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Sustain Our Earth
News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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US icebreaker heads to Antarctic to help stuck ships

US icebreaker heads to Antarctic to help stuck ships | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Sydney (AFP) Jan 05, 2014 - A US icebreaker was dispatched Sunday to assist an icebound Russian research ship and Chinese vessel trapped during a rescue bid in Antarctica, as the leader of a group airlifted to safety rejected criticism of their...
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Senegal to fine Russian ship for 'fishing illegally'

Senegal to fine Russian ship for 'fishing illegally' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Dakar (AFP) Jan 05, 2014 - Senegal plans to slap a fine of about 600,000 euros on a Russian ship for repeatedly fishing illegally in its waters, its fisheries minister said Sunday.
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Population stability 'hope' in species' response to climate change

Population stability 'hope' in species' response to climate change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
York UK (SPX) Jan 06, 2014 -
Stable population trends are a prerequisite for species' range expansion, according to new research led by scientists at the University of York.
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New study may aid rearing of stink bugs for biological control

New study may aid rearing of stink bugs for biological control | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Annapolis, MD (SPX) Jan 06, 2014 -
Many people think of stink bugs as pests, especially as the brown marmorated stink bugs spreads throughout the U.S.
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Carbon trading is booming in North America, no thanks to U.S. or Canadian governments

Carbon trading is booming in North America, no thanks to U.S. or Canadian governments | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
California and Quebec are now the most expensive places in the world in which to pump carbon dioxide into the air.
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Donald Trump’s Hair, The End Of Global Warming And Other Things That Aren’t Real

Donald Trump’s Hair, The End Of Global Warming And Other Things That Aren’t Real | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Time predicts 2014 could be the hottest year ever, while the recent cold trend in the U.S. becomes fodder for the flat-earthers.
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Bracing for Carp in Great Lakes, but Debating Their Presence

Bracing for Carp in Great Lakes, but Debating Their Presence | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Asian carp, or carp DNA at least, may have arrived in the Great Lakes, and either way, the Army Corps of Engineers will issue a study proposing ways to keep the invasive species out.
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Living on Earth: The Birth of the Clean Water Act

Living on Earth: The Birth of the Clean Water Act | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Over forty years ago, when rivers caught fire and fish washed up dead by the thousands, Americans came together to demand “swimmable” “fishable” waterways for all.
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FDA’s new policy on animal antibiotic use draws scrutiny from farmers advocates and industry

FDA’s new policy on animal antibiotic use draws scrutiny from farmers advocates and industry - Alabama poultry and cattle farmers are uncertain how new federal guidelines meant to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock will affect their operatio...
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Prices to rise across China in bid to conserve water | Shanghai Daily

Prices to rise across China in bid to conserve water | Shanghai Daily | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
China plans to apply progressive water tariffs on all urban residents by the end of 2015 with top rates at least triple base prices in the latest move to encourage conservation.The pricing system, already...
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Vanished into thin air - Frontpage - CHINA - Globaltimes.cn

Vanished into thin air - Frontpage - CHINA - Globaltimes.cn | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

In response to demands from Beijing for reduced air pollution, the Hebei government in October launched "Operation Sunday" where teams of provincial officials attached explosives to private steel plant boilers and blew them up all over Tangshan. 

After that, the old steel workers left the Tangshan area in search of new jobs. 

On top of lost factories and lost jobs is lost money: some villagers lent their savings to steel mill owners. 

As China and Beijing finally faces up to air pollution so hazardous it makes headlines across the world, it is the humbler regions surrounding the capital city that are paying the price by cutting their own heavy industry.

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Battle over GMO labeling rumbling in US

Battle over GMO labeling rumbling in US | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
New York — A GMO labeling battle is rumbling in the United States, with those demanding full disclosure of genetically modified organisms in food products pitted against big companies.
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A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
When a bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced, doubts nagged at Greggor Ilagan, a councilman, about what the risks were, if any, of the crops.
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Cardinal, bishops plea for aid in Italy 'Triangle of Death'

Cardinal, bishops plea for aid in Italy 'Triangle of Death' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Rome (AFP) Jan 04, 2014 - A cardinal and bishops in Italy's so-called Triangle of Death have called for urgent action to tackle toxic mafia dumps blamed for rising cancer rates near Naples.
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Ground-breaking work sheds new light on volcanic activity

Ground-breaking work sheds new light on volcanic activity | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Bristol UK (SPX) Jan 06, 2014 -
Factors determining the frequency and magnitude of volcanic phenomena have been uncovered by an international team of researchers.
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Scientists explain age-related obesity: Brown fat fails

Scientists explain age-related obesity: Brown fat fails | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 06, 2014 - As most people resolve themselves to lose weight this New Year, here's why it seems to get easier and easier to pack on unwanted pounds: New research published in the January 2014 issue of The FASEB...
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Chill Out. I Got This.

