New research may enhance display and LED lighting technology

Read the full story from the University of Illinois College of Engineering.

Recently, quantum dots (QDs)—nano-sized semiconductor particles that produce bright, sharp, color light—have moved from the research lab into commercial products like high-end TVs, e-readers, laptops, and even some LED lighting. However, QDs are expensive to make so there’s a push to improve their performance and efficiency, while lowering their fabrication costs.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently produced some promising results toward that goal, developing a new method to extract more efficient and polarized light from quantum dots (QDs) over a large-scale area. Their method, which combines QD and photonic crystal technology, could lead to brighter and more efficient mobile phone, tablet, and computer displays, as well as enhanced LED lighting.

Global Extinction Rates: Why Do Estimates Vary So Wildly?

Read the full post at Yale Environment360.

Is it 150 species a day or 24 a day or far less than that? Prominent scientists cite dramatically different numbers when estimating the rate at which species are going extinct. Why is that?

Getting Governors on Board with Landscape Restoration

Read the full post from the World Resources Institute.

While restoration tends to be discussed at the international or national levels, examples show that it is implemented at the state and local levels—with many benefits for communities.

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products

Read the full story from the University of Exeter.

Researchers from the University of Exeter highlight the risk that engineered nanoparticles released from masonry paint on exterior facades, and consumer products such as zinc oxide cream, could have on aquatic creatures.

Textiles, paint, sunscreen, cosmetics and food additives are all increasingly containing metal-based nanoparticles that are engineered, rather than found naturally.

The review, published today in the journal Environmental Chemistry, highlights the risks posed to aquatic organisms when nanoparticles ‘transform’ on contact with water and as they pass from water to sediment and then into sediment dwelling organisms.

Why the Donald Trump phenomenon is bad for the climate

Read the full post at Grist.

Trump thinks cold weather in the U.S. in winter disproves the demonstrable fact that global average temperatures have been steadily rising since the Industrial Revolution. Roberts’ pithy conclusion is that Trump’s opinions are wrong, but, “They are, for the most part, mainstream Republican positions.” That depends on how you look at it. Rejecting climate science is the norm among Republican politicians. (Republican voters are more evenly split between climate science acceptance and denial.) But Trump’s specific approach to climate change represents a more rare and particularly disturbing species of climate science denialism.

Hot and Getting Hotter: Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities

Download the document or explore the interactive report.

Cities are almost always hotter than the surrounding rural area but global warming takes that heat and makes it worse. In the future, this combination of urbanization and climate change could raise urban temperatures to levels that threaten human health, strain energy resources, and compromise economic productivity.