Sonam Wangchuck is an engineer who came up with an innovative and simple way to provide water to his city of Ladakh, a cold climate desert at an elevation of 11,500 feet in the Southern Himalayas: creating a glacier of ice that melts in warmer drought seasons. . Mountain glacial runoff is Ladkh’s primary source of water, which meets the city’s demands in the winter. Yet in the warmer spring, with a lack of rainfall, the city falls into a drought. . Wangchuck creates a pipeline that draws the freshwater sources into the village during the winter, creating a confined sprinkler system that makes an ice glacier as shown in the photo above. When the spring comes, the water melts into the ground where the residents have planted seeds so they can introduce greenery into the area in order to create a “desert oasis capable of surviving all weather conditions” as cited in the article. . This is amazing!!! Engineers like Wangchuck are my idols. @goodnewsnetwork is the source of this article, and the article has a 3 minute interesting video explaining the above and how it works. I recommend taking a look. Link is in bio for the day!
Far better than fireworks!!! Such an environmentally conscious and innovative technology!! Love it #repost @interestingengineering ・・・ Intel’s light display drones capture world record at the Winter Olympics..
We all want to do right by the environment, but we still shop where we are used to shopping. Why? We don’t know what the alternatives are. I live in Abu Dhabi, and we definitely don’t have green alternative pop ups left and right like I’ve seen when I was living in certain areas of the states. Being sustainable takes a far larger effort, and lots of research. . That’s why articles like that by @forbes “11 Companies Considered Best for the Environment” makes our lives a whole lot easier. So if you guys have eco friendly alternatives that you recommend, always share them!! . In the article, Forbes lists 11 companies, some of which include: . @seventhgeneration and @methodhome both provide environmentally friendly household items such as laundry detergent, soaps, trash bags, and diapers . Go Lite and @patagonia are eco friendly products for the outdoor activists including sleeping bags, active wear, and packs . @westpawus makes eco friendly dog toys, mats, and beds . If you’re looking to add solar power for your residence, Sungevity, @positiveenergysolar and @namastesolar all make the list. . To see the full list, visit the Forbes Article. Link is in bio for today. I know most of these companies are overseas, so you guys in the UAE - what products do you use?
Being in nature, surrounded by greenery, the sounds of animals living freely amongst themselves, watching the organisms around me interact, brings me to complete peace. Every step deeper into nature I take is a step closer to ultimate bliss. It’s truly my happy place. I cannot imagine a world where we don’t have this getaway. I can’t imagine what would result of humans if they were never exposed to this peace. I hope our future generations never have to face it.
Remember my post about palm oil deforestation? Pictured here is the orangutan, whose species population is now less than half of what it was in 1995 due to our large demand for palm oil, which destroys their homes. Similarly, the vaquita dolphin, the Javan rhinoceros, the western lowland gorillas, and the Amur leopord are examples of other wildlife on the road to extinction because of our actions. I bet you read all those names and couldn’t really tell yourself what’s distinct about those animals - don’t worry, neither could I. That’s the problem. There’s so much wildlife out there that is 100% necessary for the survival of the planet that the average non-wildlife biologist has no idea that they exist. Yet we are killing them. If we lived closer and saw them, I am sure our actions would be radically different. . The article by @guardian states “the number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and pollute or destroy habitats, and worse probably lies ahead”. . Our current targets to create protected reserves and seas are no where near enough to halt extinction. “The current focus on protecting what humans are willing to spare for conservation is unscientific. Instead, conservation targets should be determined by what is necessary to protect nature. This point is stressed by Harvey Locke, who organization Nature Needs Half campaigns for the preservation of 50% of our planet for wildlife”. . Half our earth is definitely a large number - considering we can’t just isolate certain areas of the world but have to integrate it within each area where wildlife can be found. Other challenges include managing how wildlife in their conservation zones and humans can live safely with each other. However, I think this is something that needs to be explored, studied and materialized. We cannot keep treating this earth like it’s our own, and we can’t keep moving towards a life where we will
This morning I was introduced to #climoji !! Check out climoji.org or the App Store! I am still learning how to use it on platforms other than iMessage, but until then, friends you will be getting more messages from me than WhatsApps!! What a fun way to provoke discussion. I’m a fan. @nyuniversity
