Jul 23, 2020 at 12:30 am #3665943
How Scientists Cracked the Climate Change Case
The biggest crime scene on the planet is the planet.
We know the earth is warming, but who or what is causing it?
Gavin Schmidt : The New York Times : Oct. 24, 2018
Dr. Schmidt is the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The latest report from the world’s climate scientists has made clear the size of the challenge if the world is to stay below the global warming limit hoped for in the Paris climate agreement. Unfortunately, with current trends we are likely to cross this threshold within the next two decades because we are already two-thirds of the way there.
But how do we know what is driving these climate trends? It comes down to the same kind of detective work that typifies a crime scene investigation, only here we are dealing with a case that encompasses the whole world. Let me give you my view, which does not necessarily represent the position of NASA or the federal government.
For the past 100 years we have documented good, independently confirmed observations of change at the surface of the planet, and for the past 40 years satellites and comprehensive measuring efforts have provided a much fuller view of changes throughout the earth system. These observations show clearly that among other things, the surface of the planet has warmed, the upper atmosphere has cooled, the oceans are gaining an enormous amount of heat, sea level is rising, Arctic ice has greatly receded and glaciers around the world are in retreat…Jul 29, 2020 at 5:06 pm #3667250
“Northwest clean-energy advocates eye pumped hydro to fill gaps, with tribes noting concerns”
“The Goldendale Energy Storage Project would be the largest of its kind in the Northwest. It’s an old technology that’s recently received a lot of study and interest from companies looking to build energy storage projects in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.”
“Pumped hydropower is an old technology. To make it work, there are two reservoirs, typically one high up on a hilltop, the other down below. When there’s a lot of electricity available, water is pumped from the lower reservoir into the higher one.”
“Permitting and construction can take up to 10-years for these types of projects, making them costly and time-consuming for investors.
Kurt Miller, with Northwest RiverPartners, said it’s important to fast-track some of these “low-impact technologies that will help be an important contributing factor to our clean energy goals.”
“The Yakama Nation has opposed the Goldendale facility from the start. They say the site footprint would impact sacred cultural resources, “including archeological, ceremonial, burial petroglyph, monumental and ancestoral use sites,” according to Paul Ward, Yakama Nation Fisheries Program manager.
“As you’re aware, the Columbia River was dammed over the last century. In doing so, that impacted many of our rights, interests and resources,” Ward said at a Washington Senate committee hearing earlier this year. “All of these things have been impacted: our fish sites, our villages, our burial sites up and down the river. This is another example of energy development, development in the West, that comes at a cost to the Yakama Nation.””Jul 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm #3667253
it’s important to fast-track some of these “low-impact technologies”
Well, no vested interests there of course.
They would say that, wouldn’t they?
CheersJul 29, 2020 at 5:36 pm #3667259
if this reduced fossil fuel use it would be a good thing
The Grand Coulee dam, in particular, has been horrendous for tribes. It flooded their homes. It ended their food supply, salmon. Nobody asked them about it.
Maybe there’s some way to put pumped hydro where it wouldn’t impact tribes.
In the Columbia gorge there’s a lot of wind for turbines, and there is lots of elevation gain for pumped hydro. Plenty of water.
The technology is well developed, as opposed to batteriesJul 29, 2020 at 11:40 pm #3667580
Buildings that Adapt to the Climate Through their Skin
Eduardo Souza | Translated by Tarsila Duduch : ArchDaily.com : September 26, 2019
Facades are the interface between the interior and exterior of a building. They are the most striking and visible parts of a building, they protect it from external agents and are one of the main contributors to creating comfortable environments since it is where thermal gains and losses occur. Just like our skin, an extremely versatile organ of our body, it should be natural for it to be the part of the building which bears technology capable of becoming adaptable to the environmental conditions of the place where it is located.
This is why the term Smart Facades has been increasingly mentioned. A facade can be considered smart when it adapts to environmental conditions and transforms itself simultaneously. This happens through its components (passive or active), which adjust to adapt to different conditions, responding to changes that occur on the outside and inside of the building. When it comes to facades, the main focus is on the equation of maximizing natural sunlight, protecting from solar radiation, while controlling ventilation and heat input/output. These exchanges can occur through the glazing, which can be considered smart when its properties of light transmittance shift due to electrical voltage, light or heat is then applied, causing the glass to change its appearance thus altering the intensity as well as certain wavelengths of light.
