Author Archives: Sadie

How Sufficient Is Earth’s Natural Gas Reserves

We have heard and read it over and over again, that soon we will run out of natural gas for our use. This has been propagated by environmental enthusiasts who are promoting the use of alternatives to fossil fuels – the wind, solar or hydroelectric sources of energy.natural-gas-stove-burner

However, a lot of times, we come to realize that our energy requirements really surpass what these alternatives could handle, even when they are combined together. The truth is that, we are yet to ascertain how reliable these energy sources are, that could lead us to clearing fuels out of the way in our world.

We do not know yet how reliable these energy sources are, bearing in mind the how costly a failure in energy supply could be to the system.

We’ve had several predictions as to how soon we will run out of natural gas, most of which will at best be described as false. The challenge now is this: do we continue to listen to these predictions? How do we know that these predictions are purely motivated by a care for our planet?

A lot of billions have been spent by the US on the basis of these predictions, but until today we cannot boast of an efficient alternative to fossil fuels, neither are the natural gas reserves looking like they are about to be depleted.

Either way, there is need to assess our options for clean renewable energy sources while minimizing the burning of fuels into our atmosphere. Meanwhile, it has to be at the best interest of our planet, and not for any form of economic gain.

How Modern Energy Technologies Can Minimize Over-Population Impact on Earth

We all know that human population on the earth is growing at an alarming rate. This has led to speculations that at some point in our existence here on earth, we may run out of energy resources as a result of increased pressure and over-use.r621244_4172517

It is true that the resources on the earth may be limited as compared to the growth in its population, and over-population will definitely affect the availability of freshwater, wildlife and even fossil fuel.

However, we all know that the amount of food produced in the world today has actually surpassed that produced several years ago from the same space of land – even with the increase in human population. Also, in the computer industry, we have learnt to produce powerful computers whose chips use very little energy.

All these are made possible by innovation and technology.

Why then do we think it is not going to be possible in our energy sector? Is it not going to be possible that entrepreneurs are going to figure out ways of conserving the world’s energy resources? The manufacture of some energy efficient devices in recent years is testament to this.

The fight between demand of a large population on earth, and the supply of limited energy resources is going to stimulate innovations to ensure our continued existence on this planet.

Well, this does not in any way mean we should neglect the issue of overpopulation, it simply means that we can come up with ways of using the earth’s resources efficiently without living on the brink of its exhaustion.

The Problem with Dependence on Rainfall in Parts of Africa

It is no longer news that parts of Africa are ravaged by extreme droughts and devastating food shortages. In most of these places, farming is the main stay of the economy.

Over the years, farmers in Africa – both small and large scale have depended on rainfall as the source of water for their large expanse of farmlands. But things are about to change.

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With the current change in the world’s climate, leading to infrequent rainfall and unusually long dry seasons, farmers all over the world need to re-position themselves in order to remain productive.

One major way of ensuring they remain in the game is look for alternatives to rainfall by using irrigation in providing water for their farms. The damages already recorded in the severe effects of drought in many parts of Africa really far outweigh whatever costs implementing an irrigation system could take.

Sometimes, the costs involved may not even be astronomical in some environments considering that some farmlands are located beside large bodies of water, like dams, lakes or rivers.

However, the topography of Africa, and the fact that so many of these places that really need help are usually remote, makes them difficult to access for aid during difficult agricultural seasons.

The truth is that African governments need to make long term plans for providing rainfall alternatives for farmers. Large scale farmers also have to learn modern ways of irrigation used in other parts of the world.

The times when rainfall determines crop yield in farms is becoming a thing of the past, and farms all over the world need to rise up to the challenge of drought and food scarcity.

The Politics of Solar Power Future

For a good number of years now since the world woke up to the need for alternatives to fossil fuels, it is really surprising that not so much have really been achieved, especially by our governments. This is despite the strides that have been made in solar power technology.

There have also been increases in oil prices as a result of more regulations as well as the instability in the Middle East; yet, the potentials present in solar power as an alternative to fossil fuel remain untapped

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With that in mind, one begins to wonder if all of the alarm being raised – especially by some governments – about global warming is really about caring for the world. If this is about our world, why do governments like the EU and US impose strong tariffs on solar panels manufactured in China?

Referring to an article on the New York Times by James Kanter, that importers of inexpensive solar panels from China could experience loss of hundreds of jobs because of imposing tariffs in the EU. If we really care for our planet, should it matter who manufactures the solar panels?

We have seen inconsistencies in the race to maximizing the potential for alternative energy both in the EU and in the US, so that could make us believe that there are economic reasons slowing down the successful implementation of solar panels in our environment.

Energy companies have to realize the shift in preference in the world, and adjust their business model to accommodate the use of solar panels in homes and buildings.

