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1 Ships on legs on Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:47 pm

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Ships on legs - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - By Giancarlo Rinaldi - BBC Scotland - Rising from stormy seas, the giant turbine towers of an offshore wind farm seem almost miraculous to the untrained eye. But how do you put them there? - Most boats do not have legs. But a jack-up barge has six, protruding high into the air when the ship is in transit. - 30 January 2008.
Society depends on more for less - BBC News website VIEWPOINT Sir Mark Moody-Stuart - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - If the world is to end the threat from climate change, we need to produce more with less energy, says Mark Moody Stuart. In this week's Green Room, he outlines his vision that will help society fulfil this goal. - 4 February 2008.
Solar dyes give a guiding light By Matt McGrath BBC science correspondent - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - A new way of capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. - The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. - The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. - The technology could be in production within three years, the team said. - BBC Science/Technology - 11 July 2008.
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BBC Science/Nature - Current solar plants need large mobile mirrors to produce energy - Image
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BBC Science/Nature - HOW NEW SOLAR PANEL TECHNOLOGY WORKS - Diagram

1. First solar concentrator coated with transparent dyes absorbs sunlight and transmits it to glass panel edge
2. High voltage solar cells on edge of glass capture sunlight.
3. Low voltage solar cells trap light escaping through first panel.
4. The first panel can also be used alone as a window pane. In the future, glass buildings could produce their own electrical energy.
Space cameras to monitor forests - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC Science/Technology News - Plans to use a state-of-the-art camera onboard a satellite to monitor deforestation levels in Africa's Congo Basin have been unveiled. - The high resolution RALCam3 camera, designed and built by UK scientists, will provide the first detailed view of the area's rate of forest cover loss. - The project is part of the Congo Basin Forest Fund, a £108m joint-initiative by the UK and Norwegian governments. - 17 June 2008.
State of the planet, in graphics - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Globally human populations are growing, trade is increasing, and living standards are rising for many. But, according to the UN's latest Global Environment Outlook report, long-term problems including climate change, pollution, access to clean water, and the threat of mass extinctions are being met with "a remarkable lack of urgency". - 25 October 2007.
Stern Review Report; - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - HM Treasury - Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.
Sustainability Week - UWE - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - April 21 - 25th.
Sustainable biofuels: prospects and challenges - The Royal Society - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - Our climate is changing and there is now scientific, social and political recognition that this is very likely a consequence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transport now accounts for about 20% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 25% of emissions in the United Kingdom (UK), and these figures are growing faster than for any other sector. If the UK is to reach its target of reducing emissions by 60% by 2050 then cuts will need to be made in the transport sector. - However, access to energy underpins our current way of life and the hopes of peoples around the world for improved lives. Mobility is a core component of these aspirations. Transport has become the main driver for increasing global primary oil demand, which is predicted to grow by 1.3% per year up to 2030, reaching 116 million barrelsa per day (up from 84 million barrels per day in 2005). The transport sector in particular relies almost entirely on oil, which is predicted to become increasingly scarce and costly in the next few decades and supplies of which are vulnerable to interruption. - Biofuels - fuels derived from plant materials - have the potential to address these two issues. At first sight they appear to be carbon-neutral (the carbon they emit to the atmosphere when burned is offset by the carbon that plants absorb from the atmosphere while growing), renewable (fresh supplies can be grown as needed) and capable of being cultivated in many different environments. In addition they are an integral part of the emerging 'bio-economy', where plant material is used to produce specific chemicals and bulk industrial chemicals. In the future these may increasingly replace chemicals derived from fossil oil. The full picture, however, is much more complex as different biofuels have widely differing environmental, social and economic impacts.
Sustainable power generation in microbial fuel cells - Science for Environmental Policy - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - A more efficient, cheaper and cleaner way to produce electricity and treat wastewater using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is on the horizon. Research suggests that by changing the solution used in the fuel cell it is possible to increase power output and conductivity. MFCs are essentially clean energy 'batteries' in which bacteria consume organic waste, releasing chemical energy that is converted into electrical energy and clean water. - 24 January 2007.
Take cover by saving urban trees - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - VIEWPOINT - Vassili Papastavrou - Let's stop chopping of our urban trees and embark on a scheme to plant lots of fast-growing trees that soon leave us in the shade, argues Vassili Papastavrou. In this week's Green Room he tells us to take cover, because we need city canopies more than ever before. - BBC - The Green Room - 4 March 2008.
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BBC Science/Nature - Ten-year climate model unveiled

Taxing time to stabilise climate - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC Science/Technology - VIEWPOINT - Matt Prescott - We cannot continue using the atmosphere as a rubbish dump for greenhouse gas emissions, argues Matt Prescott. In this week's Green Room, he sets out the case why a carbon tax will make it cheaper to protect the environment than harm it. - 24 June 2008.
Ten-year climate model unveiled - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC News - 9th August 2007 - Scientists say they have developed a model to predict how ocean currents, as well as human activities, will affect temperatures over the next decade.
The birth of a quieter, greener plane - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC Business News - 6 November 2006.
The diary of an Arctic explorer - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC environment correspondent David Shukman travels to Alaska, to find out how the Arctic's people and ecosystems are coping with the change to a warmer climate. - Sea-ice during the 2007 melt season shrank to its smallest extent since satellite measurements began in 1979. This season's minimum, which will be set in the next few days, will come close to last year's record. - 10 September 2008.
The ebb and flow of sea level rise - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC Science/Technology - By Mark Kinver Science and nature reporter, BBC News - More than half of the world's population have made their home in a coastal region, whether they are subsistence fishermen in Bangladesh or high-flying City bankers in New York. - For many low-lying areas, scientists warn that the coming century is likely to see sea level rise that will change the shape of coastlines around the globe. - While cities such as London, New York and Singapore are likely to spend billions on protecting inhabitants from flooding, many small island nations are at risk of disappearing beneath the waves. - So how much will waters rise, and what are the factors driving them up? - 22 January 2008.
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BBC Science/Nature - The ebb and flow of sea level rise

The ebb and flow of tidal power - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - BBC Science/Technology - By Mark Kinver Science and nature reporter, BBC News - In January, the UK government and Welsh Assembly launched a two-year feasibility study into the possibility of harnessing tidal energy in the Severn estuary in order to generate electricity. It has the second largest tidal range in the world, which could be used to meet up to 5% of the UK's electricity needs. - Two forms of technology are being assessed by the study: tidal barrages and tidal lagoons. - 12 June 2008.
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BBC Science/Nature - Severn Barrages and Lagoons
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BBC Science/Nature - Tidal Lagoons - How they generate electricity
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