Environmental

Recent Posts

Some aircraft designers think outside the box to improve efficiency
Posted on 24 Mar 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Concern has been expressed in recent years over the contribution of aircraft to GHG emissions. Some airlines have gotten favorable publicity for experimenting with bio-derived fuels. But, what if aircraft were to target reducing fuel consumption by half... Read More

What is the source of the oceans' production of N2O, a potent GHG?
Posted on 7 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The oceans emit an estimated 30% of the nitrous oxide (N2O) entering the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide gives rise to NO (nitric oxide) when it reacts with oxygen atoms, and this NO in turn reacts with ozone. As a result, N2O is the main naturally occurring... Read More

Decline of Western Aspen trees swells population of rodents that carry the deadly sin nombre virus
Posted on 12 Jan 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, Aspen trees in the West have been dying. There appears to be no single cause. However, drought in the 1990's and early 2000's probably made the trees more susceptible to cankers, fungi, and other maladies. The result is... Read More

Assessment of preliminary data indicates that 2010 ties record for warmest year
Posted on 28 Jan 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their analyses of global surface temperature data for 2010. Both found that 2010 was slightly warmer than 2005, but that the difference was not statistically significant. Combined... Read More

Arctic salt clouds are reducting the impact of Global Climate Change on the Arctic region
Posted on 15 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted both the various impacts of Global Climate Change ("GCC") on various aspects of the Earth and its atmospheric systems, as well as the failure of many/most models to include such impacts within their parameters. For example... Read More

Natural gas development poses a risk of enhancing GHG emissions due to "leakage", note new studies
Posted on 11 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Several prior posts have noted the greenhouse impact of methane (aka natural gas); it has many times the warming effect as carbon dioxide (CO2), which seems to be the focus of so much discussion about global warming. The posts have focused on the numerous... Read More

Trees damaged by bark beetles slow their uptake of CO2 for up to a century
Posted on 20 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, bark beetles damage large forest areas, often killing or causing the death of 50% to 80% of mature trees. As these trees decompose, they release CO2, adding to the atmospheric burden of GHG's. New research has identified additional... Read More

California Superior Court blocks regional GHG regulations for failing to undertake CEQA review
Posted on 21 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In Nov. 2010 the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) filed suit against the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's (BAAQMD) CEQA Guidelines re GHG emissions. Among other requirements, environmental evaluations were required if a project... Read More

The trend toward use of heavier crudes increases the carbon footprint of petroleum products
Posted on 6 Dec 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Heavier crudes are, by definition, more viscous. The also contain greater amounts of sulfur, which must be removed because of the adverse impact of sulfur on various catalysts used in the refining process. The sulfur content of fuel is also controlled... Read More

Data from crop trials demonstrates threat climate change poses to crops
Posted on 27 Mar 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Serendipity has helped more than a few scientists with insights and discoveries. Researchers were chatting, and realized that data from work one of them was focused upon various crop trials spread across southern and eastern Africa, if correlated with... Read More