A group of BYU student engineers have created the newest form of solar energy. They are in the process of creating a way the public can charge their mobile devices in places like bus stops, park tables and benches, cafeterias, restaurants, stadium seats, blinds, and car window shades. Ford Motor Company Fund has even given BYU a $25,000 grant to fund this idea. They have already created a prototype for a solar powered table, where people can work and charge their phone or computer. This will be convenient for everyday life. Students can charge their device and be outdoors, and parents can charge theirs while watching their kids play at the park. Future ideas will be to have them in areas like bus stops and at picnic tables. Students are also creating an app to encourage students to be involved and track their energy savings. This project will create easy access to efficient energy, as well as savings, and benefits to our environment.
Styrofoam has been banned from the beaches in Miami to make the waters and beaches cleaner. This law requires all restaurants and stores to ban selling or using styrofoam completely. Coolers and ice chests are also included and you may be fined if seen with any of these items. Violations will be $50 for the first time and $500 for the third time. Beaches are covered in styrofoam and plastic which creates an unhealthy environment for the public and the animals as well. Plastic and styrofoam are hazards to animals if they consume either one. Styrofoam also breaks down and floats around for decades. With this new regulation, Miami beaches will be cleaner and prevent future consequences. I think more cities should create bans like this one to force us to keep a clean environment and to obtain beautiful beaches.
People are mistaken that animals and plants can adapt easily to climate change. Which is true for the most part, although, humans are causing the climate to change rapidly. These rapid climate changes create mass extinctions. A study from a team in the UK estimated that "18 and 35% of plant and animal species will be committed to extinction by 2050 due to climate change." We have seen a pattern over the past million years in extinctions due to climate change. Some extinctions include during the Palaeozoic Era and Palaeocene-Euocene Thermal Maximum, ranging from at most 250 million years ago. More recently, humans are changing our global environment. Half of the worlds freshwater is used for human use, 83% of the Earth's and area is under human influence and we control 36% of the bioproductive surface. Our human domination has created many issues for any biological diversity
Another major false accusation that humans have made is that climate is constantly changing, therefore humans are not causing global climate changes. People are mistaken that climate is changing due to natural causes, although humans are the major cause in climate change. Humans CO2 emissions are mainly what is causing these climate changes. It is true, that the Earth's temperature has changed abruptly in the past but it was caused by greenhouse gas emissions. We are seeing the same changes today, that we saw many years ago that caused mass extinctions. This time, the humans are to blame.
A Stanford report has discovered that large marine animals have a higher chance of becoming extinct than smaller creatures. Recent studies have shown that the larger the body mass of the animal is, the greater their chance of extinction. These studies are completely different from what they have been in the past. This pattern is most likely driven by human fishing. The two major groups of marine animals in danger are mollusks and vertebrates. These animals tend to be at the top of the food web , and help cycle nutrients throughout the oceans. Without them, there could be serious problems for the health of the marine ecosystems. This is a pattern that has occurred on Earth before with the massacre of mammoths. This problem can be solved with treaties on how we may hunt and fish. This environmental problem is important because it is caused by humans. More people need to be aware and educated on the problem so it can be stopped before more environmental issues arise.
Water conservation in California has decreased, especially since last summer. Water savings fell from 21.5% to 20% in only one month.People are told to cut back on water usage even more. Some cites like Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills are getting better and have cut down in water consumption. Although overall we have not seen drastic changes, and Southern California brought down the states savings. Water is lowering, The San Louis Reservoir was only 10% full. Even though these numbers are not getting better, there is so much we can do to conserve water. Something simple like taking shorter showers could help tremendously. In previous months we have saved up to 25% savings, now we've saved one drop in five instead of one drop in four. Hopefully people will contribute and make only little changes that will make big differences.
Category 1 hurricane struck Florida with 80 mph wind. This is the first hurricane to hit ashore in 11 years. Forecasters say there is more coming, signs of a tornado could be possible. Hermine is said to make its way to southeastern Georgia and bring up to 10 to 15 inches of rainfall in some places. According to the National Hurricane Center, Hermine is expected to flood Virginia to New Jersey this Saturday. This hurricane is terrifying for home owners who houses are destroyed after. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered, and more than 70,000 are without power. People are also worried about the zika virus because of the increase of mosquitos after a tropical storm. Although, experts say it should not increase fears of the Zika virus. This event is tragic because of the many homes and lives that this hurricane has affected. Homes can be rebuilt, but lives cannot.
Offshore wind turbines may be growing in the United States. Coming up in October, America's first offshore wind farm will be supplying power to the New England electric grid. Only 5 turbines are the power source of 15,000 homes, known as the Block Island Wind Farm project. Although the turbines are cheaper to build on land, the wind is weaker as well. Stronger wind from the ocean will generate more power and will balance out our other renewable resources like solar panels and land turbines. Using the turbines will benefit greatly to our environment and reduce pollution. With a new source of electricity, this will start a movement in our using of renewable power. Other states are setting goals about using more renewable sources of power. Governors of states are very interested and looking into using wind power as well. 50,000 wind turbines have been installed over the last two decades. Using offshore wind turbines could start a movement of using renewable resources and relying of fossil fuels. This is a great start for change being made to help us in the long run.
The bay of Rio is extremely filthy with trash and pollution, making it a worry for athletes competing in the water for the olympics. Half of the houses in Rio de Janeiro are unconnected to sewage treatment plants. All of the trash and sewage overflows areas of the city and the water. The water is so polluted that teams have even instructed each other not to splash one another for sanitation and safety reasons. This caused many athletes to be ill while competing at the olympic games. Not only is this harmful towards the athletes but extremely dangerous for residents who live there. Especially the ones who are more poor who live in the most polluted part of the bay. This polluted water is also dangerous for the marine life. Animal population in the Guanabara bay has decreased tremendously in the past 150 years. The dolphins contain high levels of metals and oil spills have killed off many fish. It is said that Brazils water laws are much "more permissive" than those in the US and Europe. This is a major problem because it is concerning the health and well being of people. There most definitely is a solution and many things people can do to help. It is sad that not everyone is willing to make a change in their community and country to make it a healthier place to live.