Legislative & Regulatory Update

Nitrous Oxide emissions and Ice Ages

Climate Change News - ENN - December 11, 2014 - 8:01am
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas that doesn’t receive as much notoriety as carbon dioxide or methane, but a new study confirms that atmospheric levels of N2O rose significantly as the Earth came out of the last ice age and addresses the cause.An international team of scientists analyzed air extracted from bubbles enclosed in ancient polar ice from Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, allowing for the reconstruction of the past atmospheric composition. The analysis documented a 30 percent increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide concentrations from 16,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago. This rise in N2O was caused by changes in environmental conditions in the ocean and on land, scientists say, and contributed to the warming at the end of the ice age and the melting of large ice sheets that then existed.

ACC Applauds Senate Action to Safeguard Chemical Facilities

Chemical Safety - December 10, 2014 - 8:33am
The legislation provides a four-year authorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).

Warming climate puts wetlands more at risk to invasive species

Climate Change News - ENN - December 10, 2014 - 7:55am
In the battle between native and invasive wetland plants, a new Duke University study finds climate change may tip the scales in favor of the invaders -- but it's going to be more a war of attrition than a frontal assault."Changing surface-water temperatures, rainfall patterns and river flows will likely give Japanese knotweed, hydrilla, honeysuckle, privet and other noxious invasive species an edge over less adaptable native species," said Neal E. Flanagan, visiting assistant professor at the Duke Wetland Center, who led the research. 

Abandoned Wells Identified as Greenhouse Gas 'Super-emitters'

Climate Change News - ENN - December 9, 2014 - 1:32pm
Princeton University researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to the Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. 

Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Values?

Wind turbine developments have no effect on property values of nearby homes and farms, according to new research from the University of Guelph. Published in a recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, the study is believed the first peer-reviewed study on this issue in Canada.

Sandia Labs study points to advantages of storing hydrogen in salt mines

Large-scale storage of low-pressure, gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns and other underground sites for transportation fuel and grid-scale energy applications offers several advantages over above-ground storage, says a recent Sandia National Laboratories study sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office.Geologic storage of hydrogen gas could make it possible to produce and distribute large quantities of hydrogen fuel for the growing fuel cell electric vehicle market, the researchers concluded.Geologic storage solutions can service a number of key hydrogen markets since “costs are more influenced by the geology available rather than the size of the hydrogen market demand,” said Sandia’s Anna Snider Lord, the study’s principal investigator.

Sandia Labs study points to advantages of storing hydrogen in salt mines

Climate Change News - ENN - December 9, 2014 - 7:59am
Large-scale storage of low-pressure, gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns and other underground sites for transportation fuel and grid-scale energy applications offers several advantages over above-ground storage, says a recent Sandia National Laboratories study sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office.Geologic storage of hydrogen gas could make it possible to produce and distribute large quantities of hydrogen fuel for the growing fuel cell electric vehicle market, the researchers concluded.Geologic storage solutions can service a number of key hydrogen markets since “costs are more influenced by the geology available rather than the size of the hydrogen market demand,” said Sandia’s Anna Snider Lord, the study’s principal investigator.

ACC's Dr. Rick Becker to Receive Prestigious Society of Toxicology Award

Chemical Safety - December 9, 2014 - 6:15am
Society to present Arnold J. Lehman Award to Dr. Becker at SOT Annual Meeting in March.

Will more use of natural gas minimize or exacerbate climate change?

Climate Change News - ENN - December 8, 2014 - 3:46pm
Natural gas power plants produce substantial amounts of gases that lead to global warming. Replacing old coal-fired power plants with new natural gas plants could cause climate damage to increase over the next decades, unless their methane leakage rates are very low and the new power plants are very efficient.These are the principal findings of new research from Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and Xiaochun Zhang, and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures that compares the temperature increases caused by different kinds of coal and natural gas power plants. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters.

Warming streams contribute to warming Chesapeake Bay

Climate Change News - ENN - December 8, 2014 - 9:19am
The majority of streams in the Chesapeake Bay region are warming, and that increase appears to be driven largely by rising air temperatures. These findings are based on new U.S. Geological Survey research published in the journal Climatic Change.Researchers found an overall warming trend in air temperature of 0.023 C (0.041 F) per year, and in water temperature of 0.028 C (0.050 F) per year over 51 years.  This means that air temperature has risen 1.1 C (1.98 F), and water temperature has risen 1.4 C (2.52 F) between 1960 and 2010 in the Chesapeake Bay region. 

New Technology Brings Temperatures Down

Greek villages are famous for their glittering white walls and beautiful blue painted accents, which make them a dazzling sight whether you’re approaching the sea or looking out across them from the windows of your blessedly cool room — which stays cool even in the height of summer heat. If you look around, you might notice that there’s no air conditioning. The Greeks don’t need it, because their homes are specifically designed to control temperatures and keep people comfortable. Thick walls insulate rooms to keep temperatures stable, while those handsome white roofs and walls reflect heat.

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