Lord Lawson declares UK’s climate model ‘flawed’

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Lord Lawson is calling for an independent review of the UK’s official climate predictions as he claims the model used to make the projections is “flawed”. Based on research published …

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The thinktank claims predictions made by it will “always produce high estimates of future warming” regardless of the data fed into the process.

The HadCM3 model is used for official UK Climate Projections (UKCP09), which provide information to help plan how to adapt to a changing climate. It generates a virtual representation of the global climate such as the greenhouse effect, evaporation of the oceans, rainfall and sunlight. By increasing the greenhouse gases in the model, predictions on how much warmer the planet will become in the future can be made.

The UK’s climate model is also used to help make investment decisions across the public and private sectors and as estimates of future warming generated by the Government’s model are “much higher than those implied by several recent studies”, they are likely to “lead to considerable malinvestments” of public and private funds, GWPF claims.

Andrew Montford, author of the GWPF briefing paper said: “There are potentially billions of pounds being misspent on the basis of these predictions. The Government has little choice but to withdraw them pending a review of the way they are put together.”

The Met Office defended its methods and rubbished the criticism.

The organisation said in a statement: “UKCP09 used a sophisticated method that used both model projections and observations to provide a range of potential future warming which attempts to take in the uncertainties in model parameters. The GWPF article fails to note that UKCP09 also used information from many other climate models and that the projections were independently reviewed prior to publication.”<

See on www.energylivenews.com

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An overview of electrical technology: distribution and power transformers

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

When the transmitted power exceeds around 10 MVA, special designs are required to cope with the mechanical forces of short circuit currents, higher insulation levels and increased cooling requirements. For these ratings, liquid-filled transformers are usually used. 

See on www.abb-conversations.com

Palo Alto will require electric-car charger wiring in new homes

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Palo Alto is home to countless startups, including Tesla Motors, whose Model S luxury sedans can be seen throughout the neatly manicured streets of the very, very pricey town.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>With most electric-car charging today taking place in the garages of private homes, installing a home charging station can pose a hurdle to potential buyers.

Now Palo Alto, Calif., the city in the center of Silicon Valley, is moving to make it easier for homeowners who want to switch to an electric car.

The city council adopted a proposal that Palo Alto’s building code be changed to require that new homes come prewired for the installation of 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations.

The additional cost of adding such wiring to a house being built is only about $200, a fraction of the cost of retrofitting an older house with the appropriate electrical service and wiring.<

Read more at http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1087195_palo-alto-to-require-electric-car-charger-wiring-in-new-homes#trqrxpbwBEW8sKMG.99

See on venturebeat.com

Farmers running out of storage room for 2013 bumper crop

Global News

ALLAN, Sask. – This year, white grain bags are a common sight on freshly combined Saskatchewan fields.

The bags have commonly been used for silage but can also be used to store grain. Harvest 2013 has taken up storage like never before.

Jeff Hoiness has farmed near Allan, Sask. for more than 20 years and says harvest 2013 is one for the records.

“Cereal crops are the highest yields we’ve had, canola is as good as we’ve had,” said Hoiness.

Purchasing costly steel bins to store excess grain is only economical if they’re used annually.

Not expecting record crops back-to-back, grain bags are a cheap alternative for farmers during this surplus year, according to Michael Lynch with Greenline Enterprises.

“You’ve got ten bins and you need seven or eight at the last minute, you can put it in bags right in the field,” explains Lynch.

Greenline Enterprises has been selling…

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GE seeks to Clean up Fracking’s Dirty Water Problem

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

GE has demonstrated technology aimed at addressing one of the biggest challenges with fracking: water pollution.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Concerns about water pollution and other environmental issues related to fracking have led some places, including France and New York State, to block the process. As fracking increases in dry areas and places that lack adequate treatment and disposal options, pressure to block it could grow.

“Water-treatment technology is going to become more and more critical as the industry moves forward,” says Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of energy and sustainability at the University of California at Davis, and a new member of a GE environmental advisory board. She says the continued use of fracking depends on the “industry getting its act together to do it in an environmentally sustainable way.”

Better water-treatment options could change the way oil and gas producers operate by making it economical to treat water at fracking sites instead of trucking it long distances to large water-treatment facilities or disposal wells. The technology is specifically targeted to places such as the Marcellus shale, one of the largest sources of shale gas in the U.S., where wastewater is far too salty for existing on-site treatment options (see “Can Fracking Be Cleaned Up?” and “Using Ozone to Clean Up Fracking”).

Each fracking well can require two to five million gallons of fresh water, which is pumped underground at high pressure to fracture rock and release trapped oil and gas. Much of that water flows back out, carrying with it the toxic chemicals used to aid the fracking process, as well as toxic materials flushed from the fractured rock.

