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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Jan 20, 2017

A Swedish Billionaire Will Award $5 Million For Reimagining Global Governance

Posted by in categories: climatology, governance, sustainability

Yes, you read that right. The Global Challenges Foundation, founded by the Swedish billionaire László Szombatfalvy, has launched an international competition in order to find a better system for world governance. As Szombatfalvy writes in a letter published on the Foundation’s website:

The greatest threats we face today transcend national boundaries; they therefore need to be addressed jointly by all countries based on an increased realization of our mutual dependence. […] Our current international system – including but not limited to the United Nations — was set up in another era following the Second World War. It is no longer fit for purpose to deal with 21st century risks that can affect people anywhere in the world. We urgently need fresh new thinking in order to address the scale and gravity of today’s global challenges, which have outgrown the present system’s ability to handle them.

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Jan 14, 2017

Why a New Group Aims to Elect More Scientists to the Government

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, government, mathematics, sustainability

Concerned that scientific views are not being properly represented in Washington, a new nonprofit group wants to get more scientists elected. 314 Action, named after the first three digits of pi, wants scientists to embrace the political process, running for all levels of government. The group’s aim is to get as many scientists elected as possible in the 2018 elections.

314 Action sees particular urgency for its work due to the rise of anti-science rhetoric on the Hill, especially from the right. The current Republican standard bearer President Trump has questioned the idea that climate change is caused by humans and seemingly encouraged debunked anti-vaccination opinions. With the appointments Trump made so far, it’s hard to believe his administration will advance scientific causes.

The 314 Action group describes its members as people who come from the STEM community whose goals are to increase communication between STEM community and elected officials, to actually elect STEM-trained candidates to public office, to increase presence of STEM ideas through the media, and to prevent the U.S. from falling further and further behind the rest of the world in math and science education.

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Jan 7, 2017

‘New York 2140’ Is a Sci-Fi Vision of the World Reshaped

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, sustainability

If a trip to Venice is your ideal holiday, then you’re going to love the future.

new-york-2140-2

Most of us, however, will be quite sobered by Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, a near-future projection of a world reshaped by climate change. Sea level has risen by 50 feet, flooding the Big Apple and countless coastal cities around the planet. Thousands of species have gone extinct.

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Dec 25, 2016

China Wants to Build a $50 Trillion Global Wind & Solar Power Grid by 2050

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

In Brief The company that is tasked with running China’s power grid just proposed a $50 trillion global electricity network to help us tackle pollution and climate change.

It seems that China likes building big things. Take the Great Wall of China. The country has been constructing bigger (and sometimes better) things than the rest of the world for centuries.

Now, the Chinese are at it again, but this time it’s on a global scale. China wants to build a $50+ trillion power grid. For the entire world. And they want to have it in operation by 2050. Talk about ambitious.

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Dec 21, 2016

Xinhua: China launches carbon-tracking satellite into orbit

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, satellites

Hmmm; there is another use for this type of satellite just can’t openly state.


SHANGHAI—China launched a satellite to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions early on Thursday, the latest step in efforts to cut its carbon footprint, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The launch follows the United States joining China in formally ratifying the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions. It also comes as large sections of northern China have been shrouded in near-record levels of air pollution for most of the past week, disrupting flights, closing factories and schools, and forcing authorities to issue red alerts.

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Dec 21, 2016

How graphene quantum dots can convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuels

Posted by in categories: climatology, quantum physics, sustainability

Researchers used nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots to convert carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons like ethylene and ethanol for use as fuel.

The wonder material known as graphene may have a new trick up its sleeve: converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels. A team of researchers at Rich University in Texas used nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) as a catalyst in electrochemical reactions that create ethylene and ethanol, and the stability and efficiency of the material is close to common electrocatalysts such as copper.

In the fight to slow climate change, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere is crucial, and plenty of research is looking into how we can capture carbon at the source, using clay, engineered bacteria, metal-organic frameworks, or materials like the “Memzyme” and sequester it into rock and concrete. Other studies are focusing on converting the captured carbon into liquid hydrocarbons, which can be used as fuel.

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Nov 26, 2016

Biologist discusses a synthetic metabolic pathway that fixes carbon dioxide and synthetic biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, sustainability

A synthetic metabolic pathway developed by Tobias Erb and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg converts CO2 from the atmosphere into organic matter more efficiently than plants are able to through photosynthesis. We asked the researcher what significance this process could have for climate protection, discussed the hurdles the research team had to overcome to achieve their goal, and looked at the new perspectives that synthetic biology opens up.

Does the synthetic metabolic pathway that fixes CO2 now represent an effective means of curbing climate change?

Firstly, we are aiming to understand the fundamental biological and chemical principles of how CO2 in gaseous form can be converted into organic molecules. Our primary motivation is not stopping . We are seeking to develop atmospheric CO2 as a source of carbon for the future using biological methods. Producing a CO2-neutral process or even one that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and has a positive impact on the climate would be a fantastic secondary effect.

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Nov 22, 2016

A synthetic biological metabolic pathway fixes CO2 more efficiently than plants

Posted by in categories: biological, climatology, food, sustainability

In future, greenhouse gas carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere by deploying a new biological method. A team headed by Tobias Erb, Leader of a Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, has developed a synthetic but completely biological metabolic pathway based on the model of photosynthesis that fixes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere 20% more efficiently that plants can photosynthetically. The researchers initially planned the new system, which they presented in the magazine Science this week, on the drawing board and then turned it into reality in the laboratory.

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. The concentration of (CO2) in the atmosphere owing to human activities has continually risen since the start of the Industrial Revolution. All scientific evidence indicates that this increase is exacerbating the greenhouse effect and changing the climate. The consequences are already clearly evident. To overcome the environmental as well as the social challenge of climate change, “we must find new ways of sustainably removing excessive CO2 from the atmosphere and turning it into something useful,” underlined Erb, who leads a Junior Research Group at the Max Planck Institute in Marburg.

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Nov 7, 2016

Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, existential risks, food, habitats, sustainability

The wealth gap worries Forbes, not your usual wide-eyed socialist.


How do we expect to feed that many people while we exhaust the resources that remain?

Human activities are behind the extinction crisis. Commercial agriculture, timber extraction, and infrastructure development are causing habitat loss and our reliance on fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.

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Oct 27, 2016

World facing biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs — with two thirds of animals wiped out in 50 years

Posted by in categories: climatology, existential risks, sustainability

Not all things future are for the best😑.


The world is facing the biggest extinction since the dinosaurs, with seven in 10 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles wiped out in just 50 years, a new report warns.

The latest Living Planet report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) estimates that by 2020 populations of vertebrates will have fallen by 67 per cent since 1970.

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