Friday, December 31, 2010

'250 billion' plastic fragments in Mediterranean

Some 250 billion microscopic pieces of plastic are floating in the Mediterranean, creating a biological hazard that reverberates up the food chain, according to research supported by green campaigners.
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Five new data layers to National GIS in Bahrain

Five new spatial data layers have been added to the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, according to Dr. Khalid Al—Haidan, Director of GIS and member of the National GIS Steering Committee, Bahrain. These layers are special data layers of digital elevations in the Kingdom, health information layer, demographic statistics layers, communications layer and Kingdom geoids layer.
read here

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bolivia slams widely praised climate plan

 Global climate talks made progress late toward a deal to slow global warming despite bitter objections by Bolivia to a widely praised proposal to break a deadlock between rich and poor.
More than 100 environment ministers were expected to work through the night to try to end a row between developing countries and Russia, Canada and Japan, which do not want to extend the Kyoto Protocol that curbs emissions in rich countries until 2012.Many developing nations as well as the European Union, Australia and the United States praised a draft drawn up by host country Mexico in the beach resort of Cancun on the final day of two-week talks. The proposed document refers to "a second commitment period" for Kyoto.
read here 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A High-Yield Biomass Alternative to Petroleum for Industrial Chemicals

 A team of University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineers report in November 25 issue of Science that they have developed a way to produce high-volume chemical feedstocks including benzene, toluene, xylenes and olefins from pyrolytic bio-oils, the cheapest liquid fuels available today derived from biomass. The new process could reduce or eliminate industry's reliance on fossil fuels to make industrial chemicals worth an estimated $400 billion annually.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mexico eyes climate funds for locally run forests

Local landowners collectively running a small lumber yard in the pine forests of central Mexico say they are making profits from logging and cutting carbon emissions at the same time.
Eleven communities share one sawmill in the town of Agua Bendita, processing planks for furniture and construction and earning enough to convince them that saving the forest is better than clear-cutting for agriculture.
Global warming, pollution and the future of forests will dominate the agenda when Mexico hosts nearly 200 nations in Cancun from November 29 to December 10 to try to put U.N. climate talks back on track after inconclusive discussions last year.
The cutting and burning of deforestation makes up about 10 percent of human greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say are causing rising sea levels and extreme weather.
Rich nations are pledging money to a U.N.-backed forest protection scheme to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation -- REDD -- that could lead to a global trade in carbon credits worth $30 billion a year.
Selectively logged and managed forests capture more carbon on average than national parks, said a study released this week by Rights and Resources Initiative and the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry, two groups that support forest collectives.
New trees cultivated after controlled cutting capture more carbon than purely old-growth forests, the study said.
Mexico has several issues that complicate the efforts.
Unlike the rest of the world, where governments largely own forested land, nearly three-quarters of Mexico's wilderness is divided into plots of group-owned property, a legacy of land reforms after the Mexican revolution in the early 1900s.
For now, most Mexicans living off the forest struggle to make ends meet. Because of the slow pace of international talks, it will be a long time until REDD-related aid flows to cooperatives like Agua Bendita, or "holy water."
"Deforestation is an economic decision. The property owner wants to change the land use precisely because the forest does not give him enough income," said Juan Torres, the head of Mexico's national forest commission.
The government has a program in 5.7 million acres (2.3 million hectares) across the country to pay a small stipend in exchange for forest protection.

Monday, November 8, 2010

German protesters mobilise against nuclear waste train

German police scuffled with protesters as tens of thousands of people gathered in Dannenberg, northern Germany, vowing to block a nuclear waste convoy arriving from France.
read here 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Completion date for UAE renewable energy city pushed back

The completion date for Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, set to be the first in the world powered solely by renewable energy, has been pushed back until between 2020 and 2025.
read here 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

First residents move into UAE's 'renewable city'

Abu Dhabi's planned Masdar City, which is to be the world's first powered solely by renewable energy, now has its first residents -- students at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
full story here

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jordan, Palestinians pull out of cycling tour with Israel

Jordanians and Palestinians have pulled out of a cycling tour with Israelis to promote environmental awareness a week after Jordan's Islamist-dominated trade unions urged a boycott.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Turkey Signed an Accord to Tackle Sand Storms

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Turkey have inked an accord in Tehran aimed at tackling the problem of sand storms within the next five years, local media reported.
read here 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taiwan turns plastic junk to 'green' gold

The mountains of used plastic bottles at a recycling station in Taipei emit a faint smell of garbage dump, but soon they will be turned into wigs and clothes that people will wear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ancient Microbes Responsible for Breathing Life Into Ocean 'Deserts'

More than two and a half billion years ago, Earth differed greatly from our modern environment, specifically in respect to the composition of gases in the atmosphere and the nature of the life forms inhabiting its surface. While today's atmosphere consists of about 21 percent oxygen, the ancient atmosphere contained almost no oxygen. Life was limited to unicellular organisms. The complex eukaryotic life we are familiar with -- animals, including humans -- was not possible in an environment devoid of oxygen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monsoons: Magic or Mayhem

Since time immemorial, rains have fascinated mankind. Monsoon has been a deliverer for farmers across the sub continent. Monsoon clouds have decided the weather patterns in the sub continent. Poets and bards have extolled the colour and magic she spins. After a parched and treacherous Indian summer, the animal kingdom too loves it.

