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May 16, 2006

Ardour Global Index of Alternative Energy Stocks Up 41% YTD - Yahoo! News (press release)

Ardour Global Index of Alternative Energy Stocks Up 41% YTD
Yahoo! News (press release) - May 15, 2006
NEW YORK, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ardour Global Index (Ticker: AGIGL) of 74 global alternative energy stocks posted a 41.77% gain on the year as of May 15. ...
Ardour Global Index of Alternative Energy Stocks Up 41% YTD PR Newswire (press release)
Ardour Global Index of Alternative Energy Stocks Up 41% YTD ... PR Web (press release)
all 4 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

Winners of $125,000 Ignite Clean Energy Competition Announced - RenewableEnergyAccess.com

Winners of $125,000 Ignite Clean Energy Competition Announced
RenewableEnergyAccess.com, NH - 11 hours ago
... The winning team, Stellaris, solves the high cost of solar energy systems by decreasing the solar module size by 40% while increasing the efficiency of its ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

India says to tackle poverty before global warming - Reuters AlertNet

CBC News
India says to tackle poverty before global warming
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 13 hours ago
BONN, Germany, May 16 (Reuters) - India said on Tuesday that rich nations must lead a fight against global warming, telling a 189-nation UN conference that ...
Global warming: Rich nations get pep-talk CNN-IBN
India says to tackle poverty before global warming Khaleej Times
Poverty first then global warming, says India Independent Online
Reuters AlertNet - all 100 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Global Warming Has Devastating Effect on Coral Reefs, Study Shows - National Geographic

Global Warming Has Devastating Effect on Coral Reefs, Study Shows
National Geographic, D.C. - 8 hours ago
... National Academy of Sciences, predicts that isolated reef ecosystems like that around the Seychelles will suffer the most from global warming-caused bleaching ...
Coral reefs suffer unrecoverable damage from global warming ... Xinhua
Global warming may have damaged coral reefs forever Pravda
Coral Reefs Damaged by Global Warming TechNewsWorld
Earthtimes.org - GameSHOUT - all 34 related

Posted by dymaxion at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)


... POWER OF COMMUNITY: HOW CUBA SURVIVED PEAK OIL By Megan Quinn Havana, Cuba -- At the Organiponico de Alamar, a neighborhood agriculture project, a workers' collective runs a large urban farm, a produce market and a restaurant. Hand tools and human labor replace oil-driven machinery. Worm cultivation and composting create productive soil. Drip ...
Fredericton Chapter of Council of Canadians | A Non-Profit, Public Interest Organization View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2006

Global Warming Weakens Trade Winds

Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer

Wed May 3, 2:00 PM ET

The trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are weakening as a result of global warming, according to a new study that indicates changes to the region's biology are possible.

Using a combination of real-world observations and computer modeling, researchers conclude that a vast loop of circulating wind over the Pacific Ocean, known as the Walker circulation, has weakened by about 3.5 percent since the mid-1800s. The trade winds are the portion of the Walker circulation that blow across the ocean surface.

The researchers predict another 10 percent decrease by the end of the 21st century.

The effect, attributed at least in part to human-induced climate change, could disrupt food chains and reduce the biological productivity of the Pacific Ocean, scientists said.

The study was led by Gabriel Vecchi of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and is detailed in the May 4 issue of the journal Nature.

Humans to blame

The researchers used records of sea-level atmospheric pressure readings from as far back as the mid-1800s to reconstruct the wind intensity of the Walker circulation over the past 150 years. A computer climate model replicated the effect seen in the historical record.

Some of the computer simulations included the effects of human greenhouse gas emissions; others included only natural factors known to affect climate such as volcanic eruptions and solar variations.

"We were able to ask 'What if humans hadn't done anything? Or what if volcanoes erupted? Or if the sun hadn't varied?'" Vecchi said. "Our only way to account for the observed changes is through the impact of human activity, and principally from greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning."

Earth's average temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century and many scientists believe greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions from human activities are to blame.

"This is evidence supporting global warming and also evidence of our ability to make reasonable predictions of at least the large scale changes that we should expect from global warming," Vecchi told LiveScience.

By extrapolating their data and combining it with results from other models, the researchers predict the Walker circulation could slow by an additional 10 percent by 2100.

Driving force

The trade winds blow from the east at an angle towards the equator and have been used by sailors for centuries seeking to sail west. Christopher Columbus relied on the Atlantic's trade winds to carry him to North America. The winds get their name from their reliability: To say that a "wind blows trade" is to say that it blows on track.

The overall Walker circulation is powered by warm, rising air in the west Pacific Ocean and sinking cool air in the eastern Pacific.

This looping conveyer belt of winds has far-reaching effects on climate around the globe. It steers ocean currents and nourishes marine life across the equatorial Pacific and off the coast of South America by driving the upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water from ocean depths to the surface.

The Walker circulation is also primarily responsible for transporting water vapor that evaporates from the ocean surface west, towards Indonesia; there, the moisture rises up into the atmosphere, condenses, and falls back to Earth as rain.

The effects of global warming

Several theories on the effects of global warming predict a weakening of the Walker circulation. Scientists think it works like this:

To remain energetically balanced, the rate at which the atmosphere absorbs water vapor must be balanced by the rate of rainfall. But as temperatures rise and more water evaporates from the ocean, water vapor in the lower atmosphere increases rapidly. Because of various physical processes, however, the rate of rainfall does not increase as fast.

Since the atmosphere is absorbing moisture faster than it can dump it, and because wind is the major transporter of moisture into the atmosphere, air circulation must slow down if the energy balance is to be maintained.

