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Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts

Geothermal Heat Energy Extraction from Boreholes

Shallow geothermal energy – high efficient heating and cooling of hotel complexes and commercial buildings with borehole heat exchanger systems as seasonal storage for heat and cold

The utilization of shallow geothermal energy with borehole heat exchangers and heat pumps for heating and cooling of buildings is very popular in Europe due to low costs of operation and high operating reliability. These systems have the highest rates of growth of all energy supply systems in Europe.

In order to provide a productive and comfortable climate for a living and working environment, buildings have an anti-cyclical demand of heat and cold. During the summer, when abundant heat is available, they have to be air-conditioned, while in wintertime, when cold is at disposal, the buildings have to be heated. Especially the heat and cold supply for hotels and commercial buildings is a challenge, as their huge energy demand needs to be satisfied with a reliable and cost-effective solution. This solution are borehole heat exchangers, which use the huge energy storage potential of the underground with up to 400 m deep boreholes and turn it into an anti-cyclic heat reservoir.

Excessive space heat from air-conditioning in summer will not simply be blown into the atmosphere. The heat is transferred into the underground via the borehole heat exchangers and will increase the existing heat potential of the earth. The same system is used to extract the heat in winter from the underground and make it available for the heating of the building with a heat pump.

Compared to conventional systems, the cost of operation of ground-coupled heat pumps is very low. A minimum of 75% of the heat will be provided by the underground. Depending on the design, the cooling mode requires only electricity for a circulation pump. A borehole heat exchanger system can be operated 50% cheaper than a conventional heating and cooling system, where the heating and the air-conditioning unit work independent from each other.

With professional and optimized planning the utilization of shallow geothermal energy is the most economical system for the combination of heating and air-conditioning, especially for larger buildings. The investigation and evaluation of a shallow geothermal energy supply with regards to the requirements of the building services and the local site conditions has to be conducted by a professional consultant. The technical knowledge of an expert is needed from the first planning phase to the completion for a successful implementation of an optimized system.

By human terms, nearly inexhaustible shallow geothermal potential as a renewable energy. They can be ideally combined with other systems, like CHP, solar collectors, and photo-voltaic systems. Borehole heat exchanger systems can provide the base load day and night, as they are independent of sun or wind and they are an ideal solution for buildings with a high energy demand, like hotels and commercial buildings. South Africa is a perfect location for this technology – commercial buildings, like shopping centers and office buildings can be supplied with a perfect heating and cooling system with essential savings for operation costs. Drilling equipment is available for a reasonable price and the underground conditions are perfect in many parts of the country.

Dr. Frank Frauenstein - Email Me                        


Climate Change and Global Warming

3. Are sea levels rising?

Increases in sea level have tracked strongly with human activity. We started burning fossil fuel during the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850), and our use of coal, oil, and natural gas has increased every year. Sea levels, in response to steadily warming temperatures, also rose steadily.

Unfortunately, the sea level projections don't look like a straight line. It looks like an upward sloping curve. Sea levels aren't increasing at the same rate every year — thatrate is increasing.
At present, sea levels are projected to rise by as much as 3 feet by 2100.

With the planet's ice reserves falling into the oceans faster than humanity has ever seen,the excess water has to go somewhere. 1.6 million people live in the islands scattered across the Pacific (3 million, if you count Hawaii), and they are all in danger of slowly losing their homelands.

But rising sea levels won't just affect faceless people of nations you've never heard of that you don't pronounce correctly (like Kiribati).
Ever heard that saying "A rising tide lifts all boats"? Let's revise that: "A rising tide sinks all coastal communities."
Nearly 40% of Americans live in a coastal county.

Rising sea levels could make significant portions of New York City unlivable.

4. Have recent heat waves been more intense?

How Real is Climate Change and Global Warming


The Future of Earth - Global Warming

Video - The Future of Earth with Global Warming

Abbreviated version of the visualization 'Heating Up,' which depicts climate model projection of 21st century global temperatures. Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.

“Do we think about the aerosol propellant in our underarm deodorant every day?” Gavin Schmidt, climatologist and director of The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), asked me. “I don’t think we even have aerosols anymore,” I answered, wondering where he was going with this.

“That’s the point,” he continued, “and nobody cares. Nobody cares where your energy comes from; nobody cares whether your car is electric or petrol. People confuse energy supply with where the energy is supplied from.” He was trying to make the point that as long as people have the things they want, it doesn’t matter, to the vast majority of us, how we get them. This means that as long as the light switch still turns on the lights, most people would barely notice if we were to shift from burning fossil fuels to energy sources with less impact on Earth’s climate (just as people don’t notice that ozone-depleting propellants aren’t used in aerosol cans any more).

I was eager to speak with Dr. Schmidt because of his passion for communicating climate science to public audiences on top of his work as a climatologist. Schmidt is a co-founder and active blogger at Real Climate and was also awarded the inaugural Climate Communications Prize, by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2011. “My goal in communicating,” he explained, “is a totally futile effort to raise the level of the conversation so that we actually discuss the things that matter.”

Since the mere mention of a computer model can cause an otherwise normal person’s face to glaze over, I thought Schmidt, a leader in climate simulations and Earth system modeling, would be the ideal candidate to explain one of the most important, yet probably one of the most misunderstood, instruments scientists have for studying Earth’s climate. See, people commonly confuse climate and weather, and this confusion is perhaps most pronounced when it comes to understanding the difference between a weather forecast and a climate simulation.
Numerical laboratory

Schmidt’s work routine is much like that of any other scientist. He spends a few months preparing experiments, then a few more months conducting the experiments, then a few more months refining and improving the experiments, then a few more months going back and looking at fine details, then a few more months … you get the idea. Climate scientists use complex computer simulations as numerical laboratories to conduct experiments because we don’t have a bunch of spare Earths just lying around. These simulations model Earth’s conditions as precisely as possible. “A single run can take three months on up on super computers,” Schmidt said. “For really long runs, it can take a year.” NASA scientists can reserve time at the NASA Supercomputer Center with High-End Computing Capability to run simulations. Like an astronomer who reserves time on a large telescope to run her experiments, Schmidt books time on these computers to run his.

Schmidt asks the computer to calculate the weather in 20-minute time steps and see how it changes. Every 20 minutes it updates its calculation over hundred-year or even thousand-year periods in the past or the future. “The models that we run process about three to four years of simulation, going through every 20 minute time step, every real day.”

A typical climate simulation code is large, as in 700,000 lines of computer code large. For comparison, the Curiosity Rover required about 500,000 lines of code to autonomously descend safely on Mars, a planet 140 million miles away with a signal time delay of about 14 minutes. The size of a typical app, such as our Earth Now mobile app, is just over 6,000 lines of code. Climate simulations require such a large quantity of code because Earth’s climate is so extraordinarily complex. And, according to Schmidt, “Complexity is quite complex.”

Like a scientist who runs an experiment in a science lab, climate modelers want code that’s consistent from one experiment to another. So they spend most of their time developing that code, looking at code, improving code and fixing bugs.

The model output is compared to data and observations from the real world to build in credibility. “We rate the predictions on whether or not they’re skillful; on whether we can demonstrate they are robust.” When models are tested against the real world, we get a measure of how skillful the model is at reproducing things that have already happened. Then we can be more confident about the accuracy in predicting what’s going to happen. Schmidt wants to find out where the models have skill and where they provide useful information. For example, they’re not very useful for tornado statistics, but they're extremely useful on global mean temperature. According to Schmidt, the credible and consistently reliable predictions include ones that involve adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. “You consistently get increases in temperature and those increases are almost always greater over land than they are in the ocean. They’re always larger in the Arctic than in the mid-latitudes and always more in the northern hemisphere than the southern, particularly Antarctica. Those are very, very robust results.”

