Antarctica just hit a record high temperature of 63.5F

March 2, 2017 by  
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Climate change is already ravaging the Antarctic Peninsula, which the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) described as one of the fastest warming regions on Earth. In a recent statement, the organization announced the area has witnessed record high temperatures. The Argentine Research Base Esperanza, which rests on the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip, hit 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit on March 24, 2015. WMO identified three subregions in Antarctica, and listed the high temperature record for each. The Antarctic Region, or all the land under the 60th parallel south, saw a balmy temperature of 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit back in January 1982. It’s the Antarctic continent, or “the main continental landmass and adjoining islands” as defined by WMO that saw the recent hot temperature of 63.5 degrees. The Antarctic Plateau, which is land higher than 8,202 feet, saw a record temperature of 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit in December 1980. Related: Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc WMO said the average annual temperature is around 14 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast of Antarctica, and negative 76 degrees Fahrenheit at the interior’s highest regions. But parts of Antarctica have already heated up nearly three degrees Celsius, or 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit, in just the past 50 years. According to the organization, “Some 87 percent of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years.” Around 90 percent of the planet’s fresh water is in Antarctica, frozen as ice. Should all that ice melt, sea levels would spike by around 200 feet, so even extremes around the edges of the region concern scientists. The recently released data highlights the dire need for continued climate change research . Polar expert Michael Sparrow, of the World Climate Research Program co-sponsored by WMO, said in the statement, “The Antarctic and the Arctic are poorly covered in terms of weather observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea level rise. Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers.” Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Antarctica just hit a record high temperature of 63.5F

New super-thin film acts like "air conditioner" for buildings

February 13, 2017 by  
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Engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a thin, artificially structured “metamaterial” that can cool objects without the use of water or energy. The film works to lower the temperature of the surface beneath it through a process known as “passive cooling,” meaning that it vents the object’s heat through thermal radiation while bouncing off any incoming solar energy that may negate those losses. As described last week in the journal Science , the glass-polymer hybrid material could provide an “eco-friendly means of supplementary cooling” for thermoelectric power plants, which require colossal amounts of water and electricity to keep their machinery chugging along at optimum temperatures. The film measures a lithe 50 micrometers thick, or just slightly more substantial than the aluminum foil you’d find in your kitchen. And, much like foil, researchers say it can be easily and economically manufactured by the roll for large-scale residential and commercial applications. “We feel that this low-cost manufacturing process will be transformative for real-world applications of this radiative cooling technology,” Xiaobo Yin, an assistant professor who co-directed the research, said in a statement. Buildings and power plants aren’t the only structures that could benefit, Yin said. The material could keep solar panels from overheating, allowing them to not only work longer, but harder, as well. Related: 3D-printed “Cool Brick” cools a room using only water “Just by applying this material to the surface of a solar panel, we can cool the panel and recover an additional one to two percent of solar efficiency,” said Yin. “That makes a big difference at scale.” Yin and his cohorts have applied for a patent as a prelude to exploring potential commercial applications. They also plan to create a 200-square-meter “cooling farm” prototype in Boulder sometime this year. “The key advantage of this technology is that it works 24/7 with no electricity or water usage,” said Ronggui Yang, a professor of mechanical engineering and a co-author of the paper. “We’re excited about the opportunity to explore potential uses in the power industry, aerospace, agriculture and more.” + University of Colorado Boulder Photo by Chris Eason

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New super-thin film acts like "air conditioner" for buildings

Heat stress from climate change may cost global economies $2 trillion by 2030

July 21, 2016 by  
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Research reveals yet another loss we can anticipate at the hands of climate change: global productivity . Heat stress in lower income countries has already shortened work days, which could result in a net loss of $2 trillion across all global economies by the year 2030. The sad irony is that the countries contributing the least to global warming will end up hurting the most. A recent study published in Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health is one of six detailing the economic devastation coming our way on the heels of rising temperatures. Bloomberg reports that Southeast Asian countries’ work hours have been slashed 15 to 20 percent because of extreme heat, a figure which could double in the next 30 years or so. Tord Kjellstrom, director at the New Zealand-based Health and Environment International Trust , explains, “With heat stress, you cannot keep up the same intensity of work, and we’ll see reduced speed of work and more rest in labor-intensive industries.” Related: 7 clues climate change is here to stay First world countries, who contribute far more to our dire climate situation, can afford to adapt to the productivity challenges. For instance, factories can invest in alternative means of cooling their machinery and bigger companies can afford to shift around workers’ schedules. Lower income countries will be the first to experience the growing economic burden, due to low-skill, low-paying, and labor intensive jobs being affected more severely by heat stress. Up to 43 countries, including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, could take an economic hit by 2030. Anthony Capon, a professor at the UN University , says it best when he explains, “As it is, high income countries have more capacity to insulate their people from health impacts of climate change. People in the poorer countries are the most effected [sic].” Via  Bloomberg Images via Pexels , Bloomberg , Flickr

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Heat stress from climate change may cost global economies $2 trillion by 2030

