Ocean heatwaves have risen by more than 50% since 1925

April 11, 2018 by  
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Oceanic heatwaves have increased by 54 percent since 1925, posing a major threat to aquatic ecosystems . In a study published in the journal Nature Communications , researchers outlined the cause and effects of underwater heatwaves and their future impact on the world’s oceans. According to researchers, “These trends can largely be explained by increases in mean ocean temperatures, suggesting that we can expect further increases in marine heatwave days under continued global warming.” As higher levels of greenhouse gases concentrate in the atmosphere, greater amounts of solar radiation are trapped on Earth — 95 percent of which is absorbed by the ocean . Much like the relationship between extreme weather and rising temperatures on land, as the mean average oceanic temperature rises, so too does the likelihood of extreme oceanic heating events. Because water is able to hold more heat than land, these extreme temperature events last longer than those caused by higher air temperatures. A recent example occurred in 2015, when ocean temperatures from Mexico to Alaska increased up to 10 degrees above average. Fifty documented whale deaths were recorded in this period, and many other marine animals suffered from the unusually hot water. Related: Researchers discover a completely new ocean zone swimming with new species To conduct the study, the research team gathered and analyzed data on sea surface temperatures from the past century, with recent decades producing the most accurate data. Given that the most useful data is from such a short time period, the team could not explicitly draw a causal link between anthropogenic climate change and oceanic heatwaves. They explained that the fluctuations may be due to natural temperature swings. Nonetheless, the researchers concluded that the notable increase in average oceanic temperature is absolutely affected by climate change . The scientists are most concerned that — in combination with other pressures such as acidification, overfishing , and pollution — fragile ecosystems could reach a tipping point by oceanic heatwaves and ultimately collapse. Via ZME Science Images via Depositphotos and Oliver et al.

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Ocean heatwaves have risen by more than 50% since 1925

"We are not prepared" for climate changescientists issue bleak warning

February 16, 2018 by  
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Researchers have determined that countries around the world are failing to fulfill their greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement , inevitably subjecting the world to unpredictable extreme weather. In a study published in the  journal  Science   Advances ,  scientists concluded that extreme weather, such as drought, flooding, or heat waves, will increase across 90 percent of North America, Europe and East Asia if countries maintain their current pace of climate action. “We are not prepared for today’s climate, let alone for another degree of global warming ,” study author Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University professor of earth system science, told Time . The Paris Agreement aims to keep global temperature rise below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, with an ideal goal of less than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. That extra 0.9 degrees will make a significant difference in how extreme weather manifests in the coming decades. The study documents the specific differences built into that temperature divergence, including the number of record warm or wet days. Following an extraordinary hurricane season in North America and a year that was once again dubbed the hottest on record, the urgency to address this challenge is clearer than ever. Related: Trump budget proposes huge cut to EPA and climate research Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement has a math problem. Each country in the agreement was encouraged to create their own pledges individually tailored to their political and economic situations. Though the goal remains less than 3.6 degrees of warming, the cumulative impact of all these pledges, if they were all fulfilled, would still result in a global temperature of 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the modest pledges made in the agreement are proving difficult to achieve. Some countries, most prominently the United States , have expressed interest in ignoring the consequences of climate change and are actively encouraging the growth of fossil fuels . In the meantime, greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb while the weather gets weirder. Via Time Images via Depositphotos (1)

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"We are not prepared" for climate changescientists issue bleak warning

