Water footprint of food production

Water is a necessary resource for food production, but given increasing stress on water resources around the world, the concept of water footprint for food production becomes a relevant idea for thinking about economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture.   Specifically, through innovations in irrigation and development of food crops with less need for water during … More Water footprint of food production

Carbon tax may not help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in some industries

Carbon tax is commonly described as a mechanism for putting a price on carbon, and thus, provides an incentive for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, some industries such as power generation and cement production could not reduce carbon dioxide emissions, given the state of technology available for power production from fossil fuels and cement production. … More Carbon tax may not help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in some industries

Building of solar panel farm on previously cultivated land cannot be accounted for as carbon footprint of solar energy

Solar energy is commonly described as clean energy able to reduce the carbon footprint of energy provision. However, there is a notion that if the land area set aside for building solar panel farm was originally used for land cultivation, the displacement of farming area must be accounted for as a cost of solar energy. … More Building of solar panel farm on previously cultivated land cannot be accounted for as carbon footprint of solar energy

Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?

Climate change has prompted scientists and policy makers to fathom whether humanity should continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy production. Specifically, considering that a threshold of atmospheric carbon dioxide exists where there would be irreversible effects of climate change on the globe in what is known as dangerous anthropogenic interference (DAI), how much … More Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?

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