Producers currently reuse much of that water, but that involves first storing it in artificial ponds, which can leak, and then diluting it, a step that consumes millions of gallons of fresh water. Eventually they can’t reuse the water any more so they need to ship it, often over long distances, to specialized treatment and disposal locations. Transporting the wastewater is expensive, and it comes with a risk of spills. At disposal sites, the wastewater is injected deep underground in a process that can cause earthquakes.

The new technology would make it unnecessary to dilute the wastewater, or transport it for treatment or disposal. […]<

See on www.technologyreview.com

Bloomberg predicts: Solar to add more megawatts than wind in 2013

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that for the first time more new solar power capacity — compared to wind — will be added to the world’s global energy infrastructure this year.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>In an BNEF’s analysts forecast 36.7GW of new photovoltaic capacity this year, compared to 33.8 GW of new onshore wind farms, and  1.7 GW of offshore wind.

In 2012, wind — onshore and offshore — added 46.6 GW, while PV added 30.5GW, record figures in both cases. But in 2013, a slowdown in the world’s two largest wind markets, China and the US, is opening the way for the rapidly growing PV market to overtake wind.

“The dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Europe is a declining market, because many countries there are rapidly moving away from incentives, but it will continue to see new PV capacity added.”<

See on www.renewableenergymagazine.com

BP battles for billions in latest Gulf Oil Spill pollution trial

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

HOUSTON/LONDON (Reuters) – BP will battle to hold down fines that could hit $18 billion in a new phase of the Gulf of Mexico trial that will rule on how much oil it spilled in 2010 and judge its efforts…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>POLLUTION FINES

BP says 3.26 million barrels leaked from the well during the nearly three months it took to cap the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig; the U.S. government says it was 4.9 million. Both those totals include 810,000 barrels that were collected during clean-up and which Barbier has agreed to exclude.

This month, BP’s lawyers questioned the government’s figure. “United States experts employ unproven methods that require significant assumptions and extrapolations in lieu of … available data and other evidence,” they said in a filing.

They have also sought to convince Barbier that if the company is to be found guilty, it should amount to only “negligence” and not “gross negligence” – a crucial distinction since the latter carries much higher maximum penalties.

Under the Clean Water Act, negligence can be punished with a maximum fine of $1,100 for each barrel of oil spilled; a gross negligence verdict carries a potential $4,300 per barrel fine.

If the court judged the spill to have been 4.09 million barrels – the government estimate less oil recovered – the price of negligence could reach $4.5 billion. Gross negligence, in the costliest scenario, could run to $17.6 billion.<

See on www.reuters.com

Greening the Internet: Sustainable Web Design

See on Scoop.itTwitter & Social Media

Do you know your website’s carbon footprint? Or how to lower it?

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>A growing number of industries are trying to reduce or at least curtail carbon footprints and energy use. Emissions standards have been set for the automotive, construction, and even telecommunications industries. Yet the internet’s carbon footprint is growing out of control: a whopping 830 million tons of CO2 annually, which is bigger than that of the entire aviation industry. That amount is set to double by 2020.

It is time for web designers to join the cause.

Right now, at least 332 million tons of CO2—40 percent of the internet’s total footprint—falls at least partially under the responsibility of people who make the web. It needn’t be that large, but with our rotating carousels, high-res images, and more, we have been designing increasingly energy-demanding websites for years, […]<

See on alistapart.com

Juxtapoz Magazine – SUPERSONIC INTERVIEWS: Victo Ngai

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Victo (short for Victoria) Ngai is a Hong Kong born, currently living in New York City illustrator. Her work is filled to the brim with brilliant colo…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

Brilliant Illustrations!

See on www.juxtapoz.com

Algae Biofuel Emits at Least 50% Less Carbon than Petroleum Fuels

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Algae-derived biofuel can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by 50 to 70 percent compared to petroleum fuels, and is approaching a similar Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as conventional petroleum according to a new peer-reviewed paper published in…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The study entitled Pilot-scale data provide enhanced estimates of the life cycle energy and emissions profile of algae biofuels produced via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is the first to analyze data from a commercial-scale algae-to-energy farm. Researchers examined field data from Sapphire Energy facilities in Las Cruces and Columbus, New Mexico.

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently concluded that 14 percent of land in the continental United States, or the combined area of Texas and New Mexico, could be used to grow and produce algae for conversion into transportation fuels. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy found that for algae fuel to completely replace petroleum in the United States it would need roughly 30,000 square kilometers of land, or half the area of South Carolina, so the potential is certainly there for a massive transition from dirty oil-based transportation fuels to cleaner burning domestic green crude from algae.<

 

See on inhabitat.com