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Ideas

Bright ideas for improving the world


Improving Soil Quality Takes CO2 out of the Air

Written by , on August 30, 2018

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have shown that well-established agricultural management practices such as planting cover crops, optimizing grazing and sowing legumes on rangelands, could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil to make a significant contribution to international global warming targets.  Read more »

Cheap and Efficient Ways of Using Wood To Purify Water

Written by , on May 14, 2018

Engineers at the University of Maryland’s School of Engineering have investigated ways of using energy from the sun and a block of wood smaller than an adult’s hand to heat water to produce steam point which can be condensed to provide purified water in an efficient, easily accessible, environmentally friendly, biodegradable way and at an extremely low cost.  Read more »

Food Choices Can Squander Environmental Resources

Written by , on March 28, 2018

It is often estimated that about a third of the food produced for human consumption globally is lost or wasted. But an even bigger waste, which is not included in this estimate, may be through dietary choices that result in the squandering of environmental resources.   Read more »

Street Layout Has a Big Effect on Urban Heat

Written by , on March 26, 2018

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that the pattern of streets in a city can have a big effect on the strength of the local heat island effect which causes cities to be hotter than their surroundings.  Read more »

Regional Climate Mitigation Could Reduce Extreme Heat by 2-3°C

Written by , on January 30, 2018

Modifying the properties of the land surface in highly populated areas and in agricultural areas could reduce extreme temperatures in those regions by up to 2 to 3°C.  Read more »

Could Slag Heaps Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere?

Written by , on April 24, 2017

Phil Renforth, a scientist at Cardiff University, is preparing to test the feasibility of using iron and steel slag deposits to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  Read more »

Scientists Suggest Making More Clouds to Protect the Barrier Reef

Written by , on April 24, 2017

Researchers at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and the University of Sydney School of Geosciences are exploring the possibility of making low-lying clouds off the northeastern coast of Australia more reflective in order to cool the waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.  Read more »

New Technique Could Double the Efficiency of Compressed Air Energy Storage

Written by , on March 30, 2017

An EU project, which is investigating the possibility of storing very large amounts of energy in underground caverns, has proposed a technique which could almost double the efficiency of storing energy of such systems.  Read more »

Turn up the Thermostat and Get a Fan for Most Comfort and Power Saving

Written by , on February 10, 2017

A university study has shown that thermal comfort, perceived air quality and symptoms of sick building syndrome are reported to be equal or better at 26°C and at 29°C, rather than at the common “set point” of 23°C, if a personally controlled fan is used.  Read more »

Powering Trains with Trackside Solar Panels

Written by , on January 12, 2017

Imperial College London and the climate change charity 10:10 have announced a project to investigate using track-side solar panels to power trains. bypassing the electricity grid so that the panels can provide power precisely when needed most. Although this sounds quite straight forward, it is not being done anywhere in the world.  Read more »