World’s whitest paint could be an A/C alternative

April 19, 2021 by  
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Engineers at Purdue University have developed a paint so white that it actually cools surfaces. They hope that the new paint can help fight global warming by reducing reliance on air conditioning. “If you were to use this paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet, we estimate that you could get a cooling power of 10 kilowatts,” Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering, said in a statement. “That’s more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses.” Related: Painting wind turbines may reduce bird collisions and deaths The ultra-white paint reflects up to 98.1% of sunlight ; compare that to similar paints on the market, which reflect 80-90% of sunlight. The new paint sends infrared heat away, which cools the painted surface. Paints currently on the market don’t have this power. How is this paint so white? First, it contains a high concentration of barium sulfate, a chemical used to whiten photo paper and cosmetics. “We looked at various commercial products, basically anything that’s white,” said Xiangyu Li, a postdoctoral researcher who worked in Ruan’s lab. “We found that using barium sulfate, you can theoretically make things really, really reflective, which means that they’re really, really white.” The other technological key to the bright white color is the size difference between barium sulfate particles in the paint. The size of a particle determines how much it scatters light, so the wide range of particle sizes means more scattering of the sun’s light spectrum. Scientists have been trying to develop a radiative cooling paint as an A/C alternative since the 1970s. The new paint is the most successful attempt to date and can keep surfaces 19°F cooler at night than the ambient surroundings. Even in strong midday sunlight, the ultra-white Purdue paint can cool surfaces by 8°F. While it’s possible to make the paint slightly whiter, the new paint is about as white as researchers can go without compromising quality. “Although a higher particle concentration is better for making something white, you can’t increase the concentration too much,” Li said. “The higher the concentration, the easier it is for the paint to break or peel off.” + Purdue University Image via Jared Pike / Purdue University

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World’s whitest paint could be an A/C alternative

Shark populations have decreased by 71% in the last 50 years

January 29, 2021 by  
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A recent study published in the journal Nature has revealed that the number of sharks in the oceans has reduced by 71% since the 1970s. Ray populations are also plummeting. Because of these alarming findings, researchers are now calling on governments to take drastic measures to reverse the trend. The study authors blamed most of the losses on overfishing. Sharks and rays are often fished for food but are also victims of sportfishing in many parts of the world. More disheartening is the fact that these animals are already at risk of extinction , according to Nicholas Dulvy, professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Related: Preparing COVID-19 vaccine could kill half a million sharks “Overfishing of oceanic sharks and rays jeopardizes the health of entire ocean ecosystems as well as food security for some of the world’s poorest countries,” Dulvy said. In the study, 31 species of sharks and rays found in the open oceans were analyzed. Of these species, 24 are already classified as threatened by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Further, three shark species — the oceanic whitetip shark, the scalloped hammerhead shark and the great hammerhead shark — are currently listed as critically endangered . For these wildlife populations to recover, scientific data must be taken into account. According to Sonja Fordham, president of Shark Advocates International, great white sharks are now recovering thanks to scientific data that influenced fishing limits. “Relatively simple safeguards can help to save sharks and rays, but time is running out,” Fordham said. “We urgently need conservation action across the globe to prevent myriad negative consequences and secure a brighter future for these extraordinary, irreplaceable animals.” + Nature Via BBC Image via Jonas Allert

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Shark populations have decreased by 71% in the last 50 years

Local communities want Trump’s border wall torn down

January 29, 2021 by  
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On his first day in office, President Joe Biden ordered construction to halt on Trump’s infamous border wall. But environmentalists and communities living along the border want him to go much further, tearing it down and reversing the wall’s damage. Donald Trump set aside $15 billion for his “big beautiful wall” between the southern border of the U.S. and Mexico. About 455 miles had been constructed out of a planned 738 miles by the time Trump left office. The former president got his hands on the money by declaring a national emergency in 2019 and diverting tax dollars that would have otherwise gone to defense or counter-drug programs. But he didn’t spend a lot of time assessing the environmental and cultural impact. Hundreds of miles of land have been blasted and bulldozed, including protected public land and sites sacred to Native Americans. Related: Trump administration disregards border wall’s environmental impact “It’s a disaster, a mess, the suspended laws must be put back on the books to give border communities equal protection, and every section looked at carefully so that it can be torn down in a coordinated and responsible way, and the damage addressed immediately,” said Dan Mills, the Sierra Club’s borderlands program manager, as reported by The Guardian . Community leaders are asking Biden to cancel outstanding wall-building contracts, send experts to assess damage, tear down the wall whenever possible and clean up all the metal, barbed wire and concrete. They also urge the president to rescind waivers suspending 84 federal laws pertaining to public lands, endangered species , clean air and water and Native American rights. They’ve asked him to withdraw lawsuits against private landowners lodged to seize their land by declaring eminent domain. “It was a complete waste of money and poorly thought out, and is a constant unsightly reminder of Trump’s ugly approach to Latin America,” said retired professor Sylvia Ramirez. “The wall should never have gone up, we tried to fight it, and now it will be very difficult to undo.” Ramirez has relatives buried in historic cemeteries which are now cut off between the international border and Trump’s 30-foot wall. Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case brought by the ACLU, Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Commission about the legality of diverting billions from the Department of Defense without Congress’ okay. Via The Guardian Image via White House Archive

