TAG: Climate

Klaus Kemp’s Interpretation Of Diatoms

Klaus Kemp’s Interpretation Of Diatoms

Diatoms are single‐celled microalgae that have exterior shells. Their shells resemble intricate, polished glass, and they all have distinct and interesting presentations. They are located in all water environments and are thought to have emerged over 180 million years ago. The world of diatoms are largely mysterious, and reportedly contains over 200, 000 mostly unknown species. Though they live in a world unbeknownst to most, they have a large impact on the global climate and carbon dioxide levels. The significance of their ecosystems in marine and freshwater habitats is also essential. Diatoms are responsible for over 20% of the photosynthesis that occurs… read more

Passive Houses Offer Ecologically Exemplary Builds

Passive Houses Offer Ecologically Exemplary Builds

Passive homes can be seen throughout history in many different regions around the world. Building around the climate to make homes more efficient and comfortable indoors has been employed by common sense builders for centuries. However, the term passive houses was coined and researched for more widespread use in 1990 when the first home to include the name was initiated and built by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist. This type of structure utilizes passive energy and passive solar gains. Passive designs are intended to make the most use of shading and daytime sunlight. In addition to being well ventilated, they also employ… read more

Learn More About The World With Journey North

Learn More About The World With Journey North

Wading through educational websites to find the quality ones can be time consuming. Journey North is a terrific, nature and earth focused resource for teachers, homeschool families and children. From The Annenberg Foundation, it offers a global-wide study of the seasons and wildlife migration for students, grades kindergarten through high school, and is also open to the interested public. The goal is to gather and encourage proactive learning within the community of online citizen scientists. Learners can share actual field experience and observations with other students in different parts of the world. The network of classrooms all work together to track… read more

The Advantages Of Bioclimatic Architecture

The Advantages Of Bioclimatic Architecture

Bioclimatic architecture focuses on the individual’s relation to environmental conditions and the climate when considering a build. Thinking about how design and architectural elements can enhance a living space and property while allowing a home to be more connected to nature is the goal. Bioclimatic homes apply traditional building methods that have been employed for centuries because they are common sense and they work, instead of relying only on mechanical systems. Studying the geographic region, landscape and building site allow better decisions in making it more efficient. A bioclimatic home may also look at design in terms of biomimicry, or looking at… read more

When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

To some children, Legos are a first primer to serious architecture. Though in the fun guise of play, most of us don’t recall the strategy, composing and hours of constructing, erecting and regrouping to begin again, that was involved in a serious afternoon of Lego assembly. Science, who is no stranger to hours of constructive exploration, often strays from the ordinary to investigate and find answers, and when searching for a solution to fill a laboratory need one team did just that. Researchers at Iowa State University wanted to investigate what effects the environment has on plant development. In order to… read more

The Change in Farming Practices

Sustainable agriculture

For thousands of years, human civilizations have flourished without causing damage to the earth, co-existing alongside other species without disrupting fellow eco-systems. Despite their name, early hunter-gatherer tribes subsisted predominately on gathering. The exceptions to this were the tribes, like those in modern-day Alaska, who survived primarily by fishing. Though it is easy to picture these tribes collecting an abundance of fish, this was not the case. Not only did they limit their harvests, ensuring they took only what was needed, but they would have been encumbered by the weight of large harvests, preventing efficient travel. Because of this, resources… read more

The History Of Food Banks

The History Of Food Banks

The first food bank in the U.S., St. Mary’s, was established in 1967 in Arizona. The founder, John van Hengel, used to volunteer serving meals when he had the thought to do even more for his community. He heard one of the mothers at St. Vincent DePaul where he helped hand out meals say that she was only able to provide food for her children by searching through dumpsters at grocery stores and taking them to soup kitchens for free meals. This drove him to connect with others in the community to work out a system where those who had… read more

Architecture That Rises To The Occasion

Architecture That Rises To The Occasion

Addressing rising sea levels and how they effect coastal communities is a current concern in the field of architecture. As the environment changes, engineers and architects must also facilitate inventive ways to respond to structural needs. There is an increased interest in specific construction strategies, such as responsive designs. Some innovative building ideas come from a student project from Harvard University Graduate School of Design students in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The goal was to design a concept for a city that may exist in the future that would respond to increasing threats to coastal communities at risk of rising sea levels. The… read more

For Most States in US, Hybrids Better Choice than EV

climate friendly cars creenshot

Which is better for the environment, an electric car or a hybrid? The answer to that is a lot more complex than it may seem, but the simple answer is that it depends on the state where you live. A new report from Climate Central, A Roadmap to Climate Friendly Cars, states that: “An electric car is only as good for the climate as the electricity used to power it. And in states that rely heavily on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas for their electricity there are many conventional and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that are better for… read more

Solar Industry On The Rise

Solar On The Up

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released data late last year which showed 684 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity was installed in the quarter ending October 2012, 44 percent more than in the third quarter of 2011. During the first three quarters of the year, the solar industry added 1,992 megawatts of solar power, compared with 885 megawatts for all of 2011. This increase brings installed photovoltaic capacity to 5.9 gigawatts, which could power slightly under one million average American homes, according to SEIA. The surge in solar installations, and thus capacity, is attributed to not only lower costs of… read more