How forest fire scars create thunderstorms. This story and more headlines for September 25, 2021
September 25, 2021
Hurricane Ida leaves thousands without running water
It has been about two weeks since Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast, and although almost all power was restored to New Orleans, nearly 135,000 people in Louisiana were still without electricity to run refrigerators. and air conditioners in hot and humid climate.
Many municipal water supply systems were offline, creating a crisis that officials said could last for weeks. About a week ago, nearly 650,000 residents still had no running water. The storm, reinforced by climate change, had sustained winds of up to 150 mph which blew up power lines needed to pump groundwater and power treatment facilities. Roads, bridges and water pipes were also destroyed.
Grist reports that the current crisis is also the result of Louisiana having one of the worst water supply systems in the United States with antiquated pumping and sewer infrastructure. In addition, about a third of the state’s parishes depend on wells and aquifers, which are threatened by saltwater intrusion. Agriculture and the oil and gas industry have been shown to overpump groundwater. Even before Ida’s coup, the Biden administration estimated that Louisiana’s drinking water system would need $ 7 billion in funding.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that the Coast Guard has investigated hundreds of oil spills in the Gulf and oversaw clean-up and mitigation efforts at more than 560 pollution sites. Satellite images show oil floating in the water near the East Timbalier National Wildlife Refuge. A report released earlier this year showed that the federal government allowed the oil and gas industry to leave 97 percent of old pipelines, or about 18,000 miles, on the seabed since the 1960s. They may contain contaminants. if they are not properly cleaned and taken out of service. Louisiana wildlife officials say they have documented more than 100 oil-covered birds from a spill at a refinery near New Orleans.
Burning scars after forest fires can create thunderstorms
A year ago, a wildfire in Colorado left a large burn scar near Interstate 70, a vital east-west corridor through the Rocky Mountains. This summer, a year later, heavy torrential rains caused mudslides in the blackened area that destroyed portions of the highway, causing major delays and traffic closures.
The risk of flooding in burn areas is known, but it is not well known that these places can trigger and even intensify thunderstorms. Write in The conversation, William Cotton of Colorado State University, explains that there are three factors that lead to burn scars that fuel thunderstorms: lack of vegetation, reduced moisture in the soil, and greater heat absorption on the soil. due to the darker burnt surface.
The result is higher surface temperatures on the scarred areas compared to nearby unburned areas. The temperature difference between the two can cause warmer air to rise and cooler air to fall, a process called convection. Convection draws moist air from the areas surrounding the burn scars, creating clouds and thunderstorms that can lead to rain, flooding and lightning, causing more fires. The intensity of this storm-creating burn scarring effect diminishes over time, but the risk remains until vegetation regrows.
Scientists take a stinky problem and turn it into a clean solution
Scientists at Ohio State University say they’ve found a way to fix a stinky problem and turn it into a clean solution. Sewage gas, as the name suggests, is formed from decaying household and industrial waste. It contains hydrogen sulfide, which is highly toxic and flammable. And, if you’ve ever been exposed to hydrogen sulfide, you know it smells like rotten eggs.
A team of researchers were looking for ways to turn hydrogen sulfide into something less harmful and potentially valuable when they discovered a new chemical process to turn it into a clean hydrogen fuel. Their method uses relatively inexpensive materials – the chemical iron sulfide with a trace of molybdenum as an additive – and requires only a small amount of energy, the latter having been a major obstacle to the development of green fuels.
The study builds on previous work by the same research group using a process called chemical loopback, which involves adding metal oxide particles in high pressure reactors to burn fuels without direct contact between air and air. fuel. The team first used the chemical loopback of coal and shale gas to convert fossil fuels into electricity without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The initial process used iron oxide to break down fossil fuels. Researchers then applied the concept to hydrogen sulfide and invented the SULGEN process, which converts hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen.
While the team says it is still in the early stages of its experimentation and needs to be tested on an industrial scale, the idea of turning a poisonous gas into a fossil alternative is encouraging.
Breaking into the milk market is no small potato
Plant-based milks made from almonds, coconut, oats or soy are gaining popularity. People chose them for health reasons but also because cow’s milk has a considerable carbon footprint when you take into account the growth of their diet, the methane that animals burp, as well as the amount of water. and energy involved in processing dairy products.
So which plant-based alternative to dairy is best for the environment? The field became increasingly crowded with a newcomer, potato milk. A product called DUG was created by Professor Eva Tornberg from the Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition at Lund University in Sweden, claiming strong green credentials. They say DUG has a quarter of the carbon footprint of cow’s milk and uses half the acreage needed to produce oat milk. Additionally, they say potatoes require 56% less water to grow than almonds, the majority of which come from drought-stricken California.
Potatoes get a bad rap because they are often fried or crisped, but they are packed with antioxidants, have high concentrations of essential amino acids, and are high in vitamins.
Breaking into the already crowded herbal drink market isn’t a small potato, so in the end, what does it taste like? The Vegan Notice gave it high marks and other sites have rated it rather favorably. Currently it is only available in Sweden and the UK, but maybe soon, when you come to the counter to order your Pumpkin Spice Latte and No Mousse, you could add an apple to it. Earth.
The goal of H2O Radio is to help its audiences become invested and knowledgeable stewards of our environment and our water supply by cutting out noise, opinions and ideological narratives to present the facts and truth with a signal. clear and strong. Given the urgent climate change situation, there is little time to waste.