Over 200 nations commit to ending ocean plastic waste

December 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Over 200 countries signed a United Nations resolution in Nairobi, Kenya to eliminate plastic waste in the world’s oceans. The resolution is an important step forward to establishing a legally binding treaty that would deal with the global oceanic plastic pollution problem. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), there will be more plastic by weight in the world’s oceans than fish by 2050 if current trends continue. The resolution offers hope for the future. “There is very strong language in this resolution,” said Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister, in an interview with Reuters . “We now have an agreement to explore a legally binding instrument and other measures and that will be done at the international level over the next 18 months.” Although plastic pollution is a global problem, Norway was the country that initiated the UN resolution. “We found micro plastics inside mussels, which is something we like to eat,” said Helgesen. “In January this year, a fairly rare species of whale was stranded on a beach because of exhaustion and they simply had to kill it. In its tummy they found 30 plastic bags.” Even the most remote parts of the globe have not escaped the plastic menace. In the final episode of the acclaimed  Blue Planet II ,  plastic pollution is documented in isolated areas of Antarctica . Related: Scientists discover cheap method to identify “lost” 99% of ocean microplastics China is the world’s largest producer of plastic waste and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. However, the world’s most populous country has taken the global lead in addressing these environmental crises. “If there is one nation changing at the moment more than anyone else, it’s China … the speed and determination of the government to change is enormous,” said Erik Solheim, head of UNEP, according to Reuters . Meanwhile, the resolution, which was originally intended to have legally binding targets and timetables, was weakened by the United States , after Trump Administration officials rejected the stronger language. Current American intransigence notwithstanding, Solheim envisions a future in which products and manufacturing systems are redesigned to use as little plastic as possible. “Let’s abolish products that we do not need … if you go to tourist places like Bali, a huge amount of the plastic picked from the oceans are actually straws,” said Solheim. Although there is much work to be done before a treaty is signed, several nations are already moving ahead to protect the environment. To mark the signing of the UN resolutions, 39 countries, including Chile, Oman, Sri Lanka and South Africa, adopted new commitments to reduce plastic pollution . Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos and  Trevor Leyenhorst/Flickr

Originally posted here:
Over 200 nations commit to ending ocean plastic waste

The world’s first "Biological House" opens in Denmark

November 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The world’s first "Biological House" opens in Denmark

Danish firm Een til Een just unveiled the world’s first “Biological House.” The designers developed a process that converts agricultural waste (including grass, straw and seaweed) into raw building materials – and the resulting home leaves virtually zero impact upon the environment. Supported by the Danish Ministry of the Environment Fund for Ecological Construction, the architects built the eco-friendly home in secret for the new BIOTOPE ecopark in Middelfart, Denmark. The project – which was designed by advanced digital production technology – was first and foremost guided by sustainability at every stage. The architects sourced various agricultural “leftovers” for the project’s building materials. Mounds of recovered grass, straw and seaweed – all of which would, under normal circumstances, be burned for energy – were processed into raw materials to be used in the home’s construction. Not only were the products upcycled, but the environmental impact of burning them was avoided. Related: Man builds ultra-efficient green home as a love letter to the environment The home’s sophisticated cladding was also chosen for its strong eco-friendly profile. Kebony modifies sustainably-sourced softwoods by heating the wood with a bio-based liquid, basically polymerising the wood’s cell wall. This innovative process, which was developed in Norway, coverts softwood pieces into durable hardwood panels, perfect for building. In the case of the Biological House, the silver-grey cladding will develop a patina over time, giving the home a beautiful rustic character. The home’s construction process was also environmentally-forward. The architects tested and developed many innovative technologies during the construction process that would reduce the project’s impact. Instead of building on a typical concrete foundation, for example, the home was built on screw piles. This allows the home to be easily removed at any point, without causing damage to the terrain. + Een til Een Via World Architecture News Images via Kebony Technology

