The British Government Approves the First Nuclear Power Plant in 35 Years!

The UK will proceed with the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England, the first government-backed nuclear installation in 35 years, as it seeks to lessen its impact on the climate problem and ensure energy independence.

The UK government’s support for the project was first stated during the chancellor’s fall statement earlier this month, and it was reiterated in a statement released on Tuesday by Grant Shapps, the department’s secretary for business and energy.

Because of Putin’s illegal march across Ukraine, gas prices around the world are at record highs. We require more domestically produced, clean, and reasonably priced energy for British homes, according to Shapps. This is made possible by the historic agreement signed today, which will support Sizewell C’s development and help us move away from the dangers associated with relying on uncertain international energy markets for our supplies.

Following the government’s first approval of the two-reactor Sizewell C nuclear power project in July under then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to BBC News, the future of the facility was uncertain. Though the government denied it, there were reports that the project was being examined. According to The Guardian, it was problematic in part because the government had once considered obtaining funding from China General Nuclear, an idea that soured along with ties between the two nations.

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The government will then support the new facility with a 700 million investment, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt later declared in his fall statement, as The Guardian at the time reported. The announcement from Tuesday verified this investment. It represents the first direct government investment in a nuclear project since Sizewell B was approved in 1987 and signifies that China General Nuclear is no longer associated with the project.

The investment made in Sizewell C today is the biggest step we’ve taken toward achieving energy independence; it’s also the first governmental support for a nuclear project in more than 30 years. According to Hunt’s Tuesday statement, this massive project will supply clean, affordable, domestic energy to millions of homes once it is finished.

The French energy company EDF, which will construct the facility, will have a 50/50 ownership stake alongside the British government. In Somerset, England, EDF is also building the stalled Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. The two facilities, according to EDF CEO Simone Rossi, will have the same design, so it should be simpler to estimate the costs and schedule for the second facility.

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According to the government, the new facility would create 10,000 skilled jobs and provide enough low-carbon electricity to power six million homes for more than 50 years. According to The Guardian, its proposed 3.2 gigawatts of capacity would meet 10% of the UK’s current energy needs. And according to the government, this is just the beginning of a pipeline of new nuclear projects being created by a brand-new organization called Great British Nuclear.

Nuclear power is still problematic with environmental organizations despite being a low-carbon energy source because of its price and the issue of how to dispose of the waste. According to Doug Parr, the UK policy director for Greenpeace, there are more effective, quicker, and less expensive ways to supply electricity, as The Guardian noted.

The Public Can Now Apply for $80 Million to Make Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Schools!

Public schools can now apply for grants totalling $80 million from the Biden administration to pay for energy improvements. High-need K–12 school districts will get assistance from Renew America’s Schools funding programme. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes financing.

On November 29, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the availability of applications. To get financing, which is intended for energy-efficient repairs in the frequently ageing and inefficient school infrastructure, schools must meet the criteria for rural and/or high poverty.

According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, 53% of public schools reported having outdated infrastructure, and nearly 41% of respondents said their HVAC systems had issues. In order to support all of these uses, many of these structures serve as both community amenities and emergency resource centres. To do this, they require an efficient and trustworthy infrastructure.

Applications are now being accepted for an initial funding round of up to $80 million under the Renew America’s Schools grant programme, which has a total budget of $500 million for 2022 through 2026. According to Utility Dive, qualified projects include HVAC renovations, installations of renewable energy sources, and the infrastructure needed for alternate cars.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm noted that by bringing these vital energy improvements to our students’ learning settings, our kids would be better able to realise their full potential in the classroom. The DOE is actively putting these vital monies to use so that schools may begin quickly converting infrastructure upgrades into healthier learning environments and significant cost savings. On December 6, interested candidates can join the programme webinar. Applications must be submitted by April 21, 2023, and concept papers must be submitted by January 26, 2023.

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The Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools Prize (Energy CLASS) initiative is another opportunity for educational organisations to submit an application. Up to 25 organisations will earn $100,000 to hire and train personnel to serve as energy managers under this programme. Participants can submit progress reports and apply for an additional $50,000 after a year. Applications for Energy CLASS are due by February 28, 2023, and additional information will be presented in a webinar on December 7.

