New NASA tool shows which melting glaciers will affect coastal cities

November 17, 2017 by  
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NASA has developed a new tool  that individuals and communities can use to determine the precise impacts that sea level rise will have on individual coastal cities . This newly accessible information will enable scientists and policymakers to have a more complete understanding of the consequences of climate change in specific areas. “This study allows one person to understand which icy areas of the world will contribute most significantly to sea level change (rise or decrease) in their specific city,” said Eric Larour, one of the study’s authors, in an interview with CNN . While most coastal communities around the world understand the imminent risks to their survival from sea level rise , this tool allows them to plan more precisely for the future. Current projections estimate that coastal communities will face a sea level rise of one to four feet, depending on location. Since the impact of melting sea ice will be felt differently in different places, it is important for communities to have as precise and accurate information as possible. NASA’s new tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, incorporates the rotation of the Earth and gravitational variables to more precisely identify how specific bodies of melting ice will impact certain communities. Related: Boston outlines its plans to adapt to rising sea levels To create this tool, researchers conducted a study in which they analyzed data for 293 coastal cities to calculate local sea level rise and the glacial source of this newly liquid water. Glaciers farthest away from a particular city tended to be the most responsible for its sea level rise, due to gravity. “Ice sheets are so heavy, that when they melt, the gravity field is modified, and the ocean is less attracted to the ice mass,” said Larour in an interview with CNN . “This means that locally, close to the ice change itself, sea level will decrease.” Larour hopes that this new tool will empower local communities to make informed decisions as they prepare for unfolding impacts of climate change . + NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Via CNN Images via NASA and Depositphotos

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New NASA tool shows which melting glaciers will affect coastal cities

Keystone 1 oil pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons days ahead of Keystone XL permit decision

November 17, 2017 by  
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210,000 gallons of crude oil seeped out of the TransCanada -owned Keystone 1 pipeline this week – mere days before Nebraska’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is set to make a decision on whether or not to grant a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The first Keystone pipeline, running from Canada through the Great Plains, leaked oil southeast of Amherst, South Dakota. According to The Washington Post , this spill is just the most recent in a series. The first Keystone pipeline leaked in 2011 and 2016. This new spill was detected early in the morning, and happened in “either a grass or an agricultural field,” according to South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources environmental science manager Brian Walsh, and that, based on what they know, “the spill has not impacted a surface water body.” Related: Nebraska landowners install solar panels in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline Image of Amherst incident taken earlier today by aerial patrol as part of our initial response. For more updates, visit https://t.co/8yWI1Oq2EM pic.twitter.com/uRNtYUdVjL — TransCanada (@TransCanada) November 16, 2017 TransCanada said the leak was completely isolated in 15 minutes. They said they got permission from the landowner to assess the spill and start planning for cleanup. Next week on Monday, the PSC will decide whether or not to grant a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, also to be owned by TransCanada. Critics and activists say the company shouldn’t receive one, especially after the recent spill. 350.org executive director May Boeve said in a statement, “This is exactly the kind of disaster we can expect more of if Keystone XL is approved. No matter what TransCanada says, there’s no such thing as a safe fossil fuel pipeline.” President Donald Trump gave TransCanada a federal permit in March, and other states have approved Keystone XL’s path. According to Reuters, PSC isn’t allowed to consider the potential of spills from Keystone XL as the venture has an environmental permit. Their decision will be on whether or not the pipeline’s route would be in the best interest of the state’s residents, but a rejection would be a setback for the controversial project. Boeve said, “ Indigenous peoples , farmers, and ranchers along Keystone XL’s proposed route have been holding the line against this project for years. Whatever Nebraska commissioners decide on Monday, we’ll be ready for the work ahead to stop this and all new fossil fuel projects that threaten our communities and climate .” Via The Washington Post and Reuters Images via shannonpatrick17 on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Keystone 1 oil pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons days ahead of Keystone XL permit decision

