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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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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