Drought turns Chinas largest freshwater lake into a sprawling grassland

November 7, 2016 by  
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Many people are not aware that China has a freshwater lake that spans 1,737 square miles. Scratch that, China had a lake that size. Recent photos show that areas of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province have dried up completely , turning into a vast grassland. Drought conditions in the province have resulted in an early dry season, causing much of the lake water to disappear. Now, visitors can walk on dry ground where water once measured between 28- and 82-feet-deep. The lake, formerly the largest freshwater body inside China’s borders, has shrunk and grown over the years in response to wet and dry seasons, but its current state is unprecedented. The problem started months ago, after the northern part of Jiangxi province experienced a rainfall shortage starting in September. Photos taken on November 2 in the city of Lushan reveal that much of the lake’s water has receded and been replaced by sprouting grassland. A large ship has been grounded, left stranded by the disappearing water. Luixingdun island was once surrounded by deep water and is now circled by grazing cattle. Related: NASA warns of 99% chance the US Southwest will suffer decades-long megadrought The startling images were circulated by China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua , and they tell a tale of one of the most drastic impacts  of climate change. Poyang Lake was once a thriving locale for the fishing and shrimping industry, and also provided water for irrigation of nearby rice fields as well as the local water utilities for area communities. Xingzi Hydrological Station, which monitors the lake, reports that the water level dropped to 34.8 feet on November 3, down from 39.4 foot on September 19, which marked the beginning of an early dry season. The drought so far as left many parts of the lake bed exposed like a grassy plain, and the remaining water continues to recede. Via DailyMail Images via Xinhua

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Drought turns Chinas largest freshwater lake into a sprawling grassland

The solar-powered sign of the future can be installed with just four bolts

November 7, 2016 by  
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The Soofa Sign uses technology to bring real-time information to city dwellers. With its elegant design, energy-saving properties and light environmental footprint , the sign is a cinch to install – it doesn’t even need to be connected to the grid. Related: Seoul Installing Hydro-Powered Smartphone Charging Stations The sign feature a super-efficient electronic paper display, and it’s powered by Visionect’s advanced signage technology, which seamlessly updates with real-time content. A solar cell provides all the energy the sign needs, and the display lights up so that it’s readable at night. The first Soofa Sign was installed at Boston ’s pedestrian epicenter, Samuel Adams Park, and is expected to launch soon in Cambridge and select cities across the county. + Soofa + Visionect

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The solar-powered sign of the future can be installed with just four bolts

COP22 kicks off in Morocco with controversial presence of fossil fuel industry representatives

November 7, 2016 by  
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Days after the historic Paris climate deal went into effect, world leaders have again convened to discuss tactics for fighting climate change , this time in Marrakech, Morocco. The COP22 climate talks will offer an opportunity for government leaders from nations around the globe to cooperate in devising goals to reduce the effects of climate change. As Morocco takes advantage of the summit’s timing to launch new nationwide food security programs, controversy ensues following the inclusion of coal and oil interests in the international discussions. Morocco—which relies heavily on local agriculture—has been uniquely impacted by climate change, experiencing highs and lows in the same year as a result of shifting weather patterns. While this year’s regular El Niño season drenched croplands, producing above-average yields, it was followed by an intense dry period during which there was no rain for more than two months. The uncertainty of agricultural yields prompted Moroccan leadership to develop programs to address food security issues, and the nation is launching its Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) initiative, timed with the kickoff of the COP22 conference. Related: UN warns of 3C global temperature increase without swift and aggressive global leadership Morocco’s AAA plan involves improving soil management, as well as water and irrigation management, combined with better weather forecasting and insurance for drought-impacted farmers. Each of these efforts is designed to help support continued agriculture while maximizing its output with efficient methods that can, hopefully, endure some of the unstable weather conditions the nation will see in years to come. Taking swift action to address food security seems like a bold and positive move, but it’s not quite so simple. In addition to world leaders, Morocco’s climate summit also involves representatives of corporate interests —namely coal and oil giants like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Peabody, BP, Shell and RioTinto. Critics claim their presence equates to a conflict of interest, while others interpret their involvement as a brave step forward in attempting to partner with fossil fuel industries for cooperative change. It remains to be seen what influence these companies will have on delegates working to construct international climate change plans, as they will have “observer status” to nearly every official conversation as part of the global summit. Via The Guardian Images via Richard Allaway/Flickr and Pixabay

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COP22 kicks off in Morocco with controversial presence of fossil fuel industry representatives

Cutting-edge Science Center in Lithuania is topped with solar panels

November 7, 2016 by  
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The design treats public spaces as singular open-space volumes. The main entrance hall is arched with a spherical planetarium suspended overhead, while the south hall is a double-height open space for large-scale exhibition . A long-span cantilevering volume is built using structural steel fabricated into box and beam sections that make it appear to float in mid-air. Related: “Eyesore” garage transformed into a stunning waterfall illusion in Lithuania Prefab modular steel elements that make up the structural backbone of the project are efficient and quick to construct and require less labor. The project, which aims for a LEED certification , uses advanced ventilation systems and the adjacent river to cool the building. Solar panels embedded into the facade provide clean energy . + Architects of Invention

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Cutting-edge Science Center in Lithuania is topped with solar panels

Herzog & de Meurons Elbphilharmonie Plaza is the highest public square in northern Germany

November 7, 2016 by  
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The Elbphilharmonie Plaza opening ceremony on November 4, 2016 marks the first of many ceremonies to come counting down to the official opening on January 11, 2016. The plaza features an exterior walkway that wraps around the building and overlooks spectacular views of the city and harbor. The interior of the Plaza comprises stairs to the concert halls , the lobby of The Westin Hamburg hotel, the Deck & Deli cafe, and Elbphilharmonie shop. Related: Herzog & De Meuron’s stunning Elbphilharmonie to finally open in January “Right now, we are standing in the Port of Hamburg, 37 metres above sea level at the highest public square in northern Germany —and there is a skyscraper above our heads,” said Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz at the opening ceremony. “The Elbphilharmonie is a place for everyone. Hamburg is a city of music, and you could call this its parliament. It is a concert hall that will wow the world.” The Elbphilharmonie will host multiple musical events in the run-up to its official January opening. + Elbphilharmonie + Herzog & de Meuron Images via Elbphilharmonie , by Skynamic GmbH, Michael Zapf, Iwan Baan

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Herzog & de Meurons Elbphilharmonie Plaza is the highest public square in northern Germany

Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future

February 4, 2011 by  
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Graphic Source: Climatopolis.com We do not have a choice.

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Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future

Fancy Solar Cooker Concept a Possible Solution For Off-Grid Communities

February 4, 2011 by  
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Images via Yanko Design Solar cookers for rural communities and villages in developing countries are a hot topic among designers.

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Fancy Solar Cooker Concept a Possible Solution For Off-Grid Communities

Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Disappearing Glaciers (Video)

January 22, 2010 by  
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Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Disappearing Glaciers (Video)

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