SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Running in Circles Over Carbon
from the New York Times (Registration Required)
WASHINGTON - Cutting carbon dioxide emissions is a fine idea, and a lot of companies would be proud to do it. But they would prefer to be second, if not third or fourth. This is not a good way to get started in fighting global warming.
As efforts to pass a global warming bill collapsed in the Senate last week, companies that burn coal to make electricity were looking for a way to build a plant that would capture its emissions. There is a will and a way - several ways, in fact - to do just that.
Capturing carbon from these plants may become a lot more important soon. Emissions from coal-fired power plants already account for about 27 percent of American greenhouse emissions, but as prices for other fuels rise, along with power demand, utilities will burn more coal.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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