We have already published an article on adaptive facades for more resilient architecture that features a variety of technologies that adapt to the environment. Although many of the solutions presented there may seem like science fiction, there already are options available in the market for smart facades, with modern glasses that control light transmittance, transparency, and the phenomenon of snow melting, to make buildings more intelligent and ecological. We have selected some market solutions below:
Glass that changes its appearance upon stimulation…
Glass that provides heat to the interior…
Self-cleaning glass…Jul 29, 2020 at 11:55 pm #3667582
Quit Obsessing About Climate Change.
What You Do or Don’t Do No Longer Matters.
Glen Hendrix : Medium.com : Mar 27 2019
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash
Quit worrying about going vegan, or recycling, or riding a bicycle to work, or buying a Tesla instead of that Ford F-650 pickup you’ve always wanted in order to save the planet. You’re off the hook. It’s out of your hands. You can do these things if it makes you feel better, but they are not going to change the big picture. Whatever you do does not matter. Unless you are a head of state, king, president, prime minister, or other grand poobah, it is above your pay grade. If you are able to vote for people of power, that is what is left for you to do. Other than that …. nothing.
According to scientists, the only way to keep the planet’s temperature from increasing 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit is to immediately phase out all fossil fuel infrastructure and devices. As soon as existing coal, oil, or gas plants reach their engineered lifespans, instead of refurbishing we must shut them down. If we don’t, the estimates for increasing temperatures start going up. At 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, positive feedback loops of evaporating Arctic methane could kick in. Methane is 21 times better at warming the atmosphere than CO2. The warmer temps evaporate the methane. The methane makes the atmosphere warmer. It evaporates more methane …. you get the picture.
I don’t want to be a Donny Downer or a Cassandra but how likely do you think shutting down the fossil fuel industry is? The industry has just invested billions upon billions on natural gas liquefaction plants to easily transport this fuel around the world. They are not giving that up without a tooth and nail, knock down drag out; and they have the money to do it. There are 25 countries whose oil percentage of exports range from Malaysia’s 22.3% to Iraq’s 99.8%. The trucking, railways, shipping, and airline industries would have to be completely transformed to electric or hydrogen propulsion. They will be as reluctant as oil and gas to give it up. All 195 countries would require state-ordained laws banning the use of fossil fuels entirely. There are still vast numbers of people in Africa that gather around campfires and stoves burning wood or coal just like they did thousands of years ago. What are they going to use?
This is the most pivotal point in the history of man. We only get one shot at this. If we blow it, we won’t get a comparable situation for millions of years, if ever. If mankind does have a world-wide civilization by then, we will have forgotten all of this — this choice we had. Save the planet or just get along and ignore it until it is too late. Scientists are saying our planet is doomed and all I hear on the news is everything but that. We are a society in denial, trying to collectively whistle past the graveyard. Our weather men won’t even talk about it on the local news. It might be construed as political. It might upset people. We are so polite and civilized in our denouement…Jul 30, 2020 at 1:25 am #3667586
Given how hard it is to get ‘educated Americans’ to just wear face masks and practice social distancing …
Um.Jul 30, 2020 at 7:40 am #3667593
Individuation taken to excess. Personal autonomy at the cost of the social fabric. Also, still the echoes of the frontier, the outsider, the renegade. Yet I identify most with all of the above, while nestled in a Confucian garden, from which I am disjunct, and will not learn the language. Already work from home, 100% digital / 100% distance. Social distance a desirable measure, not something to fight, but alas, not in the Korean nature. Mask an inconvenience, but no resistance in principle. The young do not bother, they consider no risk. Older men who have given up won’t waste their breath, and spit, cough, and sneeze on and over all, regardless.
Battery research and technology is far more advanced than Jerry imagines.
Distance learning a natural progression for humanity, don’t cling to the traditional classroom, let it go. The young digital literati will forge their own social realm online. Reinvent ourselves.
