EV motor racing is about to begin
The article is behind the paywall, but New Scientist reports Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA), is calling for proposals for a “Formula E”, an electric vehicle championship it hopes will kick off in 2013. They claim the series will drive EV technology, but hey, let’s have some fun along the way.
Meanwhile at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, California on 26 November, we will have the EV Cup. In this race all drivers will have the same vehicle, the iRacer (above), built by UK firm Westfield Sportscars. Each car will have 340 kilograms of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that, for safety, are distributed around the car in eight 50-volt units. That should keep them screaming around the track for 15 to 20 minutes.
And screaming is the operative word. EV cars at speed do make a noise, but the acoustics are being designed to sound like the Pod Racers in Star Wars.
Record Arctic ozone loss
Due to an an unusually long spell of cold weather in the stratosphere over the Arctic ozone loss has reached record proportions. The loss this year conforms for the first time to the definition of an “ozone hole”. As Paul Fraser, chief research scientist at the CSIRO explains, broadly speaking this means an 80% loss of ozone in the atmospheric column.
And yes, the New Scientist tells us, global warming could be partly to blame.
Canada counts the cost of doing nothing
The cost of climate change in Canada is due to rise to between $21 billion and $43 billion a year by the 2050s, but could be as high as $91 billion under a high growth/rapid climate change scenario. The message from the The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy is that appropriate action may be expensive but not as expensive as doing nothing.
At 1% of GDP that seems to me on the low side.
Cheap solar power in Kenya
Small-scale solar power is being trialled in Kenya via a leasing arrangement. For $1 per week you can have a light that shines for 5 hours. As a bonus you get your cellphone charged, something that can necessitate up to a 2-hour round-trip each week, plus another 2-hour wait to actually charge the phone.
Most electrical devices and industrial processes create heat as they operate, which is typically wasted. From John D and Gizmag, aluminium doped zinc oxide may be the answer, as it has high electrical conductivity, together with low thermal conductivity, an unusual combination. Then all you have to do us convert the heat into electricity.
You may have missed it. I certainly did. Indymedia tells us that the MSM didn’t report it, but there were thousands of people around the world from Cairo to Canberra participating in events to move the planet beyond fossil fuels.
There were over 2000 events in more than 175 countries with more than 40 Moving Planet events taking place across Australia from the Blue Mountains, Hobart, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne joining the thousands of events taking place around the globe.
Butterflies and Texas
One of the people who did speak on that day was James Hansen. As Joe Romm at Climate Progress tells us Hansen has a new paper out, It’s a hard-knock butterfly’s life which is about the expansion of the tropics and the subsequent drying of the mid-latitudes bringing increasing drought to places like Texas. He’s foreshadowing a new scientific paper soon to be released on climate variability and climate change.
Meanwhile the last UNFCCC meeting prior to the Conference of Parties in Durban is taking place in Panama City this week. I haven’t heard how they are actually getting on, but it looks like the same old…
The UN is calling for a greater level of ambition. China and the G77 are dead set against phasing out the Kyoto protocol, whereas countries like the US won’t join and Canada, Japan and Russia won’t sign a new treaty unless it includes the larger emerging economies.
The EU will consider an extension of Kyoto provided it is “part of a broader deal including the prospect of a global agreement involving all major economies.”
From this AFP report:
Australia and Norway have jointly proposed to set a 2015 deadline for a new treaty, with all countries — wealthy and developing — listing their actions and gradually making them more ambitious and binding.
“This is the only way ahead. There is no other way than failure,” said a senior climate negotiator from a developed country on the Australia-Norway proposal, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the talks.
World Habitat Day
Again, in case you missed it the first Monday of October is the UN-designated World Habitat Day, with the theme this year Cities and Climate Change.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave them a rev in New York. I love these “high-level meetings”. It seems that
841 cities and municipalities had joined the “Making Cities Resilient” initiative, launched by the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNISDR) over a year ago in an effort to reduce urban risks from climate-related disasters.
Climate change uncertainty
Finally, here’s the link to Judith Curry’s post on the special issue on uncertainty guidance for the IPCC, with a host of links.
I haven’t had time to read it yet.