Skip to Content

Backgrounds

Introductions to the topics


How to Help Document Power Plants

Written by , on July 10, 2013

Power plants burning fossil fuels contribute over 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. But information about where the world’s power plants are located, and how much each one is emitting, is not well-known outside of a handful of industrialised countries. The Ventus Project, led by Dr. Kevin Robert Gurney at Arizona State […]  Read more »

Peak Water

Written by , on June 5, 2013

The US Geological Survey has released a report highlighting the alarming rate of groundwater depletion in the United States. The report says that between 1900 and 2008, the US lost 1,000 cubic kilometers of water from its 40 major aquifers – that's an average rate of 9.2 cubic kilometres a year. Even more alarming is […]  Read more »

Temperatures May Rise a Little More Slowly Then Previously Estimated

Written by , on May 20, 2013

Climate scientists agree that temperatures are currently rising faster than they have been for 11,000 years and thet the Earth is continuing to warm rapidly. However, a new analysis taking into account the temperature rise in the most recent decade suggests that the Earth will warm a little more slowly over this century previously thought. […]  Read more »

New Model Predicts Lower Future Population

Written by , on April 5, 2013

The United Nations estimate of future world population is 9.3 million by 2050, rising to 10.1 billion by 2100. However, the U.N. figures are given with a very wide range of uncertainty – between 6.2 billion and 15.8 billion in 2100. A new model developed by a team from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) […]  Read more »

Wealth Inequality in the U.S. & Australia

Written by , on March 11, 2013

The video clip below graphically describes the shocking disparity in wealth between the richest and poorest groups of Americans. The video points out that the wealth disparity is very different from what most Americans think is the case and what they would want it to be and includes a chart illustrating this. A similar Australian […]  Read more »

Energy Efficiency of Grid Storage Technologies

Written by , on March 9, 2013

Researchers at Stanford University's Global Climate and Energy Project have published the results of a study of the energy efficiency of different ways of storing energy on the electricity grid. The study found that compressed air and pumped hydro storage are by far the most energy-efficient techniques. Over its lifetime, compressed air storage can store […]  Read more »

Removing Top Predators Can Dramatically Change CO2 Emissions

Written by , on February 18, 2013

When Trisha Atwood of the University of British Columbia studied the effect of removing predator fish from ponds and rivers in Canada and Costa Rica, she found a consistent pattern – carbon dioxide emissions increased more than tenfold after the predators were removed. Wiping out the top predator results in a "trophic cascade" in which […]  Read more »

The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers

Written by , on February 15, 2013

  Read more »

How Much Will Sea Levels Rise – And When?

Written by , on January 24, 2013

Researchers at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre in Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present have been associated with sea levels at least nine metres above current levels. The researchers compiled more than two thousand pairs of CO2 and sea level data points, spanning critical periods within the last 40 million […]  Read more »

Plastic Gyres in Oceans Will Grow for 500 Years

Written by , on January 22, 2013

A team of researchers, led by  Dr Erik Van Sebelle, at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science say that it will take at least 500 years to stop the growth of five swirling masses of plastic waste in the world's oceans even if we could immediately stop any more plastic […]  Read more »