Climate change horror stories from around the world

While it is undeniable that we are ramping up our actions against climate change, it is hard to deny that global warming is getting scarier every week. Here is a quick selection of horror stories I have collected this summer.

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Greenland lost a trillion tonnes of ice

While it is undeniable that the fight against climate change is ramping up, slowly but surely, rising temperatures and environmental degradation are getting scarier each month. An example among others was how Greenland lost one trillion tons of ice in just three years.

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A great Japanese idea to park bikes

Giken Eco CycleWhile browsing my RSS feeds, I found on Inhabitat a great idea on how to park dozens of bikes without wasting space in streets. Only eight meters wide and eleven meters deep, a single Eco Cycle parking can store 204 bikes.

The Japanese company Giken has installed many of these in Tokyo and around Japan. Given how both biking and bike sharing are becoming more and more popular around the world, I am sure this product could sprout globally.

I just love how Japanese people and companies find creative ideas : with all the freed above ground space, city councils could plant thousands of trees instead.

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Great astrophotographies – June 2010

This is time for me to present my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). As always, this month was packed with beautiful images. It was difficult to select just ten. To the NASA, today’s picture :

The full fisheye frame shows everything above the horizon, including a lamp-illuminated landscape around the edges, and the zenith of the sky directly overhead. The image, however, may be more than beautiful.

I am absolutely still amazed at how many splendors can be seen at night. I just hope we may find a way to make our nights darker so more people can see them.

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A huge solar farm on the Moon ?

Even if Japan has a sensible energy policy with energy efficiency and low carbon solutions, some of its companies have original ideas. Indeed after space-based solar, some are studying installing panels on the moon.

The Shimizu Corporation is willing to put a 11,000 kilometers (6,800 miles) belt of solar panels to form the Luna Ring. All the energy would be transferred to Earth via microwaves or laser. This would thus require two transformations.

Of course, this project is not for tomorrow or the day after, it is more a vision for 2100 than anything else as the construction would require mining local resources and robots.

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Great astrophotographies – March 2010

This is time for me to present my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). As always, this month was packed with beautiful images. It was difficult to select just ten. To the NASA, today’s picture :

” An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars.”

I am absolutely still amazed at how many splendors can be seen at night. I just hope we may find a way to make our nights darker so more people can see them.

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Great astrophotographies – September 2009

supernova-remnant-E0102-72This is time for me to present my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). As always, this month was packed with beautiful images. It was a bit difficult to select just ten.

Today’s featured image is the supernova remnant E0102-72 captured in X rays. To the NASA : “Identified as E0102-72, the supernova remnant lies about 190,000 light-years away in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud.”

This is the occasion to focus a bit on how we can see our Universe in other means than the ordinary means. The Andromeda Galaxy is indeed interesting seen in ultraviolet.

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Japan to invest $21 billion in space-based solar

I like creative ideas and I love everything related to space. Needless to say I am also a strong supporter of solar energies. Yet, I find that investing 14,7 billion euros in space-based solar is preposterous. All this money will be invested to see if it is feasible to have one GW of power by … Read more

NASA brings more facts and figures on space junk

I wrote in February about how Mankind polluted space near our beautiful planet. I was then quoting the European Space Agency (ESA) which believed that there are 13,200 trackable objects larger than ten centimeters; Now comes the NASA estimates that there are no less than 19,000 objects larger than ten centimeters in outer space, and … Read more

Space debris are a danger for satellites

space-junk-largeMankind polluted Earth’s oceans and atmosphere in an impressive way. According to the European Space Agency (ESA) it also polluted space in such a way that it represents a danger for satellites for the next 10,000 years !

To their website: “Since 1957, more than 4,800 space launches have led to an on-orbit population today of approximately 13,200 trackable objects, with sizes larger than 10 cm.”

Additionally, any object bigger than a centimeter represents an important danger for satellites because of their speed. There are up to 600,000 of them in terrestrial space.

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Japan launches satellite to track GHG emissions

satellite-japanThe Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the world’s first satellite dedicated to tracking global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. This will significantly increase our knowledge of their origin.

Dubbed Ibuki the new satellite will collect data in 56,000 locations around the world and most specifically in developing countries, where exact figures are lacking.

Tracking in a first time carbon dioxide emissions, it could also provide more useful data and be used for methane, another important greenhouse gas.

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A video of aurora borealis seen from space

aurora-borealisOn December 24th, the famous Earthrise photo turned 40 years old. Andrew Revkin, New York Times’ journalist and blogger at Dot Earth published that day a most interesting note on this event.

Since I use this photo for this very blog I left a comment there. The day after I had the honor of a personal answer from Mr. Revkin himself. On his e-mail he presented me a video of an aurora Borealis seen from space.

This was the occasion for me to read out more on Dot Earth and to discover the videos published on YouTube by Mr. Revkin.

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