Energy and environment

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A climate dictionary

Have you ever wondered what climate scientists are really saying, but find it a little embarrassing to ask anyone about the language? Here is a glossary that explains commonly used technical terms.

Timing is everything for renewable energy use

There’s no time to waste in shifting to renewable energy sources if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. That’s especially true when it comes to bioenergy, which causes a temporary increase in CO2 levels that is later removed as replacement biostocks grow.

Uncovering secrets of ice that burns

Methane hydrates can be seen as a potential energy source or as a dangerous source of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than CO2. With the help of a supercomputer and an interdisciplinary team, scientists have uncovered important details about their stability if they are disturbed by human-induced or natural forces.

Going for a geothermal world record

In Italy, researchers and drilling technologists are on the verge of making a geological breakthrough. They’re drilling deep enough to find what they call ‘supercritical’ water. If they succeed it will be a major technological breakthrough.

Awash in trash at the top of the world

Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste blows, falls or flows into the world’s oceans. Earlier this autumn, participants in the annual Svalbard Course plucked up 512 kg of the stuff from just one beach in two hours.

Turning political pledges into action on climate change

Beginning on 30 November, the nations of the world will gather in Paris to discuss a new global agreement on climate change. But what will it take to transform international political will into real action to curb global warming?

111 days in the ice

Drilling down to understand sea ice

Global warming is upending virtually everything that scientists know about the Arctic ice cap. During the first half of 2015, a multinational team of researchers froze the RV Lance into the Arctic ice to learn more about how this ice has changed. NTNU researchers were among the scientists seeking to learn more about this changing environment.

The jewel in the crown

“Dynamic positioning” has been hailed as “the jewel in the crown” and Norway’s greatest engineering feat since World War II. But what is it?

Recycling aluminium, one can at a time

Producing pure aluminium from ore accounts for as much as 1 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Recycling is the best way to reduce that carbon footprint – but manufacturers and recycling companies will have to plan carefully to avoid problems with impurities that accumulate in recycled aluminium over time.

Carving up the global carbon pie in a new way

When negotiators come to Paris this December to discuss a binding and universal agreement on controlling climate change, they have to know how much each country contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions problem. A new method offers the best hope yet for accurately accounting for these emissions by providing the right incentives and assigning fair responsibilities.

Predicting a safe lifetime for risers

More than 90 percent of Brazil’s petroleum reserves are found in deep water or ultra-deep water areas offshore. Researchers at SINTEF’s Brazil office are using advanced modelling and testing, including neural networks, to improve the lifespan and safety of a key component used to exploit these deep water reserves.

A Third Industrial Revolution for Norway

Norway’s wealth and prosperity over the last four decades has been built on oil, but Jeremy Rifkin, a futurist and social and economic thinker, says it’s time for the country to change. The Third Industrial Revolution is coming, and Norway needs to abandon fossil fuels and move towards a greener future that relies on renewable energy, shared transport and ultra-efficient housing.

Extreme weather in the Arctic causes problems for people, wildlife

The last week of January 2012 brought wild weather to the Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard and its largest town, Longyearbyen. A new cross-disciplinary study provides a comprehensive look at the effects of this extreme weather event on everything from town infrastructure to the natural environment.

Low-carbon electricity future is clean and feasible

The countries of the world wrapped up preliminary climate talks in Lima, Peru this weekend with an agreement on how the UN’s 194 countries will tackle climate change. The agreement comes in advance of major negotiations scheduled for Paris next year to designed to curb the world’s production of greenhouse gases. In a publication from earlier this year, researchers at NTNU’s Industrial Ecology Programme report that the low-carbon future that would result from curbing greenhouse gas emissions is both feasible from a practical standpoint, and will also substantially reduce air pollution.

Turning humble seaweed to biofuel

A Norwegian research group has been able to achieve bio-oil yields of 79% from a common kelp. Other researchers working with the same species have yields closer to 20%. The secret is to heat the kelp very quickly and bring it to the right temperature within seconds.

Hope for the climate, hope for clean air

Climate talks in New York this week have offered a glimmer of hope that the world’s political leaders finally understand the need to act to curb global warming. An NTNU researcher says that these actions will have a beneficial side effect: cleaner air in some of the most polluted places on the planet.

The Towing Tank turns 75

NTH, Norway’s first technical university and one of the main predecessors to NTNU, SINTEF and MARINTEK, opened in Trondheim in 1910. Just three years later its scientists began to think very big – 170 metres big.

Capturing false hormones

They damage our ability to reproduce, and they pollute the natural environment. Yet chemicals known as hormone mimics can be found in consumer goods. Eventually they end up in our water. But we now have a way of capturing them.

Monitoring neighbourhood electricity consumption

With more and more Norwegian households owning one or even two electric cars requiring charging overnight, how will we manage without sacrificing our hot morning shower and fresh bread for breakfast?