China claims major energy breakthrough with ‘flammable ice’

May 19, 2017 by  
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China has claimed a major energy breakthrough, but its eco credentials are dubious at best. Researchers say they managed to extract gas from flammable ice in the South China Sea. A frozen mix of natural gas and water known as methane hydrates, the ‘breakthrough’ is expected to revolutionize the future of energy . We’re not sure that’s a good idea. Flammable ice could be our planet’s final great source of carbon-based fuel , according to the BBC. Vast deposits can be found under essentially every ocean. But it’s incredibly difficult to extract gas from flammable ice – in part because it catches fire so easily – a lighter held up next to the ice will do the trick. Related: Japan Successfully Taps ‘Flammable Ice’ as an Energy Source for the First Time Japan so far has led the way in working to mine the potential energy source, but China’s latest efforts could mark a milestone on the path to extracting gas from methane hydrates. Chinese media said the country had succeeded in extracting an average of 16,000 cubic meters of gas per day in the South China Sea. Scientist Praveen Linga of the National University of Singapore told the BBC, “Compared with the results we have seen from Japanese research, the Chinese scientists have managed to extract much more gas in their efforts. So in that sense it is indeed a major step towards making gas extraction from methane hydrates viable.” But Linga warns extraction must be done carefully. Methane could escape from the methane hydrates during extraction, which could harm the planet as methane holds greater potential to affect climate change than carbon dioxide, according to the BBC. It’s hard to tell if flammable ice extraction will fall into the pitfalls of the oil and gas industry, with greed taking precedence over our planet. The BBC also described flammable ice as a very energy intensive source of fuel. Linga says there’s still a long way to go, and he said realistic commercial options might be ready in 2025 at the earliest. Via the BBC Images via William Winters, USGS and U.S. Geological Survey on Flickr

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China claims major energy breakthrough with ‘flammable ice’

Researchers discover worlds deepest underwater sinkhole in the South China Sea

August 1, 2016 by  
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The Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection used a variety of equipment, including underwater robots and sonar scanners, to determine the sinkhole’s size: 300.89 meters in depth, 130 meters in width (426 feet) at the entrance, and 36 meters in width (118 feet) at the bottom. The depth of the mysterious sinkhole far exceeds the Dean’s 202-meter-deep Blue Hole in the Bahamas , which previously held the title as the world’s deepest sinkhole. The dimensions were measured during field research trips over the past year. Related: Mysterious sinkhole develops a surprising and beautiful ecosystem in China Aside from its record-breaking depth, the beautiful and mysterious “Dragon Hole” is also drawing headlines because of its location in the hotly disputed South China Sea . Locals have gone so far to describe the sinkhole as the “eye” of the South China Sea due to its location in a coral reef near the contested Paracel Islands. The discovery of the “world’s deepest” sinkhole is also likely to boost tourism interest in the area, which China hopes to develop into a Maldives -like attraction. Despite claims that developers will focus on environmental protection, the developing tourism may spell trouble for the coral-rich waters. Via DailyMail Images via Huanqiu

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Researchers discover worlds deepest underwater sinkhole in the South China Sea

Largest Typhoon in 30 Years Hits Hong Kong and Mainland China

September 23, 2013 by  
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In the South China Sea, Typhoon Usagi is flooding the Chinese coast and Hong Kong with waves of 45 feet and wind gusts of 150 miles per hour — fast enough to sweep cars off the road. The 109 million inhabitants in Guangdong province can expect to see over 10 inches of rain by Monday afternoon. Already 21 people have been reported dead in the area where Usagi made landfall. Airports, ferries, and train lines have been completely shut down in the region. Read the rest of Largest Typhoon in 30 Years Hits Hong Kong and Mainland China Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: super storm , super typhoon , superstorm , typhoon , typhoon china , typhoon hong kong , typhoon usagi        

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Largest Typhoon in 30 Years Hits Hong Kong and Mainland China

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