The proposal is a positive step, but detractors point out that it falls well short of the $100 billion in government investment that the administration had initially suggested for modernising school facilities. The United States has an estimated $38 billion annual budget deficit for public school facilities, according to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

Changes to Canada’s Pollution Pricing Laws Are Expanded.!

Canada is enforcing its regulations on environmental pricing, which include fuel taxes for industries as well as regulatory fees on fossil fuels. Families that participate in the Climate Action Incentive (CAI) will get extra money as a result of the revised regulations, which will ensure that major polluters pay more over time for their emissions.

A federal standard for taxing polluters was established in 2019 with the implementation of the carbon pollution pricing scheme. Local governments have the option of adopting the federal minimum requirements or passing tougher regulations that better suit their needs. On April 1, 2023, the recently revised pollution pricing scheme and the recently planned CAI expansions will come into force.

The federal Output-Based Pricing System, a performance-based system for a fuel tax for industries, will continue to be in effect in Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and Nunavut, according to a statement from the Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Saskatchewan will switch all needed sectors to its own system in 2023, and Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec will continue to use their own carbon pricing schemes.

The majority of Canadian families—roughly eight out of ten—are registered in the CAI, thus these adjustments will result in larger payouts for those families.

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The fact that all proceeds from the Canadian environmental tax are distributed to Canadians is crucial. Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland made a statement. Eight out of ten households in Canada that get Climate Action Incentive payments have more money in their bank accounts than they would have spent paying the price for pollution. And lower-income households especially benefit from these consistent payments.

In 2023, the quarterly CAI payments for families of four will rise to $386 in Alberta, $264 in Manitoba, $244 in Ontario, and $340 in Saskatchewan. Families in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island will join the program as new participants, getting $328, $248, and $240 every quarter, respectively.

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The government declared that rural towns that are a member of CAI will receive an extra 10% on their payments to account for the limited availability of clean transportation.

The International Monetary Fund asserts that Canada will achieve its objectives to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050 with the aid of the carbon pricing scheme. The federal carbon price floor was set at CAN$40 per tonne of emissions in 2021, and it will increase to CAN$170 per tonne by 2030.

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s minister of the environment and climate change, said in a statement that pollution pricing is effective in battling climate change, returning money to Canadians’ pockets, and fostering the development of a robust, sustainable economy.

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According to Environmental Journal, the CAI was put into effect in July 2022 to help households that were dealing with rising living expenses and costs associated with the climate. In October, the second quarterly payment was distributed.

Guilbeault added that in addition to battling climate change, his organization also supports families and ensures that pollution is not tolerated anywhere in the nation.

Uk Government Could Lift 2015 Ban to Allow New Onshore Wind Farm Construction.!

In an effort to address the climate and energy crises, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is prepared to lift the country’s default ban on onshore wind projects.

Sunak had pledged not to loosen what essentially amounts to a prohibition on onshore wind farms in Britain when he ran for Conservative Party leader during the summer. However, pressure from other Conservative MPs appears to have persuaded him to change his mind.

As reported by Euronews Green, Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News on Monday that we already have a significant amount of onshore wind. Over time, especially in areas where people support it, there will be more.

Since 2015, new onshore wind farm building has virtually been prohibited in the UK due to planning regulations put in place by the then-prime minister David Cameron. Following the resignation of Boris Johnson, Sunak ran for party leader and stated that he supported the current course of action.

Rishi also vowed to abandon plans to loosen the restrictions on onshore wind farms in England, giving rural residents security, according to his energy plan, as The Guardian reported. This was done in consideration of the anguish and disturbance that onshore wind farms can frequently bring about.

Despite this rhetoric from politicians, UK people don’t seem to have an issue with onshore wind farms: A 2022 YouGov study cited by Reuters found that more than 70% of respondents were in favour of wind farm building in their towns and only 17% were opposed to it.

According to The Guardian on Saturday, there has been movement in Parliament to enact legislation lifting the prohibition, led by former Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke. His amendment to the Levelling Up Bill would oblige the government to approve new wind farms within six months. As of Saturday, 22 Conservative MPs had backed the proposal, including President of the COP26 climate summit Alok Sharma, who had tweeted his support.

According to Sharma’s tweet on Saturday, Putin’s illegitimate and deadly conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated how closely tied energy and national security are to environmental and climatic security. To meet the UK’s 2035 goal of 100% clean electricity, faster deployment of renewables, including onshore wind, is required.

