CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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webofgoodnews:

This Pop-Up Solar Power Station Can Be Installed Instantly Anywhere In The World

At the push of a button, this shipping container instantly transforms into a pop-up solar power station: Hidden solar panels slide out of drawers on each side and immediately start generating energy wherever they’re needed, whether for disaster relief or in a remote village far off the grid.

—If that’s not good enough for you, then there’s also this:

The first model, released this month, includes onboard atmospheric water generators that pull water from the air. “We’re able to provide water without a water source,” says McGuire.

Read more

Interesting. I work in international development, and I can’t see who’d pay for these. Taxpayers? 

It seems the media loves them more than the markets. Diesel and gas generators are way waayyy cheaper. They’re produce more energy for more people in more places. They’re more accessible, easily repairable and replaceable, and are a more efficient response mechanism than a battery (solar panels charge a battery, then the battery is plugged into power station or some other distribution hub). In fact, many states already have long-term contracts with utilities to use the more reliable and time tested fossil fuel generator.

Utility power companies should consider using temporary power plants (coupled diesel or gas generators coupled, electric transformers with built-in power substation, fuel tanks and other power accessories) when no other possible alternative source of power generation, such as diesel-powered generators, is available to supplement the electricity shortfall during repairs and maintenance.

These plants can, for example, use a 100 MW rental power plant for six months to avoid power interruptions and continuously supply electricity to critical areas such as airports, data centers or hospitals… See here.

The fact that they’re dirty and pollutive does not trump their utility or world-wide acceptance.

I’d also point out that, as sexy as these units are, solar rental systems already exist. They’re used in the field by temporary construction crews, and possibly by disaster response teams (it’s unclear from their website), but their utility, availability, deployment times, maintenance and other costs are still unproven.

Finally, who is responsible for disposing the batteries?

(via fastcompany)

DeSmogBlog is quite biased, but the article is worth checking out. Obama is typically portrayed by lefty and enviro-media as an effective leader with respect to climate change actions. I have on a number of occasions posted on the administrations adaptation and resilience plans and actions.

But, what’s under the radar - what media is ignoring - is that Obama directed his administration to implement very aggressive oil and gas drilling plans formulated under Bush and the oil industry. For example, just last week, Obama opened up the Atlantic coast for offshore drilling.

The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor. Via AP

Thus, environmental blogs are missing one half of the story. Check it out…

nprontheroad:

Come along as we tour an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nearly a quarter of the crude oil produced in the U.S. comes from the Gulf, according to the Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.gov/special/gulf_of_mexico/). But while you can often drive by an on-shore drilling rig in Texas or North Dakota few of us ever have a chance to see a drilling operation in the Gulf.

Tomorrow Shell is offering NPR and its audience a rare, up-close look at its Olympus drilling rig and platform (pictured above). It’s located about 130 miles south of New Orleans in water that’s about a half-mile deep.

Shell uses helicopters to transport crews out into the Gulf—it’s about an hour ride there. The company requires that all passengers on the helicopter have HUET certification. HUET stands for Helicopter Underwater Egress Training. Essentially the class teaches you what to do if there’s a problem and the aircraft has to “ditch” into the water. Sounds exciting, huh? More on that later.

photo credit: Shell

Looks interesting. No link to NPR, so stay tuned?

Asker cazalis Asks:
First. You ASK is spelled AKS. Might want to check it. Two, what did you think of Al Gore's article in Rolling Stone about the turning point for new hope (star wars pun?) on climate.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey cazalis,

Thanks for following me all this time. The article is here.

Everyone makes mistakes. I think Gore is trying to be helpful and hopeful. He’s trying to support and celebrate, I believe, recent policy changes to limit emissions from power plants, federal procurement, vehicle MPGs, etc. He also points to several disruptive changes to economies around the world, such as Germany’s aggressive investments in solar and renewables.

Several left-leaning commentators think Gore’s piece was equivalent to the word of God - dozens of high-profile blogs fell over themselves after they read his article (see blatherings at DailyKos, Grist, ecowatch).

