3-hectare desert farm in Jordan can grow 286,600 pounds of veggies each year

September 7, 2017 by  
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Vegetables are sprouting in the desert at the Sahara Forest Project’s recently inaugurated launch station in Aqaba, Jordan . The project draws on the sun, saltwater , and carbon dioxide to grow food and generate clean energy and freshwater. The new three-hectare launch station will be able to grow around 286,600 pounds of vegetables a year, and produce over 2.5 gallons of water a day. The Sahara Forest Project is centered around the core technologies of saltwater-cooled greenhouses , concentrated solar power , and desert revegetation practices. They’ll pave the way for larger facilities at the Aqaba launch station, which already boasts thriving greenery. The station is around the size of four football fields, and includes two greenhouses with a total of 14,531 square feet of growing space. There’s also 34,445 square feet of outdoor planting space. Related: Sahara Desert Project to grow 10 hectares of food in Tunisian desert Photovoltaic panels will generate solar power at the station, and there are salt ponds to produce salt. Another benefit of the project is job creation; the Sahara Forest Project aims to fight poverty and promote development through green jobs . The Norwegian government and European Union are the two biggest donors to the project. Norway Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen said, “The Sahara Forest Project demonstrates that innovative application of technology has the potential to revolutionize our land systems in a way that benefits the climate , people, and businesses.” The Sahara Forest Project has completed a pilot in Qatar and are working on a facility in Tunisia that, as of last year, was set to open in 2018 . Ultimately, the organization aims to open a 20-hectare Jordan Center, so they consider the launch station as just the beginning. Sahara Forest Project Chief Executive Officer Joakim Hauge said in the near future, Jordan could be a hub of green growth systems. + Sahara Forest Project Via the Sahara Forest Project Images © Anders Nyboe/Sahara Forest Project

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3-hectare desert farm in Jordan can grow 286,600 pounds of veggies each year

Climate change could transform one of Africa’s driest regions into a wet one

July 18, 2017 by  
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Climate change is often connected to heat waves and hot temperatures. But researchers recently found very different weather patterns could arise in a dry region of Africa : the Sahel. The area sprawls across multiple countries and is considered a transitional zone between the Sahara Desert and more humid regions to the south, and itself is prone to extreme dryness. But climate change here could trigger a monsoon circulation. The Sahel stretches from the Atlantic Ocean eastward into Sudan. According to Encyclopædia Britannica , eight months of the year at minimum are dry, and the wet season only sees around four to eight inches of rain . But all that could change if temperatures raise past 1.5 to two degrees Celsius , according to Jacob Schewe of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Anders Levermann of Potsdam University and Columbia University . Related: The sixth mass extinction is killing off wildlife 100 times faster than “normal” Dozens of computer simulations show this region of the world could get wetter under climate change, and the scientists scrutinized the simulations showing the greatest increase. They identified a self-amplifying mechanism that could intensify what Schewe called the Sahel monsoon as more water evaporates from hotter oceans and then falls on land. Regions which are nearly part of the Sahara Desert in Mali, Chad, and Niger could see as much rain as central Nigeria or northern Cameroon receive today. Rainfall could offer benefits for the Sahel, but the two researchers say adapting to the altered weather could be difficult for the region, some areas of which have been grappling with instability and war. In a statement, Levermann said, “…the Sahel might experience years of hard-to-handle variability between drought and flood . Obviously, agriculture and infrastructure will have to meet this challenge. As great as it hopefully were for the dry Sahel to have so much more rain, the dimension of the change calls for urgent attention.” The journal Earth System Dynamics published the research online earlier this month. Via the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Images via Ammar Hassan on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Climate change could transform one of Africa’s driest regions into a wet one

New genetically engineered yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution

July 18, 2017 by  
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A genetically engineered version of the fungus in your bread and beer could help clean up the environment . A team of seven scientists at institutions in Romania and Norway developed yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution – and their research revealed the most effective strains are able to soak up 80 percent of metal ions. Bioremediation , or using plants , microbes, or fungi to remove pollutants, is one ideal way of cleaning the environment, but there’s a few issues with the method when heavy metals are involved. Some plants just don’t grow big enough to do the job, and they can’t clean contaminated water. But heavy metal contamination poses a threat to wildlife and humans. So a team of scientists led by Lavinia Liliana Ruta at the University of Bucharest genetically engineered yeast to mop up toxic metals. Related: 7 Species That Eat Pollution for Breakfast The genes the researchers created are comprised of a cell membrane anchor, green fluorescent protein, and a metal-binding peptide. Different types of peptides aided the yeast in cleaning up different types of heavy metals; for example, cysteine peptides best scooped up cadmium and silver. Histidine peptides were up to the task for nickel and cobalt. But it could still be several years before yeast is deployed as a cleanup tool. According to the American Council on Science and Health, the next step would be to take the genetically engineered yeast from the laboratory to the real world, like in a water treatment plant. Another obstacle to yeast clean-up becoming more common is how to dispose of that yeast once a site is restored. The journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology recently published the team’s research online . Ruta was joined by colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy . Via Engadget and American Council on Science and Health Images via David Burn on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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New genetically engineered yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution

Archaeologist suggests ancient humans helped catalyze the Sahara’s desertification

March 17, 2017 by  
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The Sahara Desert we know, with its rolling sand dunes and hot temperatures, used to be a verdant grassland with lakes. Scientists have traditionally attributed the dramatic change to a wobble in Earth’s orbital axis , but now archaeologist David K. Wright of Seoul National University is suggesting actually, humans may have been to blame. A 10,000-year or so wet period called the African Humid Period brought moisture to northern and eastern Africa. But around 8,000 years ago the moisture balance began to change. Today below the sand-dominated landscape can be found signs of rivers and plants, remnants of a greener history. In an article published in the journal Frontiers in Earth Science , Wright explained humans used to be thought of as passive agents in the end of the African Humid Period. But he thinks humans might actually have been active agents in the change. Related: The Mediterranean will become a desert unless global warming is limited to 1.5°C Wright said, “In East Asia there are long established theories of how Neolithic populations changed the landscape so profoundly that monsoons sopped penetrating so far inland.” He thinks a similar phenomenon could have happened in the Sahara. People growing crops and raising livestock could have changed the environment , exposing soil, and sunlight bouncing from the soil could have warmed the air, influencing atmospheric conditions enough so there wasn’t as much rainfall, which only added to the desertification of the Sahara. As yet, Wright needs more evidence for other scientists to fully get on board with his ideas. He said, “There were lakes everywhere in the Sahara at this time, and they will have the records of the changing vegetation. We need to drill down into these former lake beds to get the vegetation records, look at the archaeology , and see what people were doing there.” If Wright turns out to be right, his research could yield insights into how we can adapt to large scale climate change . Via Phys.org and ScienceAlert Images via Charly W. Karl on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Archaeologist suggests ancient humans helped catalyze the Sahara’s desertification

Trump team claims funding climate change is "a waste of your money"

March 17, 2017 by  
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Predictions that the environment wouldn’t fare well under Donald Trump are already coming true. His budget proposal aims to slash Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding by 31 percent, tossing out climate change programs because as White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said, those are “a waste of your money.” Perhaps Trump’s America First budget proposal shouldn’t come as a surprise: it’s highly militaristic and hard on the arts, the sick, the poor, foreign aid, and of course climate change. Under the Trump budget, pollution cleanup efforts and energy efficiency measures would be shoved to the side. Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government Over 50 EPA programs could be lost under the Trump budget, including large-scale cleanup efforts for the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes and assistance for Alaskan villages hurting because of climate change. States would be left to pick up the pieces. And so much for Trump’s blustering about jobs – around one in five EPA workers would lose theirs under the so-called America First budget. Mulvaney hearkened back to campaign trail language when he said, “This comes back to the president’s business person view of government , which is if you took over this as a CEO, and you look at this on a spreadsheet and go, ‘Why do we have all of these facilities, why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three, won’t that save money,’ and the answer is yes…You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it. So, I guess the first place that comes to mind will be the Environmental Protection Agency.” He also doubled down on Trump’s view of climate change. “We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mulvaney said. “We consider that to be a waste of your money.” Ultimately Trump’s budget is simply a recommendation; Congress will write and pass a budget. It remains to be seen if they’ll gut the EPA as much as Trump wishes. Via The Guardian Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Eric Vance/USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency on Flickr

