The US just experienced its hottest May on record

June 11, 2018 by  
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It’s a familiar theme: each year, it seems, is the hottest year on record. The most recent climate change milestone in the U.S. occurred last month, when the country experienced its hottest May ever recorded. “Nature is dealing cards from a very different deck now compared to the 20th century,” climate scientist David Titley told USA Today . The average temperature for May in the lower 48 states was 65.4°F, 5.2°F above the average temperature for the month in the 20th century. Prior to this year, the record hottest May occurred in 1934, at the height of the Dust Bowl. While climate change contributed to the record warmth, two significant tropical storms brought heat and precipitation north from the Gulf of Mexico. While more than a quarter of the contiguous U.S. remains in drought, some states, including Maryland and Florida , experienced their wettest month of May on record. As a result of heavy winter snow melting rapidly in a warm spring, locations in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming have experienced significant flooding. Related: Climate change has transformed much of Alaska over the past three decades Beyond the average monthly temperature, more than 8,590 daily warm temperature station records were either broken or tied throughout May. “This was 18 times more than the approximately 460 daily cold temperature station records during the month,” NOAA wrote. “Several of the daily records were noteworthy, including 100°F on May 28 in Minneapolis, Minnesota  — the earliest such occurrence on record.” + NOAA Via Ecowatch and  USA Today Images via NOAA

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The US just experienced its hottest May on record

A prefab hotel with lakeside views pops up in northern Russia

June 11, 2018 by  
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St. Petersburg-based architecture firm Rhizome group designed and built Tochka na Karte Hotel, a prefabricated structure crafted to embrace the outdoors. Located in the northern Russian town of Priozersk in Leningrad Oblast, the hotel complex is a sleek and modern getaway nestled among mature pine trees. The use of modular technology has helped reduce construction waste and minimize site impact , including the preservation of existing trees. Located just a two-hour drive north of St. Petersburg , the Tochka na Karte Hotel (Russian for ‘a point on the map’) is set on the shore of Lake Ladoga on the border of the Republic of Karelia. Due to its proximity to St. Petersburg, historical points of interest and abundance of pristine nature, the area has long served as a major tourist destination for Russians and foreigners alike. The hotel taps into the region’s natural beauty by using floor-to-ceiling glazing to frame outdoor views from every room, thus blurring the line between indoors and out. The prefabricated building comprises three two-story blocks with 32 standard rooms, detached suites (built of two modules) and a reception building (assembled from three modules and some prefabricated elements). The modules, which measure 3.5 meters by 7 meters, were constructed in a factory and then assembled on site. Stairways and terraces connect the modular blocks. The facade was built of timber and dark metal to tie the building into the wooded landscape. To further blend the hotel into its pine forest backdrop, the structures were “dispersed” among existing mature pines near where the Vuoski River meets Lake Ladoga. Related: This minimalist prefab hotel offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps “We believe we succeeded in achieving the essence of a place inherent to modern Nordic architecture,” the architects wrote. “Terrain forms, trees layout and our strive to provide a view of the shore from every room constitute the buildings’ location on the site.” + Rhizome Images by Dmitry Tsyrencshikov

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A prefab hotel with lakeside views pops up in northern Russia

Artists are turning the U.S.-Mexico border fence into the worlds longest peace-themed mural

December 29, 2017 by  
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As the Trump administration pushes forward with plans to build a border wall , American and Mexican artists are working to paint a mile-long mural on the border fence celebrating peace and unity. Mexican-born, American-educated artist Enrique Chiu is leading a bi-national effort to turn the fence into a work of art which spreads a message of hope to those crossing the border. This December, Chiu launched The Mural of Brotherhood, enlisting over than 2,600 volunteers to paint uplifting messages on the Mexico-facing side of the U.S.-owned fence. The entire mural is expected to stretch more than a mile in Tijuana and shorter spans in Tecate, Mexicali, Ciudad Juarez, Naco and Reynosa. The goal is to set the Guinness World Record for the longest mural and create an artistic riposte to Trump ’s nationalist and anti-immigrant politics. Related: Ai Weiwei installs huge fences in New York City to challenge Trump’s border control measures The artist himself crossed the border with his mother when he was eight and lived in LA for a year without a legal status. After moving to Tijuana about ten years Chiu joined the city’s burgeoning artistic scene. He dedicates this project “to all those people who are looking for a better life. Who take enormous risks. Or those have been deported and are separated from their families.” + Enrique Chiu