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The proposal is also supported by Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour party, who has referred to the prohibition as a national act of self-harm, according to The Guardian.

Shapps denied that there was a significant difference of opinion between the amendment’s backers and Sunak’s government in a statement on Monday.

He claimed on Times Radio that there isn’t actually a fight, according to Reuters. We are all essentially stating the same thing: local approval is required before installing wind energy on land since it can have a significant negative impact on the environment. The prime minister has agreed with what Simon Clarke, who is the amendment’s sponsor, has said.

Shapps’ more adaptable strategy, however, differs from Sunak’s comments made during the leadership contest, which may have caused the government to change its position out of concern that it would lose if it rejected the modification.

Although Sunak had earlier stated that it made more sense to concentrate on offshore wind growth, a representative for him stated that he would “talk and consult with MPs (members of parliament) to hear their opinions, as Reuters reported.

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Whatever the real motivation, environmental organizations argued that lifting the prohibition would be good for both the nation and the environment.

According to Friends of the Earth’s head of policy Mike Childs, lifting the restriction on the onshore wind in England is a “no-brainer,” as reported by Euronews Green. It has a crucial role to play in addressing the cost-of-living and climate challenges since it is affordable, clean, abundant, and well-liked by the general population.

The 2015 Ban might be Relaxed by the UK Government to Allow the Construction of New Onshore Wind Farms.

Dreaming of Beachfront Real Estate? Much of Florida’s Coast Is at Risk of Storm Erosion

In November 2022, two consecutive hurricanes put the Florida coast in a tense situation: Waves undermined the land beneath several residences, leaving swimming pools and even buildings dangling over the water. In the vicinity of Daytona Beach, dozens of houses and condo buildings were considered hazardous.

The devastation has prompted the unsettling query: How much of the Florida coast’s remaining real estate is vulnerable to collapse, and can it be saved?

In order to help with these inquiries, I have spent the last 20 years studying climate adaptation challenges as the director of iAdapt, the International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design at the University of Florida.

Rising Seas, Aging Buildings

In Florida, where there are lovely beaches, ocean views, and frequently pleasant breezes, living by the water has a lot of attraction. There are dangers, though, and climate change makes them worse.

Over the next 30 years, the average sea level is expected to increase by 10 to 14 inches (25 to 35 cm) along the U.S. East Coast and by 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 cm) along the Gulf Coast as a result of global warming. The intensity of hurricanes is also becoming more intense as temperatures rise.

Ocean waves more easily erode beaches, undermine sea walls, and submerge cement foundations in corrosive salt water with higher seas and more storm surges. They increase the risk of living along the coast together with subsidence or sinking land.

Florida s erosion risk map shows most of the state s coastline at critical risk. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, CC BY-SA

The soil, geology, and alterations in the shoreline naturally all affect erosion risk. But it is common in Florida and other coastal regions of the United States. The majority of Florida’s coastline faces a serious risk of erosion, according to maps created by experts at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Older or subpar construction techniques and materials, as well as deteriorated or poorly maintained sea walls and buildings, can significantly increase the risk.

Designing Better Building Codes

Buildings must be strengthened and constructed in accordance with modern construction rules as a first step.

Building regulations evolve as dangers increase and construction methods and materials advance. For instance, the Florida Building Code for South Florida’s design standards increased from requiring new buildings to be able to withstand sustained winds of 146 mph in 2002 to 195 mph in 2021, which corresponds to a strong Category 5 hurricane.

In the vicinity of the area where Hurricane Ian made landfall in October 2022, the municipality of Punta Gorda demonstrated how much more likely buildings built in accordance with the most recent building rules are to survive.

Following Hurricane Charley in 2004, which occurred just after the state amended the Florida Building Code, many of Punta Gorda’s structures were rebuilt. They were less severely damaged than residents of nearby towns when Ian struck. The revised code mandated hurricane-force wind resistance for all new construction, including the use of impact-resistant window glass or shutters.

Due to the fact that the current regulations don’t effectively handle the environment that buildings rest on, even houses built to the most recent codes may still be at risk. Even if it fits the current flood zone elevation regulations, a modern building in a low-lying coastal locale may eventually sustain damage due to rising sea levels and coastline erosion.

Residents of coastal areas encountered this issue during Hurricanes Nicole and Ian. The main causes of damage were not winds but flooding and erosion, which were made worse by sea level rise.

