Sat.Feb 03, 2024 - Fri.Feb 09, 2024

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As Use of AI Soars, So Does the Energy and Water It Requires

Yale E360

Generative artificial intelligence uses massive amounts of energy for computation and data storage and billions of gallons of water to cool the equipment at data centers. Now, legislators and regulators — in the U.S. and the EU — are starting to demand accountability.

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New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”

Real Climate

A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals for approaching an AMOC tipping point (we discussed it here ), but using rather different data and methods.

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Ask a Scientist: Gas Plants Disproportionately Harm Marginalized Communities

Union of Concerned Scientists

Just how bad is fossil “natural” gas? Its primary component is methane. Responsible for 12 percent of all US global warming emissions from human activities, methane traps significantly more heat per molecule than carbon dioxide, making it 86 times more harmful for the first 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere. And, as it turns out, the infrastructure used to produce, store, distribute, transmit, and burn gas leaks like a sieve , making gas as bad as coal for the climate.

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EPA Lowers the PM2.5 NAAQS: Goldilocks Can Sleep Soundly

Law and Environment

Yesterday, EPA finalized a rule lowering the primary annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM2.5 to 9.00 ug/m 3. This is a significant reduction from the current 12.00 ug/m 3 standard and a victory for environmentalists, even though they had advocated for larger reduction. There is substantial evidence supporting the reduction, both in the legal and the common sense understanding of this term.

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Manufacturing Sustainability Surge: Your Guide to Data-Driven Energy Optimization & Decarbonization

Speaker: Kevin Kai Wong, President of Emergent Energy Solutions

In today's industrial landscape, the pursuit of sustainable energy optimization and decarbonization has become paramount. Manufacturing corporations across the U.S. are facing the urgent need to align with decarbonization goals while enhancing efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, the lack of comprehensive energy data poses a significant challenge for manufacturing managers striving to meet their targets.

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Amid Record Drop in Fossil Power, Europe Sees Wind Overtake Natural Gas

Yale E360

Europe saw a record drop in fossil power last year, according to a new analysis that found that, for the first time, wind supplied more power than natural gas.

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EPA Grants Louisiana Class VI Primacy

Clean Energy Law

EPA’s transfer of primary enforcement authority to states for carbon capture and storage projects may decrease permitting delays but raise legal questions. By Nikki Buffa , Joshua Bledsoe , Jennifer Roy , Michael Dreibelbis , Brian McCall , Austin Wruble , and Sam Wong Louisiana has become the third state in the United States to receive primacy from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing it to assume permitting authority for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

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Extreme Climate Impacts From Collapse of a Key Atlantic Ocean Current Could be Worse Than Expected, a New Study Warns

Inside Climate News

Disruption of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current could freeze Europe, scorch the tropics and increase sea level rise in the North Atlantic. The tipping point may be closer than predicted in the IPCC’s latest assessment. By Bob Berwyn A new study affirms that a critical system of Atlantic Ocean currents that shunt warm and cold water between the poles is “on course” to a tipping point.

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Flying Green: The Pursuit of Carbon-Neutral Aviation Revs Up

Yale E360

To eliminate global aviation’s sizable carbon footprint, researchers are working on a range of alternatives to fossil jet fuel. Recent test flights powered only by hydrogen or biofuels have been successful, but steep challenges remain before aviation can become carbon-free.

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Embattled Climate Scientist Michael Mann Wins $1 Million in Defamation Lawsuit

Scientific American

Michael Mann secured a win in his legal battle against conservative bloggers who said the climatologist “molested and tortured data” and compared him to a convicted child abuser

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Nuclear fusion reaction releases almost twice the energy put in

New Scientist

The US National Ignition Facility has achieved even higher energy yields since breaking even for the first time in 2022, but a practical fusion reactor is still a long way off

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Implementing D.E.J.I. Strategies in Energy, Environment, and Transportation

Speaker: Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) policies, programs, and initiatives are critically important as we move forward with public and private sector climate and sustainability goals and plans. Underserved and socially, economically, and racially disadvantaged communities bear the burden of pollution, higher energy costs, limited resources, and limited investments in the clean energy and transportation sectors.

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Statement on Proposed Act to Ban Fossil Fuel Advertising & Greenwashing

Enviromental Defense

Statement by Emilia Belliveau, Energy Transition Program Manager Montréal/Tiohtià:ke | Traditional, unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation, a gathering place for many First Nations, including the Anishinaabeg – We applaud the introduction of the Private Member’s Bill C-372 , banning false advertising by the oil and gas industry in Canada.

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UN Carbon Removal Estimates "By No Means Feasible," Scientists Warn

Yale E360

U.N. estimates of the amount of carbon that humans can remove from the atmosphere are deeply unrealistic, scientists warn. A new paper offers more plausible carbon removal targets.

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Bed or breakfast? Roe deer balance food and safety according to crop phenology

The Applied Ecologist

Noa Rigoudy and co-authors talk us through their latest work, highlighting how behavioural adjustment may buffer the consequences of the reduction in natural habitats that accompanies intensification of agricultural production. This has implications for understanding how agricultural practices shape the food-safety trade-off of wildlife living in these highly modified landscapes.

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Ancient Herculaneum scroll piece revealed by AI – here's what it says

New Scientist

A Greek philosopher’s musings on pleasure, contained in ancient papyrus scrolls buried by Mount Vesuvius’s eruption 2000 years ago, have been rediscovered with the help of AI

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Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

As households and communities across the nation face challenges such as hurricanes, wildfires, drought, extreme heat and cold, and thawing permafrost and flooding, we are increasingly searching for ways to mitigate and prevent climate impacts. During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including: The two paths for climate action: decarbonization and adaptation.