There are challenges in the successful use of solar panels, but our ultimate priority should be to save our world.

The Raven

The Raven is North America’s largest perching bird. They are actually referred to as passerine birds, which mean they have distinguished feet that is adapted for perching.

The Raven is an Omnivore and known to be very effective hunters that make use of cooperation during hunting. Teams of ravens are known to have been able to hunt large animals in the wild. They can feed on smaller animals like rodents, insects and worms, as well as grains which make them omnivores.

A lot of times too, they feed on carrions – decaying flesh of dead animals, and human garbage; making them scavengers.

During their breeding seasons, ravens are seen displaying magnificent aerial skills. These displays are mostly mating rituals, involving dances, rolls and dives. They usually make croaking sounds, and other forms of sounds.

In the winter months, groups of ravens flock to search for food together during the day, and at night they roost. They are always in groups or in twos. Ravens are known to mate for life, especially during the remaining months of the year.

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When they begin to lay eggs, they make large nests with sticks; laying up to three to seven eggs. Because the ravens are always coupled, they take care of the young together. When the eggs hatch, they are dependent on their parents for several months.

The average life span of the raven is about 13 years, and could weigh up to 1.3 kg. The ravens are really sleek and remarkable birds and make for a beautiful sight when they are together in their flock.

How Effective Is Water Treatment for Wastewater?

Treatment of wastewater involves the removal of both organic and inorganic matter from used water, thereby making it appropriate to be used again. During this recycling process, the wastewater usually goes through filtration, disinfection and separation processes that remove both organic matter like pathogens as well as inorganic matter such as chemicals.

Depending on the quality of water required, the processes involved in its treatment may vary. There could just be the primary treatment that only screens the water but offers no treatment to it.

Riverside Water Treatment Plant

The secondary and tertiary treatments provide more advanced treatments. The tertiary water treatment method for example, can eliminate impurities from sewage entirely. But the technology required for the process is still a bit expensive because of the equipments needed. It also requires a very high level of specialized knowledge, which may not be present at all times.

The method adopted in the treatment of water also depends on the industry in need of the water. For those that work with high levels of toxic substances, they have to use the more advanced water treatment methods; while others will implement the simpler procedures.

Today, we still experience pollution in our environment as a result of the absence of suitable methods for treating water. And so there is still the need to develop more efficient ways of recycling water in our ecosystem.

The new water recycling methods will have to be economical, efficient, environmentally friendly as well as easy when in use.

The Moose

The Moose is a mammal that feeds on woody vegetation, aquatic plants and leaves. It weighs up to 800 kilograms, standing at a height of 1.5 to 2 meters at shoulder level. Even with its size the moose could run up to 55 kilometers per hour.

The moose is grotesque to look at and at times can seem awkward in its movement, because of its long legs. However, it is known to be able to defend itself from other wild animals; and can swim for long distances when feeding on water plants.

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The sensitivity of the moose is remarkable. It can detect movements almost behind it without turning the head, by simply moving its eyes. Some researchers suggest that because the nostrils are far apart, it gives the moose the uncanny ability to perceive the location of objects in a 3 dimensional scale. As for its hearing, the ears can pick sounds in all directions, especially from other moose as far as three kilometers.

The offspring is called a calf and can be very tender, playful and loyal, even when it is adopted by humans.

Since the moose feed exclusively on plants, the cold winter periods presents a trying time for the large mammal. It feeds voraciously during the warm weather, eating up to 23 kg of forage every day. The forage could be from aquatic plants or above the ground; feeding this way stores up fat in its body.

In the winter, the mammal reduces its activities and retains heat under its fur all through the chilly season.

How Plants Can Survive Climate Change

With climatic change plants are now in real danger of facing increased and unusual temperatures in the near future. But there seems to be hope, with the discovery that certain plants could adapt to climates by activating and deactivating certain genes that better preserve them in such conditions.

Epigenetics

The ability to activate and deactivate genes depending on climatic conditions is under the field of study called Epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of chemical markers that bring about temporary genetic changes as a result of external factors.

What causes activating or deactivating of genes?

The activation and deactivation of genes by plants take place under certain conditions of stress. In drought conditions for instance, a plant may have to adapt to the limited available water.

Epigenetics unlike the genetic adaptation we already know takes place very fast; as evidenced in the study of A. thaliana that can produce a new generation every eight weeks.

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The significance of diversity in genes during climatic change

The study of Epigenetics and gene diversity preserve seeds with desirable qualities. Qualities that enhance the survival of the plant in extreme climate conditions will now be readily available.

What this means is that scientists will no more have to go to the wild in search of seeds with the ability to withstand heat, drought or change in climatic conditions. Epigenetic variations will now be available in genetic labs.

Although this research is still in its infancy, it still promises to reveal another interesting aspect of plant breeding.