Saturday, April 28, 2012

Global Warming intensifying Global Water Cycle by double current climate model projections

New research into ocean salinity levels has revealed a strong global water cycle intensification during the period of 1950 to 2000. The researchers report the rate of change in the global water cycle is double the rate projected by current-generation climate models. The study found "robust evidence of an intensified global water cycle at a rate of about eight per cent per degree of surface warming," said study co-author Dr Durack, a post-doctoral fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US.

Pollution caused global warming hole delayed climate change over eastern United States


Reduction in air pollution from coal fired power stations due to environmental regulations since the 1980s has increased regional global warming in the Central and Eastern United States. Climate scientists from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) found that particulate pollution, particularly from coal fired power stations, caused a global warming hole, or a large cold patch reducing temperatures by up to 1 degree C in the region, particularly lowering maximum temperatures in Summer and Autumn.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Breakthrough in Photovoltaic solar cell efficiency

Researchers from Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy and the University of Sydney, with Australian Solar Institute support, have achieved a record breaking 40 per cent efficiency in the output from crystalline silicon solar cells. Previously, only up to about 33 per cent of energy could be harvested from normal amorphous crystalline silicon solar cells.

Associate Professor Tim Schmidt from Sydney University's School of Chemistry has been researching improving solar cell efficiency using the upconversion technique, a process which harvests the part of the solar spectrum currently unused by solar cells, and eliminates the need for costly redevelopment of solar cells.