Lately, his team has been working on improving the code for sea ice dynamics to include the effects of brine pockets (very salty fluid within the ice matrix) as well as the wind moving the ice around. For example, to understand the timeline for Arctic sea ice loss, his team has to work on the different bits of code for the wind, the temperature, the ocean and the water vapor and include the way all these pieces intersect in the real world. After you improve the code, you can see the impact of those improvements.

I asked Schmidt what people’s behavior would look like “if they understood that burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.” He replied, “People would start focusing on policies and processes that would reduce the amount of fossil fuels without ruining the economy or wrecking society.” Then he added, “I think, I hope! that people will get it before it’s too late.”

I hope so, too...

Gavin Schmidt

Communications Specialist                                           NASA Climate - Earth Right Now
Laura Faye Tenenbaum is a science communicator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and teaches oceanography at Glendale Community College.           Contact Laura

Mutation and Evolution - How We Are Changing the World Around Us

Fat polar bear swimming in Hudson Bay

Rewilded tiger fitted with a kill switch

Rhinoceros with no horns                                                                      

White House crow

Elephant that has no tusk

Largely, the changes are the result of human intervention, though, like selective breeding, or wildlife protection measures.

Renhui works with the Institute of Critical Zoologists, an organization that brings together artists and scientists to research the relationship between humans and animals.

Fast Company Design                                                Robert Zhao Renhui

How Much Saharan Dust Feeds Amazon’s Plants

What connects Earth's largest, hottest desert to its largest tropical rain forest?

The Sahara Desert is a near-uninterrupted brown band of sand and scrub across the northern third of Africa. The Amazon rain forest is a dense green mass of humid jungle that covers northeast South America. But after strong winds sweep across the Sahara, a tan cloud rises in the air, stretches between the continents, and ties together the desert and the jungle. It’s dust. And lots of it.

For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes this trans-Atlantic journey. Scientists have not only measured the volume of dust, they have also calculated how much phosphorus – remnant in Saharan sands from part of the desert’s past as a lake bed – gets carried across the ocean from one of the planet’s most desolate places to one of its most fertile.

For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes the trans-Atlantic journey from the Sahara Desert the Amazon rain forest. Among this dust is phosphorus, an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer, which the Amazon depends on in order to flourish.

Image Credit: 
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Antarctica's Tallest Volcano - Mount Sidley

Antarctica’s Tallest Volcano
acquired November 20, 2014

Antarctica’s Tallest Volcano
acquired November 20, 2014 download large image (3 MB, JPEG, 7500x7500)
acquired November 20, 2014 download GeoTIFF file (48 MB, TIFF, 9000x9000)
acquired November 20, 2014 download Google Earth file (KML)

Along a 900-kilometer (560-mile) stretch of Antarctica's Pacific Coast, 18 major volcanoes jut from the ice sheet. The chain, similar in size to the Cascade volcanic chain in North America, is home to the continent’s tallest volcano—Mount Sidley. (Not to be confused with Vinson Massif, Antarctica's tallest mountain.)

These images of Mount Sidley were acquired on November 20, 2014, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The volcano stands about 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) above sea level and 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) above ice level. The caldera wall, which is mostly shadowed in this image, is about 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) high. The caldera floor spans 5 kilometers (3 miles).

According to the USGS Geographic Names Information System, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd discovered the volcano during a flight on November 18, 1934. He later named the mountain after Mabelle E. Sidley, the daughter of a contributor to the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.

Sidley is one of five volcanoes in the Executive Committee Range (top image), which stretches about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from north to south. The range was discovered during a flight by the United States Antarctic Service on December 15, 1940, and it is named for the Service’s Executive Committee. Mount Sidley is the only mountain in the range not named for a committee member.