Luxurious net-zero Stanford home features an earthquake-resistant steel frame

July 21, 2016 by  
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The key to Professor Jacobson’s new net-zero home is BONE Structure’s innovative and lightweight steel frame system laser cut in a factory and delivered for on-site assembly. “The steel frame system allows for exciting design features that would not be possible using traditional building methods,” said Professor Jacobson. “Interior spaces and window lines can run up to 25 feet between columns.” The building’s “net zero ready” shell is designed to produce near zero waste and is 100% recyclable, earthquake-resistant , and impervious to mold and termite damage. The shell of a home can be assembled in just days using a battery-powered drill. Precut openings in the steel structure allow for easy installation of electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems. Precut insulation panels slot between the steel columns and the shell is further sealed with spray-on polyurethane foam insulation. The net-zero home is powered entirely with electricity and includes Tesla Powerwall energy storage, the Tesla Wall Connector auto charger, a 15kW solar system, and the Nest Learning Thermostat . Related: BONE Structure breaks ground on first net-zero residential project in California BONE Structure has plans to scale up to produce 1,000 residences per year. The net zero energy-ready homebuilder expects to complete 50 more homes in California in 2016. + BONE Structure Images via BONE Structure

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Luxurious net-zero Stanford home features an earthquake-resistant steel frame

New City of Wine museum in Bordeaux looks like wine swirling in a glass

July 21, 2016 by  
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The shape of La Cité du Vin references wine in a variety of ways; it could be interpreted to mimic gnarled vine stock or wine swirling in a glass. Its round volumes are clad in silk-screen printed glass panels and perforated, lacquered aluminum panels that change appearance depending on the time of day. Related: Italy’s Green-Roofed Antinori Winery is Topped With a Vineyard! Two entrances on opposite sides of the building facilitate and accentuate movement and flow, leading visitors to the highest point of the structure-an observation tower offering expansive views of the city. The ground floor features numerous mirrored surfaces that encourage visitors to move up towards the light, just like a vine plant grows upwards towards the sun. Wooden structural elements visible in the interior are reminiscient of boats, wine, and its travels. + XTU Architects Via World Architecture News Photos by XTU Architects

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New City of Wine museum in Bordeaux looks like wine swirling in a glass

Storm ‘unfreezes’ North Pole, causing temps 50 degrees higher than normal

December 31, 2015 by  
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When the going gets tough, there is often a lot of talk about hell freezing over. In reality, it’s the opposite we have to worry about. Temperatures at the North Pole this week are 50 degrees higher than usual for December. Let that sink in for a moment; that’s 50 as in five-zero. That’s pretty disconcerting on its own, but things get hairier when you learn that the temperature actually rose above freezing, at the North Pole, in winter. All global warming naysayers can now step directly off. Read the rest of Storm ‘unfreezes’ North Pole, causing temps 50 degrees higher than normal

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Storm ‘unfreezes’ North Pole, causing temps 50 degrees higher than normal

Check out this amazing, underground bike park!

February 16, 2015 by  
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Bike parks are growing in popularity, but what’s a cyclist to do when the rain comes? Move underground! The Louisville Mega Cavern is a 320,000 square foot underground bike park with over 45 different trails, a jump line, pump tracks, dual slalom, BMX, cross country and single track. If you know what all of that means, you will definitely want to check this place out. Click here to view the embedded video. Built in a limestone cavern 100 feet (10 stories) underground , the caverns are not only a bike-rider’s paradise, but the temperature remains a constant 60 degrees, so even the hottest Kentucky day is a piece of cake for bike riders. This rad bike park is not all the caverns have to offer. If you’re in the neighborhood, you can also check out the Mega Cavern’s zip line, ropes challenge course, tram and other events like their mega Christmas lights display. Via GearJunkie Images via Louisville Mega Caverns Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bike park underground , kentucky limestone caverns , limestone caverns bike park , limestone caverns underground bike park , louisville bike park , louisville caverns , underground bike park

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Check out this amazing, underground bike park!

13 million tons of plastic dumped into the ocean in 2010, study finds

February 16, 2015 by  
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Hopefully, we can all agree that the ocean is no place for trash. Unfortunately, a massive new study by researchers from Australia and the U.S. has determined that we are throwing far more plastic waste into the oceans than previously thought. In 2010 alone, between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic made its way into the Earth’s waters, and if we look at the modest middle figure—8 million tonnes—that amounts to “five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.” Read the rest of 13 million tons of plastic dumped into the ocean in 2010, study finds Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: environmental destruction , five gyres , marine life , ocean health , Ocean Plastic , plastic debris , plastic gyre , Pollution , recycling , water issues

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13 million tons of plastic dumped into the ocean in 2010, study finds

The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building

February 16, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind turbine” , apartment , biogas , dutch windwheel , Ewicon , green energy , hotel , rainwater , rotterdam , solar , sustainable design , wetlands , wind energy , windwheel

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The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building

Rising Ocean Temperatures Burst Through NOAA’s Charts

January 26, 2015 by  
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Last year was not only the hottest year on record, but the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has just released a terrifying chart showing a sharp increase in the temperature of the world’s oceans. The graph outlines ocean temperatures since 1960, illustrating that the effects of global warming go beyond air temperature. In fact, the waters have warmed so quickly over the past 30 years, NOAA scientists have had to consistently retool their ocean heat charts to convey temperature increases. Read the rest of Rising Ocean Temperatures Burst Through NOAA’s Charts Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , global warming , green design , National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration , NOAA , NOAA climate change , NOAA global temperatures , NOAA global warming , NOAA oceans temperatures , ocean temperatures , rising ocean temperatures , sustainable design

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