Tuesday, December 07, 2021

A liquid hydrogen-powered plane is being developed in an attempt to operate non-stop zero carbon transatlantic flights

This is a pipe dream. Weight is a huge issue with aircraft and hydrogen requires a massive pressure vessel to contain it. Even with new materials that would be very heavy and risk explosions

The midsize aircraft is being designed to carry 279 passengers at the same speed and comfort as today’s airliners.

It is hoped it could fly from London to San Francisco on the west coast of the US without stopping, or from London to New Zealand with one refuelling stop.

Our midsize concept sets out a truly revolutionary vision for the future of global air travel

The plane is being developed through the £15 million Government-funded FlyZero project led by the Aerospace Technology Institute, based in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

The initiative’s director Chris Gear said: “At a time of global focus on tackling climate change, our midsize concept sets out a truly revolutionary vision for the future of global air travel keeping families, businesses and nations connected without the carbon footprint.

“This new dawn for aviation brings with it real opportunities for the UK aerospace sector to secure market share, highly skilled jobs and inward investment, while helping to meet the UK’s commitments to fight climate change.”

Designs of the aircraft have been unveiled ahead of the fourth meeting of the Jet Zero Council, which is chaired by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and features ministers and aviation leaders working together with the aim of reducing the sector’s carbon emissions.

Mr Shapps said: “As we build back greener, it’s crucial that we place sustainability at the heart of the aviation industry’s recovery from Covid-19.

“This pioneering design for a liquid hydrogen-powered aircraft, led by a British organisation, brings us one step closer to a future where people can continue to travel and connect, but without the carbon footprint.

“I will continue to work closely with the Jet Zero Council to support the UK’s world-leading research in this sector, which will create green jobs, help us meet our ambitious net zero targets and lead the global transition to net zero aviation.”


The comic cries of climate apocalypse — 50 years of spurious scaremongering

By Bjorn Lomborg

The recent UN climate summit in Glasgow was predictably branded our “last chance” to tackle the “climate catastrophe” and “save humanity.” Like many others, US climate envoy John Kerry warned us that we have only nine years left to avert most of “catastrophic” global warming.

But almost every climate summit has been branded the last chance. Setting artificial deadlines to get attention is one of the most common environmental tactics. We have actually been told for the past half-century that time has just about run out.

This message is not only spectacularly wrong but leads to panic and poor policies.

Two years ago, Britain’s Prince Charles announced that we had just 18 months left to fix climate change. This wasn’t his first attempt at deadline-setting. Ten years earlier, he told an audience that he “had calculated that we have just 96 months left to save the world.”

In 2004, a major UK newspaper told us that without drastic action, climate change would destroy civilization by 2020. By that time, it foretold, major European cities would be sunk beneath rising seas, Britain would be plunged into a “Siberian” climate as the Gulf Stream shut down and mega-droughts and famines would lead to widespread rioting and nuclear war. Not quite what happened last year.

And these predictions have been failing for decades. In 1989, the head of the UN’s Environment Program declared we had just three years to “win — or lose — the climate struggle.” In 1982, the UN was predicting planetary “devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust” by the year 2000. Indeed, at the very first UN environment summit in Stockholm in 1972, almost 50 years ago, the organizer and later first UN Environment Program director warned that we had just 10 years to avoid catastrophe.

In 1972, the world was also rocked by the first global environmental scare, the so-called “Limits to Growth” report. The authors predicted with great confidence that most natural resources would run out within a few decades while pollution would overpower humanity. At the time, Time magazine described the future as a desolate world with few gaunt survivors tilling freeway center strips, hoping to raise a subsistence crop. Life magazine expected “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution” by the mid-1980s.

The scares were, of course, spectacularly misguided on both counts. They got it wrong because they overlooked the greatest resource of all, human ingenuity. We don’t just use up resources but innovate ever-smarter ways of making resources more available. At the same time, technology solves many of the most persistent pollution problems, as did the catalytic converter. This is why air pollution in rich countries has been declining for decades.

Nonetheless, after 50 years of stunningly incorrect predictions, climate campaigners, journalists and politicians still hawk an immediate apocalypse to great acclaim.

