Category: Earth/Climate science

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon Sequestration

04/01/19

How can we remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

Climate change is one of the most if not THE most dangerous event happening right now. And much of this is driven by the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While most efforts are currently concentrated on limiting further emissions, there are currently efforts underway to actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. Known as Carbon Sequestration, this can be accomplished through a variety of methods such as increasing plant biomass or having large-scale fans suck up great amounts of CO2. If things become very drastic, then we may have to significantly increase the scale of carbon sequestration.  

The Lithosphere

The Lithosphere

The Lithosphere

03/31/19

“What is the outermost layer of the planet?”

The Earth as we know it is not a continuous object but made up of a continuum of layers. The outermost layer known as the Lithosphere contains the crust and the upper mantle, which not only composes the hardest layer but also reacts chemically with the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere as a result of being at the edge.

Image credit KnowledgeHouse

How Building More Housing in California Would Drastically Reduce Climate Change

How Building More Housing in California Would Drastically Reduce Climate Change

How Building More Housing in California Would Drastically Reduce Climate Change

03/26/19

“How can we fight climate change by building more housing in California?”

Although my home state of California is a global leader in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Electric Vehicle Adoption, we are seriously lagging behind in critical area: housing development.

As a result of California’s neglection of residential construction combined with a booming economy over the past few decades, millions have been drawn to the Golden State without making more room for them. This has created a lack of supply with heavy demand, making housing costs skyrocket and pushing out residents further and further away from job centers. This has caused commute lengths to increase, releasing more pollution into the atmosphere and exacerbating climate change.

If California is truly committed to fighting climate change, then it needs to commit to building much more housing near transit and job centers. Upcoming Bill SB-50 holds much promise, which allows for construction of apartment buildings a half-mile from a railway station, quarter-mile of a high-frequency bus stop, or within “job-rich” neighborhoods.

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

03/22/19

“How can solar panels be apart of bee conservation?”

As a result of climate change and human activity, bees are dying at astonishing rates. Since these creatures are vital for pollination, their survival is crucial for the success of human civilization. But how can we accomplish this? Well, part of this will involve growing plants that are vital for pollinator life. Although this will involve a large amount of land, around and inside utility scale solar panels there is a considerable number of unused green space. This can be converted into pollinator habitats and become a safe space for bees. Not only would this help grow their population, but it would also re-mediate the environmental consequences of solar energy and help convince farmers to install renewable energy. This is How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation.

Image credit: Argonne National Labs

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

03/21/19

“What are the consequences on the environment for replacing agriculture with solar?”

With the advent of the ever-increasing business case for renewable energy, farms are starting to replace growing crops with generating solar. However, like every process there are potential environmental impacts that must be addressed. Primarily, soil that could be used for growing crops is being diverted to ground for panels. Second, shading from the solar panels could dampen productivity of agriculture. As a result it is best to place solar panels on farmland not reserved for crops. These are the Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Image credit scientificamerican.com

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

03/20/19

“Why are agricultural farms being turned into solar farms in the American Midwest?”

A crisis and a boom is running through the American Midwest right now. Crop prices have collapsed do much that in some areas farming yields $0/acre. But due to new renewable energy incentives being passed in Illinois and Minnesota and the fact that solar provides a fixed return, many farmers are installing solar panels over their cropland. As a result, Illinois and Minnesota re experiencing tremendous growth rates in their solar industries. This is Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest.

Image credit https://www.washingtonpost.com

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

03/19/19

“Why does Cyclone Idai in Mozambique show that cities need to build climate change resilience?”

The Mozambique city of Beira was recently hit by Cyclone Idai. Due to the intensity of the storm and the lack of resources, over 90% of the city was destroyed. The infrastructure was so damaged that metal roofs flew off of buildings. Since catastrophic climate events will rise in the future, cities will need to invest to change how to combat these problems. This is Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience.

Image credit: https://qz.com/africa/1576018/cyclone-idai-mozambique-death-toll-could-rise-to-over-1000/