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Thread: Green

  1. #21
    Average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans increased in 2018

    According to provisional data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) in 2018 increased for the second consecutive year, reaching 120.4 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. For the first time, the average CO2 emissions from new vans also increased. Manufacturers will have to reduce emissions of their fleet significantly to meet the upcoming 2020 and 2021 targets.

  2. #22
    U.S. firm plans to power soccer stadiums using aging Nissan Leaf batteries

    We’re hearing increasingly about projects that give aging electric-car batteries a second life by powering everything from homes to street lamps, but a U.S. firm is taking it to the next level by using the packs to power entire stadiums.

    Power management giant Eaton is already using its xStorage system to provide electricity for the Johann Cruyff Arena — a 55,000 capacity stadium home to Netherlands soccer team Ajax — and is now in talks with six other European soccer venues with a view to expanding its system, Reuters reported this week.

    As electric-car batteries age, they lose their ability to power vehicles but can still be used for up to 10 years in so-called “second-life” scenarios.

    With sales of electric vehicles on the rise, looking for ways to utilize the growing number of old EV batteries is a growing business, with Eaton, for one, confident of its plan to power more stadiums.

    The Ohio-based company says its xStorage solution, which uses lithium-ion packs from Nissan’s Leaf cars, can save customers power-related costs of up to 20% compared to new batteries.

    According to news outlet Current, the setup at the Johann Cruyff Arena is able to provide full power to the venue for an hour during a major event, or three times that if facilities such as kitchen equipment are disconnected from the system.

    The arena’s xStorage system uses 250 second-life battery packs, but as there are still too few aging batteries to utilize, it also incorporates 340 first-life battery modules — all from Nissan. However, the supply situation is set to change, with data suggesting the global stockpile of EV batteries will reach around 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared to about 55,000 in 2018.

    Most of the major automakers, together with firms such as Eaton that specialize in power management, are exploring the myriad of opportunities that aging EV batteries present, which in turn will provide a new revenue stream while burnishing the companies’ green credentials.

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  3. #23
    Deforestation and Climate Change Could Split the Amazon Rainforest in Two, Study Finds

    A new study out Monday shows that climate change plus deforestation equals disaster for the Amazon: The average number of tree species present in a given patch of rainforest could decline by up to 58 percent by 2050.

    What’s more, all the human-induced destruction may wind up effectively dividing the Amazon into two separate forests, one of which would be “severely fragmented.”

    The authors from Brazil and the Netherlands modeled how roughly 5,000 Amazon tree species—about a quarter of the total species in the rainforest but the only ones with enough data to study—would react to a range of climate change scenarios ranked from better to worse, along with a couple of deforestation scenarios based on historical rates.

    In a worst-case climate where we continue with business as usual carbon emissions and deforestation, nearly half of Amazon tree species could become threatened by 2050 under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to the study.

    In the worst-case scenario, the models show the Amazon Rainforest splitting in half by 2050. One portion would be left with just over half of its original area to the northwest; the other portion would sit to the southeast seriously torn up and unable to support as many tree species as its neighbor to the north.

    The northern section would see nearly double the number of tree species in every 4 square miles compared with its more depleted neighbor to the south.

  4. #24
    Cement Produces More Pollution Than All the Trucks in the World

    Geopolymer concrete is a new alternative eco-friendly binder technology that reduces the carbon emissions associated with normal cement by 80% to 90%, and also has a much lower embodied energy.

  5. #25
    New Indicators Could Help Manage Global Overfishing

    Researchers suggest scientists and resource managers need to focus on the whole ecosystem rather than solely on population-by population, and propose a potential international standard for tracking the status of overfishing in global fisheries.

    “In simple terms, to successfully manage fisheries in an ecosystem, the rate of removal for all fishes combined must be equal to or less than the rate of renewal for all those fish,” said Link, the senior scientist for ecosystem management at NOAA Fisheries.

    The authors suggest using large-scale ecosystem indices as a way to determine when ecosystem overfishing is occurring. They propose three indices, each based on widely available catch and satellite data, to link fisheries landings to primary production and energy transfer up the marine food chain. Specific thresholds developed for each index make it possible, they say, to determine if ecosystem overfishing is occurring. By their definition, ecosystem overfishing occurs when the total catch of all fish is declining, the total catch rate or fishing effort required to get that catch is also declining, and the total landings relative to the production in that ecosystem exceed suitable limits.

    The first index used in the study is the total catch in an area, or how much fish a given patch of ocean can produce.

