Northern Shrimp


Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis)

test blog

Labels: innovate

test blog

September 12, 2013

Quiet progress made on international greenhouse gas control. 

Advances still being made in photovoltaic efficiency and capacity.

Improvements in PV cell connection capacity.

Off-grid solar water sterilization developed. 
This is good news, particularly in the field of coping with the effects of climate change. Much of the world is expected to have increasing difficulty with access to drinkable water. This and the following link are new tools that can be used to make sure we have the water we need.

New fog-harvesting mesh allows for collection of fresh water from fog.

Solar-powered hydrogen production: a way to store the sun for later.

 Creative advancement: wood battery development. 

Advances in fuel cell technology.

Wave energy system also generates fresh water.

Solar power still growing in the U.S.

California enacting pro-renewable energy policy.

Germany broke world solar power generation record in July.



May 29, 2013

China’s wind power production increased more than coal power did for first time ever in 2012

Republican Mayor Leads City To First-Ever Solar Energy Mandate

Dairy farm uses cow manure to power barns, factory, gift shop, trucks, and more

Greenland halts new oil drilling licenses

Solar industry now likely a net energy producer

Australian carbon tax could mean 100% renewables by 2030

Portugal generates 70% of power from renewable sources for three months

Solar/wind hybrids more efficient than previously thought

Oslo's trash-to-energy system so successful they're now IMPORTING trash

Scientists develop new CO2 sequestration technique

Cost of solar still plummeting

"Market-driven moratorium" on new coal in the US

More advances in pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere

World's biggest ice sheets more stable than previously thought

Research guiding assisted migration of forests in Canada

Coming soon: solar power that costs the same as paint

Innovative power storage technique uses deep-water pressure

Study shows great potential for underground compressed air power storage

Researchers design photobioreactor to produce biofuel from algae

New battery technology offers another pathway to low-cost, long-life power storage

Innovative self-cooling, thermoelectric system consumes no electricity

More increases in black solar cell efficiency

Experiments in renewable microgrid

Investments in clean energy could reach $630 billion by 2030 (but probably more)

MIT designs floating wind turbines with built-in power storage

IBM develops solar collector that magnifies sunlight 2000x, costs 3x less than similar systems

The process of leap-frogging to renewable energy continues in developing countries

Successes in LED farming

Improvements in LED designs on the horizon

Massachusetts butterflies advance

 A recent article in Biological Conservation (Polgar et al. 2013) uses reports of first sightings of several species in the Lycaenidae butterfly family to examine whether these species are showing any response to the warming temperatures New England has seen in the past century.  The team used citizen science data from 1986-2009, as well as museum records covering the years 1893-1985. 

There are many points of interest in this study.  The most obvious is that the 10 species (in groups called elfins and hairstreaks) do in fact show clear evidence that the rising temperatures are related to earlier and earlier appearance of these insects.  For each degree C of warming, the species appeared from one to 5 days earlier (depending on the species).

But the story has interesting complications.  First, people tend to be on the lookout for signs of insect activity more intensively during the early part of the season, so the researchers found that the most complete data over time are available for about the first 20% of the "emergence season."  People who are tracking the behavior of some species of plant, insect, bird, or amphibian, should bear this in mind, and try to continue their data collection throughout the period of the phenological phase they are observing.

Second, the data for about half of the study species show some variation in New England depending on the location.  For example, the paper notes that elfins, which appear earlier, tend to emerge later in inland Massachusetts than along the coast — probably because the cold lasts longer away from the seacoast. By contrast, the hairstreaks, coming later, encounter inland temps that have warmed faster than the coast, and they emerge sooner inland.  This kind of variation according to small-scale geography is turning out to be a very interesting area of research, in the effort to understand the impacts of climate change on animals and plants (and we will soon report on some other recent work in that line).

Finally, the paper is interesting because by now, there has been a fair amount of research on the phenology of several groups of organisms in New England — plants, birds, bees, and some butterflies (We described an earlier paper on butterflies on this site last September:  "Massachusetts butterflies weigh in"). All the organisms that are most responsive to local conditions — insects, plants, and some but not all bird species— are telling essentially the same story, but in each case, the biology and biogeography of these organisms introduces interesting variations and puzzles, whose answers remain to be worked out or confirmed.