From my point of view - which reflects the scientific consensus - Gore is spouting nonsense. The IPCC aggregates climate science from every perspective. Their recent report made it clear that even with maximum policy changes, the earth is on track for up to 4.8c degrees of warming. The policy changes mentioned by Gore do nothing to lower global emissions:

[T]he IPCC assesses a large number of scenarios from different experts. For its third report into greenhouse gas emissions, the IPCC assessed 1200 different pathways, created by different modelling teams around the world….

As a result of its own modelling and the different scenarios it assessed, the IPCC concludes that avoiding the two degrees rise means reducing global emissions by at least two fifths by 2050, and tripling or quadrupling the share of energy the world gets from low-carbon energy by the same date. It probably also means using new, untested technologies to reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere… Via

I think it’s dangerous to say there is “hope” to reduce emissions based on a few tweaks to the American economy. Every indicator (even conservative economists) shows that emissions are going to rise for decades.

Cheers,

Michael

Everyone knows the climate is changing throughout the world. As the climate changes so do mankind’s living conditions - and Germany is no exception. Germany has based it’s adaptation plan on the recommendations of the UNFCCC’s IPCC 2007 report. It is implemented at the local, regional, and national levels. While it’s been slow to implement the programs, Germany’s plan serves as a model for other western states. For example, some of the bigger engineering and urban planning projects are required to take an approach that considers climate impacts over 100 years. 

See German Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change(PDF)

Trying out EXO cricket flour granola bars. Tastes great - like dates and nuts. A bit malty, slightly grainy (but just a little). They’re not to sweet, and seem like normal, very healthy granola bars. The claims on the card seem misleading with respect to how much beef is actually consumed -and will continue to be consumed- in the world. They’re made in Brooklyn, NY and are quite expensive; I picked up 12 bars from EXO’s website for I think 32 bucks.

Why are we allowing this?

Interesting anti-LEGO campaign. Yes, anti-LEGO. Weelllll, actually, it’s a campaign to tell LEGO to end it’s relationship with Shell Oil. Check it out:

Children’s imaginations are an unspoilt wilderness. Help us stop Shell polluting them by telling LEGO to stop selling Shell-branded bricks and kits today. Sign our petition calling on LEGO to end its partnership with Shell to Save the Arctic at: http://www.legoblockshell.org/?ytv1

Site is overwhelmed right now, but keep refreshing.

Good read on how data and climate models impact traditional weather forecasting.

Huge dust storm off the coast of Africa creates a river of pollution in the atmosphere. The dust cloud can impact air quality and ecosystem health in the US and Latin America. Via NASA

A piece of Africa—actually lots of them—began to arrive in the Americas in June 2014. On June 23, a lengthy river of dust from western Africa began to push across the Atlantic Ocean on easterly winds. A week later, the influx of dust was affecting air quality as far away as the southeastern United States.

This composite image, made with data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP, shows dust heading west toward South America and the Gulf of Mexico on June 25, 2014. The dust flowed roughly parallel to a line of clouds in the intertropical convergence zone, an area near the equator where the trade winds come together and rain and clouds are common. In imagery captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the dust appeared to be streaming from Mauritania, Senegal, and Western Sahara, though some of it may have originated in countries farther to the east.

Saharan dust has a range of impacts on ecosystems downwind. Each year, dust events like the one pictured here deliver about 40 million tons of dust from the Sahara to the Amazon River Basin. The minerals in the dust replenish nutrients in rainforest soils, which are continually depleted by drenching, tropical rains. Research focused on peat soils in the Everglades show that African dust has been arriving regularly in South Florida for thousands of years as well.

In some instances, the impacts are harmful. Infusion of Saharan dust, for instance, can have a negative impact on air quality in the Americas. And scientists have linked African dust to outbreaks of certain types of toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and southern Florida.

Tree mulcher. Clears land to build homes, roads, utilities, etc.

nbcnightlynews:

Living on the edge: House built along Texas cliff in danger of falling into Lake Whitney 

Detailshttp://nbcnews.to/1kPnSCc

Urban planning in America.