1. Jellyfish on the march
This impressive bloom of blue blubber jellyfish showed up a few weeks ago beached at Deception Bay, just north of Brisbane:
Marine biologist Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, who specialises in jellyfish, said the bloom was the biggest she had seen in her 25 years of research. “Just gobsmacking”, she said. But they are native to the area, and as such not a concern.
However, the deadly irukanji has been seen and felt in Moreton Bay, and is not so easily seen:
Here’s some advisory information. With global warming they are expected on the Gold Coast in 30 to 40 years. You might recall this post back in 2013 when Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin’s book Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean forecast:
- It seems that jellyfish are taking over the oceans. We are past a tipping point on the way to a really yucky ocean with a vastly depleted range of fish species.
- Stefano Boeri Architetti is bringing the vertical forest concept popularized in Milan to Nanjing, China with the Nanjing Towers. The two green towers could provide the city with a breath of fresh air, producing around 132 pounds of oxygen every day as they absorb carbon dioxide. They’ll accomplish this air-cleaning feat with 1,100 flourishing trees from 23 local species and 2,500 cascading shrubs and plants.
That’s just an image, the real thing won’t be there until 2018.
Hungarian startup Platio has designed a paving system made with recycled plastic, offering firm ground while harvesting clean energy from the sun:
4. Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World
Our Senate has set up a Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World. Sorry, I just can’t do it justice, but look forward to the report, due by 27 March.
I flicked through the ANU Energy Change Institute’s submission. They seem to have a good grasp of network large/scale systems as well as distributed systems. They do a ‘what if’ scenario on the SA September blackout.
Here’s what’s been installed globally in the past two years:
Still a lot of fossil fuels.
Talk of Shell investing in “green gas plants”, says Giles Parkinson:
- ranks up there with “clean coal” as fossil fuel propaganda, but it is exactly the way that the Murdoch media chose to describe Shell’s promise to combine solar and gas in Oman, Brunei and Australia, trumpeting the headline “Shell to invest in green gas plants” to lead its business section.
Some oil companies are heading towards renewables, but for some it is more a fashion accessory.
- in its reporting of the press conference late last week, Shell intends to invest less than $1 billion a year in renewables across the globe – just a fraction of its annual capital expenditure of nearly $US30 billion.
That includes wind.
It’s a start, but don’t expect anything dramatic in Oz.
6. The Dutch knew how to harvest the wind
In 2008, near the end of our family trip down the Rhine, one of the optional tours from Amsterdam was to Volendam-Zuidersee. My wife and I chose to go to the Rijksmuseum instead, so I wasn’t there. However, there are three and a quarter of my relatives shown in this image:
I’m told this was a working windmill, and its main function was to pump saltwater seepage back into the sea. A technology that could be really useful as the waters rise!
It looked very attractive dairy-farming country, but my elder brother always wants to get to the bottom of what he sees, and he was eventually informed that to Dutch dairy farmers the grass in Victoria looks greener.