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"Plans to generate electricity from the world's first series of tidal lagoons have been unveiled in the UK.
The six lagoons - four in Wales and one each in Somerset and Cumbria - will capture incoming and outgoing tides behind giant sea walls, and use the weight of the water to power turbines.
A £1bn Swansea scheme, said to be able to produce energy for 155,000 homes, is already in the planning system.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey says he wants to back the project.
The cost of generating power from the Swansea project will be very high, but the firm behind the plan says subsequent lagoons will be able to produce electricity much more cheaply.
It says the series of six lagoons could generate 8% of the UK's electricity for an investment of £30bn.
As well as Swansea, the proposed lagoon sites are Cardiff, Newport, and Colwyn Bay in Wales; Bridgwater in Somerset; and West Cumbria.
Each will require engineering on a grand scale. In Swansea, the sea wall to contain the new lagoon will stretch more than five miles and reach more than two miles out to sea.
The Cardiff lagoon could include up to 90 turbines set in a 14-mile (22km) breakwater around Cardiff Bay and could generate power for about 14 hours each day.
A planning application for the project is expected in 2017.
If approved, it could be generating power by 2022".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Plans to generate electricity from the world's first series of tidal lagoons are unveiled in the UK, with sites proposed in Wales, Somerset and Cumbria.
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"The sea-level rise scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not necessarily provide the right information for high-risk coastal decision-making and management, according to new research. A commentary warns that the IPCC scenarios are often inappropriate or incomplete for the management of high-risk coastal areas as they exclude the potential for extreme sea-level rises. This missing information is also crucial for a number of policy processes, such as discussions by G7 countries to establish climate insurance policies and allocations of adaptation funding by the Green Climate Funds".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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"If you follow Earth and climate science closely, you may have noticed that the media is abuzz every December and January with stories about how the past year ranked in terms of global temperatures. Was this the hottest year on record? In fact, it was. The Japanese Meteorological Agency released data on January 5, 2015, that showed 2014 was the warmest year on its record. NASA and NOAA made a similar announcement on January 16. The UK Met Office, which maintains the fourth major global temperature record, ranked 2014 as tied with 2010 for being the hottest year on record on January 26.
Astute readers then ask a deeper question: why do different institutions come up with slightly different numbers for the same planet? Although all four science institutions have strong similarities in how they track and analyze temperatures, there are subtle differences. As shown in the chart above, the NASA record tends to run slightly higher than the Japanese record, while the Met Office and NOAA records are usually in the middle.
There are good reasons for these differences, small as they are. Getting an accurate measurement of air temperature across the entire planet is not simple. Ideally, scientists would like to have thousands of standardized weather stations spaced evenly all around Earth’s surface. The trouble is that while there are plenty of weather stations on land, there are some pretty big gaps over the oceans, the polar regions, and even parts of Africa and South America.
The four research groups mentioned above deal with those gaps in slightly different ways. The Japanese group leaves areas without plenty of temperature stations out of their analysis, so its analysis covers about 85 percent of the globe. The Met Office makes similar choices, meaning its record covers about 86 percent of Earth’s surface. NOAA takes a different approach to the gaps, using nearby stations to interpolate temperatures in some areas that lack stations, giving the NOAA analysis 93 percent coverage of the globe. The group at NASA interpolates even more aggressively—areas with gaps are interpolated from the nearest station up to 1,200 kilometers away—and offers 99 percent coverage".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Four international science institutions say 2014 was the warmest year on record, even though there are subtle differences in their numbers.
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“We are still on pace to break the all-time record — no question about it,” says Jonathan Martin, a professor of meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Despite the brutal cold in the eastern U.S., the whole hemisphere is warmer this winter than it has ever been in history.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/02/25/even-as-the-eastern-u-s-freezes-theres-less-cold-air-in-winter-than-ever-before/
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"Using recently released Royal Navy submarine data, researchers have investigated the nature of turbulence in the ocean beneath the Arctic sea-ice. Recent decreases in Arctic sea ice may have a big impact on the circulation, chemistry and biology of the Arctic Ocean, due to ice-free waters becoming more turbulent. By revealing more about how these turbulent motions distribute energy within the ocean, the findings from this study provide information important for accurate predictions of the future of the Arctic Ocean".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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"A new species of algae has been discovered in reef corals of the Persian Gulf where it helps corals to survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius -- temperatures that would kill corals elsewhere".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
A new species of algae has been discovered in reef corals of the Persian Gulf where it helps corals to survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius -- temperatures that would kill corals elsewhere.
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"A study on how natural and human-made sources of nitrogen are recycled through the Lake Tahoe ecosystem provides new information on how global change may affect the iconic blue lake".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
A study on how natural and human-made sources of nitrogen are recycled through the Lake Tahoe ecosystem provides new information on how global change may affect the iconic blue lake.
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"Hungry, plant-eating insects may limit the ability of forests to take up elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing their capacity to slow human-driven climate change, a new study suggests".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Hungry, plant-eating insects may limit the ability of forests to take up elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing their capacity to slow human-driven climate change, a new study suggests.
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"A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 years found that only three populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations. The Ross Sea is likely to have been a shelter for emperor penguins for thousands of years during the last ice age, when much of the rest of Antarctica was uninhabitable due to the amount of ice. The findings suggest that while current climate conditions may be optimal for emperor penguins, conditions in the past were too extreme for large populations to survive".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 years found that only three populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations. The Ross Sea is likely to have been a shelter for emperor penguins for thousands of years during the last ice age, when much of the rest of Antarctica was uninhabitable due to the amount of ice. The...
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"It’s hard to think about climate change while most of the country is in a deep freeze – the Great Lakes are almost entirely frozen over and people on the East Coast are tunnelling out of their homes. But while this part of the planet is freezing, other parts are baking, which is why climate change requires a global perspective.
A snowball was thrown in the U.S. Senate this week by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a vocal climate change denier, in an attempt to show that the unseasonably cold weather outside is proof that humans are not making the planet warmer. What he was really showing is his ignorance about the difference between weather and climate.
The phrase “Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get,” invoked by climate scientists, means that the weather we see happening outside our windows is a short-term effect, while climate is a global average measured over a longer period of time. So to judge the planet by what’s happening in your own backyard is narrow thinking. ​While the central and eastern parts of the continent have suffered extreme cold for the last two winters, the thermometer here in Victoria hasn’t dropped below freezing at all, skiers along the West Coast are climbing to higher altitudes to find snow, many ski resorts have closed and my lawn needs cutting.
Australia is baking with record heat, California continues the longest drought in decades, Greenland continues to lose ice at an unprecedented rate and the Arctic Ocean shows more open water every summer".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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"Climate change threatens to wipe out certain species of orchids, but it Is proving beneficial to others, a new study has found
In the battle of the orchids it looks like the female of the species is gaining the upper hand.
Scientists have discovered that climate change is having an unexpected impact on Britain’s orchids, with 'lady orchids’ benefiting from increasingly warmer temperatures at the expense of 'man orchids’.
Botanists at Kew Gardens have discovered that certain species of orchid are spreading north out of their traditional heartlands in the south east, as they take advantage of warmer temperatures.
Similarly those species of orchids which have always thrived in colder or damper climes are likely to become a rarer site in the British Isles as global temperatures rise.
A study by Mike Fay, senior research leader at the Royal Botanic gardens, Kew, said: “Some orchids are winners and some are losers, and while the fortunes of some are what we would predict, others are not.”
Mr Fay and his team found that lizard orchids (Himantoglossum hircinum) and lady orchids (Orchis purpurea) are benefiting from drier summers and the rise in temperatures".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Climate change threatens to wipe out certain species of orchids, but it Is proving beneficial to others, a new study has found
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"The activity of the Sun is an important factor in the complex interaction that controls our climate. New research now shows that the impact of the Sun is not constant over time, but has greater significance when the Earth is cooler".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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Azimuth

