Energy and environment

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Abandoned cropland helps make Europe cooler

As nations prepare to mitigate climate change, decision makers need to understand how land use fits into the climate equation. A new study looked at land use changes over two decades and found a major shift from cropland to forests.  That change made western Europe cooler.

China’s rapid development of solar and wind power

Chinese authorities are investing heavily in green energy. The country has become a world leader in solar and wind power. This rapid expansion was made possible by the approach taken by authorities.

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Towards a sustainable term for sustainability

The concept of sustainability has long been incorporated into our collective vocabulary. The word is used in many contexts, including in the PR industry. If we are going to find a way out of the climate and environmental crisis, maybe it should be replaced?

Your plane travel destroys polar bear habitat

A group of polar bear researchers wants you to do more than worry about the fate of these beautiful animals. They’ve calculated how much summer sea ice is melted per metric tonne of CO2 emissions. Then you can decide if the flight you’re planning to take is worth destroying polar bear habitat.

How much microplastic is there in your laundry basket?

Every time you wash clothes, you are releasing microplastics into the sea, but we know little about the amount and distribution of such material from different types of textile. Research scientists are now working on measuring and capturing microplastics in our laundry.

SF6: The Truths and Myths of this Greenhouse Gas

The atmospheric concentration of the highly-potent greenhouse gas SF6 has never been higher. Fingers have been pointed at the expanding renewables industry, but is that a fair assessment?

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When art turns climate activist

Can art that literally takes your breath away make you more climate friendly? You can find out yourself if you happen to be in Madrid, at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 25.

Lithium can now be recycled

Lithium from Norwegian electric car batteries isn’t recycled that often. Instead, it ends up as waste when other metals it’s mixed with are recycled. But this may change.

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Testing CO2 transport on the laboratory roof

When scientists carry out experiments to investigate safe and efficient CO2 transport on the roof of the thermal power engineering laboratories at Trondheim, Norway, the noise they make will sound like a jet engine.

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Svalbard reindeer populations rebounding from centuries of hunting

As reindeer go, the animals living on Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.

Computer video simulation can limit flooding

Floods are expensive and at times dangerous. But what if a computer disaster simulation game could show politicians and local people what potential floods in their town would look like?

More hydropower and a better environment

The Norwegian public authorities’ estimates of the potential to expand the country’s power plants are probably too low. A new approach is creating opportunities for increased production while also enhancing environmental aspects.

Buy less, be happier and build a healthy planet

You may feel like you can’t do anything to stop climate change. But climate activists who joined in grassroots movements managed to cut their carbon footprints and were still happier than their non-activist peers, new research shows.

Turning waste heat into hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen as an energy carrier can help us move away from fossil fuels, but only if it is created efficiently. One way to improve efficiency is to use waste heat that’s left over from other industrial processes.