Thanks to favorable geography, innovative government policies, and businesses that see the benefits of clean energy investments, California is closing in on its goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
The main reason soaring greenhouse gas emissions have not caused air temperatures to rise more rapidly is that oceans have soaked up much of the heat. But new evidence suggests the oceans’ heat-buffering ability may be weakening.
With a warmer atmosphere expected to spur an increase in major storms, floods, and other wild weather events, scientists and meteorologists worldwide are harnessing advanced computing power to devise more accurate, medium-range forecasts that could save lives and property.
San Francisco, the first urban area in the nation to mandate recycling and composting and begin outlawing items like Styrofoam food containers, aims to completely eliminate the trash it sends to landfills by 2020.
The emerging field of “energy scavenging” is drawing on a wide array of untapped energy sources — including radio waves, vibrations created by moving objects, and waste heat from computers or car exhaust systems — to generate electricity and boost efficiency.