Numerous beach homes and condos that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Nicole in Volusia County may have first appeared to be in good condition. However, when the climate changes, the coastal environment also transforms, making the building vulnerable to a single hurricane. In Volusia County, sea barriers were destroyed by Hurricane Ian, and parts of them couldn’t be fixed in time for Hurricane Nicole.

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How to Minimize the Risk

All coastal areas should take note of the devastation done to the Daytona area in 2022 and the condo tower in Surfside that tragically collapsed a year before.

The most vulnerable coastal locations can be identified using data and techniques. It is policies and enforcement that are absent.

In Florida, state-funded builders must now perform a sea-level impact analysis before beginning work on a coastal structure. Regardless of the funding source, I think it’s time to apply this new regulation to all new buildings.

The necessity for a thorough sea-level impact analysis should also permit risk-based enforcement, such as prohibiting construction in high-risk locations.

Similar to this, vulnerability analyses, especially for multistory buildings constructed before 2002, can assess a building’s structural integrity and aid in identifying fresh environmental hazards from sea-level rise and beach erosion. Many of the materials and structures utilized in those buildings prior to 2002 are not up to the requirements of today due to poor building regulations and lax enforcement.

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What Property Owners Can Do

There are several methods homeowners can employ to protect their homes from flood dangers.

In some locations, this can entail raising the home or grading the lot better so that surface water flows away from the structure. Remodeling using storm-resistant building materials and installing a sump pump can both help.

FEMA proposes adding more beach sand, fortifying sea walls, and anchoring the house as further defenses against coastal erosion. Engineering can benefit communities, at least temporarily, by building sea walls, ponds, and better drainage. However, communities will eventually need to evaluate how vulnerable coastal areas are. Moving is sometimes the best solution.

But after hurricanes, there’s a worrying pattern that Ian is part of: Lots of money is being poured into many damaged places to rebuild in the same risky areas. Why rebuild in the same location if these are already in high-risk areas is a crucial question that communities should be asking.

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida, Zhong-Ren Pen

Disclosure: The National Science Foundation, Florida Sea Grant, and the Florida Department of Transportation all provide funding to Zhong-Ren Peng.

PV Windows Reduce Emissions for Highly Glazed Buildings by Up to 40%, Study Finds

Photovoltaic (PV) windows significantly reduce energy use and CO2 emissions for heavily glazed structures, such as the glittering skyscrapers of large cities, according to research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This reduction can be as much as 40%.

The research, which was written up in the journal One Earth, describes how PV windows can be a crucial part of creating highly glazed structures that meet net-zero goals. Buildings account for nearly one-third of worldwide energy use, which highlights the need to lower energy demand and associated emissions. High levels of glazing are known to have drawbacks in terms of energy performance and thermal efficiency, but the market continues to favor them.

According to Lance Wheeler, a scientist at NREL, “there are stereotypes about what an energy-efficient structure looks like, and it typically isn’t extensively glazed, and it definitely isn’t very tall.” We discovered that there are various approaches to creating high-efficiency structures.

The usage of PV windows, according to the authors, can help highly glazed buildings achieve reduced levels of energy consumption and carbon emissions. When combined with straightforward geometric adjustments, PV windows in an office building might reduce annual carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes and save 10,000 to 40,000 gigajoules (GJ) of electricity.

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The author’s utilized software they created called PVwindow to model PV windows in building simulations as well as other programs like EnergyPlus and OpenStudio to examine structures with a window-to-wall ratio of 95%.

They put various PV glazing systems to the test on a building in eight cities with various climates. Cities in warmer temperatures, like Tucson, had worse results for lowering energy use and carbon emissions than places with more moderate climates and shifting seasons, like New York City or Denver.

With so much sunshine entering through the windows of highly glazed structures, more energy is needed to keep the occupants cool. PV windows, however, are thermally efficient and use the heat collected to generate power. Additionally, installing PV windows with solar panels outside the structure or on the roof could not only achieve net zero but also produce more energy than the building actually uses.

Even if I don’t want to sit here and argue that we should be building heavily glazed buildings, the researchers aren’t exactly in favor of them either. Wheeler stated that we should be creating extremely energy-efficient structures, but they do want to underline that PV windows and other low-energy and low-emission materials should be taken into account for such structures.

