Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Oct 20, 2017

China breaking all solar power records, aiming for 50GW in 2017

Posted by in categories: climatology, solar power, sustainability

China is leading the world in solar power installations by a long run. ASECEA is predicting that 50GW of solar power is well within reach of being installed this year. In June and July of 2017, China installed 25GW of solar power – and they’ll push the globe past 100GW total for the year.

At China’s ‘State of the Union address’ equivalent, just yesterday, president Xi Jinping said, “Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually return to haunt us… this is a reality we have to face.”

“Taking a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization,” said President Xi Jinping, and that China must “develop a new model of modernization with humans developing in harmony with nature.”

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Oct 19, 2017

How Chinese scientists used a supercomputer to solve the ancient puzzle called the Three Body Problem

Posted by in categories: climatology, space, supercomputing

“Scientists and philosophers… had always assumed that the world worked by physical laws, and if you could measure initial conditions accurately enough, those laws would let you predict the future indefinitely. As James Gleick described it in his book Chaos: Making a New Science, this view was very wrong.”

“There was always one small compromise, so small that working scientists usually forgot it was there, lurking in a corner of their philosophies like an unpaid bill. Measurements could never be perfect,” he wrote. “Scientists marching under Newton’s banner actually waved another flag that said something like this: Given an approximate knowledge of a system’s initial conditions and an understanding of natural law, one can calculate the approximate behaviour of the system. This assumption lay at the philosophical heart of science.”

“Today we know how wrong this assumption was. The Three Body Problem is now recognized as a classic example of a chaotic system. Like the butterfly that causes a hurricane by flapping its wings, it is exquisitely sensitive to initial conditions. The tiniest tweak can have massive consequences down the line.”

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Oct 12, 2017

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has opened in Iceland—turning carbon dioxide into stone

Posted by in category: climatology

There’s a colorless, odorless, and largely benign gas that humanity just can’t get enough of. We produce 40 trillion kg of carbon dioxide each year, and we’re on track to cross a crucial emissions threshold that will cause global temperature rise to pass the dangerous 2°C limit set by the Paris climate agreement.

But, in hushed tones, climate scientists are already talking about a technology that could pull us back from the brink. It’s called direct-air capture, and it consists of machines that work like a tree does, sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out from the air, but on steroids—capturing thousands of times more carbon in the same amount of time, and, hopefully, ensuring we don’t suffer climate catastrophe.

There are at least two reasons that, to date, conversations about direct air capture have been muted. First, climate scientists have hoped global carbon emissions would come under control, and we wouldn’t need direct air capture. But most experts believe that ship has sailed. That brings up the second issue: to date, all estimates suggest direct air capture would be exorbitantly expensive to deploy.

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Oct 6, 2017

Scientists Have Drilled Into Earth’s Hidden 8th Continent

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

This Northern Hemisphere summer, researchers spent two months collecting samples from a submerged landmass known as Zealandia.

As a result, we could gain new insight into everything from ancient life forms to climate change.

Tens of millions of years ago, a landmass that’s being referred to as Zealandia was largely submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. This summer, a team of scientists set out on an underwater expedition using an advanced research vessel, and the results might yield brand-new insight into Earth’s prehistory.

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Oct 3, 2017

Some Future 015

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

New SomeFuture podcast out. My 45-min interview starts at 55 min and is on #transhumanism:

Introduction: (0:11–1:29)

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Sep 30, 2017

Microsoft and Facebook just laid a 160-terabits-per-second cable 4,100 miles across the Atlantic

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing

Microsoft, Facebook, and the telecoms infrastructure company Telxius have announced the completion of the highest capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean. The cable is capable of transmitting 160 terabits of data per second, the equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at the same time, and 16 million times faster than an average home internet connection, Microsoft claims. The cable will be operational by early 2018.

Called Marea, which is Spanish for “tide,” the 4,000 mile long subsea cable lies 17,000 feet below the ocean surface and extends between Virginia Beach, Virginia and the city of Bilbao in Spain. Marea also stretches a route south of most existing transatlantic cables. Because of this, Microsoft says the cable will provide resiliency for those living in the US and Europe by safeguarding against natural disasters or other major events that might cause disruptions to connections like those seen during Hurricane Sandy. More importantly to Microsoft and Facebook: both companies have large data center operations in Virginia.

“Marea comes at a critical time,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.” For most of the route, the cable — made up of eight pairs of fiber optic cables enclosed by copper — lays on the ocean floor. Some parts are buried to protect from shipping traffic, usually in areas closer to the shore.

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Sep 28, 2017

Pluto’s Gargantuan Glacial “Skyscrapers” Reveal Their Secrets

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

The jagged geological ridges, found at the highest elevations located close to Pluto’s equator, soar hundreds of feet into the sky and are as high as some of the tallest skyscrapers on Earth.

According to an article in the latest issue of planetary science journal, Icarus, the colossal “ice-scrapers” observed on Pluto’s surface are vestiges from the last Ice Age that occurred on the dwarf planet millions of years ago.

Scientists believe that the “ice blades” are the result of solid methane evaporation that formed the towers of ice on the mountain peaks along Chile’s Chajnantor plain.

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Sep 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma’s impact on the BVI and what now needs to happen

Posted by in category: climatology

Hurricane Irma has left behind a trail of unimaginable destruction and has caused the entire British Virgin Islands (BVI) infrastructure to collapse. People need help rebuilding their lives and there is an immediate and critical need for food, water and shelter.

Thanks to Producer Rob Sorrenti for the Hurricane Irma BVI appeal film with voiceover from Kate Winslet.

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Sep 17, 2017

Disaster relief hacks dominate the stage at the Disrupt SF 2017 Hackathon

Posted by in categories: climatology, drones

At the Disrupt SF 2017 Hackathon, a massive swath of the 102 companies that took the stage on Sunday presented hacks with disaster relief in mind. From ResQme to ResQMi to RescueMe, if you can think of a phrase with the word “rescue” in it, it probably showed up on stage among the roughly 30 emergency and disaster related hacks.

Most of the disaster-related apps that presented today mentioned the recent events of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in their pitches, observing that tech should be able to pair victims, resources and rescue workers far better than existing services. Many of the rescue-oriented apps that took the stage acknowledged that mobile data services usually go down during these events and the vast majority of them offered an SMS-based version of their hack.

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Sep 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma Is Going to Slam Straight Into South Florida, Models Now Agree

Posted by in category: climatology

All hurricane models now agree, hurricane irma is going to slam straight into south florida.

Miami south beach to get 10 feet of sea surge.

If you’ve ever lived in South Florida during hurricane season, chances are you’ve learned to read the various storm projection models like a fortuneteller scanning tarot cards. “I’m sorry, but the European model shows a far stronger eastern trend than the GFS,” you’ve probably said in a serious tone at…

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