About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide released from deforestation and burning fossil fuel stays in the atmosphere. Another 30 percent is taken up in the oceans. It was thought that the remaining 30 percent of anthropogenic carbon was absorbed by plants on land, but subsequent measurements didn't bear that out, leading to the question of…
Sydney has become the world's first city to feature E Ink-based traffic signs. The signs display information to motorists during special events like football matches or concerts, and promise improved reliability over standard electronic roadsigns.
While cheap, kerosene lamps are bad for the environment and human health. Intended as an alternative in areas with access to electricity, the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp burns for eight hours at a time running on only a glass of water and two teaspoons of salt.
Though our planet is home to one hundred and ninety independent nations, the UN Climate Conferencein Paris this December reminds us that all countries share a single, collective future. Indeed, in order to keep the global temperature rise from rising more than 2 ° C., all nations will have to agree on climate action. Therefore, the participation and commitment of all 190 countries meeting in Paris is vital for the new climate plan—which replaces the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2020—to achieve a low carbon future.
Although all 190 countries have a hand in the fight against climate change and need to work together at the conference, the challenges that each country faces and their individual emissions are far from the same. In this post, we home in on the top ten most emitting countries, detailing their corresponding emissions profiles and their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for post-2020. An INDC is a public statement in which countries outline their intended emission goals to be set at the UN Climate Conference. A tool produced by World Resources Institute (WRI) has mapped the submissions of each country.
As robots increasingly replace human labor, humans will need incomes to replace wages from work. That is why the idea of an unconditional basic income, long advocated by free-market and socialist thinkers alike, is a measure whose time has come.
Corporate leaders' influence reaches beyond the walls of their businesses. Discover how BP's John Browne and Shell's Mark Moody-Stuart influenced politics in oil-producing countries and how Browne and Apple's Tim Cook weighed in on LGBT issues.
Tony Atkinson's new book points the way forward. British economist Tony Atkinson has been studying inequality — the gap in income and wealth between the top and the bottom — for nearly half a century. Now that the dogma of trickle-down has been exposed as myth, he sees economists, policy-makers and the public finally waking up to the seriousness of the problem.
Severe drought can affect a forest's growth for up to four years, a period during which it is less effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere, a new studyreports in the journal Science. Standard climate models have assumed that forests and other vegetation bounce back quickly from extreme drought, but that assumption is far off the mark, the researchers say. Looking at data from more than 1,300 forest sites dating back to 1948, they found that living trees took an average of two to four years to recover and resume normal growth rates after droughts ended. Frequent droughts in places like the western U.S. could significantly impact the ability of forests to sequester carbon, the study found. Researchers aren't sure how drought causes these long-lasting changes, but they say there are likely three causes: Loss of foliage and carbohydrate reserves may impair growth; pests and diseases may accumulate in drought-stressed trees; and lasting damage to vascular tissues could impair water transport.
Google has teamed up with Aclima to incorporate the company's environmental sensors into the search giant's Street View cars. Initially tested on three vehicles in the Denver metro area, the partnership should lead to a better understanding of overall air quality in urban environments.
In January 2011, the United States was still in the grips of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate sat at a stubborn 9 percent, slightly lower than the high of 10 percent in October 2009. Job losses were staggering. The Chicago and Phoenix metro areas shed 330,000 and 240,000 jobs, respectively, from their pre-recession peak to their post-recession troughs in 2010. Even midsized Portland, Ore. had lost 80,000 jobs by late 20099.
Urban residents around the world have different daily routines, but they share something in common that often goes unappreciated. Let’s take the example of how a city dweller in China spends an average day:
8 hours of work activities
30 minutes of study or training, at home or school
1.5 hours eating meals, at home, work, or a restaurant
4 hours watching TV or pursuing other leisure activities, mostly at home
10 hours of sleep or other personal activities, at home
What is common to all these daily activities? The answer: buildings.
Buildings are not only the largest physical element in cities, occupying 50 percent or more of urban land area, but are also where people spend most of their time, as the average person in a developed country spends up to 90 percent of his or her life in buildings. However, buildings are often ignored as public service providers, despite their prevalence in urban life. As a result, investments in buildings often lag, leaving significant potential untapped for improving productivity, health, and comfort. It’s time for leaders from both the public and private sectors to pay attention to buildings as a way of improving how their cities perform.
Seattle is set to improve upon its successful street parking program by setting meter rates based on demand.
The Seattle Department of Transportation keeps a close watch on curbside parking, reports Stephen Fesler at The Urbanist, with regular audits and adjustments to rates and hours for close to 12,000 spaces. SDOT’s goal is to reduce congestion, noise, and pollution by helping motorists find parking more easily. Increasing turnover also helps businesses by improving access.
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