 

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Imagine a skyline in a city like New York City with all-glass high-rise structures, Wheeler suggested. They have the whole glazing. Millions of square feet of glass make up the Freedom Tower. It might function as its own power plant.

According to a study, PV windows can reduce emissions for highly glazed buildings by up to 40%.

Scientists Have Found a Way to Move Carbon from The Arctic.!

According to a press release from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), scientists have discovered a previously unidentified carbon transportation route in the Arctic that has the potential to bind up to 3.97 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-rich particles annually from the Kara and Barents Seas and store them in the deep waters of the Arctic for thousands of years.

According to a recent study by experts from AWI, this carbon conveyor belt transports as much carbon dioxide as Iceland produces in a year using regional ocean currents and the biological carbon pump. One of the most important carbon sinks on Earth is the biological carbon pump. If the carbon is eventually deposited in deep-sea sediments, the technique has the potential to trap it for millions of years. The only thing that can release it at that point is volcanic activity.

Oceanographer at AWID Dr. Andreas Rogge was the study’s primary author and said, “Based on our data, we calculated that by this water-mass transit, more than 2,000 metric tonnes of carbon flow into the Arctic deep sea every day, equivalent to 8,500 metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2.

The research was published in the journal Nature Geoscience under the title Carbon dioxide sink in the Arctic Ocean through cross-shelf transit of dense Barents Sea water.

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According to the press release, the Arctic Ocean receives less sunlight as a result of sea ice cover or the Polar Night, which lowers available nutrients and biological productivity. Thus, compared to those in other bodies of water, the phytoplankton, or microalgae, in the upper layers of the water don’t have as much energy at their disposal.

As a result, the discovery of significant quantities of carbon particles preserved in plant remnants in the Nansen Basin of the Central Arctic in August and September 2018 as part of the ARCTIC2018 voyage of the Russian research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov was unexpected.

The bottom water from the Barents Sea, the lowest layer of ocean water, was discovered to have significant amounts of particulate carbon in the ocean up to a depth of 1.24 miles. When winter sea ice forms, sinks, and then flows from the shallow coastal shelf waters down the slope of the continent into the Arctic Basin, the bottom water is created. From the shelf of the Kara and Barents Seas, the carbon-rich water travels 621 miles into the Arctic Basin.

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The Barents Sea removes around 30% more atmospheric carbon than previously believed thanks to this recently discovered carbon delivery artery. The scientists’ calculations revealed that the outflow is seasonal because phytoplankton in the Arctic coastal seas can only absorb carbon dioxide during the summer.

Understanding the transformation and transport mechanisms involved in the carbon cycle is essential for creating global carbon budgets and global warming estimations.

When ocean surface single-celled algae die, they take up carbon from the atmosphere and descend to the bottom of the ocean. In the Arctic, it can take many millennia for the ocean’s currents to carry this bound-up carbon back to the surface.

Additionally, the biological carbon pump provides food for animals living in the deep water, such as sea stars, worms, and sponges. The amount of carbon that is currently absorbed by the nearby deep marine ecosystem is unclear.

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As a result of ongoing global warming, less ice and bottom water are generated. Additionally, the phytoplankton has access to more light and nutrients, increasing the amount of CO2 that can be bound. Therefore, it is currently hard to forecast how this carbon sink will develop, and it is urgently necessary to conduct more research in order to identify any potential tipping points, Rogge stated in the press release.

After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, a German Town Turns to Solar Energy.!

The energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it more urgent for EU nations to find alternatives to oil and gas. According to BBC News, one German municipality, Abensberg in Bavaria, has been focusing on solar energy with the aim of becoming electricity independent by 2030.

Lothar Stich, an engineer, and inhabitant of Abensberg claim that the photovoltaic panels he has installed on his roof, garage, and shed provide more electricity than he requires. The electric grid of the community receives the extra power.

We generate all of our own energy during the summer, which lasts from April to September, so we don’t require any external electricity. Due to the absence of sunlight throughout the winter, it is not feasible, Stich told BBC News. When you have your own electricity, it feels nice. You travel in a vehicle that is fueled by solar energy. The sun doesn’t send money.

The 15,000 people who live in Abensberg rely on the system to provide electricity when it is overcast or dark.

According to Abensberg Mayor Uwe Brandi, by 2030, Abensberg should be able to generate 300% of its own electricity with photovoltaic systems, biomass, wind, and water power.