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Artists are turning the U.S.-Mexico border fence into the worlds longest peace-themed mural

Electric airplane prototype breaks world speed records in test flight

April 6, 2017 by  
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An electric airplane build by Siemens recently set two new world records for battery-powered aircraft by reaching a top speed of about 210 miles per hour. It also became the first electric plane to tow a glider into the sky. The Siemens Extra 330LE prototype plane overcomes one of the key barriers to electricity-powered flight, the weight of the batteries and associated energy density. According to Electrek , Siemens has put a lot of work into the energy density of electric motors, and as a result the 330LE delivers a power output of 260 kilowatts with a weight of just 110 pounds. The end goal of Siemens’ work on this prototype is to produce airlines for regional travel that are powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system—a project it’s working on in concert with Airbus, which is working on its own E-Fan electric plane concept. Check out the cool video below. As Clean Technica notes, the two records the plane set on March 23, 2017 at Germany’s Dinslaken Schwarze Heide Airfield include a top speed record of 337.50 kilometers per hour (over a distance of 3 kilometers, for an electric aircraft with a takeoff weight of less than 1,000 kilograms); and a top speed record of 342.86 kilometers per hour for an electric aircraft with a takeoff weight of over 1,000 kilograms. The latter record was achieved by tweaking the craft so it was a bit heavier. Pilot, Walter Extra broke the previous record – set by the American pilot William M. Yates in 2013 – by one minute and 10 seconds. Related: Wright Electric unveils revolutionary plan for 150-seat electric passenger plane The plane also brought a glider to a height of 600 meters (about 2,000 feet) in just 76 seconds. “This aerotow provides further, highly visible evidence of our record-setting motor’s performance capabilities,” said Frank Anton, head of eAircraft at the Siemens venture capital unit next47 . “Just six such propulsion units would be sufficient to power a typical 19-seat hybrid-electric airplane.” Via Electre k and Clean Technica Images via Siemens , Copyright: Jean-Marie Urlacher

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Electric airplane prototype breaks world speed records in test flight

Australia smashed a wind energy record last month

June 15, 2016 by  
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Australian wind energy enjoyed a record month in May as wind farms supplied 1,299 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity to the country’s main power grid, the National Electricity Market (NEM). Wind accounted for 8.5 percent of the country’s electricity demand, according to a report by energy consultants Pitt & Sherry . The record was 22 percent higher than the previous record set in July 2015 and came without any new capacity added in more than a year. The Australian Wind Alliance reports that the record amount of wind energy generated temporarily halted rising carbon emissions from the electricity sector. Four states smashed records last month, led by South Australia where 49 percent of electricity demand was sourced from wind farms. Wind supplied 13 percent of electricity used in Tasmania, 12 percent in Victoria and 4.8 percent in New South Wales. Across the NEM, wind farms have 3.9 GW of capacity. In May, they operated at 49 percent, taking advantage of blustery conditions that more than doubled the efficiency rate compared to March. Related: Australian wave energy project sets a new world record with 14,000 operating hours According to Pitt & Sherry, since former Prime Minister Tony Abbott repealed the country’s carbon tax in July 2014, emissions have increased 5.6 percent from the electricity sector. However, while current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has a mixed record on climate change action, it was reported that the Turnbull government will not publicly fund Australia’s largest proposed export coal project. South Australia has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) also is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050, with a 100 percent renewable goal by 2020. Victoria just joined South Australia and the ACT in committing to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Via CleanTechnica Images via Flickr

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Australia smashed a wind energy record last month