    The second is the ratio of total catches to total primary productivity, or how much fish can come from the plants at the base of the food chain.

    The third index is the ratio of total catch to chlorophyll, another measure for marine plant life, in an ecosystem.

    Proposed thresholds for each index are based on the known limits of the productivity of any given part of the ocean. Using these limits, the authors say local or regional context should be considered when deciding what management actions to take to address ecosystem overfishing. Having international standards would make those decisions much easier and emphasize sustainable fisheries.

    The three indices proposed represent a potential international standard for tracking the status of global fisheries ecosystems.

  6. #26
    Forget tree planting, start tree growing’

    I think we should correct our narration on tree growing because when you say ‘tree planting’, it is just an event. Tree planting is taking a seedling and putting it in the soil: that’s planting. But tree growing is a long-term investment. Trees take a minimum — if they are fast growing — three years, some of them five years, some of them eight and even more. So, if our thinking of growing trees is downgraded to planting trees, we miss that big part of the investment that is required.

    Take a look at the agroforestry investment analysis: the first few years are investment years; they are costly to the farmers. Now, if you look at farmers in the tropics, their annual income is quite low to invest in those periods before the system begins to generate benefits. That is part of the problem. We also have issues with tenure. If you are not sure that the land you own is yours, if you don’t have a clear certificate, do you think you will invest in it to grow such long-term interventions? Because we have said, trees require five, six, seven, eight years. You may lose the land, so you feel, why should I do it? So you go for the short-term investment that can get you something [sooner].

    From our study in the Gambia, we tried to assess the mentality of tree planting: where to grow one species; we only care about the first three years. Those first three years from our analysis are actually only 50% of the total investment you need to make to meet the standards to be a grown-up tree. So you can go there as a project: you tell the people you want to grow trees, and you are there for the first two years and then you leave the place. The rest of the cost has to be borne by the farmers and these farmers are poor farmers, especially in the tropics, their incomes are very low.

  7. #27
    Single Origin Dark Chocolate and Ceremonial Cacao made with Beans from the Archuaco people of Colombia

    The Arhuaco elders refuse to trade with anyone who they sense may upset the equilibrium of their communities and culture and only make decisions that they agree will be of benefit to their entire community.

  8. #28
    BMW’s EV concept gets Blade Runner-style sound

    BMW Vision M NEXT, the electric vehicle concept that had its world debut June 25, won’t be in showrooms anytime soon, if ever. But let’s hope the sound of the vehicle, which was created by famous film score composer Hans Zimmer and Renzo Vitale, an acoustic engineer and sound designer at the BMW Group, makes into the automaker’s next line of vehicles.

    Sure, electric vehicles are silent. They don’t need to sound like a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. And this concept doesn’t. But it could be a fun add-on feature that drivers could opt to turn on or off.

  9. #29
    No Drips, No Drops: A City Of 10 Million Is Running Out Of Water

    In India's sixth-largest city, lines for water snake around city blocks, restaurants are turning away customers and a man was killed in a brawl over water. Chennai, with a population of almost 10 million, is nearly out of water.

    In much of India, municipal water, drawn from reservoirs or groundwater, typically runs for only a couple of hours each day. That's the norm year-round. The affluent fill tanks on their roofs; the poor fill jerrycans and buckets.

    But in Chennai this summer, the water is barely flowing at all. The government has dispatched water tankers to residential areas to fill the void. Still, some people in especially hard-hit areas have vacated their homes and moved in with relatives or friends.

    Satellite images of the city's largest reservoir, Puzhal Lake, taken one year apart, reveal a chilling picture. Since June 2018, the lake has shrunk significantly. Puzhal is one of the four rain-fed reservoirs that supply water to most parts of Chennai.

  10. #30

  11. #31
    India staring at a water apocalypse

    A combination of climate change, bad policies and political apathy is steadily pushing India into a catastrophic water crisis that threatens stability in South Asia.

    Recent studies document that glaciers feeding the Indian subcontinent’s rivers will recede rapidly, while rapid ground water depletion poses an existential challenge to agriculture.

    The southwest monsoons remain the biggest source of water in the subcontinent. The monsoons lead to a combination of water sources supporting human habitats that includes glaciers, surface irrigation and ground water. But redundancy and surplus have gone missing from this once abundant system. Taking their place are galloping shortages.

    Even the best-case scenarios are “scary,” water researcher Aditi Mukherjee told Asia Times.

