Archive for the ‘climatology’ category: Page 62

Jan 13, 2016

New battery made of molten metals may offer low-cost, long-lasting storage for the grid

Posted by in categories: climatology, materials, sustainability

A novel rechargeable battery developed at MIT could one day play a critical role in the massive expansion of solar generation needed to mitigate climate change by midcentury. Designed to store energy on the electric grid, the high-capacity battery consists of molten metals that naturally separate to form two electrodes in layers on either side of the molten salt electrolyte between them. Tests with cells made of low-cost, Earth-abundant materials confirm that the liquid battery operates efficiently without losing significant capacity or mechanically degrading—common problems in today’s batteries with solid electrodes. The MIT researchers have already demonstrated a simple, low-cost process for manufacturing prototypes of their battery, and future plans call for field tests on small-scale power grids that include intermittent generating sources such as solar and wind.

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Dec 31, 2015

Human-machine superintelligence can solve the world’s most dire problems

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, neuroscience, sustainability

The combination of human and computer intelligence might be just what we need to solve the “wicked” problems of the world, such as climate change and geopolitical conflict, say researchers from the Human Computation Institute (HCI) and Cornell University.

In an article published in the journal Science, the authors present a new vision of human computation (the science of crowd-powered systems), which pushes beyond traditional limits, and takes on hard problems that until recently have remained out of reach.

Humans surpass machines at many things, ranging from simple pattern recognition to creative abstraction. With the help of computers, these cognitive abilities can be effectively combined into multidimensional collaborative networks that achieve what traditional problem-solving cannot.

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Dec 30, 2015

LA’s Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster

Posted by in categories: climatology, energy

One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn’t going to be contained anytime soon.

Natural gas is often touted as a cleaner energy source than oil or coal, because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning it. But as this disaster highlights, there are insidious risk to natural gas production. Coupled with weak regulation, they can make this energy source as dirty as the fossil fuels it’s meant to replace.

Continue reading “LA’s Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster” »

Dec 8, 2015

Why Algae Could Be the Greatest—and Trickiest—Fuel Source of All

Posted by in categories: climatology, nuclear energy, sustainability

I recall when Venter made the first synthetic unique life form he said biofuels and algae that soaks up carbon dioxide would come out of it. Feels like it has been slow going but here is a why and why no item and please read the comments too as they are also informative.

From powering airplanes to replacing nuclear energy, algae has been touted as a green energy miracle. So if our waterways are already filled with the stuff, why isn’t it filling the world’s skies with biofueled planes? Algae is a tricky creature that presents a lot of challenges and misconceptions. Here’s why it’s difficult to harness—and why it could big a big payoff.

As we previously reported, algae is a fuel source that’s vastly more eco-friendly than oil, and will be crucial as we head into a future filled with climate change and depleting fossil fuels.

Continue reading “Why Algae Could Be the Greatest—and Trickiest—Fuel Source of All” »

Nov 29, 2015

What Passing a Key CO2 Mark Means to Climate Scientists

Posted by in category: climatology

At what state are we leaving earth to the next generation?

We’re likely living in a post-400 ppm world. Here’s what it means to scientists that study the climate.

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Nov 3, 2015

Chile’s Atacama Desert Is Now a Floral Wonderland — By Meredith Carey | Condé Nast Traveler

Posted by in categories: astronomy, climatology, environmental, events, water


“After Chile’s heaviest rain in 20 years, the Atacama Desert has been transformed into a 600-mile-long bed of flowers.”

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Oct 24, 2015

Physicist finds mysterious anti-electron clouds inside thunderstorm

Posted by in category: climatology

A terrifying few moments flying into the top of an active thunderstorm in a research aircraft has led to an unexpected discovery that could help explain the longstanding mystery of how lightning gets initiated inside a thunderstorm.

University of New Hampshire physicist Joseph Dwyer and lightning science colleagues from the University of California at Santa Cruz and Florida Tech describe the turbulent encounter and discovery in a paper to be published in the Journal of Plasma Physics.

In August 2009, Dwyer and colleagues were aboard a National Center for Atmospheric Research Gulfstream V when it inadvertently flew into the extremely violent thunderstorm—and, it turned out, through a large cloud of positrons, the antimatter opposite of electrons, that should not have been there.

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Aug 26, 2015

The 2015 Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists | The Buckminster Fuller Institute

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, science, sustainability, water


“Now in its 8th annual cycle with the strongest applicant pool yet, including the most diverse pool of program entrants to date creating change in 136 countries, The Fuller Challenge remains the only award specifically working to identify and catalyze individuals and teams employing a whole systems approach to problem solving.”

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Aug 18, 2015

Astronauts Capture Rare Photograph of a Red Sprite

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Astronauts captured a red sprite from their vantage point on the International Space Station. The vibrant jellyfish is part of a thunderstorm that raged over Mexico in early August.

Red sprites are bright flashes that happen directly above thunderstorms with more mundane cloud-to-ground or intracloud lightning strikes. The sprites are brightest at an altitude of 65 to 75 kilometers (40 to 46 miles), but can extend as faint wisps as low as 30 kilometers and as high as 95 kilometers (18 to 59 miles). The sprites are red at the highest altitude, fading to blue at lower altitudes. The largest sprites cluster together in a clump of tendrils up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) across, looking vaguely like red glowing jellyfish.

Astronauts Capture Rare Photograph of a Red Sprite.

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Jul 13, 2015

Winter is Coming: Scientist Says Sun Will Nod Off in 15 Years

Posted by in category: climatology

Might want to start stockpiling those down jackets: The sun could nod off by 2030, triggering what scientists are describing as a “mini ice age.”

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