Adélie Penguins are at home on frigid Antarctica, so it’s logical to assess their noisy breeding colonies as the loss of the continent’s massive ice shelves accelerates.
For now, the scientific poop on the krill- and fish-eating bird is good, even if a few local colonies have died out where the most sea ice has disappeared.
A major taxonomic review of non-passerine birds (non-perching or non-songbirds) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes 13 new extinct birds due to fossil finds or splitting species.
In total, the new list now recognizes that 140 birds have gone extinct since the year 1500 AD. This means that in the last five centuries, the world has lost more than 1 percent of its bird species, according to a Mongabay report.
Bird lovers from Beethoven to ornithology legend Luis Baptista thrilled to the vocalizations of rainforest birds.
Now, scientists with high-tech listening technology are gaining a far deeper understanding of bird behavior from their songs.
China has an opportunity to massively increase its use of wind power — if it properly integrates wind into its existing power system, according to a newly published MIT study.
The study forecasts that wind power could provide 26 percent of China’s projected electricity demand by 2030, up from 3 percent in 2015. Such a change would be a substantial gain in the global transition to renewable energy, since China produces the most total greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world.
But the projection comes with a catch. China should not necessarily build more wind power in its windiest areas, the study finds. Instead, it should build more wind turbines in areas where they can be more easily integrated into the operations of its existing electricity grid.
“Wind that is built in distant, resource-rich areas benefits from more favorable physical properties but suffers from existing constraints on the operation of the power system,” states Valerie Karplus, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the Tsinghua-MIT China Energy and Climate Project, and a member of the MIT Energy Initiative. Those constraints include greater transmission costs and the cost of “curtailment,” when available wind power is not used.
As scientists and policymakers around the world try to combat the increasing rate of climate change, they have focused on the chief culprit: carbon dioxide.
Produced by the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and car engines, carbon dioxide continues to accumulate in the atmosphere, warming the planet. But trees and other plants do slowly capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, converting it to sugars that store energy.
In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have found a similar way to convert carbon dioxide into a usable energy source using sunlight.
One of the chief challenges of sequestering carbon dioxide is that it is relatively chemically unreactive. “On its own, it is quite difficult to convert carbon dioxide into something else,” said Argonne chemist Larry Curtiss, an author of the study.
University of Delaware researchers report in a new study that offshore wind may be more powerful, yet more turbulent than expected in the North Eastern United States.
The findings, published in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, could have important implications for the future development of offshore wind farms in the U.S., including the assessment of how much wind power can be produced, what type of turbines should be used, how many turbines should be installed and the spacing between each.
The study, led by Cristina Archer at UD and Brian Colle at Stony Brook University, analyzed historical data from 2003-2011 at the Cape Wind tower located near the center of Nantucket Sound off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and collected complementary data at the same location in 2013-2014.
Co-authors on the paper, titled “On the predominance of unstable atmospheric conditions in the marine boundary layer offshore of the U.S. northeastern coast,” include UD professors Dana Veron and Fabrice Veron, and Matthew Sienkiewicz from Stony Brook.
A team of researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a novel, low-cost solar thermal energy conversion system that can easily generate steam from sunlight. The solar conversion system can help make technologies that rely on steam, like seawater desalination, wastewater treatment, residential water heating, medical tool sterilization and power generation, more efficient and affordable.
The new device floats on water, converting 20% of incoming solar energy into steam at 100 degrees Celsius without expensive optical concentration devices and is made of cheap, commercially available materials, including bubble wrap and a polystyrene (plastic) foam.
Golden eagles may be more abundant in elevated, undeveloped landscapes with high wind speeds, according to a study published August 24, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ryan Nielson from Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., USA, and colleagues.
Better understanding of golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) abundance and distribution across the developing western United States is needed to help identify and conserve their habitats in the face of anthropogenic threats. The authors of the present study monitored golden eagle abundance across four major Bird Conservation Regions, comprising ~2 million-km2, in the western United States. They used existing data from aerial surveys and distance sampling during late summer in 2006-2013. The authors then modelled counts of golden eagle observations based on land cover and other environmental factors.