According to data, the German Solar Association provided to CNN Business, the number of business and residential solar system installations in Germany climbed by 22% over the same period in 2017.

According to Jim Gordon, CEO of solar supplier Smartflower, “there is a perfect storm of variables colliding that are really elevating solar energy,” our business is flourishing. Concerns regarding energy security are widespread. Nobody can control the sun, but an autocratic ruler can open a gas valve and turn off the energy.

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The Bavaria Solarpark is a photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located in Bavaria. According to Renewable Technology, when the Power Light project launched in 2005, it was the largest PV facility in the world. About a period of three decades, it is anticipated that the Bavaria Solarpark will cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 100,000 tonnes.

Due to the energy crisis, according to Abensberg Mayor Brandi, people are now focusing on renewable energy sources. In 2021, Russia supplied 55% of Germany’s gas; this summer, that percentage dropped to 35% and is still declining.

Despite its long-term goal of doing away with coal, Germany has kept using nuclear electricity and reactivated coal power stations.

According to Magdalena Groll-Zieglmeier of the Green Party, Abensberg currently lacks a way to store solar energy.

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Richard, the environment officer for Abensberg and the husband of Groll-Zieglmeier, places a high value on the switch to solar.

We must take this route for the region, Germany, Europe, and the entire world. For the sake of future generations, he added, we must safeguard the earth.

Carbon Dioxide from People’s Breath Can Be Used as Fertilizer for Rooftop Gardens, Say Scientists.!

It stands to reason that since we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, which plants utilize to generate glucose for sustenance, our breath may serve as fertilizer. Indeed, according to Boston University researchers who recently studied the use of carbon dioxide from classrooms as fertilizer for their rooftop garden.

According to Popular Mechanics, the study’s authors used rooftop exhaust vents from a school building to recycle carbon dioxide for use by plants in an experimental BIG GRO rooftop garden. They discovered that some of the spinach plants in the same area grew to be four times the size of a control group.

According to a news statement from the study’s principal author, Sarah Buckley, who is currently a student at the University of Cambridge, “We wanted to see whether there was a resource in buildings that was underutilized that might be exploited to produce plants in rooftop farms.” The success of rooftop farms and the consequent viability of their installation atop buildings may be increased by creating more favorable conditions that encourage development.

The research was published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems under the title, “Enhancing crop growth in rooftop farms by repurposing CO2 from human respiration within buildings.”

According to the study, an increase in vegetation in metropolitan areas could help with some of the environmental issues associated with farming and pollution.

The researchers divided their maize and spinach plants into two groups: one that received carbon dioxide exhaust fanning and the other that did not. Although both are quite widespread and tasty, corn and spinach were chosen because they each have a unique photosynthetic pathway adaptation that enables them to carry out unique versions of the light-independent processes.

In comparison to spinach plants close to the control fan, those next to the two rooftop exhaust vents that fanned them with carbon dioxide doubled their biomass. The spinach still expanded to be twice the size of the control plants even after strong winds limited the amount of carbon dioxide that reached the plants, but there are still some unanswered problems.

According to Buckley, there are still a lot of features of this system that need to be figured out before it can be put into use, like the best air application design and the potential size of the boosted growth effect. Additionally, growth slows down as wind speed rises, therefore the ideal wind speed would have to be determined and incorporated into the system design.

The study’s findings suggest preliminary support for a theoretical system that would introduce a more circular carbon cycle within buildings by diverting high concentrations of CO2 from human respiration to a rooftop farm, where it could be put to practical use to grow food that humans could consume and breathe in again. In order to increase the feasibility of rooftop farms as an urban greening technique, plant growth should be improved. This will make them more productive and maybe able to withstand harsher circumstances.

According to Popular Mechanics, the researchers monitored the carbon levels on the rooftop and in the 20 study-related classrooms. According to Buckley, the classrooms and rooftop exhaust vents both had elevated carbon levels when people were present inside the facility.

According to Buckley, CO2 levels typically exceed the acceptable limit of 1,000 parts per million in classrooms and 800 parts per million, which is high enough to promote plant growth near rooftop exhaust vents.

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However, not all growth outcomes were indisputably caused by carbon dioxide exposure. In contrast to spinach, which has a similar photosynthetic system, maize has a distinct photosynthetic pathway, therefore it benefits less from carbon dioxide. For instance, the corn exposed to the exhaust fans was two to three times larger than the control plants. The elevated temperatures from the exhaust fan may have contributed to its rapid growth.

