segunda-feira, 29 de Setembro de 2014

USA: Seattle's fining residents who produce organic waste too much

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The municipal authorities of Seattle, in the United States, passed a law that will make it possible to fine those inhabitants who henceforth more than 10% of organic waste in their dustbins. The aim is to encourage recycling and composting, so the city can reach the goal of recycling 60% of the total waste in 2015.

To that standard is met, the cantoneiros will assess the amount of organic waste present in the box of each resident. If the amount exceeds the value, the offence shall be recorded in an online system and the resident notified. On the invoice following sanitation and water, the resident shall pay €0,77 by organic waste more. In case the amount of organic waste persist, the resident may spend to pay fines up to €39, writes the Treehugger.

The new normal will start at the beginning of 2014, but the warnings will start to be issued only in July, when residents started to be fined. The standard will also apply to buildings and businesses, although in these cases will be left two warnings before the ticket is issued.

To avoid fines, the City encourages residents to practice with backyard composting and that this is not possible to reduce food waste.

In San Francisco, there is also a similar standard, introduced in 2009, where after a few warnings, residents are fined up to €78.

Foto: cliff1976 / Creative Commons

An electric sports car powered by salt water

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The sports cars do not have the best reputation when it comes to sustainability. However, the Quant and-Sportlimousine is an exception. It was designed to reach the 350 km/h using mias nothing but saltwater.

But if you think this car has a performance inferior to other high-end sports cars for being eco-friendly, think again. the innovative driving system allows the vehicle, which weighs 2,300 kg, hitting 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, which makes it so fast as a McLaren P1. Not to mention its 920 horses.

The model, which was developed by NanoFlowcell, a company based in Liechtenstein, was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year and managed to have certification for power through the European roads in testing period.

And how does this salt water powered car? Works similarly to a cell, but the liquid hydrogen to store energy is the saltwater. The car is equipped with two water reservoirs â€" each with a capacity of 200 litres. Between the two tanks there is a membrane through which the water and go through this membrane is generated an electrical current. This electricity is stored and distributed by supercapacitadores to power the four electric motors fitted on the vehicle, referred to in Inhabitat.

The two tanks of 200 litres each allow a range of 600 km, the price of the vehicle has not yet been established, but it is estimated that it can cost more than €1,25 million.

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domingo, 28 de Setembro de 2014

The world's population is expected to reach 11 billion in 2100

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A new study from the University of Washington, in the United States, and the United Nations (UN) quantified for the first time with great precision the evolution of the world's population throughout the 21ST century. Conclusions? In 2100 we will be 11 billion, rather than the previous statistics indicated.

Previous studies suggested that the world's population should start declining from the second half of the century, but the new study comes to counter this hypothesis and affirming that there is 70% probability of the number of people inhabiting the planet rise from the current seven billion to 11 billion at the end of the century. Such a hypothesis represents serious challenges at the level of food resources, water, medical care and social cohesion.

"Previous projections indicated that the issue would fade and attention were diverted from the population issue," says Adrian Raftery, University of Washington researcher, cites the Guardian. "There's a strong argument for the population back to the top of the international agenda. The population is the catalyst of all the rest and a rapid population growth can exacerbate all kinds of challenges, "indicates. The lack of health care, increased crime rates, poverty and pollution are just some of the current problems that will be exponenciados.

The region where the population is expected to grow more in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population can grow to 5 billion in 2100. The drop in fertility rates, which began in 1980, in many of these countries should continue, but the latest data indicate otherwise. In countries like Nigeria, the most populous on the African continent, the decline in fertility rates has already been reversed, with the average women to have six children. The population of Nigeria is expected to increase from the current 200 million to 900 million in 2100.

Another factor is included for the first time in the study were data on HIV and AIDS, which indicate that the epidemic is killing as many people as previously thought, especially in African countries. "For 20 years the impact on population was absolutely gigantic. Now, the accessibility of antiretrovirals is much higher and the epidemic seems to have passed its peak, "says Adrian Raftery.

Foto: India Photography / Creative Commons

The best photos of wildlife photography contest of the Smithsonian

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O Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History inaugurou recentemente uma exposição fotográfica intitulada “Wilderness Forever: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places”.

The exhibition displays several images carefully selected by a jury, that capture the beauty of the natural spaces and wildlife of the United States. The exhibition is part of the celebrations of the Wilderness Act, a law passed in 1964 and that has protected wildlife million acres of American soil.

The photos to display were selected from over 5,000 submissions. Many of the winning photos depict the fabulous mountains and tundra of Alaska, the mountainous forests of the Pacific coast and the rock formations of the American Southeast. The exhibition will feature in the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian until the summer of 2015.

Here are some of the winning photos.

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Butterfly-shaped square absorbs solar energy through green roofs

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The atelier of design Architecture Weatherhead recently unveiled the draft of Butterfly Square, a butterfly-shaped square which absorbs solar energy through green roofs. The square was designed for the Swedish County of Halland.

Crossed by a pedestrian zone, the square is composed of six buildings, arranged in the form of butterfly wings open. The buildings are coated with a wide of simple materials produced from wood and glass.

Heavily landscaped with green roofs and zones of cultivation, the Butterfly Square was designed in the manner of look like an extension of the Green Park that exists in that area. To create a more pedestrian space and suitable for children, the architects have created an underground car park. Beyond the scope of leisure and commerce, there is a covered Amphitheater for a green roof for cultural activities, referred to in Inhabitat.

The abundant green roofs will serve as habitat to birds and insects and one of the main objectives is the planting of a rare plant location to attract giant butterflies, which are threatened. Green roofs are also equipped with solar panels to mimic the way the butterflies get solar energy from the wings. The start of construction of the Plaza is scheduled for 2016.

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sábado, 27 de Setembro de 2014

7 of the most beautiful natural pools in the world – and two are in Portugal

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There is much that the luxury hotels strive to create artificial pools endless, imitating nature â€" there are no resorts of Maldives, Bora Bora or Tahiti you don't have. But nothing compares to endless pools, as these seven that you bring in this article.

Compiled by Conde Nast Traveler, this list includes Turkey's natural wonders, Zambia or even Portugal â€" the Old Boiler and Poça da Ferraria, São Miguel, Azores.

See the list of pools and, below, the photographs.

1. Travertine Terraces, Pamukkale, Turkey

Considered a world heritage site, this site contains hot springs that reach to 100ºc. Most of these pools are protected and prohibited to the public yet, there are some that can be used.

2. Devil's pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia

The Devil's pool just a misstep and can habilitarmo us to a drop of 110 meters. The swimming pool