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Local communities want Trump’s border wall torn down

Bad news for Santa: Reindeer populations decline as the world’s climate warms

January 7, 2015 by  
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A new study finds that reindeer populations are on the decline, due in part to climate change . This makes bad news not only for Santa, but for all of us, as the grazing habits of reindeer actually help keep earth’s climate in balance and fewer reindeer in the world may contribute to global warming. The study, published this month in the Journal for Nature Conservation , documents the marked decline of China’s reindeer population—a reduction of over 25% since the 1970s. Read the rest of Bad news for Santa: Reindeer populations decline as the world’s climate warms Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , Climate Change , effects of climate change , environmental destruction , global warming , habitat loss , reindeer , reindeer populations decline

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Bad news for Santa: Reindeer populations decline as the world’s climate warms

Cleaning Your Tap Water of Toxins Has Toxic Consequences

January 10, 2011 by  
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Photo courtesy mrhayata via flickr and Creative Commons license. This recent NPR story headline, “Chlorine Substitutes in Water May Have Risks,” is pretty low-key, considering that the message it delivers is fairly alarming. Since the 1970s, water managers have realized that their all-time favorite disinfectant, chlorine (you know, the stuff that comes in those iconic Chlorox jugs) has some serious down sides, mainly in the form of carcinogenic byproducts.

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Cleaning Your Tap Water of Toxins Has Toxic Consequences

Witches Use Natural Products to Put a Hex on Politicians

January 10, 2011 by  
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Photo: allvoice If you are a Romanian politician, don’t mess with the witches.

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Witches Use Natural Products to Put a Hex on Politicians

Endangered Galapagos Penguins Get New Homes

October 28, 2010 by  
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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Since the 1970s, the population of Galapagos penguins —the only penguin species to reside in the northern hemisphere—has decreased by more than 50 percent . Habitat loss and competition from invasive species are thought to be the two drivers of this decline—which, if left unchecked, is expected to lead to extinction before the end of the century.

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Endangered Galapagos Penguins Get New Homes

How Will the BP Oil Spill Affect Critically Endangered Bluefin Tuna?

May 3, 2010 by  
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Photo: NOAA Potentially Serious Long-Term Impacts The Gulf of Mexico, where a massive oil spill is taking place right now, is also the spawning ground for the critically endangered (according to the IUCN Red List) bluefin tuna. Stocks have already fallen about 90% since the 1970s, and they could fall even closer to extinction because of this catastrophe. Indeed, the location of the spill and the timing are particularly bad for the bluefin tuna…..

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How Will the BP Oil Spill Affect Critically Endangered Bluefin Tuna?

Is The BP Spill Big Enough To Resuscitate The Environmental Movement?

May 3, 2010 by  
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The Blue Marble from Apollo 17, taken on December 7, 1972 Image credit: NASA, Earth Observatory Floating residues from the ongoing BP oil ‘blowout’ in the Gulf are expansive enough to be easily visible from space. Satellite photos of oil on salt water may even impact the politics of environment in the USA, just as did NASA’s first photos of the Blue Planet two years after the first Earth Day, helping inspire Congress to pass major pieces of environmental legislation

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Is The BP Spill Big Enough To Resuscitate The Environmental Movement?

Sea Shepherd Begins ‘Operation Blue Rage’ – Sails to Protect Endangered Bluefin Tuna in Mediterranean

May 3, 2010 by  
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photo: Sea Shepherd Fresh off success harassing Japan’s whaling fleet in Antarctic waters, members of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have just sailed from New York in the Steve Irwin and are en route to the Mediterranean to undertake Operation Blue Rage .

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Sea Shepherd Begins ‘Operation Blue Rage’ – Sails to Protect Endangered Bluefin Tuna in Mediterranean

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