Friday, October 30, 2009

16-km wide floe of Arctic ice disintegrates in 5 minutes

Canadian scientists on an icebreaker working in the Beaufort Sea went looking for multiyear Arctic ice - something that used to cover the Arctic at depths up to 80 meters thick.

They have reported back and the news is not good. To make a long story short, they didn't find much at all. They just found hundreds of kilometers of "rotten ice", and seas that an icebreaker can plow through at 13 knots. This ice is made from bits and pieces of ice left over from previous years covered by jsut a thin layer of one-year ice.

David Barber, the Research Chair in Arctic System Science at the University of Manitoba, said that the ice is melting extraordinarily fast. "I've never seen anything like this in my 30 years of working in the high Arctic ... it was very dramatic," he said.

One ice floe they did find was 6-8 meters thick and about 16 kilometers wide. This small island of thicker ice disintegrated in 5 minutes after being buffeted by some waves.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New battery technology to be manufactured near Montreal

French billionaire Vincent Bollore announced today that his company, the Bollore Groupe, will invest $120 million in a battery factory in Boucherville, according to an article in Yahoo News Canada. They will be the first in the world producing the innovative lithium-metal-polymer battery technology that was developed in parallel by Quebec's Avestor, absorbed by Bollore Groupe in 2007, and BatScap, another Bollore subsidiary.

The interesting thing is that, at the time of the takeover of Avestor, Bollore had applied to build the new manufacturing facility in Brittany, France. For some reason they have decided to add to the existing Avestor facilities in Canada.

Maybe this was faster, easier to get approved, or perhaps a question of cheaper electricity, or, perhaps they hit up the QC gov't for tax concessions - who knows? No reasons given. Or maybe they will build in Brittany later.

This battery has an electric car project ready to go, in collaboration with the Italian Pininfarina Group. The fully electric "Bluecar" has already been shown at trade fairs in Europe and there is apparently a prototype of it set up in the Avestor building in Boucherville, Quebec. It has a top speed of 130 km/h and range of 250 km on a charge.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Climate Cover-Up" exposes grow op of "astro-turf" grass roots science

There's a new book out that cuts to the most crucial issue of the whole global warming discussion.

The book is Climate Cover-Up,
The Crusade to Deny Global Warming
by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore

As described in detail on the link above, the book gets into the nuts and bolts of how the truth about climate change has been deliberately shrouded in misinformation led by none other than the Masters of Misinformation, Phillip Morris. LOL

Rather than me go on about it, I could share the words of Leonardo Dicaprio on the subject:

“This book explains how the propaganda generated by self-interest groups has purposely created confusion about climate change. It’s an imperative read for a successful future.”

or David Suzuki:

Climate Cover-Up documents one of the most disgusting stories ever hidden about corporate disinformation. What you’ll discover in this book amounts to proof of an intergenerational crime.”

James Hoggan is the leading figure behind the DeSmogBlog, one of the more authoritative sources of information on climate change.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Map shows effect of rising sea level from 1 - 14 m.

Here's a link to a cool map that gives an approximation of what would happen if the sea level rises by varying amounts from 1 to 14 meters.

Arctic Ocean Acidity an Imminent Wildlife Disaster

There have been several reports detailing the growing problem with ocean acidity due to absorption of carbon dioxide from the air.

Now it is becoming clear that there is imminent danger to the ecosystem and the food chain, specifically in the Arctic, where increasing acidity in the water could dissolve the shells of shellfish within 10 years. This is according to an article in the Telegraph.

It says acidity in the oceans is rising faster than ever before in the past 65,000 years. Doesn't sound good at all.