Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

Why Mars Died, and Earth Lived

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC31pqk9sak

Published on Oct 13, 2012 by SpaceRip

This video explores the most basic question of all: why we explore space? Be sure to experience the visual spectacle in full HD, 1080P.

The Mars rover, Curiosity, is the latest in a long line of missions to Mars: landers sent to scoop its soil and study its rocks, orbiters sent to map its valleys and ridges.

They are all asking the same question. Did liquid water once flow on this dry and dusty world? Did it support life in any form? And are there remnants left to find? The science that comes out of these missions may help answer a much larger, more philosophical question.

Is our planet Earth the norm, in a galaxy run through with life-bearing planets? Or is Earth a rare gem, with a unique make-up and history that allowed it to give rise to living things? On Mars, Curiosity has spotted pebbles and other rocks commonly associated with flowing water.

It found them down stream on what appears to be an ancient river fan, where water flowed down into Gale Crater. This shows that at some point in the past, Mars had an atmosphere, cloudy skies, and liquid water flowing. So what could have turned it into the desolate world we know today?

One process that very likely played a role goes by the unscientific name, “sputtering.” Like the other planets in our solar system, Mars is lashed by high-energy photons from the Sun. When one of these photons enters the atmosphere of a planet, it can crash into a molecule, knocking loose an electron and turning it into an ion. The solar wind brings something else: a giant magnetic field. When part of the field grazes the planet, it can attract ions and launch them out into space.

Another part might fling ions right into the atmosphere at up to a thousand kilometers per second. The ions crash into other molecules, sending them in all directions like balls in a game of pool. Over billions of years, this process could have literally stripped Mars of its atmosphere, especially in the early life of the solar system when the solar wind was more intense than it is today.

Sputtering has actually been spotted directly on another dead planet, Venus. The Venus Express mission found that solar winds are steadily stripping off lighter molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. They escape the planet on the night side… then ride solar breezes on out into space.

This process has left Venus with an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide gas… a heat trapping compound that has helped send surface temperatures up to around 400 degrees Celsius. The loss of Venus’ atmosphere likely took place over millions of years, especially during solar outbursts known as coronal mass ejections.

If these massive blast waves stripped Venus and Mars of an atmosphere capable of supporting life how did Earth avoid the same grim fate? We can see the answer as the solar storm approaches earth. Our planet has what Mars and Venus lack – a powerful magnetic field generated deep within its core.

This protective shield deflects many of the high-energy particles launched by the Sun. In fact, that’s just our first line of defense. Much of the solar energy that gets through is reflected back to space by clouds, ice, and snow.

The energy that earth absorbs is just enough to power a remarkable planetary engine: the climate. It’s set in motion by the uneveness of solar heating, due in part to the cycles of day and night, and the seasons. That causes warm, tropical winds to blow toward the poles, and cold polar air toward the equator.

Wind currents drive surface ocean currents. This computer simulation shows the Gulf Stream winding its way along the coast of North America. This great ocean river carries enough heat energy to power the industrial world a hundred times over.

It breaks down in massive whirlpools that spread warm tropical waters over northern seas. Below the surface, they mix with cold deep currents that swirl around undersea ledges and mountains. Earth’s climate engine has countless moving parts: tides and terrain, cross winds and currents — all working to equalize temperatures around the globe.

Over time, earth developed a carbon cycle and an effective means of regulating green house gases. In our galaxy, are still-born worlds like Mars the norm? Or in Earth, has Nature crafted a prototype for its greatest experiment… Life?

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Cloud-Seeding as a Solution to Global Warming

Uploaded by SeedtheCloudsdotorg on Sep 14, 2008

Footage from the BBC documentary ‘Five Ways to Save the World’. Uploaded by seedtheclouds.org

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Wrapping Greenland in reflective blankets – Project Earth

Uploaded by georgenechifor on Feb 26, 2009

No description available.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Aerial Reforestation – Project Earth

Uploaded by a1z1z1aa on Dec 4, 2008

Aerial Reforestation

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

discovery project earth – Sunshield


Uploaded by noxiauxi on Sep 9, 2009

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Mirrors in Space to Stop Global Warming?

