Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Japan(TGW) - Toyota announced this week that its FCHV fuel-cell car can now go 350 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.The automaker estimates that the true range of the vehicle is actually up to 470 miles, more than 25% more efficient than earlier versions.
Via :: Reuters
UPDATE: New FCHV-adv gets 516 miles per tank
Do you like the new navigation bar?
If you're reading this through a feed reader, come check out the new navigation bar. If you like it, please comment. If you don't comment, DEFINITELY comment.
Posted by Simmons at 2:41 PM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Washington (TGW) - John Marburger, one of U.S. President George Bush's scientific advisers, said climate change is real and is likely caused by humanity.
He said he is 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.
"I think there is widespread agreement on certain basics, and one of the most important is that we are producing far more CO2 from fossil fuels than we ought to be. And it's going to lead to trouble unless we can begin to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we are burning and using in our economies,” he told the BBC in an interview.
"The CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere and there's no end point, it just gets hotter and hotter, and so at some point it becomes unlivable," he said.
"You only have two choices; you either have advanced technologies and get them into the marketplace, or you shut down your economies and put people out of work," he said.
The Bush administration has been resistant to joining the fight against climate change.
Via :: BBC (click here for the whole interview)
Monday, September 24, 2007
United Kingdom (TGW) - Eon UK is developing a giant battery to store electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The prototype will be able to hold 1 Megawatt of electricity for four hours - the equivalent of 10 million AA batteries.
"The storage system will also help the development of localized generation - for example, a school with solar panels can store the power generated at weekends and use it when the kids are back in school."The company plans to invest $55.5 million in the project.
Via :: Eon press release
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Ani from Global warming - Is it for real? says: I think so. Done a project on a the growing importance of biofuels as an alternative to petrol/gas and diesel. Would surely contribute to lowering of greenhouse gases on the long term as well as lower depedence on middle east oil.
Do check out my blog to: freakweather-ani.blogspot.com
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sorry, it's been busy.
Posted by Simmons at 6:51 PM
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I could remix a couple of the news reports like I usually do, but it's a lazy Saturday, right?
Direct from the source: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMYTC13J6F_index_0.html
From Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL1571520020070915
CALGARY—An innovative new Web broadcaster is using the power of the Internet to inspire children and youth in schools across North America to make a difference.
Quantum Shift TV is challenging students from grades one to twelve across the United States and Canada to participate in the “Be the Change! Share the Story!” School Video Contest. Students are invited to work on a social or environmental project of their choice, and document their progress in two short videos to be uploaded on the Web. In addition to making a difference in their community, students have an opportunity to win up to $50,000 in prizes for their school.
Through this contest, Quantum Shift TV is building an online community focused on socially conscious, solution-oriented videos. An entertaining puzzle game woven into the contest stimulates cross-pollination of ideas by encouraging youth to watch each other’s videos. Teams receive points for social network activity as well as viewer ratings of their videos.
“We’re harnessing three powerful cultural forces: youth social action, Internet gaming and the explosion of online video and digital storytelling.” says Hugo Bonjean, the founder and CEO of Quantum Shift TV. “As we’ve seen with YouTube, Web video has a powerful ability to engage audiences, particularly youth, around the world. Quantum Shift TV is using this power to inspire students to take action on the social and environmental issues of the day.”
Projects can range from volunteering at a homeless shelter to educating the community about human rights, measuring a school’s carbon footprint to building a hospital in a developing country—anything that addresses an environmental or social concern in a positive, solution-oriented way. Student teams will execute their project and document their progress in a series of two short videos. The first video, introducing the team’s project, must be uploaded to QuantumShift.tv by December 15, 2007. The second, reporting on the project’s execution and results, is due by March 31, 2008.
Teams will be ranked based on Web metrics such as number of views on their videos, viewer ratings, puzzles completed and social network activity. In May, the 25 top-ranked videos in each age category—Elementary (grades 1-6), Junior (7-9) and Senior (10-12)—will be reviewed by a panel of celebrity judges who will select the 3 finalists in each age group and invite the public to choose the winners. Judges include bestselling author and environmentalist Paul Hawken, actress Pleasant Wayne, skateboarder Bob Burnquist, executive-with-a-cause John Wood, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel and Nigerian women’s rights activist Hafsat Abiola. Winners will be chosen based on community involvement, project execution, video quality, and overall social and environmental impact.
