Antarctic ozone layer shows "first fingerprints of healing"

July 1, 2016 by  
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Nearly 30 years ago, almost every country in the world signed the Montreal Protocol to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators, aerosols, and dry cleaning. The chlorine in CFCs was said to interact with ozone in the atmosphere to deplete the ozone layer. MIT scientist Susan Solomon’s work helped provide the impetus for the Montreal Protocol, and now she’s the lead author on a study recently published in Science revealing the Antarctic ozone layer may be healing at last. Each year around August, the ozone hole begins to open, and is typically fully formed in October. In the past, scientists have usually scrutinized the ozone hole in October, but Solomon and her team – which includes five other scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and the University of Leeds in the UK – decided to switch their focus to September. According to Solomon , “September is a better time to look because chlorine chemistry is firmly in control of the rate at which the hole forms at that time of the year.” The team tracked September ozone hole data between 2000 and 2015. They looked at satellite measurements of ozone and at meteorological changes. Related: New invention uses fluorescent lights to remove air pollution and stinky odors Their findings provide a lot of hope. Chlorine levels in the atmosphere are dissipating, and the ozone hole is shrinking. September’s ozone hole has diminished by over 4 million square kilometers, which is almost ” half the area of the contiguous United States .” The scientist team did see an ozone depletion spike in 2015, but were able to link it to a volcano eruption in Chile. Solomon thinks the ozone hole might even close up in the middle of this century. Solomon said , “We can now be confident that the things we’ve done have put the planet on a path to heal…Science was helpful in showing the path, diplomats and countries and industry were incredibly able in charting a pathway out of these molecules, and now we’ve actually seen the planet starting to get better. It’s a wonderful thing.” Via Phys.org Images via NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Pixabay

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Antarctic ozone layer shows "first fingerprints of healing"

Plush green-roofed cultural center replaces 2004 Olympic Games facilities in Athens

July 1, 2016 by  
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The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center looks like an artificial hill that rises towards the south part of the site to a maximum height of 32 meters (104 feet), offering great views of the sea and the bay of Kallithea. A sloping park, planted with indigenous species and conceived by New York landscape designer Deborah Nevins , tops the opera house and the library. Related: London to get another Renzo Piano-designed tower at Paddington Station A large solar array was installed on the roof of the complex, which Piano calls the “flying carpet.” Inside, various functions and programs are organized around a central gathering space inspired by the agora, a typology dating back to ancient times. Over 5,000 manuscripts and documents are housed inside a large library. Various other spaces like a business incubator for entrepreneurs, a music recording studio and play areas for kids and teenagers are distributed across the first two floors, while the adjacent opera house features two auditoriums for traditional and experimental performances. + Renzo Piano Building Workshop Via Dezeen

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Plush green-roofed cultural center replaces 2004 Olympic Games facilities in Athens

The window for averting catastrophic climate change has probably closed

July 1, 2016 by  
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When world leaders first signed the Paris climate agreement back in December, some scientists warned the terms would not sufficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert catastrophic climate change . Former NASA scientist James Hansen was particularly outspoken, referring to the agreement as a ” fraud .” Now 10 other scientists are adding their voices to his, urging world leaders to take a tougher stance. Led by Joeri Rogelj, an energy research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Switzerland, researchers from around the world published a piece in the journal Nature warning that we are on a perilous path. The other researchers hail from institutions in the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, China, Austria, and Australia. They concluded while country goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be partially successful, by 2100 Earth could still warm by 2.6 to 3.1 degrees Celsius. Related: Is the Paris climate accord really a “major leap for mankind”? An increase of 2.6 to 3.1 degrees Celsius is far more drastic than the Paris climate agreement target, which is designed to keep temperatures from rising to 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible, to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If global temperatures do increase by 3 degrees Celsius, sea levels could rise by 20 feet , which would have a huge negative impact on those living in coastal areas. Many of the goals set by countries target ending dependence on fossil fuels and switching to clean, renewable energies . The researchers said such measures could better lower greenhouse gas emissions than current policies, but the measures probably aren’t enough to save us from surpassing that 2 degree limit. According to the researchers, nations would essentially have to under promise and over deliver if we’re truly serious about keeping temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. They wrote, “…the window for limiting warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius with high probability and without temporarily exceeding that level already seems to have closed.” Via Gizmodo Images via Christopher Michel on Flickr and Development Planning Unit University College London on Flickr

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The window for averting catastrophic climate change has probably closed

Egg-shaped GreenPod office lets you work from almost anywhere

July 1, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3n9PHLBrk4 Created for both work and leisure, the multipurpose GreenPod offers the comfortable and controlled environment of an office space with the freedom to pop up nearly anywhere. The egg-shaped workspace would be engineered to block outside noise, respond to weather changes, automatically charge all electronic devices, and pull up on work files and data for the right person using facial recognition. A haptic feedback system would connect GreenPods globally. The tagline for the project is “a private capsule in a public space,” which makes it sound like the GreenPod would be set up as a rentable workspace in public parks. However, it’s hard to see who would use the pod outside of wealthy clients, as the space inside looks limited to just two people. Since the project is conceptual, there’s also no mention yet of what ” renewable materials ” the capsule would use with nor how it would be operated. Related: The world’s first off-grid EcoCapsule is now available for pre-order “Public spaces are a great place to start the journey towards a renewable future. We are determined to create responsible choices every day,” said Osmo Kammonen, Neste’s Senior Vice President, Communications and Brand Marketing. The GreenPod is one of five competing proposals under consideration by the Preorder the Future project . The winning concept will be announced in September 2016 and will be developed as a real prototype. + Preorder the Future Images via Preorder the Future

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Egg-shaped GreenPod office lets you work from almost anywhere

The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America

November 5, 2014 by  
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Data from NASA shows that this year’s hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica remains largely unchanged. On September 9, 2014, it measured 24.1m square km, which is roughly the size of North America; only a little smaller than the largest hole ever observed, which occurred in the same spot in 2000, and much the same as it was at its peak in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Read the rest of The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , antarctica , CFCs , chlorine , chloroflourocarbons , global warming , hfcs , montreal protocol , ozone , ozone hole , ozone layer , skin cancer , UNEP

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The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America

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