Adventurer Bruce Parry went in search of fame and fortune – but discovered something more valuable

Marine turned TV sensation Bruce Parry has lived with indigenous tribes people in Africa, South America and South East Asia for his award winning BBC programmes. His latest venture is an independent film, TAWAI – A voice from the forest. He tells BRENDAN MONTAGUE why its message is almost too astonishing to believe.
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Atomic Movies May Help Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient

In recent years, perovskites have taken the solar cell industry by storm. They are cheap, easy to produce and very flexible in their applications. Their efficiency at converting light into electricity has grown faster than that of any other material – from under four percent in 2009 to over 20 percent in 2017 – and some experts believe that perovskites could eventually outperform the most common solar cell material, silicon. But despite their popularity, researchers don’t know why perovskites are so efficient.

Now experiments with a powerful “electron camera” at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that light whirls atoms around in perovskites, potentially explaining the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials and providing clues for making better ones.

ENN: Top Stories

Extreme Coastal Sea Levels More Likely To Occur, New Data, Advanced Modeling Techniques Suggest

Ocean Leadership ~

Including extreme sea levels into coastal impact studies is imperative in helping vulnerable parts of the world effectively protect themselves. (Credit: go_greener_oz/ Flickr)

(Click to enlarge) Including extreme sea levels into coastal impact studies is imperative in helping vulnerable parts of the world effectively protect themselves. (Credit: go_greener_oz/ Flickr)

Improving projections for how much ocean levels may change in the future and what that means for coastal communities has vexed researchers studying sea level rise for years, but a new international study that incorporates extreme events may have just given researchers and coastal planners what they need.

(From Science Daily) — The study, published in Nature Communications uses newly available data and advanced models to improve global predictions when it comes to extreme sea levels. The results suggest that extreme sea levels will likely occur more frequently than previously predicted, particularly in the west coast regions of the U.S. and in large parts of Europe and Australia.

“Storm surges globally lead to considerable loss of life and billions of dollars of damages each year, and yet we still have a limited understanding of the likelihood and associated uncertainties of these extreme events both today and in the future,” said Thomas Wahl, an assistant engineering professor in the University of Central Florida who led the study. He is also a member of UCF’s Sustainable Coastal Systems Cluster.

The study was conducted to make data about extreme events a part of the ongoing research and planning required to help communities prepare now for conditions that may be dramatically different in the not-too-distant future.

Extreme sea levels are typically caused by a combination of high tides, storm surges, and in many cases waves, Wahl said.

When an extreme event collides with continually rising seas, it takes a less intense storm, such as a Category I hurricane, to inflict as much coastal damage as a Category II or III storm would have had when the seas were lower.

Because of the rising sea levels, which research has confirmed has occurred steadily during the past century and is expected to accelerate in the future, extreme events that are now expected to happen, on average, only once every hundred years, could occur every decade or even every year, in many places by 2050, the study said.

Read the full story here: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707133824.htm

The post Extreme Coastal Sea Levels More Likely To Occur, New Data, Advanced Modeling Techniques Suggest appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Western Canada wildfires may spread with more hot, dry weather

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (Reuters) – As Western Canada’s British Columbia battled 220 wildfires scattered across the province on Sunday, officials warned that they expect greater devastation with forecasts of more hot, dry weather over the coming week.


Reuters: Environment

Advanced Modeling Technique Suggests Extreme Coastal Sea Levels More Likely

Improving projections for how much ocean levels may change in the future and what that means for coastal communities has vexed researchers studying sea level rise for years, but a new international study that incorporates extreme events may have just given researchers and coastal planners what they need.

The study, published today in Nature Communications  uses newly available data and advanced models to improve global predictions when it comes to extreme sea levels. The results suggest that extreme sea levels will likely occur more frequently than previously predicted, particularly in the west coast regions of the U.S. and in large parts of Europe and Australia.

ENN: Top Stories

More summer sunshine leading to increased Greenland ice melt

A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has discovered that a marked decrease in summer cloud cover during the last 20 years has significantly accelerated melt from the Greenland ice sheet.

ENN: Top Stories

A People’s Food Policy – grassroot food and farming groups call for a more just food system

As the Brexit negotiations begin, a coalition of grassroots food and farming organisations today launch ‘A People’s Food Policy’ calling for England to develop a more progressive food policy in advance of leaving the EU. Scotland is already in the process of adopting national food policies and is currently developing a ‘Good Food Nation Bill’, while England has yet to make any progress
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Faster-Moving Sea Ice Forces Polar Bears To Use More Energy

Ocean Leadership ~

Polar bear diets are changing as ice melts. (Credit: Shailapic76/Flickr)

(Click to enlarge) Polar bear diets are changing as ice melts. (Credit: Shailapic76/Flickr)

Rapid global warming has sped up the movement of sea ice off Alaska’s coasts, and already at-risk polar bears are paying a price, a new U.S. study says.

(From AP News / by Dan Joling) — Most sea ice moves throughout the year and the iconic white bears are on a perpetual walk to stay within their preferred habitat, said U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist George Durner, lead author of the study.

He compares it to living on a treadmill that has picked up speed because ice is thinner, more brittle and moving faster because of wind and ocean currents.

“Increased sea ice drift rates likely exacerbate the physiological stress due to reduced foraging opportunity already experienced by many polar bears in the warming Arctic, adding yet another ‘straw to the camel’s back,’” Durner said.

Polar bears were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008 amid the alarming loss of summer sea ice in recent decades and climate models indicating the trend would persist. However, the government said the act would not be used to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. polar bear recovery plan says that without action to address climate change — the primary cause of diminishing sea ice — it is unlikely that polar bears could be saved. The plan released in January noted positive signs such as emission goals in the Paris climate agreement.

President Donald Trump, however, withdrew from the international pact last week, arguing that it had disadvantaged the U.S. “to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.

Trump also has called for expanded petroleum development in polar bear habitat, including offshore Alaska waters and parts of areas the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Margaret Williams, Arctic program managing director for the World Wildlife Fund, called withdrawal from the Paris agreement frightening but said private, state and local efforts to reduce carbon emissions and turn to renewable energy are a positive sign.

“There’s still a lot of hope,” she said.

The political moves come as the Geological Survey and University of Wyoming study documented how polar bears use more energy to stay within their home range.

Researchers made a conservative estimate that bears will have to kill one to three more seals a year to compensate for faster-moving ice, a challenge for bears already facing fewer hunting opportunities.

Durner compared their plight to people living in a town hit by both inflation and rising unemployment.

“For the polar bear, the Arctic is becoming more expensive to live in,” he said.

Polar bears can go for extended periods without eating but then gorge on ringed and bearded seals. Ringed seals give birth on sea ice in spring and early summer, and polar bears sniff out their lairs.

To read the full article, click here: https://apnews.com/e13e7f08146e4640b179ef71141efaa5/Faster-moving-sea-ice-forces-polar-bears-to-use-more-energy

 

The post Faster-Moving Sea Ice Forces Polar Bears To Use More Energy appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Canada oil sands need more emissions measures: official panel

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada’s oil sands need more emissions-cutting measures and monitoring, an official panel said on Friday in recommendations that could potentially raise costs in a high-cost region that international players have increasingly abandoned.


Reuters: Environment

Electric car subsidies may do more harm than good

Globally, from China and Germany to the United States, electric vehicle (EV) subsidies have been championed as an effective strategy to boost production of renewable technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

But a new study by Concordia economics professor Ian Irvine shows that subsidizing EVs in the North American context will not reduce GHG emissions in the short-term, and may even increase them — at a cost to taxpayers.

ENN: Top Stories