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Showing posts with label Global Warming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Warming. Show all posts

How Long Does It Take For Materials To Decompose

How long does it take for various materials to decompose...

Here are some popular contributors to pollution.

- Toilet Roll -  1 Month
- Cardboard - 2 Months
- Plastic Bags - 10-20 Years
- Cigarettes - 10 Years
- Drinking Cans - 200 Years
- Diapers - 450 Years
- Fish Hooks - 600 Years
- Plastics - 100-1000-Never Years...

Pollution needs to STOP ... Protect Our Environment...

Cape Town and Table Mountain By Foot - Adventure

Our Crew Love Business Trips to Cape Town...

More Drakensberg Videos... Drakensberg Adventure

On Other Travel Blogs ... Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve

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

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

Slideshow - Climate Change is Real - The Inconvenient Truth

In 2009, Al Gore followed up with the publication of Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, a book that "gathers in one place all of the most effective solutions that are available now and that, together, will solve this crisis". "It is now abundantly clear that we have at our fingertips all of the tools we need to solve the climate crisis. The only missing ingredient is collective will."

One thousand years of temperature history obtained from isotope analysis of ice cores.

Measured since 1958, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has been increasing steadily.

One thousand years of CO2 and temperature data -- the curves have similar shape.

650,000 years of CO2 and temperature history, from Antarctic ice cores. Dips record ice ages. CO2 concentration and temperature are related. CO2 has spiked upward in recent years.

If no changes are made, CO2 concentration is predicted to climb much higher (to 600 ppm) in 45 years.

Ocean temperatures since 1940. Blue indicates normal range, green indicates range predicted by climate models due to human causes.

Ocean temperatures (see previous chart). Red line indicates actual ocean temperature history (outside and above normal range -- climate models were right).

As ocean temperatures rise, storms intensify, causing increased insurance pay-outs.

Incidents of major flooding have increased in recent decades.

37 inches (94 cm) of rain in 24 hours flooded Mumbai, India in July 2005.

Global precipitation has increased in last century by 20% but not evenly; some areas have received less. Sub-Sahara Africa is severely affected.

Arctic sea ice extent and thickness has diminished precipitously since the 1970's.

The 'Global Ocean Conveyor Belt' carries heat around the globe, in particular, to Europe. However, disruption due to ice melt has stopped heat flow to Europe in the past.

Global warming shifts the seasons, disrupting ecological relationships. The time of Black Tern bird arrival (blue) and bird hatching (yellow); hatching no longer coincides with insect peak (orange), starving chicks in the Netherlands.

Antarctic ice shelf break-up predicted by models has occurred. Larsen ice shelf (green) broke up from 1995 to 2002. Sea levels are rising. A 20 ft (6m) rise in sea level would create over 100 million refugees.

Population has exploded in the last 200 years. In 1945 there were 2.3 billion people, in 2006 there are 6.5 billion, and in 2050 there may be 9.1 billion.

Much of the population growth is occurring in developing countries.

Population growth and rising living standards drive demand for food.

... and demand for water.

Lights from fishing fleets (blue), fires (red), gas flares (yellow), and cities (white).

Relative contribution to global warming, by country. "USA is responsible for more greenhouse gas pollution than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and Asia -- all put together."

Carbon emissions per person, for selected countries.

Carbon emissions per country, for selected countries.

"We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Without a planet, we won't enjoy gold bars, and if we do the right things, we'll have both."

Comparison of vehicle fuel economy and emission standards around the world.

California proposes standards that exceed US national standards. US car manufacturers suing California, saying targets are unreachable in 10 years -- despite manufacturers in other countries already doing it now.

Companies building more efficient cars are doing well; US car manufacturers are losing market capitalization.

USA can reduce its emissions by 2050 to pre-1970 levels by a combination of approaches...

... more efficient use of electrical energy (blue), more efficient buildings (purple), improved vehicle efficiency (green), more efficient transport network (light green), increased reliance on bio and wind energy (tan), CO2 sequestering (white).

"Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, What were our parents thinking? Why didn't they wake up when they had the chance? We have to hear that question, from them, now."

The Inconvenient Truth - www.web.ncf.ca                                @algore