The Global Carbon Project posted the most recent figures for the worlds’ carbon budget, a key to understanding the balance of carbon added to the atmosphere, the underpinning of human induced climate change. Despite the increasing international sense of urgency, the growth rate of emissions continued to speed up, bringing the atmospheric CO2 concentration to 383 parts per million (ppm) in 2007.
Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing about four times faster since 2000 than during the previous decade, despite efforts to curb emissions in a number of Kyoto Protocol signatory countries. Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change reached 10 billion tones of carbon in 2007. Natural CO2 sinks are growing but slower than the atmospheric CO2 growth, which has been increasing at 2 ppm since 2000 or 33% faster than the previous 20 years.Dr. Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project said "This new update of the carbon budget shows the acceleration of both CO2 emissions and atmospheric accumulation are unprecedented and most astonishing during a decade of intense international developments to address climate change.”
Emissions growth for 2000-2007 was above even the most fossil fuel intensive scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (SRES-IPCC). While the developing nations of China and India continue to increase emissions, China has improved the carbon intensity of their economy since 2005, based on data from the National Energy Administration in China.
Decreasing forest cover, almost exclusively from deforestation in tropical countries, was responsible for an estimated 1.5 billion tons of emissions to the atmosphere above what was gained through new plantings. Although the oceans carbon uptake was expected to rise with the higher atmospheric concentration of CO2, in 2007 it was reduced by a net 10 million tons.
Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks, which have removed 54% (or 4.8 billion tons per year) of all CO2 emitted from human activities during the period 2000-2007, are now becoming less efficient. While the size of these sinks continues to grow in response to greater concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, they are losing efficiency as feedbacks between the carbon cycle and climate increase.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
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