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Showing posts from April, 2021

Land required to get to net-zero emissions mapped

Princeton University’s Net-Zero America project examines and analyses the infrastructure needed to get to net-zero carbon emissions nationally. Dave Merrill for Bloomberg featured the group’s calculations for land usage to create things like solar and wind farms, which, as you might think, will need millions of acres. The energy footprint is covering about 4 percent of the contiguous U.S. states. It is approximately the size of Iowa and Missouri combined.  According to the most land-intensive plan excludes all fossil fuels and nuclear plants, wind and solar would produce 98 percent of electric power by 2050. As a result, the U.S. energy footprint quadruples in size. Wind farms obtain land areas equal to Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Princeton's research predicts that 11 percent of electric power could come from offshore wind farms by 2050. Another 3 percent of generating capacity could come from rooftop solar. According to the U.S. National Renewable E

How our planet has changed over the past 36 years

 For the last decades, our planet is drastically changed. As a result of melting glaciers, deforestation, erosion, plowing, and the development of vast areas, some parts of the Earth are just unrecognizable. Below is an excellent compilation of Google satellite images that illustrate how much our planet has changed from 1984 to 2020. The Aral Sea, USSR - Kazakhstan Atsimo-Andrefana, Madagascar Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA Dubai, UAE Enright, Oregon, USA Las Vegas, USA Mato Grosso, Brazil Mylius-Erichsen Land, Greenland Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Pearl River Delta, China Shanghai, China Singapore Nuflo De Chavez, Bolivia

How Mexico City engulfed Lake Texcoco, from 16th Century to 2000

For centenaries, the Valley of Mexico was filled with a range of rainwater lakes. The Aztecs built their capital Tenochtitlan on an island in the midst of one of those lakes - Lake Texcoco . They built causeways and channels and floating gardens. The Aztec capital was like the Venice of Mesoamerica. When Spaniards looted Tenochtitlan, they reconstructed a modern city with a grid. However, this new metropolis would regularly flood, eventually leading to efforts to drain the former lakes of the basin. Little by little, the Tenochtitlan city drained the lakes and extended out over the dry lakebed. Mexico City still has significant flooding problems to this day, but it also faces a seemingly paradoxical situation: it's running out of water. All of the infrastructure proposed at draining the rainwater from the basin serves against attempts to preserve water for human needs. Nowadays, many districts in Mexico City don't have regular running water, and when the rainy period comes, th

The great ice meldown vizualized

Nearly 70% of the Earth's freshwater is locked up in glaciers and ice caps, ground ice, and permafrost. However, this ice is melting at an unprecedented rate. A new scientific survey based on satellite observations and numerical models reveals that 28 trillion tonnes of the Earth's ice have melted away in just 24 years. About 58% of this global ice loss happened in the Northern Hemisphere. Visualcapitalist made attractive infographics visualizing Earth's Global Ice Loss Between 1994-2017. The rate of ice loss has increased from 0.8 trillion tonnes to 1.2 trillion tonnes per year (risen 57% since the 1990s). Such volumes of melting ice are hard to imagine. For comparison, 1 billion tonnes of water is equivalent to 400 thousand Olympic swimming pools. It's then a bit simpler to perceive why, when multiplied tens of thousands of times, this much-melted ice has occurred in global sea levels, increasing by 34.6 millimeters on average. Ice Loss Change between 1994-2017 (tr

Drainage basins of the world’s longest rivers mapped

Most of our Earth’s surface is coated in water, but only less than one percent of it is freshwater. The total water volume in rivers is measured at 2,120 cu km (510 cu mi), or only 0.49 percent of the surface fresh water on the planet! But notwithstanding this fact, rivers have played and still play an essential role in civilization progress. Rivers are the result of numerous compounding water inflows gained within a drainage basin . A drainage basin is defined as the land area where precipitation collects and drains off, feeding rivers and their tributaries. The map below created by Reddit user CountZapolai shows how large the drainage basins can be for the world’s longest rivers. The longer a river system becomes, the more territory it passes through. As a result, long rivers have extensive drainage basins. The Amazon river has the most extensive basin system worldwide, covering one-third of the whole continent of South America. The 10 longest rivers of the Earth covering a land are

Human Emotions Visualized

Despite significant diversity in the culture around the globe, humanity's DNA is 99.9 percent alike. There are some characteristics more primary and typical to the human experience than our emotions. Of course, the large spectrum of emotions we can feel can be challenging to verbalize. That's where this splendid visualization by the Junto Institute comes in. This visualization is the newest in an ongoing attempt to categorize the full range of emotions logically. Our knowledge has come a long route since William James suggested 4 primary emotions: fear, grief, love, and rage. These kernel emotions yet form much of the basis for current frameworks. The Junto Institute's visualization above classifies 6 basic emotions: fear, anger, sadness, surprise, joy, love More nuanced descriptions begin from these 6 primary emotions, such as jealousy as a subset of anger and awe-struck as a subset of surprise. As a result, there are 102 second-and third-order emotions placed on this emo