Len Rosen's blog

What's a C4 Plant Got that a C3 Doesn't? Better Enzymes for Converting CO2

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If we could help plants turn CO2 into sugar at a faster rate we could revolutionize agriculture. That's what researchers have in mind in trying to make C3 plants act like C4s. Confused?

Evidence of Past Glaciation Found on Mars

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The date today reinforces that we are well into autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet and it shouldn't be a surprise then that the words "glacier" and "ice" are starting to appear in some headlines. The latest, however, are not of this world but our neighbor Mars.

New York State Takes Activist Role in Implementing Solar Energy Projects

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The investment doesn't amount to a lot of dollars, a mere $1 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions and trillions that are the numbers associated with the fossil fuel industry, but New York State is on a path to increase solar capacity by 68%. This amounts to 214 Megawatts of new installations.

New Experimental Nuclear Fuel Could Provide Power Equal to Building 40 New Power Plants

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The beleaguered nuclear power industry may soon have a good story to tell post-Fukushima. Lightbridge, a nuclear engineering company based in Virginia, is about to test a literal "twist" for fuel rods that can increase power yield by 10% in existing nuclear power plants with only minor modifications. And if the plants replace existing turbines with larger ones it would mean as much as a 17% increase in power output and incurring only an incremental investment without a major build.

What is CDR and What Role Will it Take in Mitigating Climate Change?

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The carbon capture and storage project at the Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan is about to go live as reported in the press today. The project goal has been to eliminate 90% of the CO2 generated by the coal-fired power plant. Additions have cost $1.4 billion CDN, $115 million over budget, and represent what is believed to be the world's first commercial-scale CCS project to go live.

Fund Managers To Report on the Carbon Footprint of Portfolios

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In a recent issue of Globe and Mail, Canada's purported national newspaper, Janet McFarland wrote a piece on ethical investment describing the Montreal Carbon Pledge and the commitment being made by global funds to report the carbon pollution within their portfolios. Portfolio screening focused on environmental issues is a relatively new practice for fund managers. Carbon represents just one in a number of the risks being assessed. Water, land use, pollution, and waste are also measured against portfolios and policy decision making.

Shale Gas a Poor Solution for Cutting CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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President Obama is counting on replacing coal-fired power with cleaner burning natural gas. But, according to researchers at University of California Irvine, the shift will do little to reduce carbon emissions.

Get Your Leather and Meat from a Local Manufacturer Named Modern Meadows

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A hamburger taste test in August of last year in London, England, may inaugurate a revolution. The hamburger in question was meat made in vitro, in a lab petri dish, cultured from stem cells from donor animals.

NASA Meets Theologians to Discuss How We Respond to E.T.

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Last week the Library of Congress hosted a two-day symposium entitled "Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Impact of Finding Microbial, Complex, or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth." The timing seemed right with the discovery of thousands of exoplanets, some lying within Earth-like Goldilocks Zones around their parent stars, and with further evidence from Martian meteorites and discoveries made by Curiosity, the Martian rover, showing a past habitable environment on the Red Planet.

India Gets to Mars on the First Try

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India has done something no other space-faring nation could achieve. Their Mars Orbiter Mission entered orbit around Mars on September 23rd after a successful orbital insertion burn. The milestone achieved - successful on the first try. Russia, the United States, the European Space Agency and Japan cannot make the same claim.

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