In a recent study conducted by French scientists and published in the journal Trends in Plant Science, The decline of plant mineral nutrition under rising CO2: physiological and molecular aspects of a bad deal, it was discovered that plants like spinach grown in environments with higher carbon dioxide concentrations have lower nutrient levels. These plants use the most prevalent C3 photosynthesis pathway, which is the pathway used by almost all trees.

Depending on the amount of carbon dioxide, these plants may contain five to twenty-five percent less potassium, iron, and other minerals. This may suggest that as carbon levels rise due to global warming, plants may become less nutrient-dense. However, the French study found that an increase in plant biomass would still be advantageous for lowering atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and assisting with current food needs.

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Buckley hopes that the study carried out by her research group will result in the BIG GRO system being improved and used with rooftop farms and gardens.

Hopefully, additional rooftop farms will be erected if that occurs. According to Buckley, they may offer a wide range of environmental and social advantages, including energy savings for the building, carbon drawdown, climate mitigations, urban heat reduction, opportunities for building communities, local food production, and advantages for aesthetic and mental health.

‘Beat the Heat’: Un Calls on Cities to Increase Natural Climate Solutions.!

It won’t be difficult for you to grasp why cities are so vulnerable to climate catastrophe if you’ve ever endured an urban heat wave. Cities are warming twice as quickly as the world as a whole, and by 2100, they may be four degrees Celsius hotter on average than they are today.

At this year’s COP27 UN climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the UN Environment Programme and its non-profit and academic partners issued a challenge for vulnerable metropolitan regions in the Global South to embrace nature-based solutions such as enhanced urban forests, green belts, and parks.

We have gathered at COP27 during a moment of global crisis, but these challenges are an excuse to raise rather than lower our climate ambition. The Challenge’s key objective is to scale up environmentally friendly solutions to address climate change consequences in cities.  Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, global lead for climate and energy at WWF, one of the organizations backing the effort, stated. Cities are crucial in preventing the worst effects of climate change, thus it is crucial that we support ambitious and long-lasting initiatives to reduce their effects and prepare for them.

In cities, high temperatures pose a serious hazard to public health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cities create the urban heat island effect by paving roads and building structures over existing natural areas (EPA). This increases the danger of heat-related sickness and death for city dwellers, particularly for those in neighborhoods with a high minority population or low income.

As noted in a 2021 Lancet article titled “Health in a world of intense heat,” the problem is more complex than just increasing access to air conditioning because increased urban heat is linked to the climate issue. This is due to the fact that it consumes energy that contributes to global warming and is frequently out of reach for the most vulnerable. The authors suggested other cooling strategies based on nature.

Green spaces are essential for cooling cities since excessive heat has a higher impact on human health in urban settings. However, they also provide other benefits, such as lowering stress levels, providing a setting for social interaction and physical activity, and sequestering carbon.

Through the Cool Coalition, which is made up of organizations including WWF, EforALL, Mission Innovation, RMI, the World Resources Institute, the University of Oxford, and Durham University, among others, UNEP is exploring these answers. The Beat the Heat: Nature for Cool Cities Challenge was unveiled by the coalition on Wednesday.

According to the coalition website, the challenge has three objectives:

  1. Show off the effectiveness of nature-based solutions at cooling cities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy demand.
  2. Raise funds to expand effective solutions.
  3. Indicate to developers and funders that there is demand for these solutions.

City and regional governments in the Global South would be challenged to raise the proportion of nature-based solutions in their urban regions by 2030 and to provide proof of progress by 2025. Aside from committing to three specific implementation measures, pledgers would also need to identify quantitative and budgetary goals.

Her Excellency Gladys Wanga, the governor of Homa Bay County in Kenya, made the first commitment by promising to include nature-based solutions in Homa Bay’s affordable housing. The whole list of commitments and the donors that supported them will be revealed during the COP28 climate summit in 2019.

As stated in the press release by Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, director of UNEP’s Economy Division, “to make peace with nature, we need to develop our cities with nature in mind.”

However, for nature-based solutions to be really replicable, local governments, the commercial sector, experts, and practitioners must work together. It is imperative that businesses, investors, and financial institutions act now to support the realization of this vision.

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