Facebook Twitter Gplus RSS
magnify
formats

Bigger sea creatures may feel the effects of higher CO2

 

Carbon dioxide emissions affect the oceans as well as the atmosphere.  Increasing the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans, combined with the warming of the water, will limit the amount of oxygen available at the surface and cause oxygen-poor areas in the deep water to expand.  This lack of oxygen will affect larger sea creatures, such as squid.  According to a new study, researchers found that under conditions of increased CO2, squid’s metabolic and activity rates slowed significantly.  In the future, without sufficient oxygen, the squid would change their hunting and migratory patterns, which could potentially disrupt marine food chains.

 

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Coral reef growth is slowest ever

A new report from scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science has found that coral growth in the Great Barrier Reef has declined to it’s slowest rate in the past 400 years.  Contributing to the decline of the growth rate of coral are global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater.  The destruction of  coral threatens many marine organisms, as the reefs are central and key components of the ecosystems and food webs.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says

The globe’s ice is melting faster and faster. About 2 trillion tons of ice have melted in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska since 2003. That’s enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay 21 times. Find a map of the mid-Atlantic states to see just how much ice that is. The melting ice from Greenland alone causes sea levels to rise by .5 mm each year. As gaciers melt, they reflect less sunlight and absorb more heat, melting more ice more rapidly and warming Arctic waters and the atmosphere.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Do I have to throw out my Christmas lights?

Here’s another discussion of how to shrink your energy footprint.  It’s not always easy to know what to do.  This article from Slate.com considers whether to buy new Christmas lights or Hanukkah candles, or continue using the ones you’ve been using for years.  The recomendation for Hanukkah candles is simple:  replace paraffin candles with beeswax ones.  For Christmas lights, it’s a little more complicated.  Old-style incandescent bulbs use a LOT of electricity.  According to the Department of Energy, Christmas lights consume 6 terawatt-hours per year, as much electricity as is consumed by half a million homes in a year.  The newer LED bulbs uses MUCH less electricity (five watts vs. 36 per average strand).  LEDs also last longer, with an operating life of more than 20,000 hours, or 10 times longer than incandescents.  LEDs also pose less fire risk, and contain no mercury.  On the negative side, LEDs are usually more expensive to buy (although they’re cheaper to operate over the long term).  Poorly designed LEDs may be less bright than the older incandescents, so shop around for ones you like. 
 
Botom line?  If you have large incandescents, replace them now with LEDs.  If you have mini-incandescents, you could keep them until they burn out, but switching to miniature LEDs is the greenest choice.  And you can put up fewer strands, and keep them on for fewer hours.  You could, of course, wait until next year in the hope that brighter and more efficient alternatives may be available, but you’ll be foregoing the energy and cost savings you’ll gain during this year’s Christmas season.
 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Up on the roof, new jobs in solar power

Following up on the previous post, here is another article on green jobs, with a specific focus on the solar power industry.  These “solar” jobs are available, pay well, and continue to grow despite the economic recession.  Even more job opportunities in this area could emerge if President Elect Obama’s declared intent is realized.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments