How hurricane Irma changed the colors of these Caribbean islands

September 12, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Irma recently hit islands in the Caribbean with the force of a Category 5 storm. And now, NASA satellite images reveal how the devastating storm turned formerly green islands into a dull brown. NASA captured Hurricane Irma’s destruction from space via satellite imagery . They compared images from late August, before the storm, with images snapped in the last couple of days in September. The pictures show how islands once bursting with greenery are now brown. There are a few reasons this might have happened, according to NASA. Hurricane winds could have ripped away vegetation, allowing satellites to capture more bare ground. Or, salt spray from the storm could have dried out leaves while they were still on trees, giving them a brown appearance. Related: NASA researcher says Harvey flooding pushed Houston down two centimeters Over 30 people died in the Caribbean due to Irma, according to Weather.com . ABC News reported 11 people perished from the storm in the United States. Virgin Gorda, pictured above, is one of the islands that now looks mostly brown, although NASA Earth Observatory said the south and west of the island is slightly greener, perhaps because hills in the center shielded those areas from Irma’s winds. In the images of Virgin Gorda, the ocean after Irma looks bright blue in comparison with the ocean color before the storm; NASA said that could be because “rougher surfaces scatter more light, and appear brighter and lighter.” The island of Barbuda, shown above, endured an especially devastating hit from Hurricane Irma; 95 percent of the its structures have been damaged, according to Time . Antigua and Barbuda prime minister Gaston Browne said the destruction was heart-wrenching. Antigua fared a little better – the vegetation on that island seems to be relatively intact in satellite images. NASA Earth Observatory said Irma’s center passed to the north, and Antigua didn’t face as much damage. Via NASA Earth Observatory and The Verge Images via Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

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How hurricane Irma changed the colors of these Caribbean islands

Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

June 10, 2016 by  
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The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is known for its fascinating ruins built into surrounding rocky cliffs, and now archaeologists have made an exciting new discovery. Using satellite images , they recently discovered a massive subterranean monument that remained hidden for years. The monument is about the length and double the width of an Olympic swimming pool . The archaeologists used satellite imagery to find the platform, which is 184 feet by 161 feet. An interior platform had columns along one end and a huge staircase. Based on pottery studies, the researchers think the platform could be at least 2,150 years old . Related: Family accidentally discovers “extraordinarily well-preserved” Roman villa in England Given the colossal size, it’s surprising no one has yet discovered the monument, but the researchers said it was difficult to get to and “hidden.”Even though the monument is close to the center of Petra – just around half a mile south, prior surveys didn’t find it. The paper the archaeologists published is titled ” Hiding in Plain Sight .” Co-author of the paper Christopher Tuttle told National Geographic, “I’m sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it’s never been systematically studied or written up. I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery.” Tuttle told The Guardian the platform could have been used for “some kind of massive display function.” Throughout the rest of Petra, there are several shrines and sites used for “various cultic displays or political activities.” However, one reason the new monument stands apart is because the massive staircase doesn’t face Petra’s city center. “We don’t understand what the purpose [of visible shrines], because the Nabateans didn’t leave any written documents to tell us,” Tuttle said. “But I find it interesting that such a monumental feature doesn’t have a visible relationship to the city.” As of now the researchers don’t have a plan for excavation , but they hope to work at the site at some point. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

June 10, 2016 by  
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IKEA wants to make sustainable living accessible for the masses, and they just announced a new line of “no waste” products that will make your wallet and the planet happy. Their new line includes seating, vases and kitchen cabinets, all made out of recycled materials . These new products close the material loop and help make your home not only earth-friendlier, but oh-so-stylish, too. It can be hard to find affordable, sustainable supplies that look stylish when constructing a kitchen. IKEA is changing that with their new KUNGSBACKA kitchen. The cabinet doors are made using recycled plastic bottles and recycled wood, and the entire thing is “99.9 percent recycled,” according to the designer. IKEA hopes that the design will help people see waste not as garbage, but as just another material that can be used in creating new and beautiful things. The KUNGSBACKA kitchen door launches February, 2017. Related: IKEA announces new Tom Dixon collaboration that could redefine how we use our homes The new ODGER chair, which will also hit the market in 2017, is made out of 70% recycled plastic and 30% renewable wood. The design is the result of a collaboration with Swedish designers Form Us With Love , and the chairs have that sleek Scandinavian look without the environment-harming plastics that other chairs have. The chairs will come in a range of colors and wood finishes to suit any space. These no waste IKEA vases came about while IKEA was visiting one of their suppliers in China. There, they realized that imperfect or damaged products were being thrown out. So the company decided to melt that glass back down and turn it into beautiful vases. Each mouth-blown vase is totally unique, thanks to the materials. According to designer Iina Vuorivirta, “Despite all vases being mouth-blown in the same mould, they get a unique look because the melted glass is made of various shades of leftover material from the glassworks. The result is due to chance, and unique each time. Just like us humans.” The vase is part of the PS 2017 collection and will be on shelves in February. + IKEA Images via Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat and IKEA

