Why Climate Change Is a Major Threat to Bridges
“Why are many bridges in danger of failing because of climate change?”
Bridges are vital pieces of critical infrastructure for any nation. Whether it be used for transporting goods or people, bridges are able to link disparate parts of an area together. Usually, these bridges are designed to operate in certain weather conditions. However, with the changing climate, so will these. According to research from Colorado State University, the additional heat stress in the future will cause numerous bridges to fail from failed expansion joints if no resilience action is taken. This will end up creating much stress on local communities and guaranteed economic loss. This is Why Climate Change Is a Major Threat to Bridges.
Why Urban Heat Resilience Needs to Be Equitable
“Why must equity take paramount importance when we design urban heat resilience?”
With the increase in average global temperatures and the densification of metropolitan centers, urban heat resilience will become a greater issue for the world. However, engineers and urban planners must keep in mind that the most vulnerable people in society, particularly seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities and medical conditions will be the most susceptible to extreme heat. Resilience techniques that do not take these elements of society into account or ignore their needs will actively hurt them. For example, if all of the resources go to greening the wealthy districts of a city, then none will be left for people of lower-income areas. Since it is the duty of resilience professionals to ensure the safety of those most affected by climate change, it is only understandable Why Urban Heat Resilience Needs to Be Equitable.
How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency
“How can natural gas be a detriment to resilience?”
In many conversations about the future of the electricity supply, natural gas is thought of as a great stabilizer. However, since it is also used for heating purposes, during cold winter months there may not be enough natural gas for both electricity and warmth, causing major problems. This is How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency.
“How can we have a safe form of carbon which can’t easily escape into the atmosphere?”
Carbon is one of the most fundamental elements in the world. Given its role in energy production and global warming, it is both the foundation and destroyer of our civilization. But can there be a cleaner form of carbon? Well, if we burn dead organic matter such as plants in a container with very little oxygen, then it will release very little fumes and turn into a stable form of carbon known as Biochar. The energy created in the burning process can be used to power mechanical processes.
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“How does your CPU keep cool?”
A computer’s CPU is the central communicator for all processes. However, it’s so process intensive that it ends up heating up very quickly. To solve this, engineers have devised intricate temperature cooling systems. They work by applying thermal paste to the CPU, which is then in contact with small pipes with coolant flowing through them. These pipes are u-shaped with the CPU located under the center. When the fluid comes in it absorbs the heat from the thermal paste and evaporates. This vapor then rises through the other end with plates attached to facilitate heat transfer and condensates to form fluid again. These CPU Coolers are responsible for keeping our computers smooth and operational.
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How Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change
“How is Heat Transfer Used to Model Climate Change?”
Heat Transfer is one of the foundational course for a Mechanical Engineer. But internal combustion engines and HVAC are not the only things that the theory can be applied to. Climate Scientists will use many of the same Heat Transfer equations when designing climate models. In this way, Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change.
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“How can we store energy using steam?”
With the advent of the new energy paradigm, energy storage will play a bigger and bigger factor. Although batteries are promising, they are not an all-encompassing technology and will need support from other systems.
One simple method for storing energy involves steam. What if we were to have a container half filled with cold water and connected to a boiler. Steam can be blown if from the boiler into the container, which condenses and warms the water. When the water is about ¾ of the height, it will be considered stable. A valve can then be opened to release energy by driving the steam through a turbine and boiling the water from the resulting pressure drop. This system is known as a Steam Accumulator and is being constructed in conjunction with many solar thermal plants.