Before I took my current job, I knew basic information about the energy field. So whenever nuclear was mentioned to me, my response would be “nope, dangerous, let’s move on”. Then I met my current boss, who spent a large portion of his career working on nuclear. And he would always challenge me with “why do you always say no to nuclear” and would always give me a valid rebuttal to my arguments. For the past two years, he has told me “we have to have a portfolio of supply sources, which must include nuclear”. . The @ted talk called “How the fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment” by @shellenberger really explores that. I used to represent the general population’s ideas - I feared nuclear because of safety, radioactive waste, and nuclear weapons. Here’s what the talk had to say about those issues: . Safety - studies have shown that nuclear plants are the safest way to make energy. The @who found that people’s reactions and panic cause worse harm than what they actually fear - the plant itself. . Waste - radioactive waste with no where to store it. This was my biggest concern. Well, when you take the waste from all the nuclear plants in the US, it’s about 20 feet high. That’s a very small amount! And it’s just sitting there, undergoing extensive monitoring 24/7. In fact, uncontrolled waste from other forms of energy production is more of a threat that has led to a large number of associated deaths. . Weapons - nuclear power has been around, yet there hasn’t been an example of countries with nuclear weapons. Actually if we use the sources for power instead of weapons, there’s less source left around for weapon making. . So let’s not be be the barrier to nuclear power. The lack of its large-scale implementation worldwide has to do with this fear. Based on the facts, some of which I’ve listed above, I’m convinced that nuclear that’s built and controlled properly should be part of the portfolio of clean sources to meet
I personally never used to check whether products contained palm oil, but after seeing this image I certainly will be!! This level of deforestation is CERTAINLY NOT WORTH IT. I pledge to sacrifice my own selfish needs for the good of the planet. . Upon googling what products contain palm oil, the list includes shampoos, lipstick, ice cream, detergents, chocolate (😱), and soap to name a few. Come to think of it, I read the ingredients on many of the things I eat, and palm oil definitely rings a bell. . Will you take the pledge to make more conscious decisions where you can? The first step doesn’t mean eliminate, the first step is reduce. This will be difficult, but clearly as the image shows, is necessary. We also need to be the drive so that manufacturers can drive away from palm oil to more sustainable alternatives. . The @wwf article describing “What everyday products contain palm oil” is in bio for the day. Please read it so you know more about what everyday products you use that contain palm oil. They also describe “certified sustainable palm oil” and how to identify those products are so you can use them! Let’s make more conscious decisions - even finding just one eco friendly alternative out of the list can make an impact. Small impacts drive big actions.
“Well, lots of people recognize that as humans get older they tend to have less and less children...trees do it the other way around.” . “What happens is that the older some of these really big old trees get, the more seeds they produce and the more germinants they’re likely to have. So it’s actually the polar opposite of what we see with humans and most other animals, so really quite extraordinary.” . “It’s quite a distressing situation, because in many, many forests and woodland and other ecosystems around the world, populations of large old trees are declining very, very quickly. And this matters because a lot of biodiversity, a lot of carbon, a lot of key ecosystem processes are associated with those really big, old trees.” . “We can make sure we grow more forest, we can make sure we protect the big trees that we have now, and we can make sure that we don’t do things that really put a lot of pressure on those trees. Straight out, just cutting them down—we should not be cutting down really big, old trees anymore.” . The above is taken directly from the @scientific_american podcast transcript: “Old trees are ecosystem gold”. It was so concise and straight to the point, I had no reason to summarize it. Link to the transcript is in bio for today.
Yesterday, I met with a colleague of mine whose long career has been in marine quality in order to understand more of what it is she does. . One of the interesting things she shared with me is the concept of ship’s ballast water. When a ship sets sail without any cargo, it picks up seawater to increase its stability while moving in the ocean. Once it docks at its destination, it releases that sea water, called ballast water. . By releasing the ballast water, the ship is taking organisms from their home waters which may have completely different conditions (salinity, nutrients, temperature) than the new water. The alien species invade the new water, and if it contains pathogens and harmful organisms, it can infect the new water. It’s considered a threat to ecology. . There are regulations in place such as the installation of a ballast water treatment retrofit for the ship or exchanging the ballast water regularly while transporting. As always, there are complications with enforcing these regulations, which fall under “MARPOL”’s authority. . It’s so important to learn about all the broad fields that affect the environment. I like to think I know some stuff about all the different issues, but clearly there’s still so much I have to learn about. It’s so important to keep educating ourselves so we can continue to educate others.
This quote is by a philosopher encouraging peace of mind. I find it in line with conscious decision making as well. We can’t control what other people, regulators, non-environmentalists do. But we can control what we do. . I’ve been told, multiple times, something along the lines of “yes I could reduce my impact by this small action, but would it really offset the impacts of, for example, the weapons and destruction due to ongoing wars that the government is funding? Isn’t that worse?” . Absolutely, that is worse. But I always respond the same exact way “you can’t control what the government does, but you can control what you do. Why not do the right thing, even if it’s a small impact, while we wait for other bigger entities to do their right thing?” . After all, small actions can lead to bigger actions in the future. We are the drive.
