Solar Products Becoming More Affordable for Developing World

It is the cleanest, most abundant energy source. But solar power faces the challenge of affordability and efficiency, especially if such systems are to be widely installed in the developing world. Progress is being made. Scores of Chinese companies are touting their latest solar electronic components and products at an international trade fair in Hong

Chinese Polar Ambitions Rise with Global Temperatures

China has been active in Antarctic exploration and scientific research since 1984, but only recently signaled its intent to become a hands-on player in Arctic affairs. As Beijing implements an unusually ambitious shift toward the poles, its goals and motivations are drawing scrutiny.

Ecology of Mekong Basin May Hinge on Hydroelectric Vote

As Southeast Asia copes with some of the worst flooding in decades, a series of planned hydroelectric dams in the Mekong Basin are coming under increased scrutiny by environmental experts. An upcoming vote on the Laos government’s proposed Xayaburi dam, just one of 11 planned for the lower Mekong River, may indicate how the projects

California Bans Shark Fin

People in California can no longer eat the Chinese delicacy of shark fin soup.  The Governor of California officially made it illegal to sell or possess shark fin.  The ban is a part of a growing movement worldwide to save the shark population.  But there are some Chinese who feel California’s ban on shark fin

Innovative Electric Aircraft Win Green Flight Challenge

We often hear about hybrid cars, which run in part on electricity and can travel about 20 kilometers on a liter of fuel.  Engineers are also experimenting with another mode of electric transportation – airplanes.   Experimental aircraft took to the skies over California recently for the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, a contest that prized

Australia, New Zealand Condemn Japanese Whaling Plans

Australia and New Zealand have condemned Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean. The annual hunt was curtailed last year because of clashes between whalers and conservationists. The Japanese say there are genuine scientific reasons for hunting whales, a position dismissed as ludicrous by officials in Canberra and Wellington. “We say to Japan

Australian Researchers Aim for Greener Desalination

Researchers in Sydney are leading a new international effort to make desalination more environmentally friendly. Current techniques tend to use excessive amounts of energy or are heavily reliant on chemicals. The University of Technology in Sydney is working with teams from Singapore, Saudi Arabia and South Korea to improve the filtration process to make it

Sub-Standard Electronics Donated to Africa Causing Pile Up of E-Waste

The safe disposal of unwanted computers, printers, mobile phones, and other electronics,  collectively known as “e-waste”, is a growing problem across Africa.  The world produces more than 50 million tons of e-waste each year, but less than one-quarter of that is recycled at the source. Many of these electronics enter Africa in the form of

Earthquake Science Still a Shaky Business

The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rattled the East Coast of the United States in August caught everyone – even geologists – by surprise. But even when there’s reason to think an earthquake could be around the corner, scientists still can’t make good predictions. It’s been 200 years since big earthquakes rocked the New Madrid Seismic

Ships Face Tougher Environmental Rules in California Ports

Some of the most polluted places in the world are ports, resulting in health problems that some experts say can lead not only to respiratory problems, but cancer. In the United States, the western state of California has the nation’s toughest environmental regulations when it comes to air quality at the ports.  Its actions will