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Using Electricity to Fight Fires

Fire fighting could take on an entirely new character with the rediscovery of a principle first noticed more than 200 years ago: electricity can stop flames.

Scientists do not yet fully understand how electricity stops fire. "The process by which it does this is complex, the researchers say, and is actually not really well understood (there are a lot of cheap prescription cialis different things happening at once, apparently). But critically, it seems the carbon particles (soot) generated during combustion are easily charged, and once charged they respond to electric fields in strange ways that affect the stability of the look here cialis now online flame. Shake that stability hard enough, and the flame collapses."

If an electrical field can extinguish the flames, it offers an easily transportable method for extinguishing fires on jet fighters and overnight levitra submarines (and DARPA is backing research on the process). Building materials and their contents may be able to be saved from both the fire and from the water damage that often occurs from fire fighting. The system could also help reduce the use of fire retardant gasses such as Halon, which is a potent ozone-depletion causing gas.

Electrical fire suppression also has the cheap cialis pills potential to be a very fast-acting system, which could also be a benefit for locations with especially sensitive contents. The effect also seems to buy cialis without a prescription be generated from a manageable level of power, which suggests that, in a few years, backpack sized gear may be available to fire fighters as an alternative to the hoses and foam sprayers.

image: Georg Andreas Böckler via Wikimedia Commons

hat tip to: @JaymiHeimbuch


Inequality in Trees Reflects Income Inequality

Comparisons of aerial images between lower- and higher-income neighborhoods show that income inequalities are demonstrated through the number of trees present. Higher income areas have more trees, while less affluent areas also have fewer trees.

"They found that for every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. That’s a pretty tight correlation. The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees."

The original study was published in 2008, but gained much more recent attention when it was posted by Tim De Chant on his blog, Per Square Mile. The original story has now been followed up with images that demonstrate this inequality in regions all over the globe.

We know that having access to the natural world is a good thing.  This goes to show that, rightly or wrongly, there can be a price tag attatched to it.

image: from Per Square Mile

via: Treehugger and BoingBoing


1.5 Gigawatts from a Thermal Chimney Power Tower

Solar towers are again getting some notice. According to recent news, a company called Clean Wind Energy, Inc. is trying to build a 3,000 foot (914 meters) tall tower to produce electricity. When the tower is operational, the company expects to have, on an hourly basis, "1,100 to 1,500 megawatt hours available for sale to the power grid."

Solar power towers are one of the more unusual concepts we've come across at EcoGeek. More properly, we should be calling them something like 'thermal chimney towers' to differentiate them from the solar towers which are targets for fields of tramadol 150mg solar reflectors.

To further complicate the matter, there are two types of solar chimney towers: updraft and downdraft. Updraft towers require a large area covered with transparent material to heat the tramadol 100mg medicine air at the base of the tower in order to make it rise through the chimney. Downdraft towers pump water to the top of the tower where it is 5 mg propecia sprayed as a fine mist to viagra online pharmacy cool the air and induce it to fall. In both cases, wind turbines at the base of the tower are turned by the moving air to produce electricity.

The tower that Clean Wind Energy is proposing is of the downdraft type, which may be problematic in the American desert southwest, where water is already scarce. Treehugger's article on the project also notes one of the major drawbacks to this kind of power generator: "Of course, there's the problem of dedicating large amounts of next day viagra water in a desert city to the tower, and the energy required to send it 3,000 feet up. One third of the energy produced by the tower goes to that pumping."

Several years ago, we first noted that Enviromission, an Australian company with an updraft tower design, was trying to get their first solar power tower built in Arizona. That company found Arizona more conducive to their business model than building a tower in the Australian desert, and their project also seems to be moving slowly forward. Whether either one of these towers (or both) gets built remains to buy daily cialis be seen.

via: Treehugger


Pollution Causing Bug-Eating Plants to Go Vegetarian

Every once in a while we hear of an unexpected consequence of pollution or climate change and this one is particularly interesting. Scientists at Loughborough University in England found that an increased level of nitrogen in rainfall over bogs in Northern Europe was causing carnivorous plant species to cut back or stop consuming insect prey because they were now getting more nitrogen through their roots.

Air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants and from transportation is causing the uptick in nitrogen in the rain. By taking samples of plants in different bogs and analyzing the nitrogen they contained, the scientists found that plants in areas where the pollution was light got 57 percent of their nitrogen from insects, but in areas with heavy pollution that number fell to 22 percent.

The plants are responding to the extra nitrogen by making their leaves less sticky and changing their color to more green instead of levitra online pharmacy usa insect-attracting red, making bogs where nitrogen pollution is high easy to spot.

This change is real cialis without a prescription actually to i recommend online pharmacy levitra the plants' detriment. The plants originally evolved to be carnivorous in order to survive in the low-nitrogen environments of the bogs, but now that the wholesalers of viagra plants are switching their diet they will find it harder to compete with non-carnivorous plants that are equipped better for a high-nitrogen environment.

"In the sites with more nitrogen deposition, these plants now get much more of their nitrogen from their roots, but they still have to bear the residual costs of being carnivorous, and other plants without these will be better able to survive,"said Dr. Jonathan Millett, the report's lead author. "So it's quite likely we'll see less abundance and perhaps local extinctions from carnivorous species. The individual plants get bigger and fitter, but the species as a whole is less well adapted to high-nitrogen environments and uk levitra will lose out over time."


Images via Wikimedia Commons


SciShow: Geoengineering

Geoengineering is the term used to describe large-scale engineering projects meant to manipulate the planetary environment (usually in order to address climate change). Two items related to viagra prescriptions this topic are covered in this week's SciShow.

The first story notes that scientists in Italy are preparing to examine the supervolcano in the Campi Flegrei Caldera (the area around Naples) by drilling down toward the magma underlying the region. The study seeks to better understand the movement of magma in this area. Sensors will be placed 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) below the surface to gather information. Plans for a deeper bore were cancelled after concerns about the possibility of triggering earthquakes or gas releases.

Also in the news is SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) an experimental method to deploy aerosols in the upper atmosphere (to potentially create a 'global cooling effect' to offset global warming). The British team planning this experiment had to put it on hold due to potential conflicts of interest over patents with some of what is levitra the technology in the program.

More details about all of this can be found in this episode of SciShow on YouTube.

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