Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Friday 26 August 2011


If global warming continues as expected, it is estimated that almost a third of all flora and fauna species worldwide could become extinct. Scientists from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, BiK-F) and the SENCKENBERG Gesellschaft für Naturkunde discovered that the proportion of actual biodiversity loss should be revised upwards: by 2080, more than 80% of genetic diversity within species may disappear in certain groups of organisms. The study is the first world-wide to quantify the loss of biological diversity on the basis of genetic diversity.

Full story at ScienceDaily.

Saturday 20 August 2011


A key glacier in Greenland is melting faster than previously expected, according to findings by a team of academics that included Dr Edward Hanna from University of Sheffield's Deaprtment of Geography, Dr Sebastian Mernild from the Los Alamos Laboratory, USA, and Professor Niels Tvis Knudsen from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The team´s new findings present crucial insight into the effects of climate change.

The researchers found that Greenland's longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011.

Full story on ScienceDaily.

Saturday 13 August 2011


A research-team at INRS have now built on their pioneering achievement--the first high-performance iron-based catalyst for fuel-cells. They have developed a new and improved iron-based catalyst that generates even more electric power. Previously, only platinum-based catalysts could produce similar performance.

The team, led by Professor Jean-Pol Dodelet, bolsters the prospect of iron-based catalysts replacing platinum ones. Platinum is rare and very costly; iron is the second most abundant metal on earth and is inexpensive.

'Thanks to this breakthrough we are nearing the day when we will be able to drive electric-electric hybrid vehicles--i.e. battery and fuel-cell powered--which can potentially free us from our current dependence on oil to power our cars,' said Professor Dodelet.

Full story on ScienceDaily.

In the EStarCar the need for the so-called 'electric-electric hybrid' was recognised many years ago--right from the start. That is why it has multiple sources of power, centred on a power-train made up of a fuel-cell, a lithium-polymer battery array and an ultracapacitor array. It also has solar cells in the roof. Its sources of power, both primary (such as the fuel-cell), and secondary, such as the ultracapacitors and regenerative braking, at present total more than a dozen.

'Electric-electric hybrid'! What a silly term! Why not keep things simple and call it an electric car? Otherwise every time another source of power is added we will need to add another '-electric' to the string. Under that silly regime the EStarCar would have to be called 'an electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric-electric hybrid'. NO. It is an electric car. An advanced electric car, yes, but an electric car.

Tuesday 2 August 2011


An analysis of prehistoric 'Heinrich events' that happened many thousands of years ago, creating mass discharges of icebergs into the North Atlantic Ocean, make it clear that very small amounts of subsurface warming of water can trigger a rapid collapse of ice-shelves. The findings provide historical evidence that warming of water by 3-4 degrees was enough to trigger these huge, episodic discharges of ice from the Laurentide Ice Sheet in what is now Canada, and raise serious concerns about Antarctic ice sheets.

Full report on ScienceDaily.