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IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

Icelandic power plant transforms carbon emissions into stone

June 10, 2016 by  
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In a world first, a team of engineers and scientists at Iceland’s Hellisheidi power plant have been able to capture carbon emissions and turn them into stone for storage. This new process, described in this week’s issue of the journal Science , involves mixing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide released by the plant with water, and injecting the mixture into underground layers of basalt. Within months, the mixture is converted into rock-hard carbonate, safely storing the carbon and preventing it from entering the atmosphere. http://vimeo.com/119512256 The CarbFix Project brought together scientists from Columbia University, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Iceland, and Reykjavik Energy, the operator of the plant. Initially, scientists were concerned the process might take hundreds or thousands of years to occur naturally. Instead, large portions had mineralized into a stable form within a few months, and 95% completed the process within two years . The quick action of the process is promising — provided that a power plant is located in an area with easy access to layers of underground volcanic basalt. These conditions are perfectly suited to the seismically active landscape of Iceland, but might not work as well in other parts of the globe. Related: Crystal Compounds Used as Super-Efficient Carbon Storage Sponges There are other challenges to implementing this process widely. For one thing, the Hellisheidi plant is a geothermal energy facility, which uses turbines to process superheated water pumped from deep underground. Not only do these types of facilities produce far less carbon than a traditional coal-fired plant (only about 5%), they also have access to vast amounts of water which can be injected back underground. While sea water could be used to help sequester carbon in some facilities that burn fossil fuels , access to water may be a struggle in many regions. Still, there are many areas along the seafloors of the US coast where the process could easily be implemented. While the Hellisheidi plant has so far been able to process CO2 for about $30 per ton, it’s likely that a coal-fired power plant would end up spending closer to $130 per ton of carbon converted into stone. + The CarbFix Project Via Forbes Photos via The Earth Institute at Columbia University

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Icelandic power plant transforms carbon emissions into stone

Century-old boat is transformed into a tiny solar-powered floating home

June 10, 2016 by  
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Originally built to break through iced-over canals and provide safe passage to working boats, Liz dates back to 1908 and was found in the waterways of the former coal mining regions in Northern England. The boat started as an empty shell and was overhauled to create a contemporary and comfortable interior that looks surprisingly more spacious than its 18-square-meter footprint lets on. Monterzino creates this illusion of spaciousness by maximizing natural light , painting the wall white, and creating a long and uninterrupted open-plan layout that extends from bow to stern. Bespoke furnishings also offer space-saving solutions. Related: +31 Architects’ tranquil new houseboat is moored on Amsterdam’s Amstel River Due to historic licenses, the houseboat owner is allowed to cruise freely through the canals and moor at designated areas for up to two weeks at a time. The tiny floating home can even be operated for over two weeks off-grid thanks to high-efficiency insulation, solar panels , and other onboard systems. + Marco Monterzino Via domus Images via Marco Monterzino

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Century-old boat is transformed into a tiny solar-powered floating home

This Satellite Map from NASA and NOAA Shows All the World’s Vegetation

December 14, 2014 by  
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Just how much greenery covers the Earth? Now we have an answer, thanks to a new interactive map produced by NASA and the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that shows how much of the earth is covered in living plants. Using the  Suomi NPP satellite , researchers were able to gather a year’s worth of satellite images and compile them into a single high-resolution image that shows which parts of the planet are the lushest, and also which ones are covered by the sparsest vegetation. Read the rest of This Satellite Map from NASA and NOAA Shows All the World’s Vegetation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earth’s vegetation , maps , nasa , NOAA , NOAA satellite image , plants , satellite image , Suomi NPP satellite , vegetation map , VIIRS sensor

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This Satellite Map from NASA and NOAA Shows All the World’s Vegetation

Madagascar Legally Exports Illegally Logged Rosewood

December 15, 2009 by  
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A new poster jointly produced by researchers in Madagascar and the US graphically depicts how politically turmoil in Madagascar during 2009, coupled with poor political decisions have allowed for the legal export of illegally logged rosewood . …

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Madagascar Legally Exports Illegally Logged Rosewood

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