New periodic table sorts 3,700 known exoplanets into 18 categories

November 17, 2017 by  
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A new Periodic Table of Exoplanets guides scientists and science fans alike through over 3,700 known exoplanets, including those that may host life . To organize the thousands of worlds identified since the first exoplanet was discovered in 1992, astronomer Abel Méndez? of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico created a chart that sorts the exoplanets into 18 distinct categories. “We know of over 3,700 planets around other stars. They are very diverse,” Méndez? said in an interview with Gizmodo . “We can roughly classify them by their size and temperature. Only warm planets with the right size, similar to Earth, might provide some of the conditions for extraterrestrial life.” At the most general level, exoplanets , or planets beyond our solar system, are categorized based on distance from the star around which they orbit and their temperature. This places them in one of three zones: Hot Zone, Warm Zone, or Cold Zone. The exoplanets are also distinguished by size and composition (rocky “terran” planets vs. gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter ). As in the actual periodic table, each exoplanet category has a number assigned to it, which indicates how many of a particular kind of planet have been discovered. Related: Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away According to the Periodic Table of Exoplanets, there are 53 known exoplanets with the appropriate size, temperature and features such as liquid water and a stable atmosphere to potentially host life as we know it. “Unfortunately, we don’t know yet if they also have the right amount of water (e.g. oceans ) or the right atmosphere for life too,” said Méndez?. As for the disproportionate number of hot planets on the Table, Méndez? explained that this is due to the relative ease of discovery for hot planets and not necessarily because there are more of them. At the top right corner of the Table, a chart indicates the number of stellar systems and the number of known exoplanets for each system. To Méndez, the possibilities are endless. “I’m overwhelmed by the number and diversity of planets in the stars around us. So many places to explore in our own Solar System , but much more is waiting for us beyond,” Méndez? told Gizmodo . “I won’t be very surprised by another planet with life, Earth is the example that this is possible. I will be more surprised by something we haven’t seen before.” Via Gizmodo Images via  Planetary Habitability Laboratory/University of Puerto Rico at Aricebo and NASA

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New periodic table sorts 3,700 known exoplanets into 18 categories

This solar-powered floating farm combines agriculture and dining under one roof

November 17, 2017 by  
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As urban farming becomes increasingly popular, people are finding new, unexpected ways of incorporating agriculture into cities. From rooftops and community gardens, urban farming has descended to waterways and lakes – as in this solar-powered floating farm that doubles as a restaurant. Lotus is designed to grow fresh produce with a vertical hydroponic garden and then serve it in indoor and outdoor dining areas where visitors can enjoy waterside views and learn more about the production of the food. Lotus is a future-oriented farming system that aims to solve problems relating to the production, sale and distribution of crops and produce in urban areas. Its design also addresses the issue of global warming exacerbated by increased emissions of methane and carbon dioxide. Related: Could solar-powered floating farms provide enough food for the entire world? Designers Taeung Kim, Sunae Shin, Sungho An, Seungjun Lee & Mirae Park conceived the structure for client HYDROKOREA, and they were recognized by this year’s K-Design Award – an international design contest held by DESIGNSORI . Via Yanko Design

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This solar-powered floating farm combines agriculture and dining under one roof

Tesla surprises the crowd with a new $250k Roadster

November 17, 2017 by  
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Tesla surprised the crowd last night at the debut of the Tesla Semi by unveiling a new Roadster, which is expected to arrive by 2020. Although lately Tesla has been focused on more mass market electric cars, it hasn’t forgotten where it started. While the Tesla Model 3 focuses on the entry-level electric segment, the new Roadster will focus on the high end of the segment with a $250,000 price tag. What does that get you? For starters, the Tesla Roadster will feature a 200 kWh battery pack that will give it a driving range of 620 miles. Three electric motors, one in the front and two in the rear, power the new Roadster. Even more exciting, Tesla says the new Roadster will be the “fastest production car ever made” with a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds. It will also reach the quarter mile in only 8.9 seconds. Related: Revolutionary Tesla Semi Truck arrives with a whopping 500 mile driving range The Tesla Roadster isn’t a convertible like the original, but features a removable targa top. There’s also room for up to four passengers. Tesla hopes to have the new Roadster ready by 2020, but you can already place your reservation for only $50,000. + Tesla All images ©Tesla

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Tesla surprises the crowd with a new $250k Roadster

Worlds first solar panel mural unveiled in San Antonio

November 17, 2017 by  
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In a world where solar farms are shaped like giant pandas, there’s certainly room for some solar butterflies. Determined to beautify our cities by converting solar panels into creative works of public art , the Seattle-based Land Art Generator Initiative just unveiled the world’s first solar mural installation, called La Monarca, by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz. La Mariposa solar mural – recently unveiled at the San Antonio Arts Festival, Luminaria – was created through advanced PV Film technology that lets light easily pass through the printed film that adheres to the panels. The beautiful mural is just the first step in the Land Art Generator’s plan to combine sustainable energy infrastructures with public art. Working with local artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers and scientists, the organization hopes to provide more collaborative platforms that enable cities to put a new artsy spin on their clean energy generation . Related: World’s cutest solar farm in China is shaped like a panda According to the artist, La Monarca was inspired by San Antonio’s status as the National Wildlife Federation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City . A fitting symbol to be put on a clean energy installation , the monarch butterfly represents the threat that wildlife faces due to global warming and climate change. After the festival, the solar art mural will be moved to its permanent home inside a pollinator garden on the EPICenter campus in San Antonio where it will be used to generate solar energy directly into the building. + Land Art Generator Initiative Images by Land Art Generator Initiative

