This kinetic installation uses sound to visualize the worlds CO2 emissions

February 7, 2018 by  
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The CarbonScape installation by Chinese artist Chris Cheung (aka h0nh1m) , mimics the sounds of jet engines, ship horns, steam, chimneys, and other carbon emitters, blending them together into an immersive soundscape .  The sounds are visualized by a bamboo forest-like field of tubes and black ‘carbon’ balls. The result is a piece of art that speaks to the effects of fossil fuel use and industrialization on our planet. The kinetic soundscape installation consists of 18 tracks of synthesized sound samples. The artist collected these noises from the sound sources where a  carbon footprint is left, for example, the sound from the jet engine, steam from a factory or the horn of the ship. These tracks are blended into a unified soundscape. As the sounds are emitted, black balls rise and fall to represent the carbon in a particular part of the planet. Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. CarbonScape uses data acquired from the NOAA ( National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ) to help bring the visualization to life. According to their findings, in 2017 the concentration of CO2 soared to its highest of the past three million years. The data show that this increase can be largely attributed to industrialization and the use of fossil fuels . + h0nh1m ? CarbonScape (PV) from h0nh1m on Vimeo .

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This kinetic installation uses sound to visualize the worlds CO2 emissions

Scientists create efficient fuel cell powered by solid carbon

January 22, 2018 by  
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Researchers at  Idaho National Laboratory ( INL ) have created a new fuel cell technology that is powered by solid carbon . This technology could make the generation of electrical power through carbon-based fuels, such as coal and biomass, to be done in a more efficient, cleaner manner. The most recent variation on direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) designs was described in a study published this week in the journal Advanced Materials . According to INL materials engineer Dong Ding, the latest DCFC technology runs at lower temperatures and produces higher maximum power densities than previous designs. Similarly, the latest solid carbon fuel cell tech from INL, which produces a much cleaner byproduct, would make it easier for carbon capture technology to be implemented. While hydrogen fuel cells have made news lately for their promise to produce clean, efficient energy, DCFCs offers the advantage of being able to utilize readily-available fuel sources, such as coal, organic waste, and biomass . “You can skip the energy-intensive step of producing hydrogen,” Ding told Phys.org . However, there are disadvantages in traditional DCFC designs. They have historically required high temperatures to function, which in turn requires expensive materials that are able to withstand such heat . Related: World’s first commercial carbon-sucking plant goes live in Zurich The most recent DCFC design from INL addresses these problems. To deal with the necessary high temperatures, the researchers developed an electrolyte with doped cerium oxide and carbonate, highly conductive materials that can perform under lower temperatures. To increase the efficiency of the fuel cell, the researchers created a 3-D ceramic textile anode that is woven like cloth and maximizes the surface area available for carbon fuel chemical reactions. The design also incorporates a molten carbonate-carbon composite fuel, which allows for better flow. “At the operating temperature, that composite is fluidlike,” Ding said. “It can easily flow into the interface.” Because DCFCs produce pure carbon dioxide without other pollutants, Ding believes it would be much easier to include carbon capture technology into the design. While a shift to carbon-free renewable energy is necessary to mitigate climate change , this new DCFC technology may ease the transition. Via Phys.org Images via Idaho National Laboratory

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Scientists create efficient fuel cell powered by solid carbon

The quest to create carbon-negative concrete

December 6, 2017 by  
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New technologies from Canadian companies CarbonCure and CarbiCrete are part of an XPRIZE focused on beneficial uses of carbon dioxide.

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The quest to create carbon-negative concrete

Utilities juggle approaches to power procurement

December 6, 2017 by  
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From batteries to blockchain, new technologies in the energy sector carry the potential to upend traditional infrastructure and business models. and business models.

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Utilities juggle approaches to power procurement

NREL’s solar-powered window breaks new ground with 11% efficiency

November 30, 2017 by  
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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has revealed its prototype of a solar-powered “smart window,” which has broken new ground by achieving 11 percent efficiency, enough to potentially provide 80 percent of electricity needs in the United States. The NREL smart window is also able to lower building temperatures and generate electricity by changing the window’s appearance from clear to tinted. Not only does this decrease the amount of sunlight entering a building, thus lowering its heat intake, but also turns the windows into photovoltaic panels. Upon shifting to the darker, hazy view, the smart window then starts its energy production . “There is a fundamental tradeoff between a good window and a good solar cell,” said Lance Wheeler , a scientist at NREL. “This technology bypasses that. We have a good solar cell when there’s lots of sunshine and we have a good window when there’s not.” The smart window’s functionality depends upon advanced materials such as perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral that is able to absorb sunlight and generate electricity, and single-walled carbon nanotubes, microscopic structures with incredible strength. While existing solar windows are typically not responsive to changes in sunlight, thus remaining at one set level of transparency, NREL’s prototype breaks new ground by demonstrating a dynamic ability to react to light conditions. Related: New silicon nanoparticles could finally make solar windows commercially viable The window’s ability to transform is made possible by molecules of methylamine, which move in and out of the window depending on the circumstances. When the sun heats up the window, the molecules are absorbed into it, darkening the window. When the sun is not shining directly on the window, the molecules are expelled, which makes the window transparent. In its solar panel form, the smart window has been able to achieve 11 percent efficiency in capturing solar energy and translating it into electricity. The research team at NREL believes that their smart window design could be used to charge mobile devices and on-board electronics such as fans, rain sensors and motors. While research is ongoing, the team is already focusing on how their design could be commercialized and made available to the public. Via Electrek and NREL Images via Dennis Schroeder/NREL and NREL

