martes, 25 de octubre de 2011

Andasol: The largest thermo solar park of Europe operating now in Granada, Spain.

In a plain near the Sierra Nevada in Granada, Spain, a spectacular complex of parabolic mirrors has emerged in recent years, which track the sun from east to west, every day. For the focus of each group of mirrors, or collector, through a special glass tube, oil circulates whose temperature is increased from 300 to 400 degree temperature along the circuit due to concentrating sunlight on it, and then it gives up the heat to the water that, in the form of steam, drives a turbine. So solar energy is transformed into electricity, as in a conventional power station, using the sun as a source of clean and free energy and not coal, petroleum or gas, avoiding so greenhouse gases emissions.
Part of the energy collected during the day through the collectors is stored as heat in molten salts within huge deposits to continue generating electricity eight hours after sunset. When the days are not sunny the station can be operated by gas. They are more than 600,000 mirrors, between 2 and 2.8 meters wide, occupying a very large space, equivalent to about 210 football fields, to produce a relatively modest total power -150 MW-but it is enough to serve half a million inhabitants and that-a very important-save 450,000 tons of CO2 annually.
Andasol is already, having carried out this month the third phase, the largest thermo solar park in Europe; but is, above all, a remarkable feat of engineering on which to base future installations of this type in southern Europe and also in northern Africa and Middle East, where there are vast and empty deserts with sunlight and high temperatures.
The best available technology for the right place, with the highest viability and lowest possible cost and environmental impact. This is always the challenge to install solar energy.

Further information about Andasol in:

viernes, 21 de octubre de 2011

Deal with environmental hazards for emergencies of a crowded planet

Enfrentar un peligro ecológico por las emergencias de un planeta abarrotado

La Tierra está sufriendo del hombre que le pide más y más recursos para sobrevivir y satisfacer sus aspiraciones para el consumo. ¿Pueden los avances tecnológicos evitar un colapso total de nuestro planeta?
Según la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO), el crecimiento de la población requerirá un aumento en la producción agrícola de un 50% en 2030 y el 70% en 2050. Para la mayoría de los expertos, la Tierra tiene el potencial para alcanzar estos objetivos y alimentar a 9 mil millones de personas para el año 2050 que podría tener.
De seguir las actuales tendencias de producción y consumo mundiales, ello conduciría a un aumento de 590 millones de hectáreas de tierras cultivadas o utilizadas para la ganadería (un billón y medio de hectáreas se utilizan hoy en día), pérdida de biodiversidad, un aumento de los problemas ambientales y aceleración del cambio climático.
Todos estos fenómenos se pueden evitar con otro escenario alternativo. Pero eso requiere una convergencia global hacia un nuevo modo de consumo: la disponibilidad de alimentos entonces sería de 3.000 kilocalorías por día por persona (incluyendo 500 animales), una disminución del 25% en promedio para la población de países ricos de su dieta actual; y un aumento equivalente para todos los habitantes del África Subsahariana.
La necesidad de una transición a un nuevo modelo agrícola mundial es cada vez más sugerido, incluso dentro de las instituciones internacionales: "Tenemos que asegurar una transición suave de los sistemas alimentarios y agrícolas a sistemas más eficientes y menos contaminantes " , escriben expertos del Comité de la Plataforma de Seguridad Alimentaria de la ONU en un informe el lunes 17 de octubre.
Se pone gran énfasis en la necesidad de producir más para satisfacer la creciente demanda. Pero nos olvidamos del desperdicio de alimentos o del uso de biocombustibles que compiten con los cultivos de alimentos... "
De acuerdo con un estudio publicado en 2009, el 40% de los alimentos disponibles en los EE.UU. se desperdician cada año.

Más información en:

martes, 11 de octubre de 2011

Climate sceptics are lessening public concern about global warming

In a briefing at the Royal Society in London on October 10th, Dr Hansen, who heads NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and is widely thought of as "the father of global warming" – his dramatic alert about climate change in US Senate hearings in July 1988 put the issue on the world agenda, was frank about the success with public opinion of the climate sceptics ,whom he termed "the climate contrarians", in effectively lessening public concern about global warming.
I think that the actual economic crisis is helping the sceptics in their battle.In spite that the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions have increased 45% since Kyoto protocol in 1990 and the extreme climatic phenomenos that we have seen in this period.The target agreed upon was an average reduction of 5.2% from 1990 levels by the year 2012.Unfortunately,for economic reasons,carbon is everyday widely more used increasing GHG emissions and so global warming,especially in China, who became the first responsable for GHG emissions in the world followed by USA.
Part of the problem, Hansen said, was that the climate sceptic lobby employed communications professionals, whereas "scientists are just barely competent at communicating with the public and don't have the wherewithal to do it."
When he was asked if anything might re-alert the public to the dangers of climate change, Dr Hansen said: "Mother Nature."
Significant climatic "extreme events" were now occurring over 10 to 15 per cent of the planet annually, whereas between 1950 to 1980 they occurred over less than 1 per cent. He added: "So in places like Texas this year, Moscow last year, and Europe in 2003, the climate change is so big that they are undeniable. Within 10 to 15 years they're going to occur over 15 to 20 per cent of the planet, so people have to notice that the climate is changing."
Hansen's evidence that the world is warming

Texas, summer 2011
The US state this year has had its driest summer since record-keeping began in 1895, with 75 per cent of the state classified as "exceptional drought", the worst level. Shortages of grass, hay and water have forced ranchers to thin their herds – where this cow died, in the San Angelo area, there has been less than three inches of rain.
Moscow, August 2010
Russia experienced its hottest-ever summer last year – for weeks, a large portion of European Russia was more than 7 °C (12.6 °F) warmer than normal, and a new national record was set of 44 °C (111 °F). Raging forest fires filled Moscow with smoke, forcing the cancellation of air services and obliging people to don face masks.
Northern Europe, 2003
Shrivelled French grapes at the end of Europe's hottest summer on record, in 2003. The heatwave led to health crises in several countries and more than 40,000 people are thought to have died. Britain experienced its first (and so far only) 100+ F air temperature – 101.3°F (38.5°C) recorded at Brogdale, Kent, on 10 August.

More information about the briefing in