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Worlds first solar panel mural unveiled in San Antonio

Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter

November 17, 2017 by  
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Tents , sun shades, and canopies could generate renewable energy with Norway-based company Tarpon Solar’s solar canvas . They created flexible tarpaulins, integrated with bendy solar cells from Swedish company Midsummer . Instead of simply finding shade from the sun, with Tarpon Solar’s product people could obtain clean power from the sunlight striking a canopy or tent. Tarpon Solar laminated solar cells onto a flexible canvas to create a product with numerous potential applications – shade for a restaurant patio, a swimming pool covering, or canopies in refugee camps are just a few of the possibilities. The company says the canvas can also be included in a passive home design. The product could even open up the possibility of solar power generation in places where traditional solar panels couldn’t easily be deployed, according to Tarpon Solar’s website. Related: New solar canopy provides both shade and clean energy Tarpon Solar utilized Midsummer’s solar cells in a product that recently won first place in the MTI Technology Award competition. The CIGS cells, or copper-indium-gallium-selenium, are made without cadmium, a toxic material Midsummer says is often used in CIGS or thin film solar cells. They listed the benefits of CIGS cells as having high efficiency, low weight, durability, and flexibility. The solar cells generate around 120 watts per square meter. Tarpon Solar technical manager Marius Borg-Heggedal said in a statement each canvas is custom made, so the type of fiber and amount of fabric varies among products. The company’s website says the laminated cloth is that utilized in the sailing industry. Borg-Heggedal said solar cells are integrated during production and “become part of the material.” Midsummer described the canvases as very light, saying in a statement with the solar cells integrated “the weight becomes almost the same as with conventional PVC material and the canvas is also stronger and more durable.” + Tarpon Solar + Midsummer Images courtesy of Tarpon Solar and Midsummer

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Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter

Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

November 17, 2017 by  
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Retiring to a cozy cabin in the woods is a dream of many, and one that Josh Wynne helped his father fulfill when he built and designed Mike’s Hammock, a compact dwelling located on his property in Nokomis, Florida. Designed for handicap accessibility, the modern one-room was crafted for aging in place and prioritizes sustainability in its use of recycled materials and low-energy footprint. Stylish and sustainable, the 604-square-meter cabin was constructed with mostly local and recycled materials , including the Southern yellow pine salvaged from a nearby construction site. The careful use of resources resulted in less than one dumpster of waste for the project. To minimize site impact , Josh cantilevered the home above its foundation and planted three trees in place of the one he needed to remove. A custom-made central cooling and heating system helps reduce energy costs to an average of only $25 per month, even in summer, Wynne told New Atlas. Related: This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York The facade is clad in vertically oriented corrugated metal siding to match the neighboring barn, while the interior is lined with Southern Yellow Pine that runs horizontally through the structure. The timber’s seamless lines, coupled with the large glazed sliding doors that frame outdoor views, gives the illusion of spaciousness. The small size of the home, as well as the layout and wheel-chair accessible features, cater to his father’s limited mobility without compromising aesthetics. + Josh Wynne Construction Via New Atlas

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Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

November 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

A beautiful sun-soaked retreat on Cape Verde’s island of Sao Vicente prides itself on sustainability. Ramos Castellano Arquitectos designed the Terra Lodge Hotel using recycled and found materials, water recycling systems, and a rooftop solar array . The hotel draws the eye with its gridded timber frame, constructed from unfinished African wood, that partially encloses private verandas. Built predominately from lime-plastered concrete, the Terra Lodge Hotel’s five structures are rotated to optimize views and cross breezes. The hotel includes 12 rooms and a suite, a breakfast room, a lap pool, and a large outdoor terrace on the roof of an old green colonial house that now houses the owner’s tourist agency. The architects used found materials in construction, such as the recycled metals from petroleum barrels for the gate and the locally sourced rocks for the walls. Related: Hotel Shabby Shabby: Pop-Up Hotel Offers Recycled Rooms Built for Under €250 “Every solution is simplified adapting to the island lack of material and resources, simple and essential for satisfying basic needings, not for ephemeral fashion,” wrote the architects. “Almost everything is handmade, employing people from the neighborhood, from the floor finishing to the furniture, trying to distribute the economy of the building construction in the social environment.” The architects also designed the furnishings and light systems with locally handcrafted and recycled wood. + Ramos Castellano Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Images © Sergio Pirrone

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Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

Walking a mile in the shoes of a closed-loop company

November 17, 2017 by  
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The president of footwear label Okabashi discusses why its U.S.-made shoes travel 10,000 fewer miles than competitors and use more secondary materials.

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Walking a mile in the shoes of a closed-loop company

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