They do so by repeatedly ignoring adaptation. Headlines telling you that sea-level rise could drown 187 million people by the end of the century are foolishly ignorant. They imagine that hundreds of millions of people will remain stationary while the waters lap over their calves, hips, chests and eventually mouths. More seriously, they absurdly assume that no nation will build any sea defenses. In the real world, ever-wealthier nations will adapt and protect their citizens ever better, leading to less flooding, while surprisingly spending an ever-lower share of their GDP on flood and protection costs.

Likewise, when activists tell you that climate change will make children face twice as much fire, they rely on computer models that include temperature but ignore humans. Real societies adapt and reduce fire because fires are costly. That is why global fire statistics show less burned area, not more, over the past 120 years. Perhaps not too surprisingly, the activists’ models even get the past wrong, but when has that ever stopped the righteous?

These unsubstantiated scares have real-world consequences. An academic study of young people around the world found that most suffer from “eco-anxiety,” with two-thirds scared and sad, while almost half say their worries affect their daily lives. It is irresponsible to scare youths witless when in reality the UN Climate Panel finds that even if we do nothing to mitigate climate change, the impact by the end of the century will be a reduction of an average income increase from 450 percent to 438 percent — a problem but hardly the end of the world.

Moreover, panic is a terrible policy-adviser. Activist politicians in the rich world are tinkering around the edges of addressing climate change, showering subsidies over expensive vanity projects such as electric cars, solar and wind, while the UN finds that it can’t identify an actual impact on emissions from the last decade of climate promulgations. Despite their grandiose statements of saving the world, 78 percent of rich countries’ energy still comes from fossil fuels. And as the Glasgow climate summit showed (for the 26th time), developing nations — whose emissions over the rest of this century matter most — cannot afford to similarly spend trillions on ineffective climate policies as they help their populations escape poverty.

Fifty years of panic clearly haven’t brought us anywhere near solving climate change. We need a smarter approach: one that stops scaring everyone and focuses on realistic solutions such as adaptation and innovation. Adaptation won’t make the entire cost of climate change vanish, but it will reduce it dramatically. And by funding the innovation needed to eventually make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels, we can allow everyone — including developing countries — to sustainably go green.


Ocean garbage GOOD for life

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a 'raft of life' for animals in the open ocean

Every year, at least 14 million tons of plastic garbage enter the world’s oceans and cause all kinds of problems for the wildlife that eat, suffocate on, or become entangled within it. There’s also another consequence of all this trash for marine habitats that’s been mostly overlooked until now, scientists reported this week.

Feather-like coastal animals called hydroids join an open-ocean crab and gooseneck barnacles on a piece of floating debris.© Smithsonian Institution Feather-like coastal animals called hydroids join an open-ocean crab and gooseneck barnacles on a piece of floating debris.

It turns out that coastal plants and animals are hitching a ride on the ever-growing deluge of plastic debris and traveling hundreds of miles from shore to create a new kind of ecosystem in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of moving plastic debris in the ocean.

Researchers identified a host of anemones and other species living within the rubbish, which allows the little creatures to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment. The coastal organisms may compete with local species and journey across the sea or be carried to the shore to invade new coastlines, the team wrote on December 2 in Nature Communications.

“There are so many questions at this point about what the ecological impacts are,” says Linsey E. Haram, a research associate at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and coauthor of the study. “If this is a common phenomenon across oceans, then we’re looking at an avenue for invasive species transport that’s really difficult to manage.”

Researchers have long understood that marine detritus such as floating logs and seaweed can ferry coastal organisms to islands and distant shores. But these rafts were generally rare and short-lived before the advent of durable, buoyant plastics. It was thought that coastal plants and animals would struggle to survive in the harsh conditions of the open ocean, where there’s often little food and shelter.

However, the glut of plastic that’s accumulated in the ocean since the mid 20th century has given enterprising critters new and more enduring opportunities to colonize the high seas, Haram and her team wrote. The massive East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 offered a striking example of how this can happen. Hundreds of coastal Japanese marine species rode the debris released by the destruction over 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) to North America’s west coast and the Hawaiian Islands.

“We're still finding examples of tsunami debris landing even in 2020 and 2021,” Haram says. “It really opened our eyes to the fact that plastics in particular can be really long-lived as floating debris, which opens up opportunities for some of these rafting species to be out in the open ocean for extended periods of time.”