  12. #32
    Energy Used by Idle Device in the U.S. Can Power Bitcoin For 4 Years

    The now-live Index — the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI — gives an estimate of the total annualized energy consumption of the bitcoin network, updated every thirty seconds. The researchers also provide a tool that compares BTC’s consumption levels with other electricity use case, alongside a range of parameters to contextualize the live data.

    At press time, CBECI gives a reading of an estimated 7.15 gigawatts (GW), with an annualized 53.01 terawatt-hour (Twh) average. Lower and upper bound readings are provided in parallel to the main estimate — 2.68 GW (21.46 TWh) and 21.71 (146.45 TWh), respectively.

    As commentators on crypto twitter have already picked up, the CBECI indicates that the electricity wasted each year by always-on but inactive home devices in the U.S. alone could apparently power the Bitcoin network for 4 years.

    Conversely, the amount of power consumed by the Bitcoin network in one year could power all tea kettles used to boil water for 11 years in the United Kingdom, and 1.5 years in Europe (incl. the U.K.)

  13. #33

  14. #34
    Soon, satellites will be able to watch you everywhere all the time

    Every year, commercially available satellite images are becoming sharper and taken more frequently. In 2008, there were 150 Earth observation satellites in orbit; by now there are 768.

    Satellite companies don’t offer 24-hour real-time surveillance, but if the hype is to be believed, they’re getting close.

    Privacy advocates warn that innovation in satellite imagery is outpacing the US government’s (to say nothing of the rest of the world’s) ability to regulate the technology.

    Unless we impose stricter limits now, they say, one day everyone from ad companies to suspicious spouses to terrorist organizations will have access to tools previously reserved for government spy agencies.

    Which would mean that at any given moment, anyone could be watching anyone else.

  15. #35

  16. #36
    Deep sea mining could destroy 'our last frontier', environmentalists say

    The ocean floor is scattered with vast beds of minerals key to making modern gadgets from smartphones to solar panels

    "Deep sea mining could cause severe and potentially irreversible environmental harm both at the mine sites and throughout broader ocean areas," Greenpeace said in a report.

    "Opening up a new industrial frontier in the largest ecosystem on Earth and undermining an important carbon sink carries significant environmental risks ... Deep sea mining could even make climate change worse."

  17. #37
    Could Planting Tons of Trees Solve Climate Change?

    The analysis revealed the planet could currently support 4.4 billion hectares of forest. About 2.8 billion hectares already exist, which means more than 1.6 billion hectares are available for forest restoration. When the team excluded land already in use for urban and agricultural areas, they found there’s 0.9 billion hectares of land available for planting forests.

    “If you convert that into carbon, that’s about 200 gigatonnes of carbon,” said ecologist Jean-Francois Bastin, who co-authored the new work, in an accompanying video. Globally, humans have put about 300 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere to date. The findings suggest forest restoration could cut humanity’s carbon footprint by two-thirds.

  18. #38
    Poland must obey UNESCO logging warning

    The UNESCO World Heritage Committee adopted a decision that recommends limiting any future logging in Białowieża Forest to necessary safety measures and activities related to nature conservation during this week’s summit in Azerbaijan.

    ClientEarth, a Non-profit environmental law organisation which led legal action last year to stop illegal logging in the forest, says that UNESCO’s warning sends a clear message to the Polish government to put conversation first in Białowieża.

    If Poland fails to comply with these recommendations, the forest will be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

  19. #39
    Green Infrastructure is (de)paving a pathway to resilience

    America is becoming increasingly and dangerously waterlogged. And it’s not just rural areas. Cities are especially vulnerable to a phenomenon called urban flooding because they are less permeable than their rural counterparts due to concrete surfaces and inadequate infrastructure.

    Runoff overflow can turn streets into rivers. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, by the end of the century, floodplains could increase by as much as 45 percent, with climate change causing heavier rains and more storms.

    Fixing deteriorated pipes and building more infrastructure will help cities, but it’s expensive and disruptive. Fortunately, cities have another solution that’s cheaper, more sustainable, and can lift up communities and provide jobs: a back-to-nature approach called Green Infrastructure.

    Green Infrastructure is, at its core, about utilizing nature to manage stormwater. Pavement is impermeable, but vegetation and soil have an innate ability to manage water before it ever reaches a city’s sewers.

    Through strategically planted trees, parks, and wetlands, cities can reduce strain on their sewer systems, and reduce pollution at the same time.

    The Democracy Collaborative recently released a report recommending the use of green infrastructure as a community-based climate adaptation strategy.

  20. #40

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