Archives for November, 2013

The Barents Sea, an Arctic shelf area north of Norway and Russia, is among the world’s richest fishing grounds, and its fish population is changing as the waters warm. Interest from the oil industry is increasing as well, setting up potential conflicts between oil exploration and fisheries. (See related interactive map: The Changing Arctic. The…

A new study challenges our understanding of natural gas as a clean fuel, and raises new questions about the U.S. energy boom. Sure, natural gas (or methane, its main component) burns with less pollution than coal, but release it directly to the atmosphere and it is a highly potent greenhouse gas–at least 25 times worse…

It’s a slow turn, but the Obama administration seems to be steering the wind power industry toward killing fewer birds. The latest sign: For the first time, a wind power company is paying for neglecting to do what it could to protect birds, including golden eagles. (See related blog post: “Federal Study Highlights Spike in Eagle…

At climate change talks in Warsaw this week, just as in the previous 18 annual rounds of negotiations, delegates never were able to overcome the divide between rich and poor nations. We map the starkly different views of the climate crisis that have led to stalemate in our newly revised interactive, Four Ways to Look…

Conventional wisdom says that if you put solar panels on your roof in the Northern Hemisphere, you should point them within 30 degrees of true south to generate the most energy in the course of a year. But a new study by Pecan Street Research Institute, an Austin, Texas-based research and development organization, suggests that…

In the poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost asserted that “good fences make good neighbors.”  World history is replete with foreign policy built around physical walls, from Emperor Hadrian, to the Great Wall of China, to the Berlin Wall, the wall between Palestine and Israeli, to the U.S.-Mexico border.  Containment and isolation have often been the…

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Two years ago, the band Linkin Park kicked off an initiative called Power the World with the goal of bringing clean energy to one million people. It started in partnership with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All program, which aims to achieve universal energy access by 2030. (See related post: “Linkin Park’s Bid to…

For the first time in the history of its program to promote biofuel as a replacement for petroleum-based fuels, the U.S. government proposed Friday to reduce the amount of ethanol that is required to be added to the nation’s gasoline supply. The move by the world’s No. 1 producer and consumer of biofuel reflects profound…

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

In last night’s episode of the NBC post-apocalyptic drama, Revolution, each of the characters faced the consequences of the risky alliances they made in their struggle to survive in a world without electricity. That world—complete with water-borne disease, warlords, and refugee camps—is a reality for many of the 1.2 billion people who live each day…

Our recent story on a net-zero town hall in Upstate New York prompted a question about what impact snow might have on the solar panels that are installed, at a slight angle, on the building’s flat roof. This is a darn good question – and it turns out the scientists at Michigan Technological University’s Keweenaw Research Center…