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Archive for the ‘climatology’ category

Jul 19, 2021

Armed guards protect tons of nuclear waste that Maine can’t get rid of

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, nuclear energy, sustainability

The canisters can’t stay on the 11-acre storage site on Bailey Peninsula in Wiscasset forever. And the specter of climate change and ocean level rise adds urgency to the hunt for a solution.


That’s a problem because the waste — 1400 spent nuclear fuel rods housed in 60 cement and steel canisters, plus four canisters of irradiated steel removed from the nuclear reactor when it was taken down — is safe for now, but can’t stay in Wiscasset forever.

The situation in Wiscasset underscores a thorny issue facing more than 100 communities across the U.S.: close to a hundred thousand tons of nuclear waste that has no place to go.

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Jul 19, 2021

Chevron’s Carbon Capture Struggle Shows Big Oil’s Climate Hurdle

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

“Gorgon’s failure poses a major problem for any oil and gas company betting on CCS to meet net zero,” said Ian Porter, the chairperson of Sustainable Energy Now, WA. “CCS simply does not work at the scale and at the price needed.”


(Bloomberg) — The world’s biggest project to capture and store carbon dioxide isn’t working like it should, highlighting the challenges oil companies face in tackling their greenhouse gas emissions. Chevron Corp.’s system at the $54 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas export plant in Australi…

Jul 14, 2021

“Nuclear Batteries” Offer a New Approach to Carbon-Free Energy

Posted by in categories: climatology, military, nuclear energy, robotics/AI, sustainability

Jacopo Buongiorno and others say factory-built microreactors trucked to usage sites could be a safe, efficient option for decarbonizing electricity systems.

We may be on the brink of a new paradigm for nuclear power, a group of nuclear specialists suggested recently in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering. Much as large, expensive, and centralized computers gave way to the widely distributed PCs of today, a new generation of relatively tiny and inexpensive factory-built reactors, designed for autonomous plug-and-play operation similar to plugging in an oversized battery, is on the horizon, they say.

These proposed systems could provide heat for industrial processes or electricity for a military base or a neighborhood, run unattended for five to 10 years, and then be trucked back to the factory for refurbishment. The authors — Jacopo Buongiorno, MIT’s TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering; Robert Frida, a founder of GenH; Steven Aumeier of the Idaho National Laboratory; and Kevin Chilton, retired commander of the U.S. Strategic Command — have dubbed these small power plants “nuclear batteries.” Because of their simplicity of operation, they could play a significant role in decarbonizing the world’s electricity systems to avert catastrophic climate change, the researchers say. MIT News asked Buongiorno to describe his group’s proposal.

Jul 12, 2021

5 Sustainable Eating Tips for People Serious About Life Extension

Posted by in categories: climatology, ethics, life extension, sustainability

A serving of mushrooms is just 0.08 kg of CO2 emissions—only lentils have a lower per serving CO2 emission level.


One common question J.P. and I get over and over again is about the problem of overpopulation—if human life extension is a humanitarian goal worth pursuing, won’t there be an inevitable environmental crisis? One worse than what we’re already facing?

When we covered the ethics of life extension we partially answered this question based on what we know about population and consumption trends now (tl;dr: we’re more likely to face a crisis of under population than overpopulation). That said, it’s practically impossible to be able to fully forecast environmental trends 50200, and further years into the future. We noted, “Spanners actually need to address it because we will have to continue living through the consequences of climate change if we don’t.”

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Jul 12, 2021

A ‘wobble’ in the moon’s orbit could result in record flooding in the 2030s, new study finds

Posted by in categories: climatology, space, sustainability

The entire US coastline is in for a one-two punch from the lunar cycle and climate change.

Jul 11, 2021

Giant Quantum Tornados in Hybrid Light-Matter System Reveal Complex Physical Phenomena

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers from Skoltech and their colleagues from the UK have managed to create a stable giant vortex in interacting polariton condensates, addressing a known challenge in quantized fluid dynamics. The findings open possibilities in creating uniquely structured coherent light sources and exploring many-body physics under unique extreme conditions. The paper was published in the journal Nature Communications.

In fluid dynamics, a vortex is a region where a fluid revolves around a point (2D) or a line (3D); you’ve clearly seen one in your sink or may have felt one in the form of turbulence while flying. The quantum world also has vortices: the flow of a quantum fluid can create a zone where the particles revolve persistently around some point. The prototypical signature of such quantum vortices is their singular phase at the core of the vortex.

Skoltech Professors Natalia Berloff and Pavlos Lagoudakis and colleagues studied vortices created by polaritons – odd hybrid quantum particles that are half-light (photon) and half-matter (electrons) – forming a quantum fluid under the right conditions. They were looking for a way to create vortices in these polariton fluids with high values of angular momentum (i.e., getting them to rotate fast). These vortices, also known as giant vortices, are generally very hard to obtain as they tend to break apart into many smaller vortices with low angular momentum in other systems.

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Jul 6, 2021

A new invention aims to make computer servers worldwide more climate friendly

Posted by in categories: climatology, computing, information science, internet

An elegant new algorithm developed by Danish researchers can significantly reduce the resource consumption of the world’s computer servers. Computer servers are as taxing on the climate as global air traffic combined, thereby making the green transition in IT an urgent matter. The researchers, from the University of Copenhagen, expect major IT companies to deploy the algorithm immediately.

One of the flipsides of our runaway internet usage is its impact on climate due to the massive amount of electricity consumed by . Current CO2 emissions from data centers are as high as from global air traffic combined—with emissions expected to double within just a few years.

Only a handful of years have passed since Professor Mikkel Thorup was among a group of researchers behind an that addressed part of this problem by producing a groundbreaking recipe to streamline computer server workflows. Their work saved energy and resources. Tech giants including Vimeo and Google enthusiastically implemented the algorithm in their systems, with online video platform Vimeo reporting that the algorithm had reduced their bandwidth usage by a factor of eight.

Jul 4, 2021

Solar device generates electricity and desalinates water with no waste brine

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, solar power, sustainability

Physics World


A device that can generate electricity while desalinating seawater has been developed by researchers in Saudi Arabia and China, who claim that their new system is highly efficient at performing both tasks. The device uses waste heat from the solar cell for desalination, thereby cooling the solar cell. It also produces no concentrated brine as waste, cutting its potential environmental impact.

In many parts of the world, climate change and population growth are putting huge demands on freshwater supplies. In some coastal regions, desalination – removing the salt from brackish water or seawater to turn it into fresh water – is increasingly being used to meet demand. Indeed, there are now around 16000 desalination plants around the world producing about 95 million cubic metres of freshwater every day.

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Jul 2, 2021

Underwater robot may unearth climate mysteries

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI

Mesobot can track squid, jellyfish, and other deep-sea creatures for up to a day at a time.

Jul 2, 2021

Predicting new major depression symptoms from long working hours, psychosocial safety climate and work engagement: a population-based cohort study

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, neuroscience

Objectives This study sought to assess the association between long working hours, psychosocial safety climate (PSC), work engagement (WE) and new major depression symptoms emerging over the next 12 months. PSC is the work climate supporting workplace psychological health.

Setting Australian prospective cohort population data from the states of New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia.

Participants At Time 1, there were 3921 respondents in the sample. Self-employed, casual temporary, unclassified, those with working hours 35 (37% of 2850) and participants with major depression symptoms at Time 1 (6.7% of 1782) were removed. The final sample was a population-based cohort of 1084 full-time Australian employees.

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