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SPOTLIGHT

1. CLEAN TECHNOLOGY

Chinese companies climb learning curve on how to deal with the West

SHANGHAI -- On a foggy afternoon in early 2012, Kenn Ross heard his cellphone ringing. He picked it up, and that was the beginning of a multimillion-dollar dialogue. "We know that your company helps form acquisitions between Western firms and players in China. Do you have relations with providers of solar technology, coal gasification technology and other renewable energy technologies?" a Chinese man asked over the phone. The man was calling from a Chinese state-owned mining company headquartered in Inner Mongolia, Ross recalled. Like many state-owned companies here, the mining company has operations worth tens of billions of dollars. But regardless of how wealthy they are, Chinese companies often lack the cutting-edge technology needed to run their operations with less energy and lowered emissions.

2. OCEANS

Oceans may absorb more carbon than expected -- study

For a while, Adam Martiny and some of his fellow scientists had suspected something was not right in how researchers understand the oceans. The object of their suspicion was something called the Redfield ratio, a principle stating that, when nutrients are not limiting, ocean microorganisms always have the same ratio of three elements: carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. This matters now because the Redfield ratio is used to help modelers and biogeochemists understand how important elements like nitrogen and carbon cycle in the oceans. If the Redfield ratio does not hold true, climate researchers might have to adjust how that process is represented in their climate models.

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