The Path Not (Yet) Taken: Increasingly refined navigation techniques have made landing patterns more efficient. The sweeping radar-guided path is the one most airplanes have flown at most airports in the world through the past half-century. The RNAV (for "area navigation") approach relies on GPS and is closer and more efficient than radar guidance from controllers—but still not quite direct. The RNP ("required navigation performance") path is the flight performance that new software and autopilots already make possible at most airports. Finally, the Optimized RNP path shows what is possible at the airports that have been most
carefully instrumented and set up with the approaches mapped to their precise geographic and urban setting.
Zero Net Emissions by 2050?: As flights increase in China, India and the Persian Gulf region, carbon emissions will rocket past 2009's already troubling baseline. Replacing older, heavier planes with newer models [the red bar] and improving routing and other air-traffic-management procedures [gray bar] could cut the rate of growth in half by 2050. But using aviation biofuels [green bar] made from CO2-eating algae could do more than reduce the rate of growth. If production systems are put in place (and if they actually work), it could reduce net carbon emissions to a rate that is actually lower than that of 2009.
James Fallows is the author of China Airborne, which will be published by Pantheon this month.
I am amazed Popsci would run an article that questions the morality of using corn for bio fuel, but has no concerns at all about opening up Tibetan airports. Since annexing the area the Chinese have been trying to move as many mainlanders into the region as possible to diminish any dissent. The only thing slowing them down has been geographic isolation of the area. Thanks to GE, however, they can now land as many jumbo jets in the area as they need. Maybe next month we can celebrate how American companies are helping use the internet regimes to crack down on dissent in Iran and Syria.
Correction last line should read: Maybe next month we can celebrate how American companies are helping regimes use the internet to crack down on dissent in Ir an and Syria.
At the end of the article, I found it most interesting to learn about algae as an energy source and it being CO2 carbon neutral to the environment. As algae grows it removes C02 from the environment, so when we burn algae the C02 is released, leaving a balance of carbon in the environment.
Science sees no further than what it can sense, i.e. facts.
Religion sees beyond the senses, i.e. faith.
Open your mind and see!
Obviously using combining carbon from biomass or atmosphere extraction then combining it with nuke hydrogen is far cheaper than algae to produce jet fuel. Shell Qatar GTL plant is already doing it with natural gas making a profit at under $25 a barrel market.
This would mark China's stance as a favorable investment climate in the growing autocratic world. By knowingly choosing to relinquish their military control in favor a favorable aviation climate could result in an influx of travelers. This is not a matter of green versus military but simply a matter of conservative authoritarian policies versus the future of economic innovation in China. China may or may not honor the request of an industry who already turns a profit despite the increasing cost of fuel. This is a matter of trust and the example set by this situations outcome shall determine whether China is a favorable government for international communication. May China make its choice knowing it sets not only an example for economic innovation but military and government advancement and reform. China has set previous precedents deeming a minor economic motive as an insufficient exception to military restrictions and government policies. It comes down to the economic necessity the rest of the world is in to change and adapt to a worsening economy due to an oil reliance paired with an increasing debt to the Chinese government. Currently China has yet to match international trends (favoring domestic and government controlled innovation) and in turn their influence shall soon lead to many more policies that do not benefit the earth and atmosphere. Finally China has a government body playing an intricate role in the fate of the economy while the majority of the world has a corporate ruling body without the restrictions or growth of the Chinese both of which are ignorant of their effects on the environment. While the USA and Europe may require innovations in aviation to continue to turn a profit the way to accomplish this potentially unreachable feat is to not make yet another product that in the long term only stimulates the Chinese economy and increases national debt. No foreign or corporate body is willing to take a stand and promote an innovative policy of aviation, while aware that it would directly restrict the Chinese governments policies, fearing economic and civil repercussions. Is the rest of the world prepared to rely on the Chinese for algae fuel as well as debt?
Algae technologies are already Carbon Negative. Here's how: Algae is comprised of three main components; Lipids (Oil), Proteins, and Carbohydrates. Carbon is the 6th most common element in the universe and bonds to nearly everything just like hydrogen. That means not all of the CO2 captured will be re-released since only the algae oil is used to make biofuels. The best part of all? Algae love to clean which means they are the perfect organisms for treating municipal waste-water and runoff from agriculture.
The race to full scale commercialization of Algae is one that the US can, should, and must win.