An analysis of past climate data published yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience paints a less-than-rosy picture for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada in the 21st century. The 2000-2004 dry spell was the worst drought in the region in 800 years, the researchers claim, and before the century is over we’ll look back on those days as the wetter end of a much larger hydroclimate shift. Dry conditions will become the “new normal.” They invoked the word “megadrought.”
You may have heard of this scheme before: during periods of serious drought, a huge tugboat or fleet of tugboats could be tethered to an iceberg and hauled to areas where water is scarce, providing drinking water and irrigation stores to stave off famine. The idea was originally floated by an engineer named Georges Mougin in the 1970s, and though it was laughed out of development back then, it’s enjoying a kind of renaissance today.
ST. LOUIS — In a nondescript basement lab, jeans-clad engineers clutch blueprints, scrape stepladders across the unfinished floor and chat about the Cardinals as they tighten bolts on a new prototype device. At first glance, it could be any machine shop in the country.
But then you notice the wispy strands of soybean seedlings curling to life, their root tendrils bunched into test tubes lightly packed with soil, and you remember — this place is all about seeds.
To predict the unpredictable: That’s the goal of a new government initiative on abrupt climate change. As the atmosphere reels under the influence of greenhouse gases, scientists fear the growing risk of dramatic environmental changes occurring within decades—far faster than current computer models predict. Ice sheets might not just melt but collapse wholesale, rapidly raising sea levels and flooding entire coastlines. Regional rain shortages could cause megadroughts that choke our water and food supply.
Drought in England inspires a water-conserving car wash that´s part dishwasher, part balloon
By Billy Baker
Posted 11.01.2006 at 3:00 am 0 Comments
The British branch of the online automotive auctioneer eBay Motors is tackling one of the more curious potential problems of global warming: dirty cars. As England suffered through one of its hottest summers in more than a century-one in which draconian water-use restrictions went into place in drought-stricken areas-eBay decided to challenge a U.K.-based automotive think tank to find a way to keep cars squeaky-clean with less water.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.