Sunday, August 30, 2009

Researchers find out a different perspective of Global Warming

Researchers find out a different perspective of Global Warming
Most of us tend to think of global warming in terms of the greenhouse effect produced by CO2 emissions. While it may be partly true that CO2 emissions interfere with the radiation of the heat from sunlight back into space and thus warm up the atmosphere, the main culprit could be the amount of energy we produce and use; and the heat energy that is let out into the atmosphere in this process. Anyone familiar with thermal power plants would know that the efficiencies (ratio of electrical energy output to fuel energy input) are on average around 35%, with the cooling water taking away the bulk of the heat when steam is condensed into water. Even the useful energy that is produced is ultimately lost in space in the form of heat produced in various processes in which this energy is used.

Researchers Bo Nordell and Bruno Gervet of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lulea University of Technology in Sweden have calculated the total energy emissions from the start of the industrial revolution in the 1880s to the modern day. They have worked out that using the increase in average global air temperature as a measure of global warming is an inadequate measure of climate change. They suggest that scientists must also take into account the total energy of the ground, ice masses and the seas if they are to model climate change accurately.
The researchers have calculated that the heat energy accumulated in the atmosphere corresponds to a mere 6.6% of global warming, while the remaining heat is stored in the ground (31.5%), melting ice (33.4%) and in sea water (28.5%). They point out that net heat emissions between the industrial revolution circa 1880 and the modern era at 2000 correspond to almost three quarters of the accumulated heat, i.e., global warming, during that period.
The researchers also point out a flaw in the nuclear energy argument. Although nuclear power does not produce carbon dioxide emissions in the same way as burning fossil fuels, it does produce heat emissions equivalent to three times the energy of the electricity it generates (using the thermal cycle of steam turbine) and so contributes to global warming significantly.
Their calculations suggest that most measures to combat global warming, such as reducing our reliance on burning fossil fuels and switching to renewables like wind power and solar energy, will ultimately help in preventing catastrophic climate change in the long term. But the same calculations also show that trapping carbon dioxide, so-called carbon dioxide sequestration, and storing it deep underground or on the sea floor will have very little effect on global warming.
Source: International Journal of Global Warming-July 2009 Issue

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Action To Save Our Climate

Action To Save Our Climate
Action to save our climate is happening right now in Italy: As you read this our activists are scaling chimneys, chaining themselves to conveyor belts and blocking coal shipments at multiple locations in Italy.

They will be occupying coal-fired power stations during the G8 Summit beginning in Italy today and demanding that world leaders gathering for the summit make serious commitments to reducing world greenhouse gas emissions.

You can take action with them. You can demand that world leaders take personal responsibility for averting catastrophic climate change. You turn the Earth.

Follow our activists here:
Thanks for your support.
Mr. Arunava Das
Greenpeace International

Climate Project Presenter and Connector ACF 591
Senior Secondary Biology Teacher, Royal Government of Bhutan

# + 91 033 2683 1456 (Kolkata, India, Residence)
+ 91 9748804959 (Kolkata, India, Residence)

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Solar Powered Plane

Fig: The HB-SIA

Based in Switzerland, a team of over 50 specialists from six countries is working on the Solar Impulse project: a solar-powered airplane capable of taking off autonomously and maintaining itself in flight for several days, entirely propelled by the energy stored in the photovoltaic panels contained in its wings.

The HB-SIA prototype is currently under construction and the round-the-world flight is programmed to happen in 2012, on a flight over land near the equator. Five stops are planned during the route, in order to change pilots and present the adventure to the public and authorities. Each flight leg will last from 3 to 4 days (considered the maximum endurance for a single pilot).

This is certainly a technology many of us have been waiting for, and which seems a natural step in the aviation industry.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Extraordinary Animal Stories

George the 140-Year-Old Lobster

Extraordinary Animal Stories

© Sara McGrath

Jan 10, 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals championed for George the 140-year-old lobster's freedom, and won! He was released back into the ocean off the coast of Maine.

A tank in the City Crab and Seafood restaurant in New York had been home to George, a 140-year-old, twenty-pound lobster, for about two weeks.

City Crab and Seafood purchased George the Giant Lobster for $100 after he was caught off Newfoundland, Canada. He was adopted as the restaurant mascot as a tourist attraction and was made available for photos with patrons. It was a restaurant patron who notified PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) of the lobster's confinement.

PETA estimated George's age based on his weight, calculated by multiplying every pound he weighed by seven. If the estimate is correct, the lobster would have been born around 1869, the same year as Mahatma Gandhi.

In PETA's press release regarding their petition for George's release, they made note of a similar incident involving Bubba, a 100-year-old lobster who was caught off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 2005. Bubba died after only one week in captivity in an aquarium in Pittsburgh. Bubba had been destined for a tank in a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum.

The City Crab and Seafood restaurant initially denied PETA's request to release George, the elderly crustacean, back into the Atlantic Ocean. However, the restaurant had a change of heart and agreed to release the lobster in an area off the coast of Maine where lobster trapping is banned. George was released in a rocky cove in Kennebunkport near the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush.

All states in the US impose a minimum legal size for keeping lobsters, but the state of Maine also imposes a maximum legal size of five inches carapace length. The carapace is the main body section of the lobster excluding the tail.

According to PETA, because a lobster has a sophisticated nervous system and high sensitivity to pain, live lobster boiling is illegal in some cities, such as Reggio, Italy. PETA also pointed out that lobsters are sensitive to water quality and easily die if too much waste is secreted in their environment. Therefore, tank life for a lobster can be precarious.

"We never intended him to be sold," said Keith Valenti, manager of City Crab and Seafood, "just draw attention to the restaurant, and he did." However, he added that it was a "no brainer" to return the giant lobster to the ocean.

"We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace," said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of PETA.

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