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Escalating worldwide fuel prices and environmental concerns are helping to dramatically increase the demand for clean alternatives. It has become a global imperative that we break our addiction to oil. Providing for the ever increasing energy needs of the planet is going to take a wide range of alternate energy sources and green technologies are finally beginning to establish themselves in the energy mix.....a sector expected to grow tenfold within several years. The future is bright for renewable energy sources and a more sustainable world.

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Climate change could affect groundwater recharge, scientists say

04 09 07 - 09:10


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Climate change could affect groundwater recharge, scientists say


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Washington - Elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere could seriously impact air, weather and vegetation. Now scientists are taking a closer look at what could happen underground.

If atmospheric CO2 levels double within this century, as many climate models predict, some areas could experience large increases in the rate of groundwater recharge, the process by which water filters through the soil and enters aquifers. That's the conclusion of a recent study conducted by scientist Tim Green, a hydrologist in Agricultural Systems Research Unit at Fort Collins, Colo. Climate change could affect groundwater recharge, scientists say



Washington - Elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere could seriously impact air, weather and vegetation. Now scientists are taking a closer look at what could happen underground.

If atmospheric CO2 levels double within this century, as many climate models predict, some areas could experience large increases in the rate of groundwater recharge, the process by which water filters through the soil and enters aquifers. That's the conclusion of a recent study conducted by scientist Tim Green, a hydrologist in Agricultural Systems Research Unit at Fort Collins, Colo.

Green worked with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to investigate how climate change impacts groundwater and the vadose zone, the region between soil surface and water table.

The rate at which water filters through the vadose zone is controlled by interactions between soil, water and plant systems. Green and his colleagues found that this rate was increased by the changes in precipitation and temperature that elevated CO2 levels are expected to bring about.

The scientists developed a method for simulating the effects of elevated CO2 levels on plants, groundwater and the vadose zone. Then they applied it to two locations in Australia--one subtropical, one Mediterranean--where eucalyptus, pine and native perennial Australian grasses grow. They found that the Mediterranean location responded more to temperature changes, whereas the subtropical climate was more influenced by the frequency and volume of precipitation.

In both locations, changes caused to soil, precipitation and plant transpiration by simulated climates with twice the existing CO2 led to significant changes to the rate of groundwater recharge. Water recharged from 34 percent slower to 119 percent faster in the Mediterranean climate, and from 74 to 500 percent faster for the subtropical climate.

While the opportunity for decreased recharge rates exists, the general trend is towards increase. Future research will investigate whether those changes would benefit or harm those ecosystems.

A paper on this research was published in the August issue of the Vadose Zone Journal.

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UN Chief urges governments to develop biofuel programs

Wednesday 14 November 2007 at 10:36 am


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UN Chief urges governments to develop biofuel programs



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New York - Speaking from Brazil, UN Chief Ban ki-Moon on Monday urged governments to take charge and develop more biofuel programs, while cautioning that a balance must be achieved between the costs and benefits of developing them as energy sources.

Speaking to journalists in Ribeirão Preto after visiting an ethanol plant there yesterday, Ban said he was aware of the controversy surrounding the biofuels movement.

"Some fear that land currently used to grow food will instead be turned over to fuel," he said. "Others worry that forests will be cut down to make way for biomass plantations. Still more worry about the effects on the environment and biodiversity." more

Most people willing to make sacrifices for climate

Wednesday 07 November 2007 at 5:22 pm


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Most people willing to make sacrifices for climate



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Houston - Most people throughout the world are willing to make sacrifices to improve our climate. But just how much people will sacrifice to fight global warming is still unknown, though a poll shows most people will go along with taxation if the money is spent to improve the environment through better technology. more

Could balance in design influence green building?

Wednesday 07 November 2007 at 5:00 pm


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Could balance in design influence green building?




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Washington - You might not think an ex-VP of Commercial Real Estate Appraisal at Chase Manhattan Bank would know much about green building, but you could be wrong. Carol Cannon says she's found the "missing link in green construction" - Sacred Design.

