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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hydroelectric Energy

• Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy

• Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and has a considerably different output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants (significant amounts of GHG are release during the construction when forests are flooded and gas such as methane emitted during the decay of organic matter)

• Worldwide, hydroelectricity supplied an estimated 715,000 MWe in 2005. This was approximately 19% of the world's electricity (up from 16% in 2003), and accounted for over 63% of electricity from renewable sources.

• Hydroelectric plants however have significant impacts on biodiversity and are therefore considered my many environmentalists not to be eco-friendly.

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Wind Energy

• Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into electricity, using wind turbines

• At the end of 2007, the worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 94.1 gigawatts. Although wind produces only about 1% of world-wide electricity use, it is growing rapidly, increasing more than fivefold globally between 2000 and 2007

• Large scale wind farms are typically connected to the local electric power transmission network, with smaller turbines being used to provide electricity to isolated locations

• Smaller turbines can be used to provide electricity to isolated locations www.photolibrary.

• Wind energy as a power source is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, as it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces lower greenhouse gas emissions

• New research is underway to capture altitude wind which is more constant and would provide a continuous unlimited supply of clean energy.

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Solar Energy : Thermal

Solar thermal energy (STE) is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat).

• Low temperature collectors are flat plates generally used to heat swimming pools.

• Medium-temperature collectors are also usually flat plates but are used for heating water for residential and commercial use.

• High temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for electric power production. This is different from solar photovoltaics, which convert solar energy directly into electricity. exposure)

• The principal behind high temperature collectors is to concentrate the heat in order to produce, which powers turbines and generates electricity.

• This process is quite efficient in countries which have large surface areas and appropriate weather conditions (sun exposure)

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Solar Energy: Photovoltaic

• Currently average Sunpower's cells have a conversion ratio of 23.4 %. However, advances past this efficiency mark are being innovated and efficiencies of 42% have been achieved

• New technologies of photovoltaic cells are expected to hit the market soon: Fine layer cells and dye cells which will make solar cells much easier to integrate into buildings

• New research are under way to capture solar energy directly from space and to transfer it down to earth via micro waves

• Concentrating solar energy into new generation high temperature resistant solar cells is also under way and already experimented in Australia. Such technology has great potential.

• Solar photovoltaic energy is one of the most promising renewable energy sources which may well end up powering cities of the future

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Geothermal Energy

• Geothermal energy is the process of using the heat from the Earth to produce steam and generate electricity in the process

• Geothermal resources range from shallow ground to hot water and rock several miles below the Earth's surface, and even further down to the extremely hot molten rock called magma. Wells over a mile deep can be drilled into underground reservoirs to tap steam and very hot water that can be brought to the surface for use in a variety of applications.

• At present, geothermal energy is only used in areas where it is easy to have access to the steam such as involcanic active places

• As of 2008, geothermal power supplies less than 1% of the world's energy

• However, new developments in drilling technologies will soon enable drilling deeper into the ground and access to such resources in almost any places around the world

• Geothermal has the potential to provide unlimited clean energy for generations to come

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

International Agreements: The Kyoto Protocol

• The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A key feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community forreducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions

• These amount to an average of 5 %t against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

• Countries have a certain degree of flexibility in how they make and measure their emissions reductions

• They pursue emissions cuts in a wide range of economic  sectors

• The Protocol advances the implementation of existing commitments by all countries

• The EU and its Member States ratified the Kyoto Protocol in late May 2002

•To date 175 countries in total have ratified the Kyoto protocol, the latest being Australia in 2007

• In 2008, the USA remains the last developed country that refuses to ratify the protocol

• The Protocol advances the implementation of existing commitments by all countries

• The EU and its Member States ratified the Kyoto Protocol in late May 2002

•To date 175 countries in total have ratified the Kyoto protocol, the latest being Australia in 2007

• In 2008, the USA remains the last developed country that refuses to ratify the protocol

Beyond Kyoto
• The Kyoto protocol is now in its active phase (2008 to 2012) in which countries who have ratified the protocol are actively undertaking measures to significantly reduce their carbon emissions

• However, governments must start planning beyond Kyoto and put into place long term plans which will progressively allow a transition from a Carbon based economy to a sustainable one

• One must understand that the Kyoto targets are mostly symbolic in having nations all over the world come together for the cause of fighting climate change. Climate change is a global matter which requires global collaboration. However, much stronger measures than those outlined by the Kyoto protocol are required to be effective. This is why nations must now start to seriously think at longer perspective and stronger measures.

• Climate talks took place in Poznan in December 2008 to discuss such post-Kyoto issues

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Global Dimming

• Since the Industrial Revolution, humans are adding tremendous amounts of particles into the atmosphere (e.g. traces left from jet planes, industrial dust, aerosols).

• These particles, which are not necessarily GHG in nature have a cooling effect by blanketing the lower atmosphere.

• The temperature that we are actually experiencing may therefore be cooled down due to the effect of this artificial temporary protective layer.

• Scientists are concerned that a suddent shift in the amount of dimming may result in a rapid increase in surface temperatures.

• Some argue that the dimming of the atmosphere is actually a good thing and therefore that we should not take actions to reduce the emissions of pollutants in the air. This is a  missconception that would have severe consequences as it would make the climate unstable and even more subject to extremely rapid changes.

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Land Use And Climate Change

• Before the industrial revolution, much of the earth’s surface was covered by forests

• However in order to feed a rapidly growing population and to satisfy demand for various industrial needs and housing, very significant land surface areas are completely modified by man

• Broadscale changes in land-use patterns, such as deforestation, can significantly alter the roughness and reflectivity of the surface to solar radiation, and hence the absorbed radiation, evaporation and evapotranspiration. In the process, changes in regional climate can occur8

• Large scale changes in land use also impact the global climate by enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, are diverse and very difficult to predict; for example by reducing the land's capacity to absorb carbon dioxide (e.g. through deforestation) and by increasing the carbon emission from the land (e.g. through increased biomass decay), both of which lead to greater concentrations of greenhouse gases

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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