According to the latest report
from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists are 95% certain that human activities have been responsible for most of the climate change observed on the planet since the 1950s. Apparently, we've already burned 54% of the 1 trillion tons of carbon that would need to be emitted into the atmosphere to increase the average global temperature by 2°C (3.6°F) -- a threshold set by climate negotiators in Copenhagen in 2009 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Unfortunately, even as we try to reduce carbon emissions now, some predict that we'll still surpass the 2°C limit by the end of the century. Will renewable energy be able to curb global warming while also satisfying our energy-hungry ways? Here are some energy-related links.
- Scientists are saying that nuclear power will be necessary to make a significant impact in reducing global warming. While those who oppose nuclear power argue that wind and solar energy can be scaled up to address our energy needs, top climate scientists believe that we need to work on developing safer nuclear power as well. [url]
- If you need another reason to ditch coal in favor of nuclear power, here's one: the coal ash emitted by a power plant is actually more radioactive than nuclear waste. The uranium and thorium naturally present in coal is concentrated in coal ash, such that it puts out 100 times more radiation into the surrounding environment than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. [url]
- Kyocera is launching a 70-megawatt solar power plant in Japan that will be able to power 22,000 homes. The plant's 290,000 solar panels are set offshore on Kagoshima Bay, occupying an area of about 314 acres.[url]
- A 2-megawatt wind turbine has been set up about 12 miles off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, as part of an effort to turn the quake-ravaged area into a clean energy hub. Two more 7-megawatt wind turbines will be added to the floating offshore installation, with the eventual plan to increase the wind energy capacity to 1,000 megawatts. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post