Futuristic eco city breaks ground in Kazakhstan for the World Expo 2017

June 15, 2016 by  
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The project focuses on using renewable energy as the primary source for infrastructure and daily operation of the buildings. Each element of the design aims to encourage and support the idea of clean energy across the project, which will feature exhibition and cultural pavilions, a residential development, commercial areas, educational and civic facilities, as well as parks and parking. Related: Santiago Calatrava picked to design UAE pavilion for Dubai World Expo 2020 Photo by Fatih Kucukcolak, via Metal Yapi Eng & Const Located at the very heart of the campus, the sphere-shaped Kazakhstan Pavilion will be a true symbol of the “Future Energy” concept. Its transformative skin will reduce thermal loss and reduce interior solar glare , at the same time increasing the building’s energy output through integrated sustainable systems such as photovoltaics. Each building was designed to reduce energy use and increase the amount of clean energy that can be harvested. “The building forms are the direct result of a considerate and thorough design process, which AS+GG practices as ‘Form Follows Performance,” said AS+GG partner Adrian Smith, FAIA. In addition to the excellent energy performance of individual buildings, the architects ensured that the entire development will be interconnected by including a smart energy grid, smart recycled water grid, integrated waste management system, and inter-seasonal underground thermal energy storage . After the Expo, the site will be converted into an office and research park for international companies and entrepreneurs. + Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture Photos by A.O. Tercan

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Futuristic eco city breaks ground in Kazakhstan for the World Expo 2017

Thousands of women create world’s largest crochet blanket in India

February 7, 2016 by  
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After six months and an incredible amount of yarn, the Mother India’s Crochet Queens have set a new Guinness World Record for creating the largest crochet blanket in the world. Over two thousand women between the ages of 8 and 85 worked together to create the colorful, soccer pitch-sized blanket that stretched over 11,000 square meters in size. Now that the record has been reached, the blankets will be donated to NGOs, which will distribute them to underprivileged people across the country. READ MORE>

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Thousands of women create world’s largest crochet blanket in India

World’s Largest Vertical Garden Sets Guinness Record at Singapore’s Tree House

June 18, 2014 by  
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CDL ’s Tree House in Singapore just set a new Guinness World Record with the world’s largest vertical garden . The building’s green wall measures 24,638.59 square feet and is expected to save more than $500,000 in energy and water costs annually. It’s slated for completion in December, 2017. Read the rest of World’s Largest Vertical Garden Sets Guinness Record at Singapore’s Tree House Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , CDL Tree House , condominium Tree House , green architecture , green skyscrapers , Guinness World Record , Guinness World Record architecture , lower carbon footprint buildings , Tree House Singapore , vertical gardens , world’s largest vertical garden

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World’s Largest Vertical Garden Sets Guinness Record at Singapore’s Tree House

Electrics, Hybrids Help Push U.S. Fuel Economy to Record High in 2013

January 14, 2014 by  
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Average fuel economy for U.S. vehicles set a record 24.8 miles per gallon in calender year 2013. This is up one gallon over 2012 and an increase of 4.7 mpg since October 2007, the month and year the University of Michigan Transportation Institute began monitoring fuel economy. The increase in fuel economy can be partly attributed to the growing number of electric vehicles and hybrids on the road. Sales climbed to 578,000 units in 2013, up more than 10,000 units from 2012, which represents around 3.7 percent of all new car sales last year. Read the rest of Electrics, Hybrids Help Push U.S. Fuel Economy to Record High in 2013 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric vehicles , fuel economy , fuel efficiency , hybrids , leaf , miles per gallon , NISSAN , Pruis , Toyota , U.S. vehicles , University of Michigan Transportation Institute        

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Electrics, Hybrids Help Push U.S. Fuel Economy to Record High in 2013

Germany Shatters Monthly Solar Generation Record With 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Clean Energy

August 20, 2013 by  
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Image © Tim Fuller The Federal Republic of Germany just broke its monthly solar generation record by clocking over 5.1 terawatt hours (TWh) in July, according to data from the EEX Transparency Platform . The accomplishment proves once again that a lack of sunshine is no obstacle to scaling up solar energy – and if the Teutons can produce record amounts of solar power under grey skies, then the potential for countries with sunnier weather and more land mass (like the United States) is limitless. Read the rest of Germany Shatters Monthly Solar Generation Record With 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Clean Energy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , germany , record , renewable energy , Solar Power , sunshine        

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Germany Shatters Monthly Solar Generation Record With 5.1 Terawatt Hours of Clean Energy

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