Much of the waste washed out to sea by the tsunami ended up in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The gyre, which lies between Hawaii and California, is formed by rotating ocean currents and has, over the past 50 plus years, become a reservoir for plastic litter of all sizes.

Haram and her colleagues wanted to find out whether any coastal marine life from the tsunami was still clinging to this trash. They worked with the Ocean Voyages Institute, a nonprofit that cleans up plastic pollution, and volunteers to collect debris larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches). The researchers then combed through samples of the garbage—which included buoys, derelict fishing gear, and household items such as hangers and toothbrushes—for signs of life.

They found coastal species attached to well over half of the plastic pieces they examined, and many were species that typically thrive in eastern Asia. Among them were anemones, brittle stars, barnacles, shrimp-like crustaceans called isopods, seaweeds, and even coastal fish that were “corralling around or on these floating plastics,” Haram says. “It really creates a little raft of life.”

Alongside the coastal creatures were organisms that have evolved to settle on marine floating debris or animals. These open ocean dwellers included gooseneck barnacles, crabs, and filter-feeding animals called bryozoans. Intriguingly, Haram says, these native rafters were actually less diverse than the array of coastal species her team identified.

The findings suggest that the blend of lifeforms thriving on plastic rafts in the middle of the ocean are a community in their own right, says Henry S. Carson, a marine ecologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife who wasn’t involved with the research.

“You’ve got this mix of species that are evolved to be [in the] open ocean and evolved to be coastal, and now they’re mixing on this new kind of habitat,” he says. “I couldn’t predict what will happen, but it's fascinating.”

The two groups do seem to be competing for space, but beyond that it’s not clear yet how the coastal species interact with their neighbors or what they’re eating, Haram says. She and her colleagues are also investigating whether the new arrivals can actually reproduce and sustain their populations in the open ocean.

“To figure out how much of this community is persisting on its own and how much is being constantly imported from the coast…would be a natural and very interesting place to go,” Carson says.

Another key question is whether these communities form in other oceans. It’s also important to investigate the extent to which plastic rafts carry invasive species to new habitats, points out Carson, who has previously identified organisms that cause disease in corals on plastic debris from the Pacific Ocean.

It’s likely that these rafting communities will only become more prevalent in the future as the amount of plastic dumped into the sea continues to grow, and flooding and destruction along coastlines worsens due to increased storminess driven by climate change, Haram and her colleagues concluded.

“We’re looking at more opportunities for inoculation of plastics into our oceans, and what that will mean for open ocean communities time will tell,” Haram says. “But we can expect to see more and more plastic ending up in the middle of the ocean and if our research is any indication that may mean more coastal species as well.”


Tesla To Pay $14,000 To Owners In Norway For Charging, Range Drop

The automaker admitted to lowering charging speed and range in the 85 kWh Model S in order to protect the battery.

Tesla has been ordered by a Norwegian local court to pay the equivalent of $14,000 to owners of older Model S sedans equipped with the 85 kWh battery pack. This decision came after a retrial prompted by the fact that Tesla claimed it was unaware of the problem, but now even after the retrial, it has still been ordered to compensate owners of affected cars.

This didn’t just happen in Norway, since it affects cars with the 85 kWh battery sold all around the world. The problem was observed after 2019.16.1 and 2019.16.2 updates were installed; immediately after, owners noted a sharp decrease in their vehicle’s range, as well as lower charging speeds when using a Supercharger.

Some owners even noted that their range had dropped by over 10 percent (between 20 and 50 km / 12 to 30 miles) soon after the update was installed. Regarding the issue, Tesla admitted to limiting battery voltage and told Norwegian media that its goal with the problematic updates was to protect the battery and increase its longevity and it added that only a small number of vehicles had seen large range or charging speed reductions.

Tesla has since released another update that brings back the range in affected vehicles, but owners are still reporting lower-than-normal charging speeds when hooked up to a Supercharger.

The manufacturer’s point of view on the matter was that while it did admit to making the changes that owners noticed, it did not consider they were entitled to any kind of compensation. It is worth noting that in the United States, the automaker reached an agreement with owners over the same issue, but it ended up paying them a lot less, $625 per affected vehicle. Dagens Næringsliv says Tesla is looking to appeal the decision at the district court level.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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