Energy and environment

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Using materials efficiently can substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the production of materials like metals, minerals, woods and plastics more than doubled in 1995 – 2015, accounting for almost one-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Material efficiency needs to play a larger role in climate planning, a new report says.

Palm oil plantation and native forests

Losing ground in biodiversity hotspots worldwide

Agriculture is eating into areas that are important in protecting some of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Most of this new agricultural land is being used to grow cattle feed.

Interior from the old thermal power laboratory at the Norwegian University of Technology. The picture shows machines and equipment and people at work.

110 years of engineers who built Norway

We often associate innovation with someone who invents something completely new. But innovation is also about improving and expanding on existing technology. One hundred and ten years of Norwegian engineering history provides plenty of examples.

Artist's impression of subsea oil and gas installation
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Simulation model may reduce the climate footprint of oil production

Future offshore oil and gas fields are most likely to be “satellite developments” that are less expensive and emit less greenhouse gases than other fields because they do not require new production platforms. An innovative Norwegian computational tool called “Slug Capturing 2” is now enabling the design of longer pipelines that will allow many more fields to be developed as satellites.

New lessons from the worst oil spill disaster ever

Ten years ago, the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico killed eleven men and resulted in the largest accidental oil spill in history. Years of investigations concluded that the drilling crew missed critical warning signals that would have stopped the problem. A new analysis suggests that wasn’t the case.

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How a Plasma Gasifier Can Reduce CO2 Emissions

CO2 emissions are generally recognized as something we need to avoid. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just transform the CO2 into useful substances? Plasma technology has been proposed as a way to achieve this, and we have studied the feasibility of the concept from physical, chemical and economical points of view.

From coronavirus to a greener society?

Governments across the globe are funding record-breaking crisis packages to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Is this the time to fund greener, more climate-friendly industries and investments?

Global supply chains as a way to curb carbon emissions

The coronavirus outbreak raised everyone’s awareness of the significance of global supply chains to modern economies. But global supply chains also play an important role in greenhouse gas emissions. How they are managed can either increase or decrease carbon emissions, new research shows.

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.

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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.