NASA to blastoff solar satellite to gather images of the sun

Despite Earthlings depending on the sun for survival, there's a lot that scientists still don't know about our solar system's star. NASA is looking to change this.

The U.S. space agency is launching a solar satellite called the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) on June 26 to get a closer look at the sun's lower atmosphere. This part of the atmosphere is important because it is where most of the sun's ultraviolet emissions are generated, which are known to impact Earth's climate and the near-Earth space environment, according to NASA.

"IRIS data … Read more

Apple explains why it yanked devices from enviro registry

Apple responded to criticism today for pulling its products from a green-electronics certification registry -- just as the city of San Francisco vowed to stop buying the company's desktops and laptops for that very reason.

According to The Loop, Apple said it uses rigorous environmental standards to measure its devices, many of which are not used by the certification registry. This registry is called EPEAT and was created by the U.S. government's Environmental Protection Agency and several device manufacturers (including Apple). EPEAT lists products certified to be recyclable and energy efficient.

Here's what Apple's spokesperson … Read more

Apple touts N.C. solar array in environmental footprint report

Apple's massive North Carolina data center will be powered by the nation's largest end-user-owned solar array, the company revealed today in a report on its environmental footprint.

The facility, which is being constructed in Maiden, N.C., has been awarded LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the company said in its report.

"We know of no other data center of comparable size that has achieved this level of LEED certification," the company said in its report. "Our goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix." … Read more

California EPA to appeal ruling that blocks low-carbon rules

The California agency responsible for protecting air quality says it will appeal a decision by a court that blocks enforcement of rules designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage alternative fuel technologies.

The Air Resources Board, part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, adopted the landmark Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCSF) last year. The regulation gives producers and refiners until 2020 to reduce the carbon footprint of their fuel by 10 percent.

Ethanol producers complained that the rules favor in-state producers and refiners because they take into consideration the carbon footprint impact of the transportation of, as well as … Read more

Global industry CO2 output rises even in weak economy


Global carbon dioxide emissions from industry rose about 3 percent in a weak global economy this year, a study released today showed, adding fresh urgency to efforts to control planet-warming gases at U.N. climate talks in South Africa.

The study by the Global Carbon Project, an annual report card on mankind's CO2 pollution, says a slowdown in emissions during the 2008-09 global financial crisis was a mere speed bump, and the gain in 2011 followed a 6 percent surge in 2010.

"The global financial crisis was an opportunity to move the global economy away from a high-emissions … Read more

U.S. carbon emissions up nearly 4 percent in 2010


U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas rebounded nearly 4 percent last year as factories ran harder while the economy recovered and as consumers boosted air conditioning during the hot summer, the government said today.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas, which accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. overall greenhouse gas output, rose 213 million tonnes, or 3.9 percent, last year, the Energy Information Administration said.

It was the first rise in the emissions blamed for global warming since the recession pushed them down in the previous two … Read more

China Yuchai introduces China's first Euro VI-compliant diesel engine

China Yuchai on Monday announced China's first diesel engine, compliant with Euro VI emission standards--the most stringent emission standard in the world.

The YC6L-60 engine was announced at a press conference in Yulin City, Guangxi Province. It is the product of a four-year, joint effort between Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Co. and researchers from Tianjin University's National Key Laboratory of engine combustion.

The new engine offers low-temperature combustion technology, which reduces the fuel injection pressure requirements and improves the life span of the fuel injection system and other core parts of the engine. It also uses medium-intensity cooled exhaust … Read more

Governments to debate Kyoto climate dilemma


Governments are looking at ways to keep the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol going beyond 2012 in some form to defuse a standoff between rich and poor nations that threatens efforts to tackle global warming.

Negotiators from almost 200 nations will meet in Bangkok from March 3-8, after side-stepping the Kyoto issue at their last meeting in Mexico in December.

"There is some creative thinking going on" about Kyoto's future, said Jennifer Morgan, director of the climate and energy program of the Washington-based World Resources Institute.

The Kyoto Protocol obliges almost 40 industrialized nations to cut greenhouse … Read more

How big is your footprint?

A carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases that we put out into the atmosphere via transportation, electricity use, and other daily activities. Carbon Footprint Calculator is a Google Desktop Gadget that lets users easily tabulate their carbon footprints, as well as the number of trees that would need to be planted in order to offset it.

The program appears as an attractive rectangle within Google Desktop. The gadget's text invites users to calculate their carbon footprint by clicking on the word Start, and it then walks users through a series of questions about their energy consumption. Users … Read more

Hackers target carbon emissions trading market

In a digital heist reminiscent of a John le Carré novel, more than $9 million worth of greenhouse-gas emissions permits were stolen from the Czech Republic electricity and carbon trading registry this week and transferred to accounts in other countries, at the same time as the Prague-based registry office was evacuated due to a bomb threat.

That electronic theft, the latest in a series of security breaches affecting the market for carbon emissions, led the European Commission to suspend transactions in national European Union registries on Wednesday for a week.

"Three attacks have taken place since the beginning … Read more