A new solar array that creates both electricity and hot water made its debut at a California winery yesterday, in the presence of investors including venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Often when going to the beach the common complaint is that the ocean is too cold. They appear to be warming up a bit. The upper layer of Earth’s ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new international study co-authored by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs for each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet.
“We are seeing the global ocean store more heat than it gives off,” said John Lyman, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, who led the study that analyzed nine different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean from 1993 to 2008.
(Reuters) – The Toronto Zoo has a solution to global warming: elephant dung.
Canada’s biggest zoo is inviting bids for a gasification plant that will turn its elephant, rhino and other large animal manure into clean electricity and heat.
“No other zoo in the world is doing this,” zoo conservation program head Dave Ireland said on Wednesday.
The zoo produces about 1,000 tonnes of manure and other organic waste each year. This will be fed into the biogas plant, to be built on land adjoining the zoo, where bacteria will munch through the waste and excrete methane gas.
We are living in a world where high consumption has been relentlessly praised, suggesting that we should buy, consume and dispose more stuff than our grandparents used to do. With some nations consuming more than others, the quality and quantity of waste varies across borders. And so does the way it is managed.
A conventional method for waste management is to dump the waste into designated landfill areas where it is left for years without being monitored. Landfill activity remains the most commonly used organized waste disposal method in the world. It is also the easiest and the cheapest. However, brimful landfill sites, hazardous waste and uncontrolled greenhouse gases cause greater environmental and economical impacts. As a simple example, part of the carbon content of the waste when it is dumped into a landfill site, is emitted into the atmosphere in the form of methane, which has a greenhouse effect 20 times greater than that of CO2.
A group of recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates has developed a roof tile that remains white in summer to reflect the sun’s energy then turns black in winter to absorb the sun’s rays and heat buildings.
The so-called “thermeleon” (rhymes with chameleon) technology uses a common commercial polymer trapped between layers of plastic, including a black layer at the back. When the temperature drops, the white layer disappears, exposing the black layer.
The MIT graduates say the tiles reflect about 80 percent of the sun’s heat when they are white, translating into a 20 percent savings in cooling costs. When the tiles turn dark, they absorb about 70 percent of solar energy.
A $17 million renewable energy project designed to tap into the earth’s heat more than 2 miles deep has been suspended because of difficulty drilling through rock formations.
The project, run by AltaRock Energy and partially funded by Google, was designed to drill down to about 12,000 feet, fracture rock at the bottom of the hole, and then circulate water to create steam.
But the company reported that it had encountered “anomalies” in the rock that had prevented it from drilling deeper than 4,000 feet.