# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged environmental-protection

24

The short answer is yes, it's possible. And it can also reduce harm. Summary of the changes Here's a brief summary of the changes that happen when electricity is generated from a wind turbine, rather than from a fossil or nuclear plant: energy is taken out of the wind further upwind than it would otherwise be there is more turbulence just downwind from the ...

16

Is "Climate Change" a derived theory within "Global Warming", or vice versa? Is "Climate Change" a reiteration of an earlier theory, "Global Warming"? Are these terms in fact synonymous? In order, Vice versa. No. No. "Climate change" (and its kin, "climatic change") is a far older term than is "global warming." The terms "climate change" / "...

8

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 reduced levels of $\ce{CO2}$ in your country's atmosphere, you'd still be affected by large-scale weather changes. So yes, your country would be affected just ...

7

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 lower hydrostatic level, usually towards the sea, a river or a lake. If you have a well, you'll pump up water to lower the hydrostatic level near the well, so that ...

7

As with the answer to most things that involves consumption or absorption it's a question of degree, quantity and duration. Heat is energy that is being transferred. All life forms require a certain amount of heat to function and survive. Too much heat and not enough heat are detrimental to all life forms. Applying heat to food by cooking it kills most ...

7

Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines Nature Climate Change 4, 195–200 (2014) It finds that large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) may diminish peak near-surface hurricane wind speeds by 25–41 m s−1 (56–92 mph) and storm surge by 6–79%. In the case of offshore turbine arrays in particular locations there is potential benefit ...

6

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 can degrade the plastic. You can do the test yourself and I'll guarantee the plastic wrapper will come out the other end of your digestive system. ...

6

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 two things: Firstly, how big the box would be at atmospheric pressure; and secondly, how many standard gas bottles it would take. At atmospheric pressure The ...

5

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 to several billion years as was recently discovered in Canada. Remember that some of this groudwater may be perfectly drinkable, while by far, most of it will ...

5

It sounds like you are asking about plants taking up carbon at different stages of Ecological Succession that occur after some catastrophic event (e.g. a wildfire or lava flow). If the prior ecosystem was dominated by live vegetation such that the detritus emitting $\ce{CO_2}$ was much less than the $\ce{CO_2}$ uptake by plants, then a catastrophe will ...

5

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 negligible of a global scale. The greater the number of regions doing something useful, the greater the effect and the benefit. For an impact to be made ...

4

Note: As the OP, it's not quite fair to say this is "my" answer, but a synthesis of the many comments provided. -- Thank you. Question Restatement: Given the many representations of "Global Warming" and "Climate Change" - what are the "Official Definitions" being used in this debate? How these terms are used by the IPCC; and The senses of these terms ...

4

Changes to temperature are harmful to the environment - or, to use a perhaps-less-contentious wording, changes to temperature change the environment. The important thing here is to understand how heat and temperature are related. This can be considered on local and global scales. Locally If a continuous point source of heat is sufficiently intense, then it ...

4

Your idea has merit. Shale is classified by geologists as being a mudstone. It is composed of silt and clay sized minerals. According to this geology website, shales can be crushed to produce a clay and then mixed with water. These days, items that were once made from natural clay, such as terracotta pots and tiles for roofs, are now made from crushed shale....

4

One issue that you've got is the area will be contaminated with fragments of plastic that are microscopic in size to large pieces and they will be at varying depths throughout the soil. To most people that wouldn't be much of a problem, but for you, who wants to grow food with an organic certification it's going to be a major problem. Setting fire to that ...

4

The native worms are not good at competing for some reason. There's a reason for that. There are no native earthworms in New York. Still, before the most recent glaciers there were worms in these regions. North America has been hammered by multiple glaciations for the last two million years. It wasn't just the areas covered by ice that lost their ...

4

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 (RO) is more energy efficient overall. Question 1) Brine is only put into the oceans from system that are near the sea, which usually use seawater as a water ...

4

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). If we accept that current agricultural production is at a level that allows the current population to live healthy lives that implies that we could triple ...

3

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 related facilities on the site to solidify its claim to the South China Sea. According to this 2015 BBC story: China claims almost the whole of the South China ...

3

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 other likely sources then the coal mine is still the most likely candidate as the source of the dust and metal contaminants. The other thing to consider is how is ...

3

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 solar panels might reflect less sunlight back into space than deserts, but it's not just the reflection that matters. You also have to account for energy ...

3

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 matter is mostly a function of meteorology (e.g. PBL height, wind speed) and deposition (e.g. raining, settling velocity). You've observed some metals that had ...

3

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 to find is the "tank" length that maximizes pollutant residence time, and is relatively easy to calculate. I believe that this is the basic design around ...

3

Adding to Fred's answer, there are two points you have to take into consideration: Whether the "shale" is actually composed of clay minerals, or is it something else. You said it's what they took out from a coal mine, so it's probably crushed and milled. Assuming it is clay, there are some problems with that. As Fred said, clays expand and contract with ...

3

Yes almost definitely. Its not just gas, but additives, lubricants/oils, coatings, coolant (some of which leaks into the combustion chamber) etc. The full list of known carcinogens is available here. Also see the EPA report here which says ... "EPA estimates that mobile (car, truck, and bus) sources of air toxics account for as much as half of all ...

3

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 treat non-saline sewage. The water can be (and frequently is) recycled for domestic use, whilst sewage sludge can be used to enrich farmland. No such benefits ...

3

About 12 million BTU, or 3.5 MWh. I searched for paper btu and got loads... of... hits. Seems like 7000 BTU/lb is a decent starting point, or $1.6 \times 10^7\ \mathrm{J/kg}$. If we say a ream of letter-size paper weighs about 5 lb, then we can calculate that paper yields about $1.2 \times 10^{10}\ \mathrm{J/m^3}$ when burned — enough to heat the average ...

3

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 grow infinitely, therefore at some point stops growing exponentially). Check out this for a description of carrying capacity. In a lot of ways it shows that ...

2

The US EPA mandate is quite broad as are the range of environmental issues. The issues aren't really amenable to such a list because it is subjective to decide what is 'major' except in very broad terms. Major could mean greatest risk or it could mean of greatest importance to address soon. Those could be different things, for example, carbon dioxide ...

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