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NREL’s solar-powered window breaks new ground with 11% efficiency

19th-century church converted into gorgeous modern lofts in Brooklyn

November 30, 2017 by  
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This 19th-century church in Brooklyn was converted into a modern residential building that lets the original details of the historic structure shine through. The Bushwick church was gutted and turned into a series of daylit lofts available for rent through Nooklyn . Living units are spread over three stories, and they feature beautiful oak floors, antique arched windows, and gold mosaic ceilings. The Victorian Gothic church from the 1890s is located at 618 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn. Known as The Saint Marks, the conversion project offers 99 apartments with up to two bedrooms. The units come in different loft -inspired layouts, with large windows and high ceilings , hardwood floors and recessed lighting. Related: A massive London church is transformed into an extraordinary luxury home The developer removed the original spire due to structural instability and zoning rules. They introduced bike storage and onsite parking, central air conditioning in all units. The kitchens feature pale veneer cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Some of the units, like the one shown in the images, have private decks as well. + Nooklyn Via Uncrate

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19th-century church converted into gorgeous modern lofts in Brooklyn

‘Geomagnetic spike’ 3,000 years ago could offer insight into Earth’s hidden interior

November 30, 2017 by  
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Earth’s magnetic field shields us from damaging radiation from the sun, but its strength and ability to protect us, is variable. Scientists uncovered details about a geomagnetic spike that happened around 1,000 BC that could alter our understanding of the magnetic field and the planet’s interior – and are exploring how a similar event might impact us if it occurred today. Scientists identified 1,000 BC’s geomagnetic spike after investigating copper from slag heaps in Jordan and Israel. They began to explore what Earth’s magnetic field might have been like way back then, and found something surprising: the copper recorded Earth’s magnetic field strength rising and then falling by more than 100 percent in 30 years. Related: Molten jet stream found hurtling through Earth’s core That research was published in 2010 , but University of Leeds lecturer Christopher Davies, in a piece for The Conversation , highlighted other discoveries since pointing to high field strengths around the same time in Turkey, China, and Georgia. Meanwhile, field strengths in Egypt, India, and Cyprus were normal – so the spike may have been only around 2,000 kilometers, or around 1,243 miles, wide. Davies wrote, “Such a rapid change over such a small area marks out the geomagnetic spike as one of the most extreme variations of Earth’s magnetic field ever recorded.” Researchers aren’t quite sure what caused the spike, but the flow of iron in the core could have played a role. That said, explaining the changes that came with the geomagnetic spike requires flows five to 10 times greater than what we observe today. “The prospect that the iron core could flow faster and change more suddenly than previously thought, together with the possibility that even more extreme spike-like events occurred in the past, is challenging some conventional views on the dynamics of Earth’s core,” Davies said. Spikes must be accompanied by weak spots, which is where geomagnetic storms tend to be prevalent. So if a spike happened today, part of the planet could see power outages or satellite disruption because of a geomagnetic storm. But Davies said it’s hard to say if another spike will happen – until recently, the Jordan spike was the only such event scientists had observed. There’s now some evidence a spike also occurred in Texas around 1,000 BC. Via The Conversation Images via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr and U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Joshua Garcia

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‘Geomagnetic spike’ 3,000 years ago could offer insight into Earth’s hidden interior

Do these oil and mining companies belong on CDP’s Climate A List?

November 20, 2017 by  
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Braskem, Galp Energia and Harmony Gold Mining are cutting emissions without science-based targets.

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Do these oil and mining companies belong on CDP’s Climate A List?

Tilling a transformative approach to crop and climate risks

November 20, 2017 by  
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What national planners, funders and the UNFCCC can do to ensure resiliency for global cash crops like coffee without harming poor communities.

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Tilling a transformative approach to crop and climate risks

Is blockchain the singularity point for the environment?

October 10, 2017 by  
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Applying blockchain to carbon credits to create a “carbon currency” is the key to demystifying and consolidating the carbon market so it can scale up.

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Is blockchain the singularity point for the environment?

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