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Trump team claims funding climate change is "a waste of your money"

Mediterranean to become desert unless global warming limited to 1.5C, study warns

October 31, 2016 by  
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Southern Spain could look like the Sahara unless global warming is held to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, the global average temperature target governments agreed to in Paris. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Science titled “Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems.” According to the analysis, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global warming reaches 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), desertification could overtake many areas around the Mediterranean by the end of the century, altering ecosystems in ways not seen in 10,000 years. The researchers examined pollen cores from sediments during the Holocene, the geological epoch that began more than 10,000 years ago. They than compared the information from past conditions to predictions of future climate and vegetation under different climate change scenarios. Warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius could cause an expansion of deserts in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with decidious forests replaced by shrubs and bushes. Related: 6 Brilliant designs to fight desertification The Mediterranean region is already warming at a more rapid pace than the rest of the world. Since 1880 when modern record-keeping began, average land and ocean surface temperature has increased by .85 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the Mediterranean basin has seen 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. “The main message is really to maintain at less than 1.5C,” Joel Guiot, palaeoclimatologist at the European Centre for Geoscience Research and Education in Aix-en-Provence, France, and the study’s lead author, told The Guardian. “For that, we need to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases very quickly, and start the decreasing now, and not by 2020, and to arrive at zero emissions by 2050 and not by the end of the century.” + Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems Via Inside Climate News Images via Good Free Photos  and Wikimedia

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Mediterranean to become desert unless global warming limited to 1.5C, study warns

Morocco switches on phase one of the world’s largest solar plant

February 5, 2016 by  
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The king of Morroco has switched on what will be the world’s largest solar power plant – in the Saharan desert near Ouarzazate. When it is completed in 2018, the Noor Concentrated Solar Power complex will be the size of the country’s capital city and generate 580MW, enough power to serve 1.1 million people. Read the rest of Morocco switches on phase one of the world’s largest solar plant

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IBM Solar Collector Concentrates Light with the Power of 2,000 Suns

April 23, 2013 by  
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The hot new item in solar energy generation comes to us by way of IBM . A team of researchers is working on a solar collecting dish that will be able to convert 80 per cent of gathered solar energy, and remain cool in the process. The High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate the power of 2,000 suns as well as deliver fresh water and cool air wherever it is built. As an added bonus, IBM states that the system would cost just one third of current comparable technologies. Read the rest of IBM Solar Collector Concentrates Light with the Power of 2,000 Suns Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air conditioning , aquasar , biasca , Chips , Electricity , european electricity association , greenpeace international , high concentration photovolatic thermal system , ibm , parabolic , photovoltaic , ruschlikon , Sahara , solar collecting dish , sun , Switzerland , water issues        

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IBM Solar Collector Concentrates Light with the Power of 2,000 Suns

New Ultra-Light Nanotube Aerogels Could Clean Up Oil Spills

April 23, 2013 by  
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Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created low-density, super-strong aerogels made of carbon nanotubes that could be key to cleaning up oil spills . The new material is lighter than air but can absorb 900 times its own weight. It combines the strength and ultra-light, heat-insulating properties of aerogels with the electrical conductivity of nanotubes. Read the rest of New Ultra-Light Nanotube Aerogels Could Clean Up Oil Spills Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon nanotubes , fire-resistant materials , fireproof material , frozen smoke , frozen smoke aerogels , green materials , high-tech materials , nanotechnology , nanotube aerogels , nanotubes , NASA aerogels , oil spills , polymer aerogels , silica aerogels , ultra-light carbon aerogel , University of Pennsylvania aerogels , University of Pennsylvania research        

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New Ultra-Light Nanotube Aerogels Could Clean Up Oil Spills

Make Your Own DIY Shipping Pallet Furniture with Studiomama’s Easy Tutorials

April 23, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Make Your Own DIY Shipping Pallet Furniture with Studiomama’s Easy Tutorials Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , assembly plans , construction plans , DIY furniture , diy furniture designs , diy pallet furniture , eco design , eco furniture , furniture designs , Nina Tolstrup , pallet chair , pallet furniture , pallet lamp , pallet light , pallet project , pallet stool , pallets , Recycled Materials , shipping pallets , Studiomama , upcycled materials        

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