Yet as global warming stares at us ominously, mankind is just about beginning to see her ferocious mood. The Pak floods, the sudden cloudburst in Ladakh, the landslides in China all hark to one reality: the earth is getting hotter and it isn’t doing us any good.
read here

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baghdad's Trash Piles Up

The Baghdad municipality has launched new plans to tackle the capital's rubbish problem, though there are question marks over whether the city has the money or manpower for the clean-up. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

And now the Flying Car named Terrafugia Transition

It's a two-seater. Front-wheel-drive. Gets about 30 mpg on the highway. But give it a third of a mile of straight asphalt in front of it, and it really flies.

Of course, you have to unfold the wings first.
read here

Deep in the Ocean Depths

The dark deeps of the ocean has always been mysterious because they are dark (of course) as well hard to visit and see what is down there. For example the Coelacanth, long thought extinct, lives down deep and was only discovered in 1938 as well the elusive giant squids of legend. A study of the occurrence of fishes in the ocean's deepest reaches (the hadal zone, below 20,000 feet) has provided evidence that some species of fishes are more numerous at such depths than experts had thought. The authors of the study, which is published in the July/August issue of BioScience, observed 10 to 20 snailfish congregating at a depth of 25,000 feet around a baited video lander in the Japan Trench. The observation period lasted only five hours, so the occurrence of so many snailfish was a surprise.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Environmental Police Close in on Asia's Tiger Traffickers

Just 30 wild tigers survive in Vietnam and poachers are going after those, but the country's newly established Environmental Police were able to put a stop to some of the illegal trafficking last week.full story

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hurricane Alex Hampers Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Cleanup

Roaring across the Caribbean, Alex has become the first hurricane of the 2010 season and the first June Atlantic hurricane since 1995, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.  
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hurricane Celia strengthens in Pacific off Mexico

Hurricane Celia, the first hurricane of the 2010 Pacific season, formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean near Mexico on Sunday but was headed away from land, the U.S. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Market for fuel cell vehicles to take off by 2020

Fuel cell vehicles will overcome obstacles and the market will start to see growth within 10 years, according to a report released Wednesday by Pike Research.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Odd Geometry of Bacteria May Provide New Way to Study Earth's Oldest Fossils

One way that geologists try to decipher how cells functioned as far back as 3 billion years is by studying modern microbial mats, or gooey layers of nutrient-exchanging bacteria that grow mostly on moist surfaces and collect dirt and minerals that crystallize over time. Eventually, the bacteria turn to stone just beneath the crystallized material, thereby recording their history within the crystalline skeletons. Known as stromatolites, the layered rock formations are considered to be the oldest fossils on Earth.
read here 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chile quake halts refineries, copper mines

A powerful earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday halted production at two oil refineries and two major mines in the world's top copper supplier, but exports of the metal will not be affected, officials said.

The 8.8-magnitude quake forced state mining company Codelco to halt operations at its El Teniente and Andina mines, and Mining Minister Santiago Gonzalez said it could take two days for production to resume. Other Codelco operations were unaffected.

read here

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Environmental disaster looms from River Po oil spill

A giant oil slick threatened wildlife, fishing grounds and tourist spots Thursday as it moved down the Po, Italy's longest river, towards the sea, defying all efforts to stem its progress.
read here

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Robot subs to map Arctic sea floor

Two robot submarines will plunge into the Arctic next month in an effort to help Canada stake a claim to a large swath of potentially mineral-rich seafloor in the polar region. According to Larry Mayer, chief scientist of the mission, apart from the land claims, the missions have scientific significance. The Arctic maps could also have important ramifications with respect to climate modelling and climate change because the global distribution of heat is controlled by ocean currents. Where heat flows is often controlled by the sea floor.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Alternative Energy Grows in Europe

Wind and solar technology made up over half of Europe’s new electricity generating capacity in 2009, as the number of new coal and nuclear facilities fell

More wind capacity was installed in Europe during 2009 than any other electricity-generating technology, according to statistics released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
read here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help Children of India

Hello Readers
Got this e-mail from Read through and click on the link given below.
Here is a unique opportunity to reach out and impact thousands of lives through your blog. Yes, sitting at your desk and writing a blog post can help educate 40,000 young Indians all over our country!

One of India’s most trusted and credible NGOs, GiveIndia is taking part in a competition on Facebook to win a US$1 million grant. The winner will be the NGO that gets the highest number of votes from Facebook users. The prize of $1 million will help put or keep 40,000 children across India in school for one year!

Imagine the IndiBlogger community coming together to spread the word and help the underprivileged children of India. The impact would be tremendous and together, IndiBloggers and GiveIndia would be able to gather the votes we need to win.

Voting in the competition is for one week only, from Friday, January 15 – Friday, January 22, 2010. Can we make a difference in the next 5 days? We sure hope so!

The link for voting, where you can also see more details of the competition is

There’s been lots of talk about how social media can bring change and make an impact on the world we live in. Well, here is one tangible way for us to take a small action that could have a HUGE outcome.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Higher Temperatures Can Worsen Climate Change, Methane Measurements from Space Reveal

 Higher temperatures on the earth's surface at higher latitudes cause an increase in the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas that plays an important role in global warming. Therefore, higher temperatures are not just a consequence of climate change but can also worsen cause of it, conclude climate researchers in an article published in Science.
read it here