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Indigenous and Environmental Groups Denounce Government Inaction on First Anniversary of Imperial Oil Tailings Disaster

Enviromental Defense

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE, KEEPERS OF THE WATER Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – A year ago, news broke that Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine had been leaking toxic industrial wastewater for over nine months while keeping local Indigenous communities in the dark. The public only learned about the leak after a subsequent spill at the same facility, which released 5.3 million litres of industrial waste into the environment.

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After a Long Stretch of Record Heat, El Niño Begins to Wane

Yale E360

El Niño, when warm waters in the eastern Pacific fuel hotter weather globally, is beginning to recede, scientists say.

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The Government's Former UFO Hunter Has a Lot to Say

Scientific American

Sean Kirkpatrick looked into the skies and deep into government archives for extraterrestrials. What he found is, to him, more concerning than little green men.

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UK nuclear fusion reactor sets new record for energy output

New Scientist

In its final experiments before being shut down for good last year, the UK's JET fusion reactor smashed its previous records for reaction duration and energy output

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Sustainability at Retail

Sustainability impacts every nation, company, and person around the world. So much so that, in 2015, the United Nations (UN) issued a call for action by all countries to work toward sustainable development. In response to this and as part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address these critical issues in this white paper.

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Statement: The Ontario Government’s So-Called “Get It Done” Bill Would Revive the Sprawl and Land Speculation Scandal

Enviromental Defense

Statement by Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, on reports of forthcoming legislation to reinstate forced boundary expansions and circumvent expropriation & land use rules Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – Environmental Defence is concerned by recent reports in the Narwhal that the Ontario government is contemplating a new bill that would throw gasoline on the government’s smoldering spraw

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Four New Octopus Species Discovered off Costa Rica

Ocean Conservancy

Did you know that more than 80% of our ocean is still unexplored? Scientists have made massive progress in marine exploration in the past century, yet there is still so much more we have to learn about our ocean. An ink-credible incidental discovery made in 2023 is a prime example of this. Want to learn more about ocean animals? Sign up to receive our emails.

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Most Public Comments submitted on Safe Drinking Water Rule in History

NRDC

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, as the public comment period closed for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) to address the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of comments support the.

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Huge deposit of natural hydrogen gas detected deep in Albanian mine

New Scientist

Companies are searching all over the world for deposits of geologic hydrogen that could be used as clean fuel, and a mine in Albania could give them clues about where to look

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A Green Future is an Affordable Future

Enviromental Defense

As a recent graduate, there were countless times as a student when I would lay awake at night stressed about if I was going to make it to my next paycheck. For many people, grocery trips take twice as long as customers agonize about what they can afford to include in their basket. Some families are having to make difficult trade-offs about what costs they are going to prioritize, perhaps deciding between car repairs or a new roof.

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Second Private U.S. Moon Lander Readies for Launch

Scientific American

Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 is aiming to be the first commercial mission to softly land on another celestial body—and the first to deliver NASA equipment to the moon

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PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices, Opportunities To Comment - February 10

PA Environment Daily

The following DEP notices were published in the February 10 PA Bulletin related to oil and gas industry facilities. Many of the notices offer the opportunity for public comments. Land Recycling/Brownfield Cleanups -- Chesapeake Appalachia LLC - Sensinger Shale Gas Well Pad: DEP received a Final Report on remediation of soil contaminated with production wastewater to the Statewide Health Standards at the well pad located in Franklin Twp., Bradford County. ( PA Bulletin, page 682 ) -- Standing Sto

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Quantum computer uses a time crystal as a control dial

New Scientist

Making a strange state of matter called a time crystal inside a quantum computer helped researchers stabilise a fragile quantum state inspired by Schrödinger’s cat

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Working to Protect Lake Erie From Summertime Algae Blooms Is a Year-Round Job

Enviromental Defense

This past summer, a “moderately” severe algae bloom grew in beloved Lake Erie. This unwelcome visitor continues to make yearly toxic appearances in the warmer months. When it comes to these toxic algae blooms, even a “mild” or smaller bloom is bad news. These blooms, regardless of size, contain harmful concentrations of microcystin, a potent liver toxin, and possible human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) produced by certain kinds of algae.

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Aggression Disorders Are Serious, Stigmatized and Treatable

Scientific American

Researchers have a clearer picture than ever before of how common conditions that involve aggressive behavior emerge and how treatment can help

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Is The Current Hurricane Warning System Outdated?

Inside Climate News

A new study highlights the rising risks of storms that exceed a currently nonexistent ‘Category 6’ tropical storm rating in a warming world. By Bob Berwyn As Typhoon Haiyan howled into the Philippines in November 2013, people knew that a powerful storm was coming, but they were not expecting a typhoon with 196 mile per hour winds, driving a storm surge up to 23 feet high.

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UK nuclear fusion reactor sets new world record for energy output

New Scientist

In its final experiments before being shut down for good last year, the UK's JET reactor set a world record for the energy output of a fusion reaction

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Sunday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - 2.4.24

PA Environment Daily

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.” - - Article I, Section 27 Pennsylvania Constitution [It’s Not A Suggestion] Governor’s Budget Address: February 6 Sen

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Even ChatGPT Says ChatGPT Is Racially Biased

Scientific American

When asked, ChatGPT declared that its training material—the language we humans use every day—was to blame for potential bias in stories it generated

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New York State Proposes ‘Rapid Act’ and Other Bill to Aid in Transition to Renewable Energy and Away From Natural Gas

E2 Law Blog

Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Budget proposal (the Transportation, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation budget bill (A.8808/S.8308)) includes two pivotal energy proposals: the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment Act and the Affordable Gas Transition Act. The Governor is seeking to advance the achievement of the ambitious emissions reduction and renewable energy procurement mandates set forth in the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protecti