The Consequences of the Destruction of the Amazon
“What are the ramifications of the loss of the Amazon?”
The Amazon is burning at an unprecedented rate. If the rain forest were to loose another fifth of its area, the world would be permanently scarred. Since the Amazon recycles its own water, if too much of it becomes deforested then the water will seep out, causing a dieback cycle which would turn the rain forest into a savanna. Not only will this be a death knell to its unparalleled biodiversity and indigenous communities, but it would also turn the area from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter, thereby accelerating climate change drastically. Global weather patterns would also be drastically altered and could lead to a drying of the agricultural U.S Midwest during growing season. These are The Consequences of the Destruction of the Amazon.
“How can forests suddenly die and emit carbon?”
Forests are one of the greatest carbon sinks available on this planet. However, with the changing climate, the conditions that led to their life are now changing. Induced heat stress and the spread of pathogens are causing entire forests to wither away and release stored carbon. This Forest Dieback can create a positive reinforcement cycle in which the more trees that die the worse the climate becomes, leading even more trees to die off. Two of the most extreme cases of this are in the Amazon rain forest and the Boreal forest, where large portions of the former is actually turning into a savanna.
Image credit upload.wikimedia.org
Why Fires are Growing at an Exponential Rate in the Brazilian Rain Forest?
“Why are there so many more fires in the Brazilian Amazon now and what are the consequences?”
One of the worst ecological disasters ever recorded is happening as we speak. Brazil has recorded an increase of wildfires by 80% compared to last year. Much of this increase is human-caused and concentrated in the Amazon, where the new government is trying to develop it for commercial purposes. This is incredibly dangerous, as the Amazon rain forest is one of the largest sinks for carbon dioxide but could become a carbon source if it becomes deforested and dries out. This is Why Fires are Growing at an Exponential Rate in the Brazilian Rain Forest.
If you would like to take action, please take a look at the organization Amazon Watch.
Image credit static01.nyt.com
5G Millimeter Waves
“What makes 5G 5G and what are the benefits and drawbacks?”
5G is poised to disrupt the world of mobile communications. This is being driven by its greater radio frequency spectrum. 4G devices can receive signals ranging from 3 kHz to 6 GHz, while 5G can go up to 300 GHz! Although these Millimeter Waves allow for more connections, they also lack the ability to penetrate hard surfaces such as trees and buildings. This makes it one of the biggest barriers to mass 5G deployment, and will need to be solved by further research and innovation.
“What exactly is 5G and why is it so important?”
A revolution in the mobile world is coming. As traditional 4G networks are nearing their limit, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, 5G, is just starting to spread. By using new millimeter wave technology, 5G networks have an order of magnitude faster connection, reaching speeds as high as a gigabyte a second! These fast speeds will catalyze the development of the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, and a host of other applications not yet thought up yet.
Image credit http://www.ft.com
Indoor Air Quality
“What exactly is indoor air quality?”
When air quality is talked about, usually the discussion is focused on the exterior environment. However, the air quality inside a building can fluctuate as well. The Indoor Air Quality, also known as IAQ, is contingent upon a multitude of factors, such as type of ventilation, exterior air quality, processes occurring inside the building, and building materials. IAQ can have drastic effects on its inhabitants.
My New Job
It’s been a wild Summer for me. After graduating summa cum laude from San José State University, I went straight away to work at Carnegie Mellon University. Once my research was completed, I flew out to Europe to see some of my best friends and family, and then presented my senior project at a conference in Minneapolis.
But none of this compares to what is about to come up. On Monday, August 26th, I will officially begin work as a research intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory! Situated 30 km (18 miles) west of Denver in the town of Golden, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) serves as the United States’ primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Under the guidance of lab engineers Rachel Romero and Otto Van Geet, my task will be to create resilience and energy efficiency guidelines for managers of scientific laboratories. What really excites me about this project is not only being able to build my skill set in resilience but being able to learn about how to analyze how lack of proper ventilation can be detrimental to an interior space. I hope to parlay this with my work on electricity failures to gain a better understanding of adaptation strategies to wildfires in Northern California, as some of the primary stresses in this area are aging electricity infrastructure, controlled blackouts, and trying to ensure ventilation makes the interior environment of buildings breathable.
For this opportunity, I would like to thank Rachel Romero and Otto Van Geet for accepting me as an intern, Professor Sohail Zaidi and Dustin Mulvaney for writing my letters of recommendation, and the entire SULI team at NREL for patiently answering my questions and making sure everything worked.
If any of you are in Colorado, feel free to hit me up!
Image credit /res-2.cloudinary.comImage credit