UPDATE: Heat waves and broken records. This report could have been written right now. However, it is was produced by our Bureau of Meteorology exactly one year ago! Take a look at this report produced for The Conversation in Jan 2013. Welcome to the new norm! Any one for cricket? Continue reading Deja vu: What’s causing Australia’s heat wave?
Flow batteries are rechargeable devices based on specific chemicals in liquids separated by a membrane. They hold the key to cheap energy storage, especially if their dependence on expensive metals such as platinum and vanadium is reduced. Enter organic compounds called quinones. Quinones are central to electron transport in photosynthesis (plastoquinone, phylloquinone), and aerobic respiration (ubiquinone). A discovery by Harvard biochemists suggests that quinones similar to those found in rhubarb may unlock the development of cheap flow batteries.
Continue reading “Science with a Smile:) Could Rhubarb Revolutionize Renewable Energy ?”
Big changes are beginning to stir in solar energy. Heavy hitters such as Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors and PayPal) continue to see opportunities to transform the world through business excellence. And those insights are catching on on Wall Street. SolarCity is not simply a way to sell solar systems, it is a way to sell the energy itself, making “SolarCity almost like a newfangled utility”. Diane Cardwell and Julie Creswelljan wrote more on this innovation and the appeal it is generating in the New York Times last week. Continue reading “Solar Power Craze on Wall St. Propels Start-Up”
The University of Queensland has opened a free on-line course (1-2 year University level – http://bit.ly/JEnRkV ) on Tropical Coastal Ecosystems and Global Change as part of the edX partnership with Harvard and MIT. This exciting course will introduce the major tropical coastal ecosystems (principally coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass meadows) and will explore the problems and solutions … Continue reading Want to know more about global change and coastal marine ecosystems?
Yet another record passes. Not only has Australia signalled the go-ahead for the world’s largest coal ports (Abbot Point), it will finish the year with 2013 being its hottest year ever. Peter Hannam from the SMH puts it all together for us!
Happy New Year!
Peter Hannam, SMH, ENVIRONMENT EDITOR
2013 will go down as the year that registered Australia’s hottest day, month, season, 12-month period – and, by December 31, the hottest calendar year. Weather geeks have watched records tumble. These tallies include obscure ones, such as the latest autumn day above 45C (Western Australia’s Onslow Airport at 45.6C on March 21), the hottest winter’s day nationally (29.92C , August 31), and even Wednesday this week, with the hottest-ever 9am reading (44.6C, at Eyre weather station near the WA-South Australian border). Continue reading “Another record year for Australia”