Many green construction projects have become so technically-focused that they've missed an essential element of the process, says Cannon - Sacred Design. more

Marshalltown Coal Plant Proposal under Fire - National Experts Testify in Opposition

Friday 02 November 2007 at 09:46 am


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Marshalltown Coal Plant Proposal under Fire - National Experts Testify in Opposition


Dr. James Hansen to return home to testify against coal, global warming



Today the Cedar Rapids-based public interest environmental law center Plains Justice submitted testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board opposing the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, on behalf of a coalition of Iowa organizations. The joint intervenors oppose the plant's global warming pollution and air and water quality damage. Before the plant can be built, the Iowa Utilities Board must determine whether Alliant Energy's proposal meets the criteria for what is commonly referred to as a 'Certificate of Need'. more

Sanyo debuts rechargable battery for hybrid vehicles

Wednesday 31 October 2007 at 08:59 am


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Sanyo debuts rechargable battery for hybrid vehicles




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By Randy Chen




Hong Kong - Sanyo Electric Co Ltd has unveiled a rechargable battery for hybrid vehicles today at the Tokyo Auto Show in Tokyo, Japan which opened to the public last week. Sanyo displayed both its Li-ion rechargeable battery module for hybrid vehicles and a Li-ion rechargeable battery cell for plug-in hybrid vehicles. more

Some cities try going green with blackouts

Sunday 21 October 2007 at 4:16 pm


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Some cities try going green with blackouts




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By Ben Arnoldy





San Francisco - It's lights out come 8 p.m. Saturday for the TransAmerica pyramid, the Golden Gate Bridge, and businesses and dwellings across San Francisco.

Citizens plan to shut off nonessential lighting for an hour in the name of conservation - and community. Restaurants will serve dinner by candlelight, astronomy buffs will be out with their scopes, and musicians will rock out on power from a biodiesel bus.

If participants are expecting a total blackout or a quick fix for global warming, they might have to settle instead for a free energy-efficient light bulb and an event T-shirt that reads: "Good things happen in the dark." more

Colleges compete in battle of the rays

Thursday 18 October 2007 at 04:55 am


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Colleges compete in battle of the rays




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By Justin Thompson





Washington - Solar panels, fingerprint scanners, rain screens, microcapsules of paraffin that change from solid to liquid to save energy and a touch-screen circuitry interface are not typical amenities of a college house.

Then again, the 20 modern homes sandwiched on the National Mall are anything but typical - except maybe for that bright orange hot tub. more

Re-inventing the 3 wheel

Saturday 13 October 2007 at 02:24 am


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Re-inventing the (3) wheel




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By Jon Newton



Vancouver Island, BC - Not long before I moved to Canada from England in 1979, I got around town in a Bond Bug. It was a two-seat, three-wheeler built by Reliant and had an alarming tendency to threaten to lift off if you went beyond 70 miles an hour.

Sporting a, "wedge-shaped microcar, with a lift-up canopy, instead of conventional doors," says the Wikipedia. "It was originally designed for Reliant and used a modified version of the Reliant Regal chassis, but was sold under the Bond Cars Ltd name after Reliant acquired them. The engine was front mounted and was the 700 cc Reliant four cylinder unit." more

Bulb brilliance at Wal-Mart as CFLs go mainstream

Monday 08 October 2007 at 2:23 pm


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Bulb brilliance at Wal-Mart as CFLs go mainstream




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By Gregory M. Lamb



While governments in Australia and Britain are mandating a changeover to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), the United States appears to be doing it free-market style. Wal-Mart just announced it will sell its own low-cost house brand of CFL lights, while also trumpeting that it had already reached its goal of selling 100 million of the swirly, energy-efficient bulbs this year.

But that's just the beginning: From laundry detergent to DVDs, toothpaste to vacuum cleaners, the world's biggest retailer seems committed to "going green" product by product. In the process, it's beginning to reverse some of the bad publicity it has received over selling cheap goods from China and allegations of labor abuses. more

Experts disagree on how green China's Olympics will be

Thursday 04 October 2007 at 03:56 am


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Experts disagree on how green China's Olympics will be more

 

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