<![CDATA[GEOLOGY WITH JEFF SIMPSON - GEONEWS]]>Sat, 16 Jan 2021 20:56:20 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A New Way of Picturing Rapid, Human-Caused Climate Change]]>Thu, 14 Jan 2021 04:01:27 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/a-new-way-of-picturing-rapid-human-caused-climate-change
We’ve learned the saw-toothed pattern of carbon dioxide levels over the past 1 million years. It has shot swiftly up during climbs to past warm intervals like the climate of today and ramped slowly down into the long ice ages in between. We can also see the sharp recent increase in carbon dioxide that humans have caused, mainly by burning fossil fuels for energy. The graph used to show this jump is arguably the most iconic figure in climate science.   To me, it’s long been the most powerful illustration of climate change’s danger. At a glance, it shows how huge a departure we’ve made from normal.  - Washington Post 

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<![CDATA[Kauai Utility, AES Pursue Nation's First Solar-Powered Pumped Hydro Project]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2021 20:28:40 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/kauai-utility-aes-pursue-nations-first-solar-powered-pumped-hydro-project
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and AES Corp. have executed and filed a power purchase agreement with Hawaii regulators to develop a solar-powered pumped hydro storage project the utility says will bring its total resource mix above 80% renewables.
The West Kauai Energy Project could come online in 2024. A solar array will be capable of sending 35 MW directly to the island's grid and an associated battery will store up to 240 MWh for dispatch during evening peak. The hydro resources are expected to produce 24 MW on average daily, including 12 hours of storage to be used overnight.    The project will meet about 25% of the island's electricity needs and puts it on track to exceed the utility's target of reaching 70% renewable generation by 2030. - Utility Dive
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<![CDATA[Climate Crisis: 2020 Was Joint Hottest Year Ever Recorded]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2021 03:03:37 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/climate-crisis-2020-was-joint-hottest-year-ever-recorded
The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming heat and record wildfires in the Arctic, and a record 29 tropical storms in the Atlantic. Despite a 7% fall in fossil fuel burning due to coronavirus lockdowns, heat-trapping carbon dioxide continued to build up in the atmosphere, also setting a new record. The average surface temperature across the planet in 2020 was 1.25C higher than in the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900, dangerously close to the 1.5C target set by the world’s nations to avoid the worst impacts. - Guardian
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<![CDATA[Better Disposable Coffee Cups]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2021 00:48:29 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/better-disposable-coffee-cups
Sugar cane contains around 10% sugar and around 90% non-sugar, the material known as bagasse which remains once the cane has been pulverised and the sugar-bearing juice squeezed out of it. World production of cane sugar was 185m tonnes in 2017. That results in a lot of bagasse which at the moment is often burned. Often, it fuels local generators that power the mills, so it is not wasted, but Zhu Hongli, a mechanical engineer at Northeastern University in Boston, thinks it can be put to better use. As she and her colleagues describe, with a bit of tweaking bagasse makes an excellent—and biodegradable—replacement for the plastic used for disposable food containers such as coffee cups. - Forbes and Northeastern University
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<![CDATA[Net Zero America]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2021 18:49:34 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/new-zero-america-paper
​With a massive, nationwide effort the United States could reach net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 using existing technology and at costs aligned with historical spending on energy, according to a study led by Princeton University researchers.  The new “Net-Zero America” research outlines five distinct technological pathways for the United States to decarbonize its entire economy. The research is the first study to quantify and map with this degree of specificity, the infrastructure that needs to be built and the investment required to run the country without emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than are removed from it each year. It’s also the first to pinpoint how jobs and health will be affected in each state at a highly granular level, sometimes down to the county. - Princeton University
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<![CDATA[Playing the ‘Green Lottery’: Life Inside Colombia’s Emerald Mines]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2021 05:13:51 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/playing-the-green-lottery-life-inside-colombias-emerald-mines
It’s no secret that the miners in this region work in difficult and often dangerous conditions — some in sanctioned and regulated areas, some illicitly. They labor under the threat of collapsing mines, falling rocks and temperatures in excess of 110 degrees.  Despite the risks, many of the miners speak to me about their work with pride, as if buoyed by a sense of tradition. - NYTimes
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<![CDATA[A Recycling Plan to Clear Wind Turbine Blades From Graveyards]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2021 04:37:31 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/a-recycling-plan-to-clear-wind-turbine-blades-from-graveyards
It’s difficult to recycle a gigantic wind turbine. The blades are built to withstand extreme weather, from scorching desert heat to hurricane-like winds, and that means their life almost always ends in a landfill. In Europe alone, about 3,800 blades will be removed every year through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF, as the oldest turbines reach retirement age.  Now a Danish startup has found a way to crush these blades, turning an ultra-resistant mix of fiberglass and industrial glue into barriers designed to block noise from highways and factories. Copenhagen-based Miljoskarm can grind the blades into small pieces of 1 to 2 centimeters with the same type of machines used in auto junkyards. The material is then placed in recycled plastic cases that block noise at least at the same level as barriers made from aluminum and mineral wool, with less maintenance required. - Bloomberg Green
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<![CDATA[Big Oil Evaded Regulation and Plastic Pellets Kept Spilling]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2021 03:53:25 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/big-oil-evaded-regulation-and-plastic-pellets-kept-spilling
Look on the side of a highway sometime and you might see them. Or along the railroad tracks, or a stream.  Maybe even between your toes at the beach. Tiny pearl-shaped pieces of plastic, known as pellets, are the building blocks for almost everything plastic, and they’re everywhere.  They’ve spilled out of petrochemical plants, rail cars, shipping containers and trucks. Large spills have soiled beaches in Louisiana and South Carolina. New research suggests more than 230,000 tons of pellets enter the ocean each year, contaminating the water and sickening birds, fish and other wildlife. The oil and plastic industry says it has programs in place to prevent any spills, but NPR and FRONTLINE found top officials have known about the problem for decades, even as they successfully fended off regulation that might have kept them in check. - NPR
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<![CDATA[The Long Decline of Arctic Sea Ice]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2021 01:45:36 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-long-decline-of-arctic-sea-ice
Forty years of satellite data show that 2020 was just the latest in a decades-long decline of Arctic sea ice. In a review of scientific literature, polar scientists Julienne Stroeve and Dirk Notz outlined some of these changes: In addition to shrinking ice cover, melting seasons are getting longer and sea ice is losing its longevity.  The longer melting seasons are the result of increasingly earlier starts to spring melting and ever-later starts to freeze-up in autumn. The map above shows trends in the onset of freeze-up from 1979 through 2019. Averaged across the entire Arctic Ocean, freeze-up is happening about a week later per decade. That equates to nearly one month later since the start of the satellite record in 1979. - Earth Observatory / NASA
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<![CDATA[The North Carolina Hog Industry's Answer to Pollution: $500m Pipeline Project]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2021 01:36:24 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-north-carolina-hog-industrys-answer-to-pollution-500m-pipeline-project
This is the same issue we address in the water modules in GLG101 and GLG110.  Corporations take the profits; the citizens pay for the cleanup.  Always investigate fully.  

Instead of implementing safer systems, activists say Smithfield Foods is seeking to profit from hog waste under the guise of ‘renewable energy’  - Guardian



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