Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

September 5, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm , and could be one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is warning that Irma could potentially be catastrophic, with winds whirling at 180 miles per hour – so strong that they are showing up on earthquake monitoring equipment. Even worse, the NHC said there’s an increasing chance the storm will slam into  Florida . With sustained winds of 180mph, #Irma is now stronger than Katrina was at its peak. A monstrous, horrific storm. pic.twitter.com/jCwe4XTPxS — Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 5, 2017 With the United States still reeling after Tropical Storm Harvey , communities are bracing for another catastrophe as Irma is looking like it will impact Florida later this week or during the weekend. But there are also many other islands it could hit on its way to the United States. Irma could affect the Leeward Islands as an “extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane” soon, according to NHC . It could also impact the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Related: 1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh NHC said it’s too early to determine Irma’s direct impacts on the continental United States, other than an increasing chance it could affect the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys. Florida governor Rick Scott doesn’t seem to be taking any chances. He declared a state of emergency in Florida after a Monday advisory update. He’s activated 100 National Guard members and 6,000 stand ready. He’s spoken with President Donald Trump , and the Orlando Sentinel said Trump activated pre-landfall emergency declaration so federal funds and resources will be available. Scott said, “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared…while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, most forecast models indicate the whole state of Florida could feel the hurricane’s impact. NHC urged everyone in hurricane-prone areas to “ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.” Via the Orlando Sentinel and the National Hurricane Center Images via Wikimedia Commons and the National Hurricane Center

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Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

NOAA’s LEED Gold marine research facility embodies San Diego’s coast

May 26, 2016 by  
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Inspired by the topography of La Jolla Cove, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘s sustainable marine research facility appears to emerge from the contours of the coast, reshaping the relationship between marine scientists and their environment. An outgrowth of the effort to relocate an existing facility that was facing the uncertain effects of coastal erosion, the new building extends beyond supporting conservation efforts, to embodying them. http://vimeo.com/20745026 The LEED Gold certified project is a five-story building, broken down into smaller structures, which are clustered in “villages” no more than two stories in height. These smaller elements are organized around atrium courtyards, which prevent the overwhelming feeling common to many large buildings. The courts and patios take full advantage of the mild climate, promote natural ventilation and foster a sense of scientific community and connectedness to the environment. The building boasts photovoltaic cells, a water retention system, recycled materials, and several green roofs planted with native vegetation. The facility is home to 38 research laboratories, an aquarium, library, conference rooms, and office space, for its 275 scientists and support staff. + NOAA La Jolla Laboratory Replacement Project The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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NOAA’s LEED Gold marine research facility embodies San Diego’s coast

Researchers discover massive new carbon sink that stores GHG emissions

July 29, 2015 by  
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A new study suggests that an unlikely source is holding on to more carbon than all the plants on land: massive aquifers under the world’s deserts . This kind of “carbon sink” is a phenomenon researchers have been aware of for some time, but new data reveals how much carbon might be captured in the desert, and the report’s authors suggest that this information can help determine the amount of fossil fuels humans can burn before exceeding the planet’s capacity. Read the rest of Researchers discover massive new carbon sink that stores GHG emissions

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Researchers discover massive new carbon sink that stores GHG emissions

Climate Scientists Warn That “The Polar Bear is Us” When it Comes to Global Warming

March 25, 2014 by  
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned the world that the effects of climate change won’t just affect ‘far-off’ species such as the polar bear. At a gathering of scientists in Japan, Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research summed up her peers’ concerns by saying: “The polar bear is us.” Read the rest of Climate Scientists Warn That “The Polar Bear is Us” When it Comes to Global Warming Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , global warming , Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , japan climate change conference , national center for atmospheric research , polar bear        

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Climate Scientists Warn That “The Polar Bear is Us” When it Comes to Global Warming

