Changing climate

So often climate change is referred to as something that will become noticeable at a future time. No, it is significant now. And, just in case you thought that more CO2 helped with our food production check the letter in Nature.

Global sea levels have risen 8cm since 1992

“Significant changes are taking place today on ice sheets,” said Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California in Irvine. “It would take centuries to reverse the trend of ice retreat.”

Bushfires, heatwaves and early deaths: the climate is changing before our eyes

Perhaps the most surprising health impact of climate change was revealed by a study published in Nature. It documented how increasing atmospheric CO2 was degrading the nutritional value of crops, especially in Asia. Zinc, iron and protein levels are all falling in wheat and rice, and at least two billion people depend on rice for their iron and zinc.

Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition

Solar energy works

Indian airport becomes world’s first to run entirely on solar energy

It follows the Indian government’s announcement that it intends to produce as much as 100GW of solar power by 2022, up from the 4GW (gigawatts) it currently produces. It is hoped that the innovation will not only contribute to India’s spiralling need for power, but also fuel new investments.

Just what we need in the UK – new investments – in the future.

Here is a longer article on power generation in India, with the downside of increasing coal use.
Why India is captured by carbon

Any ‘pause’ is over

If you mistakenly believed there was such.

Climate change: July was the hottest month recorded on Earth – and 2015 could set a new global temperature record

NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch said: “It just reaffirms what we already know: that the Earth is warming.”

“The warming is accelerating and we’re really seeing it this year.”

Records on global temperatures kept by the NOAA go back to 1880 – but nine of the ten hottest months have occurred since 2005.

Report summary:

Global Summary Information – July 2015

Deficit – this is it

Earth Overshoot Day: Humanity consumes 100% of planet’s resources in eight months

Never mind – let’s continue the party (for a small minority)!

We are finding so many planets let’s slash and burn, then move on. The Force will be with us, so what’s a few light years between friends.

Apple computer will come up with something for us to buy to save us.

Ideally the solution will come in 140 characters.

The Goring and Streatley Sustainability Group

Yesterday evening at our monthly meeting, just as we were thinking nothing much was going to come up we had a surprise visitor, Nicola Swan, who was a founder member of The Goring and Streatley Sustainability Group.

We got some fascinating insights into the bureaucracy of trying to get their Hydro Power Project implemented. It has taken 10 years to clear changing requirements of the Environment Agency. She then introduced us to a farm biodigester project near Reading that we will investigate further.

This is solar power going as it should

The proposed power station will measure 10 square miles and generate 200 megawatts of solar energy.

China builds huge solar power station which could power a million homes

If this was a square it would be 5 Km a side. The Gobi desert is about 1,600 Km x 800 Km. If we filled it with such solar units there would be about 50,000 generating 10 TW, 10,000 megawatts. That would power 10 billion homes. Solar power really is the power of the future – don’t let China have all the development.

New battery chemistry

Here is a reason for promoting solar power. Once it becomes more than aspiration people begin to research and develop related and needed technologies.

The innovators: cheaper batteries could help electric cars hit the mainstream

“We set out to make sodium materials that worked in a simple electrochemical [battery] cell that behaved as well as if not better than some of the lithium systems. We were able to produce material which outperformed lithium-ion phosphate, which has until recently been the workhorse in automotive batteries.”

This will not be the end of development for cheaper better performing batteries. Let’s hope the band-wagon takes off.

We need regime change

King Coal needs to be overthrown. The last quote below applies to the UK too even though it is not as sunny as Turkey.

Is it too late to stop Turkey’s coal rush?

Turkey may soon have the world’s biggest coal-fired plant – one of 80 new plants planned as part of the country’s coal boom

Government permits for solar panels are very limited, despite being oversubscribed by 10 times, and Turkey’s target is for just 5% of electricity to come from the sun by 2023.

“The government thinks that in the short term it will be faster to grow the economy with coal. But that creates short-term wealth that is exhausted very quickly and results in a low quality of life. When there is solar energy potential, when you can create value added jobs and manufacturing, why would you have coal?”