The rest is here:
The world’s first "Biological House" opens in Denmark

The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

November 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

This neglected old barn in Norway will soon host visitors from all around the world, thanks to a recent makeover helmed by architecture studio OPA Form . The renovated structure now features a modern sleeping module that can fit a family of four and offers stunning views of the picturesque valley Myrkdalen on the west-coast of Norway. The architects infused the original wooden building with new life by adding a module that’s practically invisible from the outside. The exterior looks as quaint and rustic as when it was built, 50 years ago. A sculptural window stretches out of the old cladding, offering views of the surroundings. Related: Architects transform 150-year-old Slovenian hay barn into a stunning contemporary home Inside, authentic rough surfaces still exist, except for a new addition that attaches to main room that once served as a cattle stable. The addition, a module clad in bright aspen with a circular entrance, was built with the utmost precision and with great respect for the history of the place. Completely self-sufficient, the addition doesn’t disrupt the original structure and has a part that stretches up in-between the low beams. The renovation project is part of firm’s strategy called “the barns they are a-changing”, which relates to the efforts in repurposing derelict buildings scattered across the Norwegian west coast. + OPA FORM Via Archdaily Lead Photo by Virre Dahl

Here is the original post: 
The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

Timber-clad stfold cabin embraces the Scandinavian coastline

November 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Timber-clad stfold cabin embraces the Scandinavian coastline

Natural light and stunning coastal views fill the enviable Østfold cabin, a cedar-clad dwelling in southeastern Norway. Designed by Norwegian studio Lund+Slaatto Architects , the coast-hugging cabin is undoubtedly contemporary yet its pitched roof pays homage to the local traditional architecture and the former building onsite. Surrounded by pines and rocky terrain, the home features light-colored timber inside and out to help it blend into the landscape. The 60-square-meter Østfold cabin comprises two volumes: a main building and an annex connected via outdoor terrace that wraps around the larger structure. Glazed folding doors open up the southwest-facing open-plan living room, dining space, and kitchen to the terrace as well as views of the outdoors. Large windows and other glazed openings let in copious amounts of natural light, while the roof overhang and timber louvers help mitigate solar gain. Related: Meditative lakeside Prism Cabin reveals Bordeaux through stained-glass windows While the open-plan living area and its stunning vistas are the highlights of the home, the interior also steps up to a secondary sitting area, and leads up to a second-floor study tucked within an attic -like space. The annex contains a bedroom. “Inspired by the rocky coastal surroundings, different levels create natural divisions within the open interior space,” wrote the architects. “The timber cladding, alongside the slim pitched roof, gives the house an almost shelter-like appearance – a sensation of a light and sensible dwelling on the fragile coast.” + Lund+Slaatto Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Marte Garmann

Read the rest here: 
Timber-clad stfold cabin embraces the Scandinavian coastline

Snhetta designs Europes first underwater restaurant

October 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Snhetta designs Europes first underwater restaurant

Europe’s first underwater restaurant offshore of Norway will put a new spin on the meaning of “dining with a view.” Snøhetta just unveiled designs for “Under,” a submerged restaurant that will offer spectacular views of the seabed and double as a research center for marine life. Advanced heating pump technology that taps into the seabed’s thermal mass will maintain the restaurant’s comfortable interior temperatures year-round. Under—which translates to “wonder” in Norwegian—will be housed in a monolithic concrete shell that appears to have sunk halfway into the sea. Located by the village of Båly at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coast, the building will rest directly on the seabed five meters below the water’s surface, where it will become an artificial mussel reef as a water-purifying mollusk community attaches to the building’s coarse surface. Meter-thick concrete walls will protect the structure from pressure and shock in the sea, while an 11-by-4-meter panoramic acrylic window frames views of the seabed and wild fauna. Related: Snøhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nation’s second-largest waterfall Visitors to Under will enjoy locally sourced seafood fare prepared by Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen as well as an educational journey thanks to informational plaques mounted along the trail to the restaurant entrance. The interior is fitted out in locally sourced materials and a warm-toned, natural materials palette, as well as muted lighting, to keep the emphasis on underwater views. The restaurant, which seats 80 to 100 guests, will be used as a marine biology research center on its off-hours. Snøhetta writes: “Through its architecture, menu and mission of informing the public about the biodiversity of the sea, Under will provide an under-water experience inspiring a sense of awe and delight, activating all the senses – both physical and intellectual.” + Snøhetta

Here is the original:
Snhetta designs Europes first underwater restaurant

Massive new data center to be built in chilly Norway to offset energy use

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Massive new data center to be built in chilly Norway to offset energy use

