Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6): The Most Potent Greenhouse Gas

Cheap and non-flammable, SF6 is a colourless, odourless, synthetic gas. It makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations.

It is widely used across the industry, from large power stations to wind turbines to electrical sub-stations in towns and cities. It prevents electrical accidents and fires.

However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).

It also persists in the atmosphere for a long time, warming the Earth for at least 1,000 years.

Read More: Climate change: Electrical industry’s ‘dirty secret’ boosts warming (BBC)

The World’s Largest Electric Truck

The World’s Largest Electric Truck

Youtube Video

Electric vehicles are everywhere now. It’s more than just Leafs, Teslas, and a wide variety of electric bikes. It’s also trains, buses, and in this case, gigantic dump trucks. This truck in particular is being put to work at a mine in Switzerland, and as a consequence of having an electric drivetrain is actually able to produce more power than it consumes.

Read More: Electric Dump Truck Produces More Energy Than it Uses

Read More: eMining’s eDumper is the world’s largest electric truck

A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste

A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste

In colleges and universities across the United States, students are taking classes on how to repair our electronics that normally end up as e-waste.

For a decade, the right to repair movement has been quietly fomenting in technical writing classes at universities around the world.

At 80 participating colleges and universities, teachers work with iFixit—a company that provides repair toolkits for many consumer electronics—to train students to repair electronics and help others do the same at a time when device manufacturers are making it more difficult to do just that.

Read more: A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste

Irish Teenager Wins Google Science Award for Removing Microplastics From Oceans

The climate crisis looms large for young people. We see teenagers like Greta Thunberg inspiring kids around the world to take part in political activism. Then, there are solution-seekers like Fionn Ferreira, an 18 year-old Irish wunderkind, who won the grand prize at the 2019 Google Science Fair for creating a method to remove microplastics from the ocean.

Ferreira’s project used a novel, but effective methodology for removing ocean plastics. He used magnets to attract microplastics from water. The project found that a magnetic liquid called ferrofluid attracted the tiny plastic particles and removed them from the water. After nearly a thousand tests, his device successfully removed about 88 percent of the microplastics from water samples, according to The Irish Times.

Via Sophia Bulander. Read more: Irish Teenager Wins Google Science Award for Removing Microplastics From Oceans

Adding pink seaweed to cow feed eliminates their methane emissions

One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows’ diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane production and “completely knocks out” cows’ methane emissions.

Read More: Adding pink seaweed to cow feed eliminates their methane emissions

 

Fossil fuel drilling could be contributing to climate change by heating Earth from within

Almost all scientists agree that burning fossil fuels is contributing to climate change. But agreement is less clear cut on how exactly it’s influencing rising global temperatures.

The world is now 1°C warmer than it was in pre-industrial times. Is this solely down to emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2? Meteorologist Hubert Lamb, regarded as the father of modern climatology, argued that CO2 levels alone couldn’t account for all of the global warming that’s been observed.

His attention turned instead to the role of thermal emissions. Burning fossil fuels doesn’t just produce greenhouse gases, it also generates a lot of heat, which leaks out to the atmosphere. Nuclear tests and volcanic eruptions are some examples of other large heat sources.

Back in 2009, two scientists in Sweden argued that thermal emissions were more important than CO2 for raising global temperatures. A few years later, two Chinese scientists suggested that heat from the earth’s interior could be contributing to rising temperatures. They argued that fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in layers and crevices beneath the Earth’s surface act as an insulating blanket, trapping heat from the planet’s interior. As these deposits have been emptied by fossil fuel extraction, more of that heat could be reaching the surface.

Read More: Fossil fuel drilling could be contributing to climate change by heating Earth from within