogen dioxide… read more

Free Online Portal Provides Global GHG Data

Free Online Portal Provides Global GHG Data

Making sense of the huge amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data from around the world can be a daunting task, but a new online portal aims to make that information more accessible and easy to use. The Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, or CAIT 2.0, from the World Resources Institute (WRI) has data on the GHG emissions from all 50 US states, as well as 186 other countries, and lets users sort, view, download, or visualize the data sets for further analysis or comparison. “Through its powerful yet simple and easy-to-use online interface, CAIT 2.0 is designed to help users… read more

New Carbon-Free Steel Production Method is Cleaner, Cheaper, More Efficient

SteelPoolAfterElectrolysis

Steel is such an important material in our modern world, but making it also produces quite a bit of greenhouse gases (an estimated 5% of the world’s total GHG emissions), as well as consuming copious amounts of energy. But that may change, as news of a new steel making method developed at MIT hints at cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient steel production in the future. Currently, for each ton of steel produced from iron ore, almost two tons of CO2 emissions are generated, so reducing that figure would be a big step in the right direction. The new method goes… read more

Clean Energy Future?

Are we slowing carbon emissions?

Studies presented late last year highlighted that the United States has been leading the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The notion that the country, and maybe even the world, was well and truly on the path toward a cleaner, efficient energy future, prompted rejoicing in some quarters. Regardless of whether the data presented in these studies is accurate, it is somewhat misleading in a variety of ways. First, even though CO2 emissions from the United States may be lower now than in the past, it is still high. The emission levels were high a few years ago, which is the comparison benchmark, and it… read more

Refrigerator Recycling

refrigerator-recycle

Some important household appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are now considered to be dangerous because they contain coolants that can contaminate almost everything from air to soil. These appliances are gods in the home but they become demons when they are thrown out. Disposal of these appliances is similar to nuclear disposal – which requires care and attention. Recycling these appliances is hard because one has to carefully remove the usable part of the appliance without releasing the harmful substance. Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) and GE has come up with a recycling technology which efficiently recycles these refrigerators…. read more

Fracking Follies

Hydraulic fracturing

As it turns out, the short-term solution to combat rising costs and foreign dependence on energy, along with attempting to limit environmental damage, hydraulic fracturing, i.e. fracking, may be doing the opposite: costing the United States more, and driving up carbon dioxide emissions. It has been debated whether fracking leads to earthquakes, pollution, and disease, among other things, but the scale of the damage may be much larger. While no judgment on fracking based on merit should be made, given the small sample pool of functioning fracking sites, a trend does appear to be emerging suggesting fracking isn’t what was… read more

Clean Coal Conundrum

Carbon sequestration

The term “clean coal” sounds paradoxical, but it is theoretically clean.Well, if “clean” means “not in the air”. Theoretically, coal can be “clean” in two different ways. Carbon sequestration captures the emissions from burning coal before they exit through the smokestack, and stores them deep underground where they can’t escape. The technology isn’t available for carbon sequestration now, and likely won’t be for decades. Further, the process isn’t economically viable, but if it is a component of a clean energy policy, then its progress will accelerate from additional resources. The other way to have clean coal is to use what’s called a “scrubber”, which… read more

No Silver Bullet

No Silver Bullet

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy, CO2 emissions in the United States have dropped to the lowest levels since 1992. The focus of the analysis done by scientists and journalists has been attempting to discern the reasons for the drop. However, this type of analysis is missing a larger point: efforts to combat the rise in CO2 emissions in the U.S. have worked. Granted, identifying which efforts worked and didn’t work is important for repeating the success, but it cannot be ignored that on a macro-scale, it worked. A combined rise in natural gas usage,… read more

Self-Sufficiency

Growing vegetables at home

Modern technology has revolutionized our lifestyles. Many necessities are mass-produced and you can eliminate almost any task by switching on an appliance. But like any great invention technology is a tool that can be used appropriately or abused. A struggle of modern life is to remain self-sufficient. But doing so can help you save money, energy, and better your sense of accomplishment. This doesn’t mean taking drastic measures. Just by sewing a ripped pair of pants you’ve saved time and money by not buying a replacement pair. These are a few suggestions to get you started. When buying fresh produces… read more