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Since the 1980s, amphibian populations have been declining worldwide, with mass extinctions in some regions.  A disease called chytridomycosis is one of the problems: it's completely wiped out many species, while others are immune.  Now it's reached Madagascar.  Several hundred amphibian species live only on that island.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chytridiomycosis

(posted by +John Baez)
 
Frightening news for amphibians: chytrid fungus reaches Madagascar

"This is sad news for amphibian-lovers around the world," says Dr Dirk Schmeller of the UFZ, who was involved in analysing the samples. "Firstly, it means that an island that is home to a particularly high number of amphibian species is now at risk. Several hundred species live only on this island. And, secondly, if the pathogen has managed to reach such a secluded island, it can and will occur everywhere."
The chytrid fungus, which is fatal to amphibians, has been detected in Madagascar for the first time. This means that the chytridiomycosis pandemic has now reached a biodiversity hotspot. Researchers from UFZ Leipzig and TU Braunschweig, together with international colleagues, are therefore proposing an emergency plan. This includes monitoring the spread of the pathogenic fungus, building amphibian breeding stations and developing probiotic treat...
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In their circles
616 people
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2,246 people
Md.Mahmudul Hasan's profile photo
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Scientists and engineers helping save the planet.
Introduction
The Azimuth Project is an international collaboration to create a focal point for scientists and engineers interested in saving the planet. Our goal is to make clearly presented, accurate information on the relevant issues easy to find, and to help people work together on our common problems.  We need your help! 

The Azimuth Project includes a wiki, a blog, and a discussion forum

This Azimuth page here on Google+ lets you keep track of news related to energy, the environment and sustainability.  Posts on this page are written by Rasha Kamel, John Baez, Jim Stuttard, Frederik De Roo and David Tanzer.  The posts reflect the individual authors views and taste; we don't agree about everything!