2007 Global Temperatures Tied for 2nd Warmest

April 08, 2008 - 01:40:01 PM

"The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the "El Niño of the century". The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its natural El Niño-La Niña cycle."

"The Southern Oscillation and the solar cycle have significant effects on year-to-year global temperature change. Because both of these natural effects were in their cool phases in 2007, the unusual warmth of 2007 is all the more notable. It is apparent that there is no letup in the steep global warming trend of the past 30 years."

"Global warming stopped in 1998," has become a recent mantra of those who wish to deny the reality of human-caused global warming. The continued rapid increase of the five-year running mean temperature exposes this assertion as nonsense. In reality, global temperature jumped two standard deviations above the trend line in 1998 because the "El Niño of the century" coincided with the calendar year, but there has been no lessening of the underlying warming trend."


Source:NASA Surface Temperature Analysis

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Website Aids Reuse of Construction Materials

April 01, 2008 - 02:23:24 PM


PlanetReuse.com claims to be the world's first global website that connects buyers and sellers of reused and reclaimed construction materials and equipment.

The site, launched March 17th, caters to contractors, architects and the homeowner community, allowing users to purchase products online that might otherwise be sent to landfills. Diverting materials from landfills is the driving force behind PlanetReuse.com, according to the company's CEO, Brad Hardin.

"The background for PlanetReuse was that I was amazed how difficult it was finding resources to achieve LEED-MR credits and noticed the need to develop a material reclamation platform that would allow buyers and sellers of reused materials to connect and save more virgin materials from entering the waste stream and further polluting our planet," he said.

Sellers can create free listings with photos on the site for reused, reclaimed and excess building materials. Buyers can search the site for items in their area or other areas of the world.

Via Rona Fried - SustainableBusiness.com

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Majoring in Renewable Energy

April 01, 2008 - 01:36:31 PM


3/26/2008 The New York Times Company

AS business and industry are taking more interest in renewable energy, academia is not far behind. Anticipating increased demand for new technical and design skills, colleges and universities across the nation are offering degree programs in the field.

The Oregon Institute of Technology has developed the country’s first four-year undergraduate degree program in renewable-energy systems. This year the program is training 50 students and will graduate its first class.

The institute’s degree requires basic knowledge in engineering, electrical circuits, motors and generators, thermodynamics, heat transfer and the language of computers. Then come specialized courses in photovoltaics (solar energy research and technology), wind, biomass (the recycling of biological material), hydropower and geothermal energy development.

Robert Bass, 33, the assistant professor who directs the program, said his students would be applying their new bachelor of science degrees in a range of design, engineering, installation, auditing and programming careers in the region’s expanding green-power sector.

“We’re constantly getting phone calls from renewable-energy companies who advertise jobs,” said Dr. Bass, adding that two of his graduating students were already employed full time. “A student graduating from this program has a range of choices about where they want to start their careers. And starting salaries are very good.”  READ MORE »

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Worldlink Foundation to launch multi-year *NOURISH* Initiative in fall of 2008

March 31, 2008 - 10:42:53 PM

Inspiring Learning and Action

What we eat, where we eat, and how we eat reveals much about our relationship to food. Today, more than ever, we need to understand where our food comes from and how it reaches us. The purpose of Nourish is to open a broad public conversation about our food system that encourages citizen engagement, particularly among young people and families.

Nourish PBS Special

Launching in fall 2008, the nationally broadcast, high definition PBS special entitled Nourish explores the abundant possibilities to create a sustainable food system. The special traces our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps.  READ MORE »

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Tiny buckyballs squeeze hydrogen like giant Jupiter

March 21, 2008 - 01:58:34 PM

Carbon cages can hold super-dense volumes of nearly metallic hydrogen

Hydrogen could be a clean, abundant energy source, but it's difficult to store in bulk. In new research, materials scientists at Rice University have made the surprising discovery that tiny carbon capsules called buckyballs are so strong they can hold volumes of hydrogen nearly as dense as those at the center of Jupiter.

The research appears on the March 2008 cover of the American Chemical Society's journal Nano Letters.

"Based on our calculations, it appears that some buckyballs are capable of holding volumes of hydrogen so dense as to be almost metallic," said lead researcher Boris Yakobson, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Rice. "It appears they can hold about 8 percent of their weight in hydrogen at room temperature, which is considerably better than the federal target of 6 percent."

The Department of Energy has devoted more than $1 billion to developing technologies for hydrogen-powered automobiles, including technologies to cost-effectively store hydrogen for use in cars. Hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe, and it is very difficult to store in bulk. For hydrogen cars to be competitive with gasoline-powered cars, they need a comparable range and a reasonably compact fuel system. It's estimated that a hydrogen-powered car with a suitable range will require a storage system with densities greater than those found in pure, liquid hydrogen.  READ MORE »

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Practical, Actionable Innovation Swarms MIT Design Gathering

March 16, 2008 - 11:07:37 PM

August 8, 2007

By —Jerry Beilinson Popular Mechanics Magazine

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Every student in America should visit Amy Smith’s D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though, to be honest, the perfect time to come was probably during the past month, while the first International Development Design Summit (IDDS) was being held. (It ends today.) The lab is cluttered with power tools and bicycle parts, orange plastic buckets, vices, lengths of 2x4 and PVC pipe, a beaten down old blue sofa and a concrete coffee table.

In many ways, it resembles an African machine shop more than the pristine glass-and-steel MIT lab of the imagination. Smith rules here, or rather operates as a smiling, quietly charismatic center of gravity around which projects and smart people revolve. She is an MIT senior lecturer in mechanical engineering who focuses on creating and disseminating cheap, easy-to-fix technology for solving problems in poor, often rural environments: ways to purify and transport water, grind grain, generate power and so on. She’s also a member of Popular Mechanics editorial advisory board.  READ MORE »

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