To provide project ideas and resources for both students and teachers, Quantum Shift TV has partnered with key organizations like UNICEF, Free the Children, Room to Read, TransFair, NAAEE, TakingITGlobal, The Pembina Institute, New Global Citizens, Sierra Youth Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, Care and Oxfam.
Bonjean anticipates that this contest will mobilize some 100,000 kids across the United States and Canada to act on thousands of social and environmental projects. “This contest will serve as a catalyst for youth engagement and activism as youth learn from and are inspired by each other,” he added. For teachers and educational professionals, “Be the Change” is a project-based tool to teach their students about social and environmental issues that can easily be incorporated into curricula.
Students and educators can find out more and sign up for the contest at http://www.quantumshift.tv/schools.
For other bloggers (or the press):
These 2 videos inspired this contest:
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Frankfurt (TGW) - Mercedes-Benz will begin limited serial production within three years of a small car powered by a zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell, the company said yesterday.
Production of the B-Class F-Cell will begin in early 2010, the carmaker said at a car show in Frankfurt.
It is still deciding how to market the car, said Thomas Weber, the group's research head and development chief at Mercedes.
"We will have this auto at the starting line and bring it to market at whatever conditions (we determine). We will certainly not be able to sell it in normal showrooms," he told Reuters.
"A fuel cell car will be far removed from the cost position of a traditional car in 2010, but it is emissions free, it goes 400 km (240 miles), it has sensational acceleration from 0 to 100 (km/hour) and it consumes less than the equivalent of three liters" of diesel fuel per 100 km driven, he added.
The car's top output will be 136 horsepower, and will be on par with a two-liter petrol engine.
Commercially available cars have been a goal for years, but costs have held the goal back.
DaimlerChrysler, the company which owns Mercedes-Benz, is a market leader in hydrogen fuel cell cars; they have 100 fuel cell vehicles on the streets already.
Rival BMW has already leases hydrogen powered cars.
Via :: Reuters (photo credit)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Stat blogs at The Statistics Monster. If you would like to blog here, send us an email at worldthoughts(at)gmail(dot)com.
There are 12 states with bottle deposit refunds. You know, those things where you bring in your bottles and they give you money? Here they are:
California: 5 or 10 cents
Connecticut: 5 cents
Delaware: 5 cents
Hawaii: 5 cents
Iowa: 5 cents, also applies to wine bottles
Maine: 5 cents, also applies to fruit juice and bottled water, 15 cents for some wine bottles
Massachusetts: 5 cents
Michigan: 10 cents
New York: 5 cents
Oregon: 5 cents
Vermont: 5 cents
The northeast seems to have the highest amount of states with a refund policy.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Cross posted with Environmental Graffiti.
Green house gases stay can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds and thousands of years. No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on Earth. Here are the top 5 worst effects of global warming.
5. Spread of disease
As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects are migrating north, bring with them disease.
4. Warmer waters and more hurricanes
As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes. We saw in this in 2004 and 2005.
3. Economic consequences
Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be good. And these effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes can cause do billions of dollars in damage. Diseases cost money to treat and control.
2. Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves
Although some areas of Earth will become wetter due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a dangerously rare commodity in Africa, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will exacerbate the conditions and could lead to conflicts.
1. Polar ice caps melting
The ice caps melting is a four-pronged danger.
First, it will raise sea levels. There is 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice caps, glaciers, and permanent snow. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet. Luckily, that’s not going to happen. But sea levels will rise.
Second, melting ice caps will screw up the global ecosystem. The ice caps are fresh water, and when they melt into the ocean, they make it less salty, or desalinize the ocean. The desalinization of the gulf current will screw up, to put it simply, the current. It will cool the area around north-east America and Western Europe. Luckily, that will slow some of the other effects of global warming in that area. But with the stream shutdown, the whole Atlantic ecosystem could be warped.
Third, all the animals in the Arctic will be in danger because of a changing habitat.
Fourth, global warming will accelerate with the ice caps gone. Ice caps are white, and reflect sunlight. Some of that sunlight is reflected back into space, further cooling Earth. If the ice caps are melted, only the dark-colored ocean will be there. Darker colors absorb sunlight, further warming the Earth.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Everybody welcome Stat Statistical, the statistics monster, from Statistics Monster!
He will now be co-blogging here with me, as well as at Thoughts on the World.
Stat blogs about statistics. For more, see the Statistics Monster about page. Please give him a warm welcome!
I wouldn't normally post this, but it's just pretty awesome:
Friday, September 7, 2007
Arctic (ToGW) – By 2050, sea ice in Alaska will only cover nearly half the area it covered in the 1980s, federal scientists say.
