German electric vehicle goes 1,014 miles (1,631.5 kilometres) on a charge
That’s the Schluckspecht E developed at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Frauenhofter Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems.
The electric vehicle sports extremely aerodynamic bodywork, two hub-mounted electric motors and an optimized battery management system that evenly divides the load among 14 individual lithium-cobalt battery packs.
More vapourware from Germany? Perhaps, but something good will surely come from it.
Arctic sea ice passes de facto tipping point
Climate Progress reports that the Arctic is all but certain to be virtually ice free within two decades (barring extreme volcanic activity) and:
we have passed a de facto tipping point, “the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development.”
Here’s the monthly average ice volume with exponential trend:
Also a new MIT study finds that the Arctic ice is thinning four times faster than predicted.
BTW the NW passage is now open (thankyou John D).
Focus on Greenland
This longish feature article carried by The Durango Herald (it’s in Colorado) has two main messages – we don’t know enough about how fast Greenland is melting and we aren’t putting enough resources towards finding out.
Increased tropical forest growth could release carbon from the soil
A new study shows that as climate change enhances tree growth in tropical forests, the resulting increase in litterfall could stimulate soil micro-organisms leading to a release of stored soil carbon.
It is unclear what effect this has on the carbon cycle, but it can’t be good.
Consumer and Taxpayers’ Association’s (CATA) No Carbon Tax rally
Adam Brereton attended the CATA No Carbon Tax rally. Having attended one in March he thinks that:
following Wednesday’s rally there should be no doubt that Australian political discourse on the right has hit the event horizon. Not only were there quantifiably more attendees there — at least twice the number present at the first rally — and a lot more crazies, but it’s clear now that the lunatics are well and truly running the asylum.
Tony Abbott continues to appear at CATA rallies, but moderate Liberals should be terrified of Tea Party style politics here.
Say Yes Australia
Earlier this week we had a single page spiel about why we needed a carbon price from “Fiona” who lives down the street dropped in our letterbox. It turned out to be a printed missive from Say Yes Australia designed so that it could be personalised. The organisations involved include the evil Getup! that CATA crazies were frothing at the mouth about.
I’d say it did no harm, but probably not much good.
Ann Pettifor speaking tour 2011
Search Foundation has announced that UK economist and campaigner Ann Pettifor will visit Australia in September for a speaking tour that forms their major contribution to the climate change debate this year.
The world’s largest planned concentrated solar plant is switching the first 500MW to solar PV on the grounds of cost.
Solar thermal technology developed by US-based BrightSource Energy features tall towers (137 metres), large scale (500MW) and just six hours of salt storage which would more than double the amount of output from the same plant (from 1,900 hours a year to more than 4,000 hours) and deliver a huge cost advantage.
They are interested in our sun, obviously, but more to the point our policy settings and possible finance through the proposed Clean Energy Finance Corp.
The opposite political signals are being sent by conservative state governments in NSW, Victoria and WA as well as Tony (“climate change is absolute crap”) Abbott.
The Solar Energy Society estimates that more than 400 jobs have been lost and one quarter of the solar installations businesses in the state closed since the NSW government shut down the solar bonus scheme.
NSW AMWU Secretary Tim Ayres:
“It seems like the politics have taken over… there is a relentless hostility to anything that looks like a green scheme from some of the media, and the politics just follows.”
Barry O’Farrell has said he doesn’t want any more wind farms built; the Victorian government is yet to establish a policy on wind farms. Decisions on baseload gas generation are being deferred until our political future is clarified.
I have a really bad feeling about all this.
Inventing artificial photosynthesis may be closer than you think, and could bring power to the masses. Already there is a a cobalt and phosphate-coated silicon device the size of a playing card that separates hydrogen and oxygen when you throw it in water. There is a small engineering problem to be solved as to how you collect the gases. This and similar technologies are being discussed in a conference at Lord Howe Island this week.
This space is meant to also serve as an open thread on climate change.