Every like and tweet costs energy, which isn’t great for climate change. That’s why the American-Norwegian data company Kolos is building a new data center in northern Norway. Designed to be the largest in the world, it will be powered strictly by renewable energy sources and the cold climate and low humidity will help offset energy demands. Kolos partnered with architecture design firm HDR to finance and design the center, which will make internet use significantly more sustainable. Data centers require huge amounts of power due to their cooling demands, so why not put one in a fjord that sits within the Arctic Circle ? Kolos’ proposal will be a fortress of data, the design of which is inspired by Norway ‘s spectacular landforms, mountains and glaciers. Related: How Sweden plans to heat homes with internet searches Kolos says the new facility will rely mostly on wind and hydroelectricity harvested from the surrounding waterways to meet its energy needs, reducing energy costs by 60 percent. The project will provide a record-breaking 1,000 MW of power and about 2000 to 3000 new jobs. + Kolos + HDR Via New Atlas

View post: 
Massive new data center to be built in chilly Norway to offset energy use

‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on ‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is supposed to protect all of the world’s seeds, but climate change has other ideas. The vault was built inside the Arctic Circle to protect a diverse seed collection from natural disasters, war, and other calamities, but meltwater from thawing permafrost recently flooded the vault’s entrance tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault , tucked in a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, was thought to offer failsafe protection, according to The Crop Trust , the organization behind the facility. Nearly a million packets of seeds can be found within, ready to offer a measure of food security for the world. But record high temperatures melted permafrost around the seed vault, and water breached the vault’s entrance. Related: 50,000 new seeds deposited in Arctic Circle’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault The seeds weren’t harmed, according to a statement on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault website, and the facility wasn’t damaged either. The water that did enter froze and has since been hacked out. But the seeds’ future safety is suddenly in question. Hege Njaa Aschim, Director of Communications at Norway’s construction and property agency, Statsbygg, told The Guardian, “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that [the vault] would experience extreme weather like that…It was supposed to [operate] without the help of humans, but now we are watching the seed vault 24 hours a day.” Vault managers have already taken steps to fortify the vault, such as digging trenches to channel water away and working to waterproof the tunnel that stretches into the mountain. They’ve installed pumps inside the seed vault to help get rid of water in case of flooding in the future. They also took out some electrical equipment that generated heat in the tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s statement on the incident said, “Globally, the Seed Vault is, and will continue to be, the safest backup of crop diversity .” Via The Guardian Images via Global Crop Diversity Trust on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

More:
‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water

May 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water

As global temperatures increase due to global warming , ice caps and glaciers continue to melt at an increasing pace. While this reality disturbs some, it is being regarded as positive news by the National Advisor Bureau Limited, based in Dubai, India. This is because the firm seeks to harvest icebergs in the southern Indian ocean and tow them 5,700 miles (9,200 kilometers) away to the Gulf, where they could be melted and sold to local businesses or marketed as a tourist attraction. However ambitious, the Dubai firm faces many challenges in its ambition, including opposition from environmental activists . Phys reports that to accomplish the task of harvesting icebergs, the firm would send ships to Heard Island, an Australian nature reserve , and steer between massive icebergs the size of cities in search of truck-sized chunks. Then, the smaller icebergs would be secured to boats with nets and dragged thousands of miles back to the intended destination. Managing director of the company, Abdullah al-Shehi, believes that the icebergs would not melt significantly during the voyage as the majority of an iceberg’s mass is underwater. Al-Shehi is largely excited about the payday that could await someone who successfully transports an iceberg capable of holding 20 billion gallons of fresh water to the Gulf’s region water. This is because in Norway, for instance, one distillery sells 750 ml bottles of melted Arctic iceberg for $100 each. However, ice sourced from Antarctica is the driest in the world, therefore, yields much less water. If all the permits required are obtained, harvesting will begin in 2019. According to Robert Brears, the founder of Mitidaption, the project would require an initial investment of at least $500 million. Additionally, the firm faces a variety of obstacles. For one, Australia strictly limits access in order to preserve the diverse ecosystem of migratory birds, penguins, seals and fish. This could be disrupted by large ships. Additionally, Antarctica is subject to global treaties that mandate strict environmental regulations and ban mining and military activities. Said Christopher Readinger, head of the Antarctic team at the U.S. National Ice Center, “There are thousands and thousands of icebergs drifting around and they can move without warning. Storms down there can be really brutal, and there’s really not anyone that can help.” Environmentalists are also offering staunch resistant to the Dubai firm’s plan, as they argue there is a simpler method to address climate change in the Middle East. Examples given include drip-irrigation, fixing leaks and water conservations. Hoda Baraka, spokeswoman for the climate advocacy group 350.org , said , “This region is the heartland of the global oil industry, it will be at the forefront of experiencing these massive, insane heat waves, and there’s only one way to avoid this—reducing emissions and keeping all fossil fuels in the ground.” Related: 70-mile crack in Antarctic ice shelf could create Delaware-sized iceberg Because the project is “an exceptionally futile and expensive way” to combat climate change and “seems to run counter to all ideas of climate change adaptation,” says Charlotte Streck, director of the consultancy firm Climate Focus, the Dubai firm is unlikely to receive financing from green investment groups. Via Phys Images via Pixabay