Mount Sidley is the youngest volcano in the Executive Committee Range to rise above the ice sheet. Below the ice sheet, however, seismologists have detected new volcanic activity 30 miles from Sidley, according to a 2013 news report .

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.
Landsat 8 - OLI

Sinking Island - Ghoramara - Indian Ocean

At least half of the tiny Indian island of Ghoramara has disappeared underwater in the last few decades.

In a few more decades, it may sink completely.

"This is an unrealistic-looking landscape that exists in reality," says Daesung Lee, a Paris-based photographer who visited the island a few years ago to document the remaining pockets of land. Several villages on the island are already gone.

As Lee met with the residents who haven't yet migrated to mainland India or Bangladesh, he asked them to pose on small piles of land surrounded by erosion.

"It looks like a small island that represents the whole situation of this island as a symbolic miniature," he says.

"I approached that simple fact instead of describing individual problems with images. I simply want to say that there are people losing their homeland with this series."

As the island erodes—a problem exacerbated by the fact that mangrove forests in the area have been chopped down—it's also dealing with more intense storms.

Last summer, tidal waves washed away embankments built to protect villages, houses collapsed, and a layer of slimy mud covered the island. The flooding spread disease and contaminated freshwater.

Many residents are starting to leave the island as it becomes increasingly difficult to farm or fish and make a living.

Fast Company

Australia's Most Dangerous Animals

I've wanted to visit and live Australia for as long as I can remember. The weather is always beautiful, and the word "snow" pretty much doesn't exist. I've known plenty of people who have moved there from Canada. Once they go, they never want to come back. And if they come back? They want to be in Australia again.

Then there are the crazy things in Australia. I would tell you but it's easier to just show you. Here are 30 photos proving Australia is the most insane place.

1. In Australia, pythons eat flying foxes.

Pythons eating everything. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via imgur 

2. Pythons in Australia are so big, they can pick up wallabies, which can grow up to 41 inches high and weigh up to 53 pounds (24 kilos)!

Pythons so big they can lift wallabies. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via reddit /u/PostModernPost

3. Snakes are on the loose in shops. 

Pythons on the loose in op shops. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Huffington Post

4. Snakes are in toilets.

Snakes on the loose inside toilets. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via imgur

5. A snake eating iguana, which grow up to six feet. 

Snakes eating goannas. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via reddit /u/1eyed

6. Snakes are seriously everywhere, like golf courses.

Snakes on golf courses. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via reddit /u/Montey187

7. Two words: Flying. Foxes.

20 Unbelievably Giant Animals 6 - https://www.facebook.com/different.solutions.page - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Diply

8. Sharks swim at golf courses.

Sharks eating golfers. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Sky News

9. In Australia, Great White Sharks love to surf.

Great White Sharks surfing. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Fear Beneath

10. Same with crocodiles.

Crocodiles surfing. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via ABC

11. Crocodiles, they're like snakes in Australia: everywhere!

Crocodiles in swimming enclosures. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via imgur

12. I mean, they're in creeks...

Crocodiles in creeks. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Facebook / Meanwhile In Australia

13. On the streets...

Crocodiles in the street. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Facebook / Meanwhile In Australia

14. Inside a snake's stomach...

Crocodiles EATEN by snakes. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via ABC Queensland

15. Sometimes they're just simply enormous. 

Just goddamn MASSIVE crocs. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Rex USA

16. What a paralysis tick looks like before and after eating.

Paralysis ticks. Before and after feeding. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Murdoch University

17. Spiders grow like flowers.

Spiders. Lots of spiders. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via Reuters / Daniel Munoz

18. Army men found a bucket of Sydney funnel-web spider, which are some of the most venomous spiders in the world.

Bucket full of funnel web spiders collected from a Blue Mountains campsite: each one can deliver a fatal bite. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via reddit /u/spotty82

19. Flies...there are A LOT of them.

Flies. Lots of flies. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via imgur

20. Same with millipedes.

Plagues of millipedes. - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial
via imgur