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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Feb 14, 2019

The Green New Deal could help farmers help the planet

Posted by in category: climatology

This month, a group of Democratic lawmakers called for an ambitious plan for the United States to reach net-zero carbon pollution in 10 years. While experts debate whether the proposal is technologically or politically feasible, the so-called Green New Deal is about more than shifting to cleaner, more advanced forms of energy sources. It’s also about shifting to more traditional forms of agriculture.

While farming generally takes a back seat to energy in discussions of climate, it accounts for up to a third of carbon pollution, by one account. Tractors and trucks that harvest and transport our food burn gasoline and diesel, generating pollution. Synthetic fertilizers derived from fossil fuels spur the release of heat-trapping gas from the soil, and cows and sheep emit large volumes of planet-warming pollution. Then there is the matter of agricultural giants burning forests to clear land for farming and grazing, thereby releasing carbon stored in trees into the atmosphere and reducing the capacity of the land to store CO2.

And yet, while agriculture is a big part of the problem, it can also be part of the solution. Smart growing practices can help soak up pollution and store it in the ground — what’s known as carbon farming.

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Feb 12, 2019

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away—or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today.

A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada. These new climate analyses match the expected future climate in each city with the current climate of another location, providing a relatable picture of what is likely in store.

“Under current high emissions the average urban dweller is going to have to drive more than 500 miles to the south to find a climate like that expected in their home city by 2080,” said study author Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “Not only is climate changing, but climates that don’t presently exist in North America will be prevalent in a lot of urban areas.”

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Feb 6, 2019

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: A Preventable Homeland Security Catastrophe

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, government, particle physics, security

A major threat to America has been largely ignored by those who could prevent it. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could wreak havoc on the nation’s electronic systems-shutting down power grids, sources, and supply mechanisms. An EMP attack on the United States could irreparably cripple the country. It could simultaneously inflict large-scale damage and critically limit our recovery abilities. Congress and the new Administration must recognize the significance of the EMP threat and take the necessary steps to protect against it.

Systems Gone Haywire

An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. In an attack, these particles interact and send electrical systems into chaos in three ways: First, the electromagnetic shock disrupts electronics, such as sensors, communications systems, protective systems, computers, and other similar devices. The second component has a slightly smaller range and is similar in effect to lightning. Although protective measures have long been established for lightning strikes, the potential for damage to critical infrastructure from this component exists because it rapidly follows and compounds the first component. The final component is slower than the previous two, but has a longer duration. It is a pulse that flows through electricity transmission lines-damaging distribution centers and fusing power lines. The combination of the three components can easily cause irreversible damage to many electronic systems.

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Feb 2, 2019

‘AI Farms’ Are at the Forefront of China’s Global Ambitions

Posted by in categories: climatology, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability

AI farms are well suited to impoverished regions like Guizhou, where land and labor are cheap and the climate temperate enough to enable the running of large machines without expensive cooling systems. It takes only two days to train workers like Yin in basic AI tagging, or a week for the more complicated task of labeling 3D pictures.


A battle for AI supremacy is being fought one algorithm at a time.

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Jan 31, 2019

The world’s first floating dairy farm will house 40 cows and be hurricane-resistant

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

  • The Dutch company Beladon is opening the world’s first floating dairy farm in the Netherlands.
  • Located in Rotterdam, the farm will house 40 cows in a high-tech facility on the water.
  • Minke van Wingerden, one of the project’s leaders, told Business Insider that the farm will produce an average of 211 gallons of milk each day.
  • Most of the cows’ food will come from city waste products, such as grains left over from local breweries and by-products from mills.
  • Beladon is also interested in launching floating chicken farms and floating vertical farming greenhouses.

A Dutch company is set to debut the world’s first floating dairy farm near Amsterdam.

A high-tech, multilevel facility will soon be floating in the water in Rotterdam, located roughly 50 miles outside of Amsterdam. Minke van Wingerden, a partner at the property development company Beladon, told Business Insider that the 89-by-89 foot farm will produce an average of 211 gallons of milk each day.

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Jan 29, 2019

As tropical oceans warm, we could see a substantial increase in extreme rain storms

Posted by in category: climatology

A new study led by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory finds that 21 percent more storms will form for every 1.8° F (1° C) that ocean surface temperatures rise. See the projections based on currently accepted climate models: https://go.nasa.gov/2GcAS65

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Jan 24, 2019

First geoengineering experiment to dim the sun on track for 2019

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, particle physics, space

© Getty Harvard scientists will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions with a world-first solar geoengineering experiment set for early 2019.

The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) will inject calcium carbonate particles high above the earth in an attempt to reflect some of the sun’s rays back into space.

It will likely mark the first time the controversial concept of dimming the sun — more scientifically known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) — will be tested in the real world.

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Jan 22, 2019

Scientists turn carbon emissions into usable energy

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, sustainability

MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH: A recent study affiliated with UNIST has developed a system that produces electricity and hydrogen (H2) while eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2), the main contributor of global warming. This breakthrough has been led by Professor Guntae Kim in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Jaephil Cho in the Department of Energy Engineering and Professor Meilin Liu in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.

In this work, the research team presented a hybrid Na-CO2 system that can continuously produce electrical and hydrogen through efficient CO2 conversion with stable operation for over 1,000 hours from spontaneous CO2 dissolution in aqueous solution.

“Carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies have recently received a great deal of attention for providing a pathway in dealing with global climate change,” says Professor Kim. “The key to that technology is the easy conversion of chemically stable CO2 molecules to other materials.” He adds, “Our new system has solved this problem with CO2 dissolution mechanism.”

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Jan 21, 2019

Time to Say Goodbye to Coffee?

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, finance, sustainability

Saying farewell to coffee isn’t that easy. According to research about three-fifths of all our beloved coffee species are going to go extinct. This is a phenomenal amount of coffee that we risk losing.

Here’s something to think about as you sip that morning mochaccino:?Deforestation, climate change and the proliferation of pests and fungal pathogens are putting most of the world’s wild coffee species at risk of extinction.

At least 60 percent of wild coffee species are considered “threatened,” according to a study published this week in Science Advances. And fewer than half of all the wild species are safeguarded in so-called germplasm collections—banks for seed and living plants kept in protected areas as backups.

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Jan 20, 2019

Water-based Fuel Cell Converts Carbon Emissions to Electricity

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, sustainability

Carbon emissions are one of the big concerns impacting climate change, with projects from the development of carbon dioxide-scrubbing plants to businesses pledging to offset their carbon emissions being suggested as ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Now scientists from South Korea have come up with a breakthrough concept which can turn carbon emissions into usable energy.

Scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution. The inspiration came from the fact that much of the carbon dioxide produced by humans is absorbed by the oceans, where it raises the level of acidity in the water. Researchers used this concept to “melt” carbon dioxide in water in order to induce an electrochemical reaction. When acidity rises, the number of protons increases, and these protons attract electrons at a high rate. This can be used to create a battery system where electricity is produced by removing carbon dioxide.

The elements of the battery system are similar to a fuel cell, and include a cathode (sodium metal), a separator (NASICON), and an anode (catalyst). In this case, the catalysts are contained in the water and are connected to the cathode through a lead wire. The reaction begins when carbon dioxide is injected into the water and begins to break down into electricity and hydrogen. Not only is the electricity generated obviously useful, but the produced hydrogen could be used to fuel vehicles as well. The current efficiency of the system is up to 50 percent of the carbon dioxide being converted, which is impressive, although the system only operates on a small scale.

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