Chill Out. I Got This. | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
What climate wonks think about on their sundays off. Greg Laden writes: "In this picture, notice that it is not the case that super cold arctic air has expanded to engulf us in the  middle of the U...
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Climate Change Will Starve The Deep Sea, Study Finds

Climate Change Will Starve The Deep Sea, Study Finds | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

An international team of scientists from the UK, Australia, Canada and France have, for the first time, quantified the decline in seafloor life predicted by some of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) climate models.

 

It’s a vast, frigid abyss, where light rarely penetrates, and oxygen is in short supply. It’s very otherworldliness has helped it seep into cultural awareness through science fiction an horror stories, but for most people the deep sea barely seems like a real place, let alone an important one.

 

That’s why the news this week that climate change is expected to lead to staggering losses in deep-sea life, may not have seemed nearly as relevant as the traffic report or weather forecast.


Whether or not it’s public knowledge, however, the deep sea is home to thousands of commercially important species and is one of the last frontiers for new species discovery. The creatures of the deep are also key to the cycling of nitrogen, carbon and silicon in the ocean, a process that maintains the delicate balance of ocean life.

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Little known seismic zone could spell trouble for Upper South

Little known seismic zone could spell trouble for Upper South | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Studies say a large earthquake of magnitude-6.0 or higher could occur around Missouri in the next 50 years
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Historic smoking report marks 50th anniversary

Historic smoking report marks 50th anniversary | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
ATLANTA — Fifty years ago, ashtrays seemed to be on every table and desk. Athletes and even Fred Flintstone endorsed cigarettes in TV commercials. Smoke hung in the air in restaurants, offices and airplane cabins.
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Scientists focus on harbor seals as 'samplers of the environment'

Scientists focus on harbor seals as 'samplers of the environment' | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Holiday snapshots are not the only pictures the charismatic ocean dwellers have to offer. Scientists are increasingly finding ocean mammals are valuable sources of information about diseases and toxins found in coastal waters.
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GreenSpace: Major U.S. polluters? Wood-burning stoves

GreenSpace: Major U.S. polluters? Wood-burning stoves | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A fire in the fireplace or woodstove can help you almost forget winter.
Just don't expect Joseph Otis Minott to enjoy it with you. The executive director of the Clean Air Council, based in Philadelphia, doesn't think of the words toasty and cozy  when he thinks of fires.

 

He thinks of air pollution.


Like burning leaves - the ones that fall from trees in au- tumn and the ones we grow as tobacco - burning wood emits many harmful compounds, in- cluding the carcinogen benzene.

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Fears mount over fracking waste destination

Fears mount over fracking waste destination | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The Ohio River could soon be a thoroughfare for fracking waste, worrying residents in the Cincinnati region.

 

At the request of oil and gas firms, the U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates shipments on federally supervised waterways, including the Ohio River, has proposed allowing companies to ship wastewater created when extracting natural gas. A barge can carry up to 75 truckloads of waste, Coast Guard officials say.

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Debate Rages: What’s in Our Food?

Debate Rages: What’s in Our Food? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
NAMPA • An announcement last week that a cereal nearly all parents feed their young children is going GMO-free is sure to spoon up more rhetoric in an ongoing debate
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New generator creates electricity directly from heat

New generator creates electricity directly from heat | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new type of thermionic generator that turns heat or light into electrical energy has been developed by researchers in Germany and the US. The new design overcomes the "space-charge problem" that has plagued previous attempts at developing practical devices. The device is about four times more efficient than previous generators and the new technology could find use in a range of applications including solar power and the harvesting of waste heat.

 

Thermionic generators convert heat or light into an electric current by using the temperature difference between two metallic plates that are separated by a vacuum. The "hot" plate is heated either by incident light or thermal conduction and this causes electrons to evaporate from its surface. These electrons then condense on the surface of the cold plate. This creates a charge difference between the two plates, which can drive a usable electric current.

 

Because they convert heat or light directly into electrical energy, thermionic generators have considerable potential for practical applications. If used in coal-fired power stations, for example, thermionic converters would, in principle, be more efficient than steam turbines. Thermionic generators could also be applied to a variety of lower-temperature applications, such as the collection of solar energy or the recycling of waste heat in car engines.

 

Neil Fox of the University of Bristol in the UK points out that the new generator has similarities to a planar triode design tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1950s. This previous design had suffered from energy loses caused by electron–electron collisions and scattering. "[Mannhart and colleagues] have come up with a rather neat vertical triode structure that seeks to improve on the MIT device, by incorporating beam collimating concepts similar to those used in particle accelerators," explains Fox. "The data presented...show that this magnetic triode is a significant improvement over a closed-spaced diode, but suggests that electron–electron collisions and scattering losses to the gate are still present."

 

The team is now working to increase the efficiency of its generator design in two ways. First, it is building high-performance converters from existing semiconductor technologies. Second, it is optimizing its electrodes through the use of new materials, especially oxides, and nanotechnology.

 

The work is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Jamie Morgan MIET BMEI
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