What is the value of an electric car to the environment at present: zero emissions or reduction in use of fossil energy?

Electric cars are often portrayed in the media as clean, zero emissions vehicles that tap on the latest innovations in renewable energy technologies. However, are they truly zero emissions vehicles and what is their most important contributions to environmental protection?   With an electric motor that runs on energy derived from the power grid, electric … More What is the value of an electric car to the environment at present: zero emissions or reduction in use of fossil energy?

Preservation of ice cores from tropical snow capped mountains

Climate change is resulting in the loss of significant amount of ice from glaciers and ice sheets around the world, especially at the polar regions where global warming’s pace is the fastest. Thus, there is a movement in the climate change research community in cataloguing ice cores from glaciers, both at mountains and on ice … More Preservation of ice cores from tropical snow capped mountains

Science underlying nucleation of biogenic particles

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 521, “Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles”   Summary of article: Nitrate ions are shown to induce formation of aerosols such as those seeded by α-pinene. Biogenic aerosols play important roles in influencing weather events through inducing the formation of clouds. Thus, by understanding their formation mechanisms … More Science underlying nucleation of biogenic particles

How dust informs climate now, in the past and future

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, 24 March 2016, pp. 493, “The past, present and future of African dust”   Summary of article: An excellent study on calibrating the effect of wind on topography using dust as an indicator of wind speed and wind fields, which yields important information on how African dust affects weather patterns … More How dust informs climate now, in the past and future

Ice transport drives salinity changes in the Southern Ocean

Article in Nature, Vol. 537, Issue 7618, pp. 89, “Sea-ice transport driving Southern Ocean salinity and its recent trends”   Summary of article: Northward movement of sea ice and freshening of the northern sectors of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been shown to account for the observed salinity distribution change in the area. The … More Ice transport drives salinity changes in the Southern Ocean

Definition of Anthropocene

Multiple epochs define human civilisation evolution throughout the ages. But, according to scientific studies, the influence we have had on our planet has led to the definition of a new epoch in human civilisation, the Anthropocene. Specifically, given that humans have wielded significant influence on the planet, primarily through industrial revolution and the attendant evolution … More Definition of Anthropocene

Satellite imagery of clouds reveals evidence of climate change

Article in Nature, Vol. 536, Issue 7614, pp. 72-74, “Evidence for climate change in the satellite cloud record” Summary of article: Using climate modelling specific for predicting cloudiness and satellite records of cloud cover, the reasons underlying recent decadal changes in cloud cover and movement of storm tracks was uncovered, with greenhouse gas emissions, as … More Satellite imagery of clouds reveals evidence of climate change

Antarctica McMurdo research station

Antarctica is important in many ways other than its sheer scale of beauty for explorers, it is also rich in many areas of scientific research running from astronomy, cosmology, global warming, glaciology, climate change, sea level rise, social animal activities, etc. The United States run the largest scientific research station in Antarctica, McMurdo research station, … More Antarctica McMurdo research station

Vegetation’s response to global warming

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, Issue 7596, pp. 633-636, “Boreal and temperate trees show strong acclimation of respiration to warming”   Summary of article: Using statistical analysis of a large sample of temperature response curves obtained by measuring carbon dioxide loss from leaves in simulated temperature changes, the study opens our eyes to the role … More Vegetation’s response to global warming

Floating offshore wind farms add flexibility to a renewable energy resource but power transmission to land is a challenging problem

A recent article in Guardian (Link) reports the imminent deployment of a floating offshore wind turbine farm off the northeast coast of Scotland. Compared to conventional wind turbine with moorings on the seabed, floating offshore wind turbine farms are built on large floating structures, and enable windfarms to be deployed at longer distances off the … More Floating offshore wind farms add flexibility to a renewable energy resource but power transmission to land is a challenging problem