A transportation fuels expert from Sandia National Laboratories says policy makers should consider such practical issues as the number of gas stations selling ethanol and how long it takes to get new transportation technologies to market as they introduce aggressive federal and state energy policies.
With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought, heat, and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation.
Since most of the world's governments have not yet enacted regulations to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, some experts have advocated the development of technologies to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. But a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows that, at least for the foreseeable future, such proposals are not realistic because their costs would vastly exceed those of blocking emissions right at the source, such as at the powerplants that burn fossil fuels.
Over the next two decades, the United States electric grid will face unprecedented technological challenges stemming from the growth of distributed and intermittent new energy sources such as solar and wind power, as well as an expected influx of electric and hybrid vehicles that require frequent recharging. But a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study concludes that the grid is most likely up to the challenge.
A report released late Thursday in London and discussed Friday at the U.N. climate conference in South Africa said that—in theory—reflecting a small amount of sunlight back into space before it strikes the Earth's surface would have an immediate and dramatic effect. But no one knows what the side effects would be.
Britain's electronic listening agency, GCHQ, quietly launched a cryptic Website last month featuring a box of code made up of numbers and letters. There is no branding on the site, only the phrase "Can you crack it?" and a box to type in an answer.
Solving the mystery of prematurely dead cell phone and laptop batteries may prove to be a vital step toward creating a sustainable energy grid, according to Drexel researcher Yury Gogotsi. In a newly published piece, Gogotsi calls for a new, standardized gauge of performance measurement for energy storage devices that are as small as those used in cell phones to as large as those used in the national energy grid.
The United States government could save the economy hundreds of billions of dollars per year by 2050 by spending a few billion dollars more a year to spur innovations in energy technology, according to a new report by researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Even without it’s own manned launch vehicle, NASA is afraid it will soon not have enough astronauts. The space agency needs about 55 astronauts, and currently has 58, but with veteran astronauts leaving the space agency NASA has begun its biggest effort yet to find recruits.
Computerized medical records have been sold as a powerful tool to improve patient safety, for example by automatically alerting a doctor to potential allergic reactions to a medication prescribed to a patient. But a report by a panel from the Institute of Medicine said such benefits shouldn't be taken for granted.
For years, experts and officials have complained about cyberattacks emanating from China. Now, U.S. intelligence agencies have published a report that offers the first detailed public accusations from U.S. officials, saying computer attacks by foreign governments and corporate hackers are on the rise and represent a "persistent threat to U.S. economic security."
The first international survey by a peer-reviewed journal on the public perception of geoengineering and solar radiation management has found that 72% of respondents approved research into these climate-manipulating techniques.
The biggest study ever to examine the possible connection between cellphones and cancer found no evidence of any link, suggesting that billions of people who are rarely more than a few inches from their phones have no special health concerns.
The computer attack that hobbled Iran’s unfinished nuclear power plant last year was assumed to be the work of elite hackers backed by a nation-state. Alarming, however, key elements of the attack have been replicated in the laboratory by security experts, often with little time, money, or specialized skill.
Expecting the worst, NASA agents swept in on a 74-year-old woman in a Denny’s restaurant five months ago to recover what believed to be a moon rock being sold on the black market. The woman claimed the tiny speck of rock, encased in acrylic, was given to her husband by Neil Armstrong. Armstrong says otherwise, and NASA is silent on the case.
On Thursday, California formally adopted the nation's most comprehensive so-called "cap-and-trade" system. The system will be an experiment by the world's eighth-largest economy to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some businesses claim it will hurt job growth and increase electricity costs; proponents say it will do the opposite.
The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists said threatens important research since no one could profit from it.
The organization in charge of the Internet's address system is taking over a database widely used by computers and websites to keep track of time zones around the world. The transition comes a week after the database was abruptly removed from a U.S. government server because of a federal lawsuit claiming copyright infringement.
Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation's food supply.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected 21 teams for the inaugural class of its I-Corp awards. Winning teams will receive guidance from private- and public-sector experts, participate in a specially designed training curriculum, and receive $50,000 to begin assessing the commercial readiness of their technology concepts.
The coming months will be both exciting and bittersweet at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. What was for many years the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, Tevatron, will soon cease to operate. But Fermilab will continue to be America’s “City of Energy”, confirming faster-than-light results from CERN and building Project X.
On Thursday, the box car-sized Tiangong-1 module was shot into space from a launch pad at the edge of the Gobi Desert. Within the next few weeks, another spacecraft will be launched to practice remote-controlled maneuvers with this experiment capsule, setting the stage for what China hopes to a full space station launch beginning in 2020.
According to an internal government watchdog, the Obama administration cut corners before concluding that climate-change pollution can endanger human health. This key finding underpins costly new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
For some, Marcellus Shale natural gas represents a economic boon for America. For others, it’s an ongoing ecological disaster. Scientists worry that as advocates on both sides spin every shred of research to fit their own views, they will ignore the bigger picture.
Over the past decade, federal research laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shifted from Cold War-era defense R&D to meeting the challenges of new terror threats, developing a nationwide system to sniff the air for germs such as anthrax and smallpox.