Receding sea ice is a special threat to mammals which depend on sea ice to hunt.
A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey said that two-thirds of polar bears could be gone by 2050 due to reduced sea ice.
Sea ice hit a record low in August.
"I'm afraid to say, a lot of the images [of polar bears] we are going to see in the next 30 to 40 years are pretty much already established," said James Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Via :: AP
Washington (ToGW) - Two-thirds of the world's current polar bear population could be gone by 2050 if predictions of melting sea ice hold true, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Friday.
Polar bears could become extinct even sooner than predicted because sea ice has been melting faster than expected, the USGS said in a report aimed at determining whether the arctic bear should be classified as a threatened species.
"Projected changes in future sea ice conditions, if realized, will result in loss of approximately two-thirds of the world's current polar bear population by the mid 21st century," the report's executive summary said.
"Because the observed trajectory of Arctic sea ice decline appears to be underestimated by currently available models, this assessment of future polar bear status may be conservative."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering putting polar bears under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
Via :: Reuters
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Chicago (ToGW) - The nation’s largest independent school bus company, the Cook Illinois Corporation based in Chicago, is planning to switch its entire fleet to biodiesel.
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning diesel fuel made from renewable sources, including vegetable oil. Bus-riding children have been shown to have been more exposed to exhaust fumes.
The bus fleet is the largest in Illinois, and the largest independent fleet in the U.S.
In addition, company officials will kick off a new Clean Air Club for kids and a new website that teaches kids about the importance of reducing air pollution.
Experts called this a good first step.
Via :: ENN
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Africa (ToGW) - Africa will be the continent hardest hit by global warming, with parts of the impoverished continent becoming uncultivable or uninhabitable, top British government scientists said.
In a presentation in South Africa, David King, the British government's chief scientific adviser, warned of flooding of Africa’s coast and stronger, more frequent droughts.
"This is the continent that will come under the most severe pressure from climate change," King said.
An additional 70 million Africans could be at risk of starvation by 2080, he also said.
Gordon Conway, the chief scientific adviser for Britain's department for international development, said the current trend in Africa's climate was characterized by polarized change. "It's going to get wetter and drier," Conway told the group, meaning that coastal areas will become wetter because of floods while other areas suffer droughts.
Conway and King urged Africa to make climate change a top priority.
Via :: Reuters
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Chicago (ToGW) – Placing a film of silicon nanoparticles onto a silicon solar cell can boost power, reduce heat and prolong the cell’s life, researchers now report.
"Integrating a high-quality film of silicon nanoparticles 1 nanometer in size directly onto silicon solar cells improves power performance by 60 percent in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum," said Munir Nayfeh, a physicist at the University of Illinois.
In other solar cells, ultraviolet light is filtered out or absorbed.
The improved performance is a result of enhanced voltage.
Via :: University of Illinois
The number of solar power photovoltaic systems in Europe will triple by 2010 due to efforts to fight climate change, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association announced yesterday.
“We would like to go forward to have, in 2010, an installed capacity in Europe in the range of 3 gigawatts, (up) from about 1 GW last year,” Winfried Hoffman, EPIA President told press.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The Netherlands plans to build a $522 million, 60-turbine wind farm with one catch: it will be built 14 miles out at sea.
It will be known as Q7
It is the farthest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world, and its developers say a further 5 to 10 more will likely follow in the next few years.
The 60 turbines will generate enough electricity to power 125,000 households.
"Most campaigns against turbines are based around the noise and the visual impact, and these have been reduced by going offshore. It is more expensive to do it here than to do it on land, but we have all agreed we don't have enough space on land," said Bernard van Hemert, one of the wind farm's engineering directors.
Dutch engineers say the foundations for the turbines can be hammered 82 feet into the ground in just a matter of hours, although there are myriad other challenges.
"They can be a better solution. But the problem is people tend to believe they are an entire solution. We think the vast sums spent on wind farms would be better spent on research and innovation in other energy sources," said Jim Mollet, chairman of a Dutch group campaigning against wind energy.
Wind farms cannot generate the sheer amounts of energy Europe requires with cost or space efficiency, he added.
The turbines extend about 320 feet from the ocean, with three blades, each 130 feet long. It is hoped that when they start rotating in early 2008 they will cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 225,000 tons, helping the Dutch to meet a target of 20 percent renewable energy use by 2020.
Via :: Reuters