09/14/17 The Air in the Central Valley on Friday September 8 was extremely bad, and the Sac Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District released an air alert to urge people to reduce car use. Although the valley dust from harvesting the almond crops doesn't help the situation, the factor contributing the most is the wild fires in Tulare and Fresno. The harvest does pollute the air because of the large equipment needed to sweep the crops, but engineers are continuously working to improve them. With all the smoke moving into the valley and the extreme temperatures mixed with the almond harvest, it's a bad breathing environment for the people living in the Central Valley of California.
Melting Ice Makes the Sea Around Greenland Less Saline
Part of the fresh water likely comes from melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet north of the Young Sound and is transported with the East Greenland ocean current along the eastern coast of Greenland. Now, unique annual measurements made by the 'Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring Program'' ksince 2003 in Northeast Greenland tell a clear tale. Fresh water from the ice sheet accumulates in the surface layers of the surrounding sea and flows into the Greenland fjords. Melting of the ice sheet in Northeast Greenland is significantly lower than in southern and western Greenland, and the researchers warn that the effects may be far more dramatic in other parts of the Greenland coastal waters than in Young Sound. For the first time, ocean data from Northeast Greenland reveals the long-term impact of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The observed increase in freshwater content will affect the conditions in all Greenland fjords and may ultimately affect the global ocean currents that keep Europe warm. Today, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark present a 13 year long time series of data in the journal Nature, Scientific Reports, which shows how the melting ice affects coastal waters in Northeast Greenland.
Washington State University researchers have determined that the Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth's largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long release of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet. The volume of gas emitted from the Wapshilla Ridge lavas, the researchers said, "It's equivalent to a Tambora eruption every day for 11 to 16 years." Wolff puts the eruption into one of three classes of cataclysms.. The researchers estimate that, over tens of thousands of years, the floods put out between 242 and 305 billion tons of sulfur dioxide. That eruption blanketed the Earth in an aerosol veil, creating the "Year Without A Summer" and food shortages across the northern hemisphere. This has been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions.
Possner and Caldeira's modeling tools compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to massive, open-ocean wind farms and found that in some areas ocean-based wind farms could generate at least three times more power than the ones on land. Because wind speeds are higher on average over ocean than over land, wind turbines in the open ocean could, in theory intercept more than five times as much energy as wind turbines over land. Other studies have estimated that there is a maximum rate of electricity generation for land-based wind farms, and have concluded that this maximum rate of energy extraction is limited by the rate at which energy is moved down from faster, higher up winds. "We found that giant ocean-based wind farms are able to tap into the energy of the winds throughout much of the atmosphere, whereas wind farms onshore remain constrained by the near-surface wind resources," Possner explained. While in the winter, North Atlantic wind farms could provide sufficient energy to meet all of civilization's current needs, in the summer such wind farms could generate enough power to cover the electricity demand of Europe, or possibly the United States alone.
Warming Seas Could Raise Hurricane-Related Financial Loss
If oceans warm at a rate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nation-sponsored group that assesses climate change research and issues periodic reports, expected financial losses caused by hurricanes could increase more than 70 percent by 2100, according to a study just published in the journal Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure. The results of the study, which focused on 13 coastal counties in South Carolina located within 50 miles of the coastline, including the most populous county, Charleston, are drawn from a model simulating hurricane size, intensity, track and landfall locations under two scenarios: if ocean temperatures remain unchanged from 2005 to 2100 and if they warm at a rate predicted by the IPCC\'s worst-case scenario. The worst-case ocean warming scenario the loss study is based on was not anticipated or included in the prior report, published in 2007. The researchers did not find that warming oceans will lead to more frequent hurricanes, only that warmer seas will lead to higher wind speeds and storms that are greater in size and therefore cover a larger area.
Air Pollution Cuts 3 Years off Lifespan in Northern China
The study exploits China's Huai River policy, which provided free coal to power boilers for winter heating to people living north of the river and provided almost no resources towards heating south of the river. "Unveiling this important information helps build the case for policies that ultimately serve to improve the lives of the Chinese people and the lives of those globally who suffer from high levels of air pollution," says study co-author Maigeng Zhou, deputy director of the National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that a Chinese policy is unintentionally causing people in northern China to live 3 years shorter. weekly or annually, failing to shed light on the effect of sustained exposure; examine settings with much lower pollution concentrations than those currently faced by billions of people in countries, including China and India, leaving questions about their applicability unanswered; measure effects on mortality rates but leave the full loss of life expectancy unanswered. The index allows users to better understand the impact of air pollution on their lives by calculating how much longer they would live if the pollution in the air they breathe were brought into compliance with national or WHO standards. The striking finding is that both studies produced remarkably similar results, increasing our confidence that we have uncovered the causal relationship between particulates air pollution and life expectancy.
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