From the 1940s through the 1970s there was no major warming trend in the average surface temperature of Earth. At the same time, the tropical Pacific Ocean, which is responsible for the weather patterns known as El Niño and La Niña that can swing global average temperatures by as much as 0.3 degree Celsius, was anomalously cold. For the past decade or so the tropical Pacific has again gone cold -- more Niña than Niño -- and a new study suggests that the phenomenon may explain the recent "pause" … Read more
I heard an interesting debate the other day on the topic of cities and skyscrapers. In a nutshell, when it comes to cities and buildings, is taller greener or is smaller better? In other words, should environmentally minded people like or dislike skyscrapers?
The Taller Greeners: Building up, rather than out, combats urban sprawl, means more concentration of people, means better for mass transit which equals fewer cars and lower emissions. Building bigger means more opportunity to use technologies like distributed generation, advanced energy efficiency, lighting and monitoring, which typically are more economic in larger projects.
The Smaller … Read more
Like a mini-version of SimCity, the Flash-based Web game Electrocity lets you develop your own metropolis from the ground up. Rather than existing solely as a entertaining Web diversion, however, Electrocity has a hidden agenda.
The sponsor of the game, Genesis Energy, is an energy provider and retailer in New Zealand. Electrocity was developed to increase public awareness about energy usage, its cost, and its effect on the environment.
Electrocity is a fairly simple, turn-based strategy game. You get 150 turns to create your masterpiece, but the challenge is to allocate resources wisely as you build. One-hundred and fifty turns … Read more