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Posts Tagged ‘environment

(ENVIRONMENT) READ: Gizmos’ Energy Draw Alarms Experts…

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294955-6-20090919194543.image(Newser Summary) – All around the house, electronic gadgets are blinking, buzzing, computing—and drawing on an immense amount of energy, the New York Times reports. Worldwide, they take up 15% of household power, and will likely consume three times as much by 2029, making it harder to combat global warming. Two hundred and thirty nuclear plants would be needed to fuel that demand, the International Energy Agency says.

Most experts say regulations are needed to limit gadgets’ energy draw, but manufacturers have resisted such mandates. A federal attempt to limit the power draw of TVs—flat-screens are the biggest energy offender—died in the 1990s due to industry opposition. But Congress has done it before, limiting the energy use of appliances like refrigerators and washers. “Standards are one of the few ways to cheaply go after big chunks of energy savings,” one advocate says.

Neal Colgrass

Source: New York Times

Written by dnnnewshound

September 26, 2009 at 10:34 am

Posted in Ecology, Economics

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(ENVIRONMENT) READ: Informant: Italian Mafia Sank Ship Carrying Nuke Waste…

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1268792_45d1_625x625(Newser Summary) – Italian authorities are investigating an informant’s claim that the mafia sank a ship containing nuclear waste off the country’s southwest coast, the BBC reports. Underwater cameras show the ship intact, with barrels nearby marked as containing toxic contents; the informant says that organized crime has gotten into the nuclear waste-disposal business, but rather than go the usual routes, sank the ship, and two others, off the Calabrian coast.


W. McCahill

Source: BBC

Written by dnnnewshound

September 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

(ENVIRONMENT) READ: Is There A Toxic Waste Dump In Your Town?…

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Source: The Huffington Post

www.huffingtonpost.com_Coal Ash_s-COAL-ASH-largeWASHINGTON — (AP) The toxic leftovers from burning coal for power are sitting in nearly 600 sites in 35 states, according to a federal survey released Tuesday.

Spills have occurred at 34 of those sites over the last decade.

Many of the spills were minor compared with the disaster that occurred at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s power plant in Kingston, Tenn., in December. That spill, which flooded hundreds of acres of land, damaged homes and killed fish in nearby rivers, is not included in the data, although it triggered the EPA’s March request of 61 power companies for information on how they manage coal combustion waste.

The survey is the most comprehensive list to date of coal ash storage sites and includes information submitted by 219 facilities.

The EPA said Tuesday that to date it had not received any information or detected any issues at the 584 coal ash storage sites identified that required immediate action.

But environmental groups, which obtained the data last week, said that the number of sites and the danger they pose to surrounding communities shows that coal ash ponds need federal regulation.

Coal ash is a byproduct of burning coal that can include heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. But no federal regulations or standards govern its storage and disposal, although the EPA has long recognized coal ash as a risk to human health and the environment and knows of 67 cases where it is known or suspected of polluting water.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson earlier this year said that the agency would consider federal rules, but it is unclear whether the ash will be controlled like household trash or under the more stringent rules for hazardous waste. READ MORE

Written by dnnnewshound

September 10, 2009 at 9:16 am

(READ): More Wind Power: Not So Simple…

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Source: LiveScience

By 2030 the Department of Energy wants 20 percent of electricity produced in the United States to be generated by wind. Wind currently generates less than 1 percent of the country’s electricity, so the increase will require the number of new wind turbine installations to jump from 2,000 to 7,000 per year, according to the DOE.

Although wind turbines, which typically stand 300 feet tall, are environmentally benign when compared to coal fired power plants, they are much more complex than the simple windmills of the past and face a number of operating problems that scientists are trying to solve. Several papers published recently in physics journals propose solutions to some of the current roadblocks in the path to reaching the 20 percent goal for wind power.

Some of the windiest locations in the nation also happen to be some of the coldest, and early experience with wind farms has revealed that turbine icing is one of the most significant threats facing the efficiency of the turbines.

In the Northern and Midwestern states where the wind blows hard and reliably, temperatures well below freezing are the norm during winter months and ice buildup on the long blades of the turbines can dramatically reduce their efficiency.  Ice accumulation on the blades not only reduces the aerodynamic functions and efficiency of the turbine, but can throw the blades out of balance and force them to stop. Beyond the direct damage to the turbines, the blades shedding large piece of ice as they spin poses significant safety hazards to people and property. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

Posted in Earth, Ecology, Science

Tagged with , ,

WATCH: Drought Map For Aug 2009

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Source: DNN and NIDIS.

DNN is not just a news aggregator we break news too!


According to the NIDIS (National Intregrated Drought Information System) a lot of California is in a Severe drought, at the same time temperatures are lower for July than average.  Also it appears that the drought was worse in January 2009 oddly enough. It doesn’t help that the bread basket of California (The Central San Juaquin Valley) is also having water shortages due to a 2″ fish, and other red tape that makes it extremely difficult to release enough water to the farmers that deserately need it. A good deal of farmers are going out of business because of the lack of water.

The latest maps indicate no relief in the near future, not what the farmers need to hear right now, we’re sure. Although I tend to lean (OK I’m about as far left-wing as they come) But how long do these farmers have to suffer over a 2″ fish? How many jobs do we have to loose in an already horrid job market? The pumps are turned off because the mino fish gets caught up in the pump harming the fish. As much as I’d hate to give any praise to Fox News(I’m gagging here!), they did a half decent job on the problem:  Feel free to comment (Nice comments please! Hate messages and spam will not be permitted on this site)

Written by dnnnewshound

August 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Disasters, Ecology

Tagged with ,

Wikipedia-style website to record every species on Earth

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environmentSource: Guardian.co.uk: A complete list of all the species on the planet is, for many biologists and conservationists, the natural history equivalent of the Holy Grail. So therecently-launched EoL (it stands for ‘Encyclopedia of Life’), which aims to create not just a list, but an individual web-page, for every single one of the world’s plant and animal species, is bound to cause a buzz.

Make no mistake, this will be a truly Herculean task. There may only be about 5,000 species of mammals, 8,000 species of reptiles, and 10,000 or so species of birds. But once we get to groups like flowering plants (about 250,000 species, and that’s not including hybrids), insects (over 1m species described, with perhaps another 5m new ones waiting to be discovered), let alone micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria, it’s easy to see why EoL might seem little optimistic.

So how does EoL work? Well, like its forerunner Wikipedia, EoL is a self-perpetuating encyclopedia, written by and refereed by anyone who wants to contribute. In practice, the contributors are likely to be mainly professional scientists or talented amateur naturalists – in some cases the leading experts on a species or group. Others can add text, images and even video clips to each entry, with the ultimate goal of making information about all the world’s organisms freely available.

Accuracy will be ensured (hopefully, at least) by an expert team of curators, who will weed out any inaccuracies and clarify any confusions. Like Wikipedia, there will be no charge for anyone wishing to access the information, so writers must be willing to share their knowledge with anyone else under a ‘creative commons licence‘. Original sources will also be credited where possible. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Posted in Animals, Technology

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