Scientists puzzle over subterranean heat melting Greenland’s glaciers

January 23, 2018 by  
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Researchers have acquired evidence that heat emanating from deep below the Earth’s surface is contributing to the meltdown of Greenland’s glaciers. Though they have long suspected that a subterranean heat source was a factor in the melting glaciers, scientists were previously unable to determine the precise mechanism by which this occurred. Data gathered from Greenland’s Young Sound fjord region, a geologically active area featuring many hot springs in which temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit, indicates that radiant heat loss is melting glaciers from the bottom up. This discovery will allow researchers to more accurately assess the stability of Greenland’s ice sheet and better predict sea level rise . The heat rising from below Greenland’s surface has loosened the lowest levels of glaciers, easing their slide into the sea. “There is no doubt that the heat from the Earth’s interior affects the movement of the ice, and we expect that a similar heat seepage takes place below a major part of the ice cap in the northeastern corner of Greenland,” wrote Søren Rysgaard, lead author of the study published in Scientific Reports . The heat source is known as a geothermal heat flux, an ancient phenomenon found throughout the planet. In Greenland, the heat percolates from below the surface up through fjords, warming deep sea temperatures that then transfer this heat to the surrounding glaciers . Related: 512-year-old Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate on Earth Because geothermal heat fluxes are difficult to assess, “our results are very unique because we determined the relatively small heat flux from a decade-long warming of an almost stagnant water mass,” co-author Jørgen Bendtsen told Newsweek . Earth’s heat circulating up through the fjords of Greenland is one of several factors contributing to the melting glaciers. Rising air and sea temperature, precipitation , and the unique qualities of the ice sheet also affect the speed of glacier melting. Via Newsweek Images via Wieter Boone ,  Mikael Sejr , and  Søren Rysgaard

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Scientists puzzle over subterranean heat melting Greenland’s glaciers

This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust

January 23, 2018 by  
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The team behind the famous Treehotel in Sweden just unveiled plans for a new floating hotel and spa on the Lule River in that will fill you with wanderlust. The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa might be the perfect place to enjoy the Northern Lights and work on your well-being while being surrounded by stunning landscapes. As a company that specializes in luxury adventure holidays, Off the Map Travel aims to provide people with exotic travel options and allow them to reach authentic destinations. The newest addition to their handpicked offering is this floating hotel and spa that freezes into the ice in the winter and floats on top of the Lule River in the summer. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa is a circular building that will house a spa treatment room, four saunas , an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outside and inside showers, and two dressing rooms for visitors. The six hotel rooms included also float or remain frozen into the ice, depending on the time of year. The project is being built using locally available materials and will be open for overnight stays as soon as early 2018. + Off the Map Travel Via AFAR

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This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust

MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

June 13, 2017 by  
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Steel and glass manufacturing generates large amounts of waste heat that’s not easy to capture – devices that do the job are either prohibitively expensive or don’t work in the requisite high temperatures. But a team of three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a device that solves both issues at once. The high-temperature liquid thermoelectric device, which converts industrial waste heat into energy , could be a game-changer. Converting waste heat to electricity is often accomplished through solid-state thermoelectric devices, but at certain high temperatures they just don’t work, or are so expensive they can’t be used in much other than spaceships. In contrast, the MIT liquid thermoelectric device could pave the way for affordable conversion of waste heat into electricity. It includes a molten compound of tin and sulfur much cheaper than the solid-state bismuth telluride found in many commercial thermoelectric devices. That material is around 150 times more expensive than tin sulfide per cubic meter, according to MIT, and it only operates at temperatures of around 500 degrees Celsius. Related: Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths The new MIT device, built by graduate student Youyang Zhao, operates at temperatures of 950 to 1,074 degrees Celsius. And as he changed the temperatures in which the device operated, he saw no significant performance drop. The researchers, however, don’t think most glass or steel plants would adopt the device simply to save the planet. But assistant professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore, of whose research group Zhao is a part, said they might be interested if heat management could enable them to operate at even higher temperatures – allowing them to increase productivity or lengthen the lifespan of their equipment. According to MIT, thanks to the molten compounds in the new device, managing heat at high temperatures is now a possibility. The two scientists were joined by recent PhD graduate Charles Rinzler for a paper published by ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology . Via MIT News Images via Youyang Zhao and Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

Lethal extreme heat and wildfires scorch the American southwest

June 20, 2016 by  
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The American southwest is battling extreme temperatures and blazing wildfires . The National Weather Service issued heat advisories – and in some cases excessive heat warnings – in California , Arizona, and New Mexico as temperatures threaten to climb higher this week. In Arizona , four people have already died. A crazy ‘ firenado ‘ was captured on video in California’s Sherpa Fire in Santa Barbara County. The fire has burned close to 8,000 acres so far and is just 51 percent contained. Fires in Arizona and New Mexico have scorched even more acres. Arizona’s Cedar Head Fire has burned 12,140 acres and New Mexico’s Dog Head Fire has blazed through 17,891. Neither of those are as contained as the Sherpa Fire, and the Dog Head Fire is just nine percent contained. CNN reports all together, an area larger than Paris is burning. Related: India shatters records with temperature of 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit A weather pattern called a ‘heat dome’ has exacerbated temperatures. This occurs when a high pressure system in the atmosphere pushes hot air back down, trapping it and resulting in hotter temperatures than normal. CNN’s meteorologist said the three states have seen the hottest temperatures at the beginning of summer ever . Phoenix hit 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and the National Weather Service warned that in some desert areas, the temperature could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 14 California locations hit at least 117 degrees Fahrenheit. In New Mexico, seven locations shattered heat records as well. In Pima County, Arizona, two hikers perished because of the heat, and a 25-year-old male and 28-year-old female died in Phoenix. 30 million people live in the areas that have received heat warnings. The National Weather Service warned that such extreme temperatures “can be life-threatening.” Via CNN and Global News Images via Susie Cagle on Flickr , Josh Berlinger on Twitter , and the National Weather Service Video via Global News

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Lethal extreme heat and wildfires scorch the American southwest

Climate change may be lowering our sex drives

November 14, 2015 by  
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Its’ no secret that the birth rate has been dropping in the US, and there are numerous reasons for the drop. But a new study reveals that one of those reasons is one you might not expect: climate change . Studies show that fewer children are born nine months after really, really hot days. READ MORE > image via Shutterstock

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Climate change may be lowering our sex drives

Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car

March 11, 2015 by  
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What if your car could be powered where the rubber meets the road? Range anxiety persists as a fear among electric car drivers, as heavy batteries with limited capacity remain slow to charge. Goodyear has announced its concept for a heat-gathering, electricity-generating tire at the 2015 Geneva International Auto Show, and the tire could change all that by making a few changes to an oft-overlooked component. Read the rest of Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery , bh03 , car charged by tire , charging , concept , electric car , goodyear , heat-gathering tire , range anxiety , tire

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Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car

GREEN BUILDING 101: Energy & Atmosphere – Keeping Cool and Staying Warm

March 6, 2015 by  
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  The very root of what makes a home green is how effectively it responds to its surrounding environment. You could say that this has defined the primary material pursuit of mankind for all time – building better shelters to keep us warmer, cooler, and drier. Many of the native building techniques employed centuries ago are still reliable in similar climates today, and used as optimal models for environmentally conscious architects . That said, since global acceptance of the air conditioner in the 1950s, the benefits of responding to a unique climate have been left by the roadside. Read the rest of GREEN BUILDING 101: Energy & Atmosphere – Keeping Cool and Staying Warm Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “leed” , air conditioning , cooling , green architecture , Green Building , Green Building 101 , green design , green insulation , heat , heating , insulating , insulation , passive solar , passive solar building , solar , solar heat , sustainable design , warming , window , windows

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Tim Van Cromvoirt’s Trippy Thermophores Change Color with Heat

January 17, 2015 by  
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Dutch designer Tim Van Cromvoirt wanted to create a wall application that would look organic and act like living organism. So he used his final year at the ST. Joost Academy , in Breda to experiment with materials and reactions. What he developed was Thermophores, a spiky, sensitive and surreal piece of wall-art that reacts to changing temperatures. Read the rest of Tim Van Cromvoirt’s Trippy Thermophores Change Color with Heat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , biomimicry , Decorative Objects , Design Aacdemy of Eindhoven , dutch design , heat , sensitive , Spiky organism , Thermophores , thermosensitive , Tim van Cromvoirt

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