We have to refocus on global warming / environmental pollution/degradation, see past the pandemic, regain the global perspective, heal the planet…Jul 30, 2020 at 8:29 am #3667597
pumped hydro – exists, nothing to develop, although improvements are possible
batteries – still being developed. We need new advances to make them practical for large scale utilities.
I’m not saying we should write batteries off, but that we should be building pumped hydro projects now
another storage that pretty much works now is to melt something (sodium?) with the sun and then use that to generate steam to make electricity. You could store the melted sodium until you needed the power. You could take space blanket, 55 gallon drum, aquarium pump and make cheap reflectors – no that’s a different thread but same idea : )Jul 30, 2020 at 6:44 pm #3667658
An as-yet unpublished paper (that I am unable to cite) reports that in order to control the unstable fluctuation of energy supply and demand from renewable energy sources, several energy storage systems have been suggested. These include the fuel cell, supercapacitor, lithium/sodium ion battery, and aqueous redox flow battery, which can then be deployed to develop large-scale energy storage technologies for practical use. Due to their long-cycling stability, design flexibility, and safety using aqueous electrolyte, vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are considered a highly suitable system for large-scale energy storage. Because of their interesting properties, protein-derived carbon materials have attracted considerable attention in both science and industry. They offer abundant heteroatoms, high electrical conductivity, and facile tunability. In this paper, the authors exploit commercial silk fabric, bought in a city market, to form the electrode materials of VRFBs, by designing their surface properties and microstructure through a simple facile pyrolysis process, without post-modification. Depending on the temperature of pyrolysis, the electrodes show low peak potential separation values in both catholyte and anolyte, and excellent electro-catalytic activity. Single cell-based VRFBs demonstrate high energy efficiency, and long-term cycling stability.Jul 30, 2020 at 7:25 pm #3667660
commercial silk fabric? That would be interesting.
The URL when it has been published would be appreciated.
CheersAug 6, 2020 at 7:18 am #3669345
Peril in the hills: Extreme weather a danger for Nilgiri ecosystem
Despite consecutive years of extreme precipitation over short periods in the Nilgiri Biosphere, hardly any step has been taken to address ecological security
Godwin Vasanth Bosco : Down to Earth : 03 August 2020
Thousands of trees lay dead and strewn around the western parts of the Nilgiri Plateau in southern India. Deep gashes scar ancient mountains, standing a stark contrast to the lush green vegetation that they otherwise support.
As conservationists and activists are fighting to protect forests and wilderness areas from being deforested, mined and diverted to “developmental” projects, there is another level of destruction happening to our last remaining wild spaces. Climate change is causing widespread collapse of ecosystems.
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a record-breaking 417 parts per million (ppm) in May 2020, highest in three million years. Along with global warming caused sea level rise and the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, the steep increase in greenhouse gas concentrations has led to a surge in the frequency of extreme climate events.
A region where climate change caused weather extremities are exceedingly apparent are the coastal plains and Western Ghats of southern India. In the last four years, this region has been affected by eight tropical cyclones and consecutive extreme rainfall events during the southwest monsoon periods of the last two years. These bouts of intense storms have been interspersed with periods of severe droughts, heatwaves, deficient and failed monsoons.
On August 8, 2019, the Avalanche and Emerald valley regions, which are part of the Kundha watershed, received an unprecedented 900 millimetre (mm) rainfall within 24 hours. It broke the record for the highest rainfall in Tamil Nadu, by nearly twice the amount. Over four days, the region experienced close to 2,500 mm rainfall.
To put this in perspective, Coimbatore, the nearest city in the plains of Tamil Nadu, receives 600 mm of rain annually. The Kundha watershed bore a deluge that was four times the annual rainfall amount, over just four days. The upper watershed of the Kundha river is a complex of several peaks above 2,400 m and broad deep valleys.
The river, which is a primary tributary to the Bhavani that feeds into the Cauvery, is fed by numerous streams and rivulets at the headwater sections. With the barraging downpour, nearly every stream and rivulet burst its course. Vast tracts of precious soil and shola ecology slipped away on either side of the watercourses.
