Evidence from an 800,000-year Antarctic ice core record shows unprecedented atmospheric change due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Dr Eric Wolff from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), leader of the science team for the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) says,
“Ice cores reveal the Earth’s natural climate rhythm over the last 800,000 years. When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change. Over the last 200 years human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range and we have no analogue for what will happen next.”
Although large increases in carbon dioxide may be alleviated by natural sinks in the ocean and on land, a critical issue is how these sinks will behave in the future. For the last 15 years international scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have used research into carbon cycle by Dr Corrinne Le Quéré of UEA and BAS. She says,
‘Our land and oceans may well become less efficient carbon sinks as concentrations increase. We cannot rely on them to solve the problem.’
Scientific knowledge, especially about climate change, is essential for a sustainable economy. In the UK the built environment accounts for around 50% of energy consumption, with housing alone contributing around 27% of UK carbon dioxide emissions.
Professor Peter Smith, University of Nottingham and author of ‘Architecture in a Climate of Change’, offers creative solutions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. He says,
“There is an urgent need to find innovative technologies to reduce the impact we are having on our climate. If we are committed to a low carbon economy the UK needs a vigorous twin track programme of demand reduction and renewable energy technology. Governments may have only 10 years in which to determine the destiny of our planet – giving only five years in which to develop feasibility and design studies. I am disappointed that the recent UK Energy Review totally fails to appreciate the urgency of the situation.”
Linda Capper | alfa
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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