Tag Archives: Climate change

Global Living Planet Index


By Tom Randall – If animals were stocks, the market would be crashing.

To say the index of animals is underperforming humans is an understatement. More than half of the world’s vertebrates have disappeared between 1970 and 2010.

Humans are currently drawing more from natural resources than the Earth is able to provide. It would take about 1.5 planet Earths to meet the present-day demands that humanity currently makes on nature, according to the WWF (pdf).

If all the people of the world had the same lifestyle as the typical American, 3.9 planet Earths would be needed to keep up with demand. more> http://tinyurl.com/mdb9wjg

Advertisements

As the seas rise, a slow-motion disaster gnaws at America’s shores


By Ryan McNeill, Deborah J. Nelson and Duff Wilson – Since 2001, water has reached flood levels an average of 20 days or more a year in Annapolis, Maryland; Wilmington, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Before 1971, none of these locations averaged more than five days a year.

Annapolis had the highest average number of days a year above flood threshold since 2001, at 34. On the Delmarva Peninsula, the annual average tripled to 18 days at the Lewes, Delaware, tide gauge.

“In the U.S., you have best data set on what’s happening in the world, and yet it’s not used in public policy,” said Robert Nicholls, professor of coastal engineering at the University of Southampton in England. more> http://tinyurl.com/kqqojj4

How California Could Power Itself Using Nothing but Renewables


[ SMARTER ENERGY ]

By John Upton – Under the plan, all new energy generation in the Golden State from 2020 onward would be from renewable sources.

By 2030, 80 to 85 percent of the state’s current energy supply would be replaced with clean sources.

And starting in 2050, the state wouldn’t need to burn another drip of oil, hunk of coal, or molecule of natural gas—and the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant wouldn’t be needed. more> http://tinyurl.com/ml379zq

Thomas Piketty, climate change and discounting our future


BOOK REVIEW

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, Author: Philip Mirowski.

By David Hodgkinson – Emissions trading is a an elaborate “bait-and-switch” strategy, in which politicians are diverted from an original intention to reduce emissions into the endless technicalities of instituting and maintaining markets for carbon permits. The not unintended consequence is that the level of emissions continues to grow apace.

It’s well understood, Mirowski continues, that emissions trading stifles technological innovation to curb emissions. Funds that ordinarily might have been used to alter energy infrastructure are “pumped into yet another set of speculative financial instruments, leading to bubbles, distortions of capital flows, and all the usual symptoms of financialization”. more> http://tinyurl.com/o68vvsa

Updates from GE


Why The Queen Smashed A Perfectly Good Bottle of Whisky on Her Navy’s Largest Ship

GE – The whisky came from a special barrel set aside in 1980, when the Queen came to Bowmore, her first and only visit to a whisky distillery in an official capacity.

The 65,000-ton steel ship was assembled in Rosyth, Scotland, hence the use of whiskey instead of champagne. It is the first of two ships in the Royal Navy’s new class of aircraft carriers called the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC). When completed, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be the second largest aircraft carriers in the world after America’s Nimitz Class ships.

The British vessels will also be the world’s first all-electric aircraft carriers. They will rely on technology from GE’s Power Conversion unit, which built the aircraft carrier’s integrated full electric propulsion systems and electrical power control and management systems.

The electrical systems allowed ship builders to shrink the overall size of the cables, equipment and propulsion machinery that power the propellers, and leave more room for crew and aircraft. The Royal Navy will be also able to operate the vessels more efficiently. more> http://tinyurl.com/nhk97m8

Postcards from the photosynthetic edge


By Lynn Yarris – Photo-oxidation of water by photosystem II is responsible for most of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.

At the core of photosystem II is a manganese-calcium (Mn4Ca) metalloenzyme complex that when energized by solar photons catalyzes a four photon-step cycle of oxidation states (S0-to-S3) that ultimately yields molecular oxygen. Scientists need to observe intact x-ray crystallography of the Mn4Ca ion in action but the molecule is highly sensitive to radiation.

The LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source) is the world’s only source of x-rays capable of providing femtosecond pulses at the high intensities that allow intact photosystem II crystals to be imaged before they are destroyed by exposure to the x-ray beams. more> http://tinyurl.com/nlxrcf8

Keeping a city-by-the-sea from becoming a city in it


[ SMARTER CITY ]


By James Sanders and Jesse M. Keenan – Unlike the great capitals of Europe, New York does not sit snugly inland along a winding river. Instead it opens directly onto one of the world’s great oceans, a geographic advantage that helped propel the city to pre-eminence. Even by the 1820s, when Frances Trollope [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] was writing, the city’s proximity to the Atlantic had made it by far the busiest port in the nation.

New York is also Amsterdam — holding back the sea. Since its founding in the early 17th century as New Amsterdam, New York has shared with its namesake the distinctive Dutch instinct to create land by reclaiming it from the sea. more> http://tinyurl.com/mxknxw9