Gone are the rich black soil layers topped with spongy humus that line the streams; washed away are the dark moss and wild balsam covered rocks that shaped the flow of every stream; lost are the thousands of shola trees, dwarf bamboo and forest kurinji (shrubs of blue flowers which covered the hills) that guarded the streams, saplings, ferns and orchids of the forest floor.
In place of these are deep cuts of gauged out Earth, revealing the underlying lateritic soil and rocks…Aug 6, 2020 at 10:52 am #3669374Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Given how hard it is to get ‘educated Americans’ to just wear face masks and practice social distancing …
um . . . an apparent COVID disaster in Australia?Aug 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm #3669409
The U.S. has had over 4.6 million reported Covid-19 coronavirus cases with over 154,578 deaths, as of today, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Meanwhile, Australia has had 17,895 cases and 208 deaths. Yet, Victoria, the second most populated state in Australia, has just declared a “State of Disaster,” and Melbourne has moved into a “stage four” lock down.
(from Nick’s reference)
Well, we take our COVID seriously you know.Aug 6, 2020 at 5:13 pm #3669415
you really have to look at per capita
U.S. – 491 deaths per million
Australia – 10
It’s good that Australia is taking strong actions when the daily new cases first goes up. Rather than waiting until it gets really bad like we do in the U.S.Aug 6, 2020 at 5:18 pm #3669416
maybe Nick just read the headline rather than the entire article?
the whole point of the article was criticism of Trump for claiming things are so bad in AustraliaAug 7, 2020 at 8:03 am #3669733
How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly
The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.
David Roberts : vox.com : Aug 6, 2020
A zoomed-out image of Griffith’s visualization. Rewiring America/Saul Griffith
In the runup to World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enlisted the entire US economy in an effort to scale up production of war material. All of the country’s resources were bent to the task. In 1939, the US had 1,700 aircraft and no bombers; in 1945, it had 300,000 military aircraft and 18,500 B–24 bombers.
By the time the war was won, the economy was up and humming with a massively expanded workforce (drawing in women and African Americans) and turbocharged productive capacity. Investments made during the war mobilization yielded a robust middle class and decades of sustained, broadly shared prosperity.
A similar mobilization will be necessary for the US to decarbonize its economy fast enough to avert the worst of climate change. To do its part in limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5° and 2° Celsius, the US must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this, the full resources of the US economy must be bent toward manufacturing the needed clean-energy technology and infrastructure…Aug 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm #3669936
“New research suggests the strength of the Florida Current, which forms the beginning of the Gulf Stream, has weakened considerably over the last century.”
This has a big effect on climate on the east coast and Europe. Maybe tropical ocean areas will be warmer, east coast and Europe cooler. This has a big effect on how global warming will be. There are similar currents other places like the Pacific.
If the tropical ocean areas are warmer – more or stronger hurricanes?
Maybe global warming on the east coast and Europe will be moderated?
We are living a very interesting science experiment. As in “may you live in interesting times”.
Since we don’t know what the result will be, we better reduce CO2 output. At least to the degree it doesn’t severely impact the economy and our quality of life. Don’t just burn fossil fuels like crazy until we find out how bad the effect will be.
This is analogous to covid – daily new cases going up, don’t wait until the hospitals become overwhelmed to take aggressive actions.Aug 8, 2020 at 3:37 pm #3669942
I read somewhere that phytoplankton consume CO2, then some fall to the bottom of the ocean. The CO2 is sequestered – removed from the system. 40% of the CO2 produced each year is so removed. Maybe that was 20%? something like that
99% of the worlds carbon is bound up in those sediments
If that’s true, then global warming isn’t nearly such a big risk. If we could just cut CO2 output by 90% or whatever, then the extra CO2 in the atmosphere will be removed in a few years and it will go back down to reasonable levels.
Another mechanism for removing CO2 from the atmosphere is weathering of rock. Rain absorbs CO2, lands on rocks, the CO2 transforms a component of basalt and turns it to gypsum which is a stable way to sequester the CO2. But that would take centuries. If that’s what’s going to remove the CO2, then we’ll just have to live with any added CO2 for any reasonable time frame.
