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8 votes

Will a country that cares for its environment be affected by climate change due to other countries' pollution?

The main driver for anthropogenic climate change is carbon dioxide because it is very long-lived and hence relatively evenly distributed within the atmosphere. And even if you'd somehow manage to keep ...
Christoph's user avatar
  • 994
7 votes

Do solar panels reduce the amount of suns rays reflected back into the atmosphere? Therefore reducing global warming

Whether solar panels reduce the amount of suns rays reflected back into space depends on their albedo and the albedo of the surface that they cover. Desert sand, for example, is fairly reflective and ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 5,857
7 votes

How old is Earth's groundwater?

The age of groundwater can vary over a large span. The moment a drop of rain enters the ground it becomes groundwater and when it reaches the groundwater table, the water starts to flow towards a ...
user2821's user avatar
  • 5,946
7 votes
Accepted

Why don't we feed the plastics to the termites?

Many animals can eat through plastic to get to what they really want to eat. Among them: termites, mice and myself when battling against a candy wrapper. However, as far as I understand, none of them ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
6 votes

What does 5,000,000 tonnes of CO2 look like?

The question is hard to give a definitive answer to, as it depends on the pressure at which the gas is kept in the tank. But to try to give an intuitive sense of how much gas this is, let's work out ...
Semidiurnal Simon's user avatar
5 votes

How old is Earth's groundwater?

Groundwater ages vary enormously across the globe and with depth: from hours in parts of Florida and areas with Karstic geology, to tens of thousands of years in the American breadbasket, all the way ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
5 votes

Will a country that cares for its environment be affected by climate change due to other countries' pollution?

If no-one does anything the result will be bad for everyone. If only a small number of countries (or global regions) do something and the rest of the planet does nothing the effect will be minimal or ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
4 votes
Accepted

Why is reverse osmosis desalination the dominant method used and not heat-based methods? Also why is brine being dumped back into the ocean?

Starting with question 2): you can use heat to evaporate the water but you need some sort of energy or thermal exchange to cool and condense it back to liquid. My understanding is that reverse osmosis ...
haresfur's user avatar
  • 4,419
4 votes
Accepted

Is the maximum human population carrying capacity of Earth higher or lower than the current total human population?

The FAO estimate that we use 11% of the Earth's surface area for agriculture, and that that represents approximately a third of the land that 'could' be used (http://www.fao.org/3/y4252e/y4252e06.htm)...
Andy M's user avatar
  • 2,091
4 votes
Accepted

The impact of red mud near Hamburg

Based on the information presented, this question is unanswerable. What is the topography of the area the red mud dam is on? Flat, steep or somewhere in between? Are there any waterways nearby which ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
3 votes

Solution for the coexistence of overpopulated human species with nature

It's important to understand that this problem is a bit more nuanced. Population growth in every species is exponential (as much as exponential growth can exist, in reality almost nothing is proven to ...
Drew Heasman's user avatar
3 votes

Will increased level of ocean acidity lead to more frequent acid rain?

More likely, it works the other way: increased acid-forming compounds in the atmosphere are the cause of more ocean acidification. Pio et al. [1] report measurements of sulfur and nitrogen compounds ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,881
3 votes
Accepted

Was this reef protected?

The caption under the image on the Digital Globe website identifies the location as Fiery Cross Reef. Multiple sites identify what's going on as the Chinese government building an airstrip and ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,489
3 votes
Accepted

The influence of special emissions (possibly coal mining activity) on particulate matters

The first thing to consider is, if it is not the adjacent coal mine, what other nearby sources could produce such a result. Is there a coal fired power station or a factory nearby. If there are no ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
3 votes

Do solar panels reduce the amount of suns rays reflected back into the atmosphere? Therefore reducing global warming

The way I understand the basics of global warming is we are putting to much Co2 into the atmosphere which increases the size / density of atmosphere shell, sun rays enter the atmosphere then there is ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.7k
3 votes

What control the atmospheric lifetime of different metals in aerosols?

You could say that metals and aerosols reside in the atmosphere but I'm struggling to call that "atmospheric lifetime", which I've only heard in reference to gases. The residence time of particulate ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
  • 13.6k
3 votes

Why don't toilets use saltwater?

This question has tenuous links to Earth Sciences, but the answer is simply that, historically, freshwater has been used to flush toilets, and hence the sewage treatment plants have been developed to ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
3 votes

Calculate flow rate of wetland for gray water treatment

What you're really looking at is a fairly basic groundwater flow problem. What you need are hydraulic conductivity values for the "gravel" sediment in question. Given the fixed 1% grade, what you want ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
2 votes

Calculate flow rate of wetland for gray water treatment

Nice 'green' idea, but I don't think it will work. Wetlands are good for filtering out solids. Dissolved molecules, like detergents will take much longer to degrade by microbial and UV degradation, by ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What is the Carbon Footprint of not changing car oil?

This is an interesting question, and a life cycle emissions analysis can give a pretty good answer. Obviously there are a lot of variables, so some basic assumptions have to be made. We start with ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 336
2 votes

Why is reverse osmosis desalination the dominant method used and not heat-based methods? Also why is brine being dumped back into the ocean?

One factor that makes distillation expensive is the alloys necessary for equipment to handle hot brine are very expensive. For ambient temperature osmosis fairly common stainless like 316 is ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 1,043
2 votes

Will increased level of ocean acidity lead to more frequent acid rain?

Essentially no. Acid rain was especially a problem when coal and other industries let up vast amount of sulphur which made strong sulphuric acid rain which could kill trees. Volcanoes can also have ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 1,349
2 votes

Solution for the coexistence of overpopulated human species with nature

Measures to control human population that have been tried so far have been unpalatable and very unpopular. Everyone want's their own "tribe" to survive. Wars and other significant conflicts ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
2 votes

What is the importance of hydrocarbons to the natural environment?

Hydrocarbons exist as short chain molecules; that act as feedstock for biological consumption. As just geologically stored carbon, it's useless. Apart from methane and ethylene, hydrocarbons as a ...
LazyReader's user avatar
2 votes

Why is bush encroachement a bad thing?

As with many situations there are positives and negatives. With bush encroachment the positives include expanding the range of native species, acting as a carbon sink, it can lead to natural ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
1 vote

Is there a conventional list of pollutants to consider for calculations? Or an updating one even?

In the USA there are two classifications of airborne pollutants. They are Criteria Air Pollutants There are 6 separate air pollutants. These make the bulk of the regulation, especially for the Clean ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
1 vote

Why is reverse osmosis desalination the dominant method used and not heat-based methods? Also why is brine being dumped back into the ocean?

Dumping the brine in a desert would probably be a viable solution in a few places, but many towns don't have a handy desert nearby. It would need to be a really barren desert,almost devoid of life, ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
1 vote

Where does all the earth from surface mining go?

In opencast mining it is dumped on a huge spoil heap, and if the company is environmentally conscientious or wants to avoid penalties, it is used to fill in the hole left when the mining is finished. ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
1 vote

Quickly breeding oysters to combat oceanic pollution?

According to @AllInOne from the comments: This is currently what a project in New York City is trying to do. Their listed goal on wikipedia is to get one billion live oysters in New York Harbor by ...
Erin B's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote

What is cluster situation with respect to sand mining?

Cluster in this situation refers to a grouping or a number of mining operations within a giving area. Sometimes deposits of minerals with sand deposits is such that a number of smaller deposits is ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k

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