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:: Researchers observe the phenomenon of "lithium plating" during the charging process

Live from inside a battery. Lithium-ion batteries are seen as a solution for energy storage of the future and have become indispensible, especially in electromobility. Their key advantage is that they are able to store large amounts of energy but are still comparatively light and compact. However, when metallic lithium forms and deposits during charging it can lead to a reduced battery lifespan and even short-circuits. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now managed to peer into the inner workings of a battery without destroying it. In the process, they have resolved the so-called lithium plating mystery.

:: The power of salt

MIT study investigates power generation from the meeting of river water and seawater. Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT.

:: Tiny Origami Boxes Hold Big Promise for Hydrogen Energy Storage

Just when you thought your origami skills couldn’t be beat – try using the world’s thinnest material, making the origami fold and unfold itself, and packing more inside than anyone expected. Researchers from the University of Maryland have done just that.

:: EU could afford to lead international climate action

This week, the heads of the EU member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the adoption of a 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030. Despite the fragmented state of global climate policy, such front runner action could reduce future global warming by more than 1 degree if it induced others to join by 2030. This is shown by a study now published by an international team of scientists. Major emitting countries may have to join the EU's effort much earlier to avoid a temporary overshoot of the 2 degree target, but even if they joined only in 2030, the overshoot would be limited to roughly 0.2 to 0.4 degrees Celsius.

:: Solar Power–The Future Energy Resource For Africa

The “second liberation” of Africa would be the use of solar energy to generate electricity to power our homes and industries. Leaders and people of Africa ought to pull themselves out from poverty by utilising the vast amount of solar energy that hits the continent’s surface each year. The sun should be the future energy powerhouse if the continent is to attain a better and meaningful development that will benefit the people as well as the environment. The beauty of it all could be the electrification of our towns and villages with energy from the Sun and the replacement of tro-tro buses with solar driven electric trains.

:: World Energy Council issues official statement ahead of World Energy Congress

WEC calls for policymakers and industry leaders to “get real” as the global energy body exposes the myths informing the energy debate and defines a path to a more sustainable energy future. As the 2013 World Energy Congress gets underway in Daegu, Korea, the World Energy Council (WEC) warned today that several prevailing myths are severely hampering the efforts of governments, industry and civil society to create a sustainable energy future.

:: Are we heading towards 4-degrees warming? And if yes, should we be concerned?

The body of scientific evidence indicating that our civilization has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming: Of the almost 14 000 peer-reviewed climate-change articles from the last two decades, analyzed recently by the geologist James Powell, only 24 deny the warming or its human cause. Also, research keeps piling up studies demonstrating that even bigger modifications of the world’s environment can be expected if the release of heat-trapping gases from industry, agriculture, transportation and settlements is not curbed immediately: New projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) result in up to 6°C higher planetary temperatures by 2100 (as compared to pre-industrial levels) under the assumption of no mitigation. Finally, a disturbing picture of the negative impacts and dramatic risks accompanying unbridled warming of the Earth is emerging: According to a model calibrated with data from the past millennium, a warming by “only” 2°C would generate, by 2300, a sea-level rise of 2.7m above the current value - to name just one dire consequence.

:: Self-cooling windows let in sunlight without the heat

Microfluidic circulatory system embedded in windows may help reduce air-conditioning costs. Sun-drenched rooms make for happy residents, but large glass windows also bring higher air-conditioning bills. Now a bioinspired microfluidic circulatory system for windows developed by researchers at Harvard University could save energy and cut cooling costs dramatically—while letting in just as much sunlight.

:: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Gap Widening as Nations Head to Crucial Climate Talks in Doha

Keeping Average Global Temperature Rise to Below 2°C Still Achievable, with Potentially Big Cuts Possible from Buildings, Transportation and Avoided Deforestation - But Time Running Out. Action on climate change needs to be scaled-up and accelerated without delay if the world is to have a running chance of keeping a global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century.

:: Water in the city

With population growth, urbanisation and economic development, the demand for freshwater in urban areas are increasing throughout Europe. At the same time, climate change and pollution are also affecting the availability of water for city residents. How can Europe's cities continue providing clean freshwater to their residents?

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