A drop in winds could reduce the strength of both surface and subsurface ocean currents and dampen cold water upwelling at the equator.

"This could have important effects on ocean ecosystems," Vecchi said. "The ocean currents driven by the trade winds supply vital nutrients to near-surface ocean ecosystems across the equatorial Pacific, which is a major fishing region."

Source: Yahoo! News via Space.com

Copyright © 2006 SPACE.com.

Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved

Posted by dymaxion at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Students prepare for Solar Decathlon - MIT News

Students prepare for Solar Decathlon
MIT News, MA - 10 hours ago
... to think in new ways about energy, to increase public awareness about renewable energy and energy efficiency and to help move solar energy technologies to the ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

Gorbachev Calls G8 to Invest in Solar Energy - MOSNEWS

Gorbachev Calls G8 to Invest in Solar Energy
MOSNEWS, Russia - May 1, 2006
The first and last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev , has called the leaders of the world’s largest industrialized nations (G8) to invest in solar energy. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Nine states sue George W. Bush

... Reuters reports: Nine states have sued the administration of President George W. Bush for lenient automotive fuel economy standards that they say worsen an energy crunch and contribute to air pollution and climate change. The lawsuit says that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has failed to meet federal laws requiring ...
Some people say View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

The Time Of Year That You Wish You Were In The Biz

ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips released their 2006 Q1 earnings last week:

Exxon is trying to make people feel better (.pdf) about this:
Earnings are also important for meeting the world's future energy needs. They enable us to continue making vital investments that benefit everyone in the long run. In fact, over the last 15 years our investments have exceeded our earnings.

In the last five years alone, we have invested $74 billion on six continents to search for new supplies, build new production facilities, expand refining capacity and deploy new, environmentally sound technologies.
The problem is, none of those investments are sustainable.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Electricity prices around the globe

Power Standards Lab presents a nice map with world-wide average 2005 electricity prices for industry (click image to enlarge):

PSL map - small

Posted by dymaxion at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

Harvard Magazine: Fueling Our Future

Source: Harvard Magazine

The new issue of Harvard Magazine has a cover article titled "Fueling Our Future". It's quite well written, covering the problems of expanded energy use with respect to carbon emissions. The article mostly outlines the ideas of Daniel Schrag (Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences) and sounds a lot like the way Al Gore talks about climate change:
...Schrag has found that one dimension of climate change, in particular, gets people’s attention: rising seas
The losses caused by Katrina, the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, pale by comparison to what might come. If just one-fourth of the land-based ice in Greenland and the western part of Antarctica were to melt, sea level would rise three and a half meters and all of South Florida, as far north as Lake Okeechobee, would be under water. “South Florida alone must be worth a few trillion dollars at least,” notes Schrag, whose opinion about spending billions to rebuild New Orleans in the same spot using dikes and levees (“a very dangerous strategy”) appeared recently in the New York Times. “I can’t tell you if it is going to happen in 500 years or 100 years. But a hundred years is possible,” he says. “Our understanding of glaciers is so bad, we don’t know how fast they are going to melt.” We do know that before 2050, atmospheric CO2 will cross the 500 ppm threshold, a level last seen during the Eocene, 55 million to 36 million years ago. There were palm trees in Wyoming and crocodiles in the Arctic then. Antarctica was a coniferous forest. Because there were no continental ice sheets, sea level was 100 meters (328 feet) higher than it is today.
The article (and Schrag), comes up short on what (at least I think) really matters: energy efficiency and conservation. The conclusion is that our energy problems and our carbon emissions can be solved using coal power with CO2-sequestration.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

Climate Change Scientists Clear Up Some Confusion

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published a report that clears up some discrepancies between climate change models and real life data. These discrepancies had previously been used to challenge climate change models and the reality of man-made climate change. From the summary of the report:
Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies.
For recent decades, all current atmospheric data sets now show global-average warming that is similar to the surface warming. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved. Nevertheless, the most recent observational and model evidence has increased confidence in our understanding of observed climatic changes and their causes.
These are the natural forcing factors for climate change:

Source: NOAA

Posted by dymaxion at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

Microreactor Produces Biodiesel

Professor Jovanovic, at Oregon State University, is developing a tiny reactor the size of a credit card that can convert vegetable oil into biodiesel. The reactor has tiny parallel channels, each smaller than a human hair, through which vegetable oil and alcohol are pumped simultaneously. Such microreactors can produce biodiesel between 10 and 100 times faster than traditional methods. If we're successful with this, nobody will ever make biodiesel any other way, Jovanovic said. Essentially, the reactors, which can range in size from less than a square inch to several square inches, use tiny, parallel channels no larger in diameter than a human hair, to bring the alcohol and vegetable oil into contact with each other in the presence of a sodium hydroxide catalyst, producing biodiesel and glycerin. One of the hurdles that must be overcome before the reactors could be successfully implemented would be developing an economical microfiltration system that could yield oil pure enough to be pumped through...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

$1.6 Billion Solar Farm Proposed for New Mexico

According to a story by Reuters a US$1.6 billion 300 MW solar PV farm is being planned for New Mexico. The facility would require 3,200 acres and take five years to build. The plan calls for $650,000 for a factory to build the panels and the solar farm would cost $950,000 million. New Solar Ventures and another start-up company, Solar Torx, both based in Phoenix, will operate the joint venture. They have an aggreement to lease the first 640 acres and have a staff of six besides the lead developer Ed Balch of New Solar Ventures. That is about all the article had to say. That's $3.17/watt if you don't count the cost of the factory. The firms involved apparently do not have much, if any, experience in solar. No mention of what kind of or whose technology was mentioned....

Posted by dymaxion at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)