Posted on July 17, 2018 - 11:25am
Strategies to deal with climate change have focused largely on reducing emissions of CO2 and other planet-warming compounds from industry, transportation and agriculture. The news isn’t particularly heartening on that front. After three years of leveling off, CO2 levels are expected to rise by two percent by the end of 2017, due largely to increased coal-burning in China.
Posted on November 30, 2017 - 4:24pm
On February 12, 2017, nearly 200,000 Californians got the order to flee for their lives.
A new study led by UC Berkeley Lab researcher Trevor Keenan suggests that increased plant growth is slowing the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a finding that could help explain the mystery of why the uptick in CO2 concentrations has leveled off since 2002, even as emissions have increased. “We believed one of the planet’s main carbon sinks had unexpectedly strengthened,” Keenan explained in a Lab press release. “The question was: which one?”
In the mid-2000s, William Fisk, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, stumbled upon two obscure Hungarian studies that challenged common assumptions about the air indoors. The studies suggested that, even at relatively low levels, carbon dioxide could impair how well people thought and worked.
Turning an undesirable substance into something valuable seems like the plot of an old fable, but UC Berkeley researchers Chris Chang and Omar Yaghi may have done just that. Their invention, covalent organic frameworks, or COFs, can transform atmospheric carbon dioxide into a useful building block for biodegradable plastics, fuel, and more.
Chang likens COFs to TinkerToys, though at a nano scale. They consist of strings of carbon crystals that are special in their unique porosity, as they can be custom tailored to capture the chemical of choice.
A recent article in Mother Jones magazine calculates the impact of the illicit marijuana trade on global warming, and arrives at some pretty grim conclusions. U.S. dope production and distribution, the piece notes, emit as much atmospheric carbon as 3 million cars. In California, indoor grows suck up 9 percent of household electricity; outdoor plots consume more water than does the city of San Francisco.
Posted on April 3, 2014 - 2:50pm