Uploaded by hyperrreal on Feb 2, 2007

Will mirrors in space stop Global Warming? Would you want to block the sun? Idiot reporter on ABC implies that Democratic congress is playing a political “blame game” on global warming after 6 years of Bush Administration attempts to silence climate change scientists, reversing 30 years of American environmental policy, thwarting Democratic attempts to protect the environment, gutting the EPA, and pulling out of the Kyoto treaty. Is he living in a simulated reality in keeping with post-modern theory or is he just dumb?

How can you be responsable for climate change and not rely on giant mirrors blocking the sun?

Visit: http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Project Earth – Space Sun Shield

Uploaded by gkumar1402 on Oct 2, 2009

Project Earth to save our home Planet Earth…………….

For this project, scientists were aiming to deflect 2 percent of the sun’s rays away from Earth to save humanity from runaway climate change. The idea is essentially to turn down the power of the sun. If the team were successful, Earth’s temperature would be brought down to pre-industrial levels.

Headed up by astronomer Roger Angel, this one-of a kind experiment is both costly and controversial. Navigate through this timeline to see it unfold through pictures and words.

The sunshield would manifest as a huge cloud of 23-inch-diameter lenses. The lenses would be launched to a spot 1 million miles from our planet, where the gravitational pull between Earth and the sun is cancelled out, keeping the lenses in position.

The lenses would transmit the sunlight, while bending it to one side so the rays don’t hit the earth as they normally would. Solar-powered positioning devices are attached to the lenses to keep them evenly spread apart. As a whole, this network of lenses acts like a shield a million miles square, deflecting 2 percent worth of sun to counteract global warming.

Read More:
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/project-earth/timelines/sunshield.html

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Lonnie Thompson, Climate Scientist, Battles Time and Mortality – NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/science/earth/lonnie-thompson-climate-scientist-battles-time.html?pagewanted=all

George Steinmetz

MISSION TO BOLIVIA In a 1997 expedition, Lonnie G. Thompson, right, recovered ice with a solar-powered drill.

By JUSTIN GILLIS

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One day in 1991, high in the thin, crystalline air of the Peruvian Andes, Lonnie G. Thompson saw that the world’s largest tropical ice cap was starting to melt. It was the moment he realized that his life’s work had suddenly become a race.

Life on the Ice

This series focuses on the central arguments in the climate debate and examining the evidence for global warming and its consequences.

Thomas Nash

Lonnie G. Thompson

Enlarge This Image

George Steinmetz

DINING ATOP A MOUNTAIN Dr. Thompson’s team camped out for nearly a month to gather data to examine climatic changes.

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George Steinmetz

BACK TO THE LAB Ice cores, those long cylinders of glacial ice drilled by the team, were carried to a waiting truck.

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Andrew Spear for The New York Times

The discovery meant other ice caps were likely to melt, too, and the tales of past climate that they contained could disappear before scientists had a chance to learn from them. …(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

If this is what fracking is doing to animals – what is it doing to people?

Published on Dec 4, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT

Elizabeth Royte, The Nation Magazine, Author of “Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash” joins Thom Hartmann. Sticking to environmental horrors…Is fracking responsible for killing off an alarming number of livestock around the nation? Authors of a new report looked into 24 different case studies in six different states where hydraulic fracking is taking place, to find out why livestock is getting sick and dying. Their conclusion: it’s the fracking chemicals! For example in Louisiana, the study found 17 cows that died after being exposed to spilled fracking chemicals for only one hour. In central Pennsylvania, after 140 cattle were exposed to fracking chemicals, half died. And in western Pennsylvania, after a nearby pond used by pregnant cows was contaminated with fracking chemicals, half the calves born were dead. And if this is what fracking is doing to animals, what might it be doing to people?

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

The Godfather of Climate Change Denial vs. Thom Hartmann

Published on Dec 4, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT

Marc Morano, Climate Depot.com, joins Thom Hartmann. Every second – 2.4 million pounds of carbon pollution are being pumped into the atmosphere – warming the planet – and having disatrous effects on the environment. Is this startling statistic enough to make climate change deniers wise up to the perils of global warming?

Cambridge Climate Research Associates
http://Climate-Research.Com http://Climate-Research.TV
Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120