NASA Releases Amazing New Images of Earth at Night

December 7, 2012 by  
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Scientists from NASA and NOAA  just unveiled a series of breathtaking new images of our planet glowing at night. Thanks to high-res composite data acquired by a new sensor, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the floating Suomi NPP satellite, we can get “day-night band” images sensitive enough to detect the light from a single ship in the sea. These beautiful cloud-free night images feature cities that never sleep, within a glowing planet that is nowhere as dark as we might have thought. Read the rest of NASA Releases Amazing New Images of Earth at Night Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earth images , green technology , nasa , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , News , night images , NOAA , Satellite , Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite

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NASA Releases Amazing New Images of Earth at Night

Trash to gold: Generating energy from ambient CO2

October 24, 2011 by  
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Dino Renthlei: Energy from ambient CO2 Generating energy from ambient CO2 Why Now? The Polar ice-caps are melting everyday. Consequently, the sea levels are rising and the continental coastlines are receding. Greenhouse gas emission is the biggest reason behind this and the major factor is, of course, CO2 or carbon dioxide. The Earth has its own way to absorb this gas through photosynthesis. However, since the invention of fossil fuels and public use of electricity, the human population has been emitting greenhouse gases like CO2 at a much higher rate than the Earth can naturally absorb. This has resulted in rising temperatures and depleting ozone layer, which has been steadily jeopardizing the future of humanity. Excessive reliance on motor vehicles running on fossil fuels, large energy consuming industries and coal-fed power plants are the major contributors in the emission of CO2. Scientists have already begun working towards finding a solution to these problems and different ideas have evolved. These concepts revolve around three major objectives – sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere, using sequestrated CO2 in generating fuel and increasing the use of bio-fuel. The trash story Every trash to gold story begins with trash. If scientists want to use atmospheric CO2 to produce fuel or reusable substances, they need to capture CO2 first. This greenhouse gas can be absorbed either in the emission site or at places far from it from normal air. An emission site refers to fossil fuel-fed power plants and diesel or petrol-run motor vehicles. It isn’t easy to recapture CO2 from moving vehicles so scientists are currently concentrating on harnessing it from power plants. While the concept is laudable, it does come with a few cons. Installation of sequestration technology in an existing plant and transportation of captured gas is a costly affair. And while setting up a standalone sequestration site is comparatively easy, the density of CO2 in the atmosphere is much lower. CO2 absorption technology is energy consuming too and different attempts have been made to test both avenues. The Trash Miners 1. San Diego Researcher Converting CO2 To Energy San Diego researcher CONVERTING CO2 TO ENERGY San Diego researcher CONVERTING CO2 TO ENERGY The gold Scientists at the University of San Diego have come up with a new technology to capture the atmospheric CO2, so as to, produce fuel and reusable substances from it. The process is known as dual-benefiting – it lowers the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere and generates CO or carbon monoxide for reuse. The mining process Solar energy is used to run the mining process. Energy captured from sunlight activates the catalysts which, again splits the atmospheric CO2 into CO or carbon monoxide and oxygen. This CO is used to produce methanol and other chemical ingredients. Methanol, in turn, can , be used as fuel. The glitter One can genuinely raise the question of CO2 being emitted when methanol is burnt. However, the process is CO2 neutral, as, it emits the same amount of carbon dioxide, previously absorbed it from the air. 2. Synthetic Fuel from CO2 and Solar Energy Synthetic Fuel from CO2 and Solar Energy Synthetic Fuel from CO2 and Solar Energy by team of scientists working in Sandia National Laboratories The gold Considering CO2 emissions by methanol fuel, scientists have been working on fresh technology to produce synthetic fuel in liquid state from the atmospheric CO2. Sandia National Laboratories has invented one such technology. The mining process In this process too, solar energy is used to feed the machinery. Carbon monoxide, an important by-product, however, is used to produce Syngas. This is expected to emit less CO2. The glitter Despite the brilliancy of this technology, the major concerns are the practical applicability and project cost. If these two drawbacks can be addressed, then it would allow us to create more CO2 neutral energy in future. The gold rush In the quest for inventing carbon negative bio-fuel sources, scientists have come across various breakthroughs. One such discovery is Shewanella bacteria. 1. Bacteria to create fuel from sunlight and CO2 1Bacteria to create fuel from sunlight and CO2 Bacteria to create fuel from sunlight and CO2 The new technology uses two types of bacteria, Synechococcus and Shewanella. The first type converts the atmospheric CO2 into sugar in the presence of sunlight. Then the second one consumes this sugar and produces fatty acid, which is transformed into ketones. These ketones act as a source of diesel fuel. In other words, this technology turns the atmospheric CO2 into liquid gold, raising the hope of our independence from petroleum fuel. 2. Bio-diesel Bio-diesel Bio Diesel The Next Generation Sustainable Fuel Long before the invention of synthesizing ketones from bacterium, people learned the use of bio-diesel. While petroleum-based diesel is heavy and very effective energy-generating fuel, its highly pollutant nature has tipped the scales against its favor. Bio-diesel is comparatively safe in this respect. It emits less CO2 and other toxic gases. A proper mix with petroleum diesel makes the concoction very effective and environment friendly. Bio-diesel is produced from different sources worldwide, depending on the availability of different crops. The production cost of bio-diesel is lesser than that of crude petroleum too. However, excessive reliance on bio-diesel could induce farmers to shift to fuel crops like soy, corn or jathropa and this could be detrimental to our food security. In Germany, the authorities are planning to mix bio-gas with natural gas, sourced from the eastern part of the continent. 2030 is the target year for Germany to produce 10 percent of bio-gas in their supply of natural gas. This will help them tackle the rising cost of the natural hydrocarbons and increasing greenhouse emissions.