Very interesting science experiment happening.Aug 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm #3670010
Did you know that London is at a similar latitude to Moscow? But the UK has the Gulf Stream to keep it warm. Well, ‘had’.
CheersAug 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm #3670055Justin WBPL Member
One of the things I’m working on and will be experimenting with, is the conversion of cellulose nanocrystals into carbonized and graphitized versions. Trying to come up with the most green methods I can, but it’s not easy on a budget and lack of access to advanced tech.
The main issue is sulfuric acid for breaking down the amorphous cellulose. Enzymes can work (so says the literature), but are more finicky, more expensive, take longer, etc (in my experience so far). But I will be experimenting with also different microbes and see if I can get them to do it. It might have to be a combo of enzymes and microbes.
The de ligninatization process is fairly benign–an o2 producing alkaline works really well. But I will be experimenting with using Oyster mushrooms–much slower, but if I do large amounts at a time and get food meanwhile, it might be more viable.
Hoping that the initial carbonization can be done using solar energy, and then easy enough to finish up the graphitization process in a microwave kiln and is fairly energy efficient since carbon and graphite are microwave susceptors (and directly heat).
Anyways, graphitized CNC shows great promise in batteries and supercapitors as sort of a combo carbon nanotube and graphene analogue. There is A LOT of cellulose in the world, and the key to CNC is it’s highly crystalline base nature. Besides being great for batteries and supercapacitors–it’s really good for composites as well (have some projects planned for using it in that manner). And the raw CNC has a number of interesting and helpful uses otherwise–it shows promise as a highly effective oxygen barrier and it’s good for transparent, strong films (also have projects planned for bio based, biodegradable films/plastics), and is also highly bio compatible.
Carbonized CNC has higher tenacity and young’s modulus strengths than regular consumer grade carbon fiber. And all from plants and trees and not petrol.Aug 8, 2020 at 10:08 pm #3670060
How will you know if you have carbonized or graphiticized nanocrystals without access to high-resolution imaging (or do you have that?), or be able to characterize them or determine their purity? That seems to me to be critical, as well as pyrolysis- how will you achieve and control that? The nanoscale structures are fascinating, I see some beautiful images in various papers, but I don’t claim to be a nanoscientist by any stretch of the imagination.Aug 8, 2020 at 10:55 pm #3670062Justin WBPL Member
Pretty easy. Test the electrical resistance/conductivity. Graphitized almost always tests at a significantly lower electrical resistance/higher electrical conductivity.
Also, microwaving reaches very high temps when well insulated (easily can melt glass and various metals), has a naturally ordering effect on carbon allotropes in particular (for whatever reason(s), and the temp ranges are probably looser than what some of the literature seems to suggest. Specific kinds of chemical catalysts help out in different ways as to lowering the temps necessary, inducing structural changes, etc. It’s kind of like making and baking a cake–get the ingredients and conditions right, and it gets somewhat standardized and reproducible. And from carbon to graphite, it’s really more of a spectrum rather than a cut and dry, super narrow/precise boundary.
But yes, ideally one would have that instrumentation.Aug 8, 2020 at 11:28 pm #3670065
Resistance/ conductivity might be an adequate test for known nanomaterials, but can hardly apply to novel nanoconfigurations, unless perhaps matching theoretically calculated values. Facile processes at household scale are certainly attractive, but also need to be adaptable to mass production, e.g. large-scale thin-film. Interesting times. As I’ve previously observed, in my opinion there has been no better time to get involved in research, with the extraordinary access to research reports granted by the Internet, distance education, digital communication etc.; and certainly fairly well-defined social and environmental issues that need to be addressed, such as mitigation of toxic substances. It is in a society’s interests to support research, both through mainstream institutions, and through alternatives, such as startups.Aug 9, 2020 at 8:12 am #3670078
I like the concept of using low tech techniques. There are a lot of amazing things you can do.
Establishment researchers like to get expensive equipment because it’s cool. And it increases their status, they can brag to other researchers about the cool equipment they have. It affirms their ego. They can use it to get more funding.
Sometimes you need some of that expensive equipment. Maybe you can get some university to take some pictures for you or something.
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