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Charles Crown

For Already Vulnerable Penguins, Study Finds Climate Change Is Another Danger - 1 views

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    Life has never been easy for just-hatched Magellanic penguins, but climate change is making it worse, according to a decades-long study of the largest breeding colony of the birds.
    The chicks are already vulnerable to predation and starvation. Now, the study at Punta Tombo, Argentina, found that intense storms and warmer temperatures are increasingly taking a toll.
    "Rainfall is killing a lot of penguins, and so is heat," said P. Dee Boersma, a University of Washington scientist and lead author of the study. "And those are two new causes."
    Climate scientists say more extreme weather, including wetter storms and more prolonged periods of heat and cold, is one impact of a climate that is changing because of emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While monitoring the penguin colony, Dr. Boersma and her colleagues also documented regional temperature changes and increases in the number of days with heavy rains.
    The study, which is being published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, is one of the first to show a direct impact of climate change on seabirds. Most studies have looked at how warming temperatures affect animals indirectly, by altering predation patterns or food supplies.
    William J. Sydeman, senior scientist at the Farallon Institute in California, who was not involved in the research, said the study linked changes in climate, which occur on a scale of decades, to the daily scale of life in the colony. "That's a unique contribution," he said.
    The colony at Punta Tombo, in a temperate and relatively dry region about midway along Argentina's coast, is home to about 200,000 breeding pairs of the penguins, which are about 15 inches tall as adults. Dr. Boersma has been working there since 1982, with long-term support from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
    For this study, the researchers compiled data on nearly 3,500 chicks that they meticulously tracked by checking nests once or twice a day throughout the six-month breeding season, w
Charles Crown

Bizarre sources for alternative energy - 1 views

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    * Body Heat

    Body heat can warm an entire building, complete with offices, apartments and shops. In fact, Jernhuset, a state owned property Administration Company is putting together a plan to capture body heat from train commuters traveling through Stockholm's Central Station. The idea is that the heat will warm water running through pipes, which will then be pumped through the building's ventilation system. While in Paris Habitat, owner of a low-income housing project in Paris, will use body heat to warm 17 apartments in a building as well. The said housing project is directly above a metro station near Pompidou Center.


    * Sugar

    Currently, researchers and chemists at Virginia Tech are developing a means to convert sugar into hydrogen. In which can be used in a fuel cell, and in turn it will provide a cheaper, cleaner, pollutant-free and odorless drive. The scientists combine plant sugars, water and 13 powerful enzymes in a reactor, converting the concoction into hydrogen and trace amounts of carbon dioxide. The hydrogen could be captured and pumped through a fuel cell to produce energy. Their process will translate into cost savings; it delivers three times more hydrogen than traditional methods.

    * Solar Wind

    This is way more powerful than humility currently needs is available right now, out in space. A stream of energized, charged particles flowing outward from the sun is actually from the solar wind. Brooks Harrop, a physicist at Washington State University in Pullman and Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State's School of Earth and Environmental Science, think they can capture these particles with a satellite that orbits the sun the same distance Earth does.

    * Feces and Urine

    Feces contain methane, a colorless, odorless gas that could be used in the same way as natural gas. Human waste is also good and so is urine.

    * Vibrations

    Club Watt in Rotterdam, Netherlands is using floor vibrations from people walking and dancing to power its ligh
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