Amazing from @unenvironment : We want you to break up for #valentinesday. It’s time to end your toxic relationship with single-use plastic. Head to the link in our bio to commit to #cleanseas and share a photo of your new ❤️ with #cleanseas tagging @unenvironment! . #repost @unenvironment
I cried when I first heard the story of whale beaching, that is, whales coming onshore as an act of suicide, as shown in this picture. . One of the reasons marine life commits beaching is noise pollution from ships. Marine life rely on noise for survival, and ship noise is especially harmful underwater because it travels a much farther distance than it does on land. . When marine life’s noise is disrupted, they cannot conduct basic functions such as search for food. . Furthermore, the noise pollution commonly leads to extensive ear damage, hemorrhages, and damage to internal organs. They cannot hear each others calls, or even make a cry for help. . The ocean is supposed to be a “silent world”. We are interfering causing destruction to underwater life. I now ask you, if you were subject to a constant loud noise to where you couldn’t hear yourself think, let alone communicate, how would you survive? . Image is from @atlasobscura. To read more about this phenomenon, visit marine insight “Effects of Noise Pollution on Marine Life”. Link is in bio for today.
Today, Feb 11, is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Swipe -> for some quotes I found online from some famous female scientists. . We are lucky that our doors are more wide open than ever for female advancement in science, engineering, and technology. Let’s stand together, let’s support each other, and most importantly, LETS CELEBRATE EACH OTHER!! We are 💪🏻 . @unwomen @unitednations
What’s the difference between nuclear fusion, described in the cited article, and nuclear fission, which is currently what is meant by nuclear power? . Nuclear fusion involves binding of atoms, nuclear fission involves the breaking down of atoms. As such, fission produces radioactive waste, while fusion does not. Another advantage of fusion is it produces more energy than fission. . So why is fission used? Fusion requires larger amounts of energy (lots of heat!) and scientists have been trying to figure out a way to make them work. Come the info in the @nbcnews article cited, which hopes that controlled nuclear fusion can be here by the 2030s! . This is exciting! Renewables are the future, but won’t be able to supply all of our energy needs! We need sources like nuclear for when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing. Nice to see we are making advances towards a less dangerous nuclear alternative. . To read more about the @nbcnews article cited, visit their webpage. Link is in bio for the day.
Greenland is currently losing 260 billion tons of ice per year, forecasted to contribute to 2 inches of sea level rise by the end of the century. A team of researchers studied where this meltwater was going. . What they found was that there was a discrepancy between the amount of meltwater in the oceans forecasted from their models, and what was actually making its way into the oceans. Yet, the same amount of ice was melting in the model and in reality. So where was the rest of the meltwater? . The scientists discovered a new phenomenon, meltwater retention in the ice sheet - that is, “some of the meltwater is retained in porous ice instead of flowing to the bottom of the ice and out to sea”. . This information implies that our current sea level projections are too high due to the entrapment of the meltwater. Furthermore, when the ice melts with the trapped meltwater, it could release more than is expected. . I love studies like this, because it truly shows you how complex science and the world is. We think we know and understand so much, until research proves us otherwise. It’s important to fund studies like this so we can really understand what our future will be. . To read more about this, visit the @nytimes. Link is in bio for the day.
Along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, you can find a species called green turtles. When green turtles lay eggs, the embryos develop as male or female depending on the temperature they incubate in the sand. . It’s common knowledge now that climate change has led to a warming of the sea temperature in the Great Barrier Reef - many studies have been published about coral reef bleaching in the area. But here is another implication of our impact to aquatic life. . In this area 20 years ago, only 86% of this population was female. Now, 99% of the population is female. That’s 1 male to 116 females! . Pretty poor odds for adequate reproductive rates, wouldn’t you say? . To read more about this, visit sciencenews.org. Link is in bio for the day.
“As we improve the human condition, we necessarily damage the environment” - via the @npr article dedicated to discussing whether we can meet future needs without severe environmental consequences. . A study was conducted to analyze whether a county met its citizens’ social needs (high life expectancy, education, income etc.) and what the environmental effects were for that country (emissions, pollution, destruction etc). . It was found countries doing well on the social side (e.g., Germany, Austria) do poorly on the environment side. Countries that do well on the environment side (e.g. the Philippines, Yemen) do poorly on the social side. Countries like the US and China do poorly on both sides. . As quoted in the article, “as you use more resources, you get less social bang for your buck”. . The solution? Redistributing wealth across all populations - i.e., high-income countries use less wealth and resources and allow poorer countries, who need more, to use more. . To read more, visit the @npr webpage. Link is in bio for the day.