Source: Scientists Have Uncovered a Disturbing Climate Change Precedent
Looking at evidence about the environments on earth 50 million years ago, it is likely that the earth then had 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), arctic and antarctic environments similar to today’s tropics (e.g. the Sahara desert and Amazon rainforest), and possibly dead zones with temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the tropics.
You can also see a rendering of the earth [here].
Source: Why a Typical Home Solar Setup Does Not Work With the Grid Down – And What You Can Do About It | Syonyk’s Project, by Russell Graves
The biggest problem is that they’re very easy to drive into voltage collapse (and therefore power collapse) if you draw beyond the peak power they can produce at the current temperature and illumination. This is an example IV (current/voltage) curve out of the datasheet from my panels – it’s one I had laying around. The numbers don’t matter, because all solar panels work this way – just with different numbers on the scales.
The peak power (maximum power point) on the panel comes slightly past the start of the drop in voltage, and the available power drops very rapidly as you go past that point into the voltage collapse. At both the short circuit point (0V, plenty of amps) and the open circuit voltage (0 amps, plenty of volts), the panels are producing zero usable power. …
You need batteries in an off grid system for two reasons: Energy storage is the obvious reason, but they also cover peak power demands. … Worth noting on batteries: They suffer age related degradation as well as as cycle based degradation. You cannot keep any battery alive forever, even if you don’t use it. … Let me offer a general guideline on batteries: Any time you put any sort of battery into a power system, the system will never “pay for itself.” There may be specialty cases where this isn’t true, but it’s a solid first order approximation you should be aware of.
Why have I written all this? To explain (hopefully) that the reason most solar power systems won’t work off grid has literally nothing to do with power companies being evil and demanding that you buy their power. It has everything to do with the system not being designed to run off grid. Why are they designed that way? Because it’s cheaper. Period. A microinverter based system is substantially cheaper than anything with batteries (which will need regular replacement), and that’s what people get installed when they want a reasonably priced bit of rooftop solar to save money on their power bill.
Source: The biomass distribution on Earth | PNAS, by Yinon M. Bar-On, Rob Phillips, and Ron Milo
A census of the biomass on Earth is key for understanding the structure and dynamics of the biosphere. However, a global, quantitative view of how the biomass of different taxa compare with one another is still lacking. Here, we assemble the overall biomass composition of the biosphere, establishing a census of the ≈550 gigatons of carbon (Gt C) of biomass distributed among all of the kingdoms of life. We find that the kingdoms of life concentrate at different locations on the planet; plants (≈450 Gt C, the dominant kingdom) are primarily terrestrial, whereas animals (≈2 Gt C) are mainly marine, and bacteria (≈70 Gt C) and archaea (≈7 Gt C) are predominantly located in deep subsurface environments. We show that terrestrial biomass is about two orders of magnitude higher than marine biomass and estimate a total of ≈6 Gt C of marine biota, doubling the previous estimated quantity. Our analysis reveals that the global marine biomass pyramid contains more consumers than producers, thus increasing the scope of previous observations on inverse food pyramids. Finally, we highlight that the mass of humans is an order of magnitude higher than that of all wild mammals combined and report the historical impact of humanity on the global biomass of prominent taxa, including mammals, fish, and plants.
Source: Dingoes Have Changed the Actual Shape of the Australian Desert – The Atlantic, by Emma Marris
By keeping dingoes out of the southeastern part of the country, it has created two versions of the same landscape—a world with top predators and one without. … dunes on the dingo-free side of the fence are on average 66 centimeters higher. The presence or absence of dingoes, it seemed, was changing the very shape of the land.
Source: How the nature of cause and effect will determine the future of quantum technology – MIT Technology Review
An unprecedented, global-scale test of one of quantum theory’s most counterintuitive predictions sheds new light on the nature of reality and how we can exploit it with quantum technologies.
Do certain physical events have no cause? The Big Bell Test provides an answer, albeit of a conditional variety. The answer is this: if humans have free will, then some physical events have no cause.