1 Climate change could shift the ranges of 130 North American tree species northward by hundreds of kilometers and shrink the ranges of some by as much as 58 percent.

2 Israeli researchers figured out how venom from jewel wasps turns cockroaches into zombies. After stinging, wasps lead the victim by the antennae to their burrow. There the roach is consumed by wasp larva from the inside out.

3 A new system called V2G allows batteries of electric and hybrid cars to store or supply grid electricity. Such a system could help smooth peaks in energy demand: 100 of the vehicles could provide 1 megawatt of storage.

4 For the first time, biodiesel alone fueled an airplane. BioJet 1—a Czechoslovakian-made L-29 jet that runs on vegetable oil refined into biodiesel—climbed to 17,000 feet and flew for more than 37 minutes in Nevada.

5 As if rising global temperatures and shrinking sea ice weren’t enough of a threat to polar bears—the practice of selectively hunting males could eventually leave females without mates.

6 Researchers proposed a novel way to mitigate global warming: Enhance the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 by building water treatment plants that remove hydrochloric acid from seawater and neutralize it. One hundred such plants could reduce 15 percent of global CO2 emissions; 700 could offset all of them.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.

Wasps eat roaches, plane uses biofuel
Climate change could affect North American tree species, polar bears may be under threat and researchers propose mitigating global warming.