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Switching To Natural Gas From Coal Will Reduce Global Warming Much Less Than Hoped

September 9, 2011 by  
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photo: Daniel Boyd / CC BY Natural gas may have lower greenhouse gas emissions when burned than coal, but widespread switching over to natural gas for electricity won’t have much of an impact on reducing global warming, a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research concludes. Two well-documented situations are at the heart of the matter:

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Switching To Natural Gas From Coal Will Reduce Global Warming Much Less Than Hoped

California Senate Votes to Ban Trade of Shark Fins in California, It’s Now Up To Governor Brown

September 9, 2011 by  
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Photo by rengber via Flickr CC We’ve been following the controversial bill that would ban the sale of shark fins in California. Earlier this week, the Senate voted with the bill, helping get the bill one step closer to becoming law. AB 376 will ban on the sale, trade, possession, and distribution of shark fins in the state — but it must be signed by Governor Jerry Brown by October 9, 2011 in order to become law. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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California Senate Votes to Ban Trade of Shark Fins in California, It’s Now Up To Governor Brown

Organic and Local On the Rise at Grocers Nationwide. Energy Efficiency, Too

September 9, 2011 by  
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Image: Benjamin Krause via flickr Times are tough right now, but that isn’t stopping the grocery industry, which like other industries is seeing pretty slow growth, from increasing the presence of organic and local items on shelves. The organic industry grew about 10 percent to nearly $29 billion last year, motivating 66.2 percent of retailers to add natural and organic items to their shelves, according to GreenBiz… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Organic and Local On the Rise at Grocers Nationwide. Energy Efficiency, Too

Facts On Fracking, Pros & Cons of Hydraulic Fracturing For Natural Gas (Infographic)

September 9, 2011 by  
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image: WellHome In case your just getting up to speed on the loudly contentious debate about fracking then we’ve got an infographic for you. Produced by WellHome , it goes over the talking points of both proponents and detractors with a fairly even hand (though I have to say that the financial viability of fracking isn’t as sure as the graphic makes it seem). Check out the full infographic below:… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Facts On Fracking, Pros & Cons of Hydraulic Fracturing For Natural Gas (Infographic)

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