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The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Even the most enthusiastic believers in direct air capture stop short of describing it as a miracle technology. It’s more frequently described as an old idea — “scrubbers” that remove CO₂ have been used in submarines since at least the 1950s — that is being radically upgraded for a variety of new applications. It’s arguably the case, in fact, that when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions, direct air capture will be seen as an option that’s too expensive and too modest in impact. “The only way that direct air capture becomes meaningful is if we do all the other things we need to do promptly,” Hal Harvey, a California energy analyst who studies climate-friendly technologies and policies, told me recently. The future of carbon mitigation, however, is on a countdown timer, as atmospheric CO₂ concentrations have continued to rise. At the moment, global CO₂ emissions are about 37 billion metric tons per year, and we’re on track to raise temperatures by 3 degrees Celsius by 2100.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/magazine/climeworks-business-climate-change.html

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Google Just Gave 2 Billion Chrome Users A Reason To Switch To Firefox Berlin, Germany - February 26: In this photo illustration the app of Google Chrome is displayed on a smartphone on February 26, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images) Getty Google is planning to restrict modern ad blocking Chrome extensions to enterprise users only, according to 9to5Google. Behold Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus, New Peacock Spiders If you don't think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider. Scientists have identified these three new species of peacock spiders in various parts of eastern Australia. Less than a quarter-inch long (five millimeters), male peacock spiders are known for their bright colors and a rolling-shaking mating dance that would make Miley Cyrus jealous. These new spiders are spectacular. It’s a mind-blowing find. Damian Elias, Arachnologist, University of California, Berkeley

Non-survivable humid heatwaves for over 500 million people – Climate Guide Researchers at MIT warn that if climate change remains unchecked (Business As Usual-scenario = RCP 8.5) over half a billion people will, from 2070 onwards, experience humid heat waves that will kill even healthy people in the shade within 6 hours. The Wet Bulb Temperature (WBT) would exceed 35°C (95°F), at which the body – of any mammal – cannot cool itself, overheats and shuts down. Three regions were studied: China (2018), South Asia (2017) and the Persian Gulf (2015). The researchers predict (at RCP 8.5) WBT exceeding 35°C about once every decade for the Northern Plains in China (400+ million people), at locations in the Chota Nagpur plateau, northeastern India, and Bangladesh in South Asia (70+ million people).

Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, 1997 Nobel Prize winner in physics, and the new president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) Former Energy Sec. Steven Chu told a roomful of scientists in Chicago they should think now what they could do with renewable electricity that costs only 1.5¢ per kilowatt hour.

The Simplest Explanation Of Global Warming Ever Earth energy budget diagram, with incoming and outgoing radiation (values are shown in W/m^2). Satellite instruments (CERES) measure the reflected solar, and emitted infrared radiation fluxes. The energy balance determines Earth's climate. Let's play pretend for a moment. Pretend, if you can, that you've never heard about the idea of global warming before.

'I've paid a huge personal cost:' Google walkout organizer resigns over alleged retaliation A prominent internal organizer against Google’s handling of sexual harassment cases has resigned from the company, alleging she was the target of a campaign of retaliation designed to intimidate and dissuade other employees from speaking out about workplace issues. Claire Stapleton, a longtime marketing manager at Google and its subsidiary YouTube, said she decided to leave the company after 12 years when it became clear that her trajectory at the company was “effectively over”. “I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my job or find another one,” she wrote in an email to co-workers announcing her departure on 31 May. “If I stayed, I didn’t just worry that there’d be more public flogging, shunning, and stress, I expected it.” “The message that was sent [to others] was: ‘You’re going to compromise your career if you make the same choices that Claire made,” she told the Guardian by phone.

Photos of the Decade: 2010–19 The past 10 years have been eventful ones, beginning with Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, through the violent rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis in Europe, the U.S. presidential election of 2016, the first close-up images of Pluto, the #MeToo movement, an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and so much more. Warning: Some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content. The past 10 years have been eventful ones, beginning with Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, through the violent rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis in Europe, the U.S. presidential election of 2016, the first close-up images of Pluto, the #MeToo movement, an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and so much more.

People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more By guest blogger Tom Stafford We all know someone who is convinced their opinion is better than everyone else’s on a topic – perhaps, even, that it is the only correct opinion to have. Maybe, on some topics, you are that person. Europe Is Stockpiling Wind Energy by Converting It to Hydrogen Clean Chemistry Ørsted, an energy company in Denmark, announced in March its new plans to convert electricity from its wind turbines into hydrogen fuel, joining the ranks of several other prominent European power companies. While it’s expensive, stockpiling renewable electricity as hydrogen makes sense as Europe tries to reach its ambitious climate goals, according to Scientific American — it could be used for power on windless days instead of fossil fuels.

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