Tuesday linkfest

Labour weekend means just that, chez Hot Topic. Catching up with farm work, planting the vege garden, getting a sore back – all in a weekend’s work. But climate change waits for no man, so here’s a compendium of stuff that caught my attention over the last few days.

  • Contact Energy has announced plans for a huge – 218 turbine, 650MW – wind farm called Hauauru ma raki, to be built on a remote site south of Port Waikato. NZ turbine builder Windflow Technology has announced plans for new models designed to work in India and China, and Meridian has sent wind experts to Scott Base in Antarctica to advise on building wind turbines to reduce fossil fuel requirements. According to Stuff, they think it could be easier than building in Wellington.
  • Still more on the Arctic summer: the NSIDC updates its coverage with some excellent animations, while Cryosphere Today adds an archive of maps of atmospheric conditions over the summer, and introduces a web app that allows iPhone users to monitor sea ice conditions. Another reason why I want one. Technology Review visits Greenland to meet the teams measuring the melt, and down south, satellites spot a huge berg breaking off the Pine Island Glacier.
  • On the roof of the world, the Nepali Times reports Kiwi guides describing how the disappearance of ice on the planet’s biggest mountains is changing the climbs.
  • Two more good articles from TR: Fixing the Power Grid describes how big batteries (capable of supplying 1MW+ for hours at a time) can provide back up for grid problems, and Tiny Solar Cells looks at nanowire solar cells made by a team at Harvard.
  • Carbon emissions from shipping could be as much as twice those from aviation, according to a report from Intertanko. Strong growth in trade has driven emissions to 1.2 billion tonnes oer annum. Meanwhile, the Herald reports on aviation’s attempts to be seen to be more climate friendly – and Richard Branson’s efforts to beat Air New Zealand to the first use of biofuels in jets.
  • CO2 absorption in the Atlantic has nosedived, adding to concerns that the ocean carbon sink may be reducing – leaving more of our emissions in the atmosphere [University of East Anglia].
  • Coral reef specialists have issued a call to action on the impact of climate change: “We call on all societies and governments to immediately and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without targeted reductions, the ongoing damage to coral reefs from global warming will soon be irreversible.”
  • The Daily Telegraph [UK] is in the process of becoming enthusiastically green. Latest evidence is a nifty widget – the Telegraph Earth Pulse – which monitors climate and general environment news.
  • A dairy farm can produce as much sewage as a small town (see North & South current issue), but worms can turn it all into mellow compost according to US researchers.
  • It looks like a “three-wheeled technicolour shoehorn”, but the No More Gas will do 75 mph and has a range of 30 miles. OK for getting around town, but I’d still prefer a Tesla Roadster…
  • The financial word is getting the climate message: Deutsche Bank thinks that efforts to combat climate change will drive an investment “megatrend”, Morgan Stanley estimates that global sales of wind, solar and geothermal power and biofuels could be US$1 trillion a year by 2030, and HSBC is launching a climate change investment fund for investors who want to track companies active in the field.
  • HT tends to steer clear of dsicussing peak oil, but the Guardian [UK] covers a new report that claims that we passed peak oil last year, and that global oil production will be halved by 2030. Adds a certain piquancy to energy strategy…

1 thought on “Tuesday linkfest”

  1. The large battery article from the Technology Review was interesting. Have you seen the material from the Nobel Laureate symposium at Potsdam earlier this month? Climate change featured very strongly under the general title of sustainability. http://www.nobel-cause.de/ I have been watching some of the webcasts – it helps if you are retired and have the sort of time needed. One can virtually attend the symposium. Some of the renewable energy presentations in particular I found very encouraging, and the question of storage was obviously important.

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