Original post:
Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water

Colossal landforms discovered under Antarctic ice sheet are 5X bigger than any on Earth

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Colossal landforms discovered under Antarctic ice sheet are 5X bigger than any on Earth

Colossal landforms recently found beneath the Antarctic ice sheet have surprised scientists. An international team found these eskers, or ridges of land similar to those left behind by ancient ice sheets , with satellite images and radar data – and it turns out they are far bigger than anything else like it on Earth. Some are as large as the Eiffel Tower and they might be contributing to Antarctic ice shelf thinning. The ancient Scandinavian Ice Sheet of the Pleistocene epoch was one of the biggest glacial masses of that time, and left behind eskers for us to see. The ice sheet was around 9,800 feet thick, but for thousands of years landforms under the sheet mitigated precipitation and evaporation so ice would continue to cycle through the ocean, according to ScienceAlert. Related: World’s most massive canyon may be hidden beneath Antarctic ice Now scientists have uncovered evidence of the landforms beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. But these subglacial features are a staggering five times larger than the eskers left behind we can see today. The scale of the eskers is shocking but they may also hold implications for the stability of the ice sheet. The Université libre de Bruxelles explained the “oversized sediment ridges actively shape the ice hundreds of kilometers downstream, by carving deep incisions at the bottom of the ice.” These gashes open up weak spots that are more susceptible to damage from warm ocean water. Researchers once thought ice shelves thinned only once they hit the ocean, but this new discovery means instability could impact the ice sheet even while it’s still on land. ScienceAlert pointed out we might not be able to halt the Antarctic ice sheet thinning, but a better understanding of the process could help us understand what will happen as the sheet thins. Nature Communications published the team’s research online yesterday. Scientists from institutions in Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Norway contributed to the study. Via ScienceAlert and Université libre de Bruxelles Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

Go here to read the rest: 
Colossal landforms discovered under Antarctic ice sheet are 5X bigger than any on Earth

One of China’s largest car makers just broke ground on a $6.5 billion EV park

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on One of China’s largest car makers just broke ground on a $6.5 billion EV park

Chinese automakers are getting in on the electric car market in a big way. GAC Motor – one of the country’s largest car companies – just began construction on a $6.5 billion electric vehicle park where they’ll produce self-driving and electric cars. Electrek noted this is one of the biggest investments of this nature. The Guangzhou Automobile Intelligent Industrial Park will sprawl across almost two square miles in Guangzhou’s Panyu district in the province of Guangdong . A press release states the employment population of the park will be over 20,000 people. At the park, a new electric car plant, which might be ready to go by the end of the next year, could churn out as many as 200,000 units a year. Related: Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory GAC Motor General Manager Yu Jun said, “The planning and construction of this industrial park is a concrete step to implement the Chinese government’s green development goals for Guangdong and the national ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy. The move will help promote the development of the automobile industry and drive economic growth.” Research , development, and production will take place at the new industrial park. Electrek explained one reason for the huge investment is China’s electric vehicle mandate, which says at least eight percent of car makers’ total sales by 2018 should be electric vehicle sales, and increases to 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020. The publication said China is rapidly becoming the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. GAC just unveiled the GE3, their first entirely electric car, at the North American International Auto Show this year. But they have grand ambitions for the upcoming years: Yu Jun also said in the next five years, they’ll release a minimum of seven new electric car models, saying, “Our goal is for GAC Motor to take the lead in the EV business.” Watch out, Elon Musk ! Via Electrek and GAC Group Images via GAC Motor Facebook and GAC Group

Excerpt from:
One of China’s largest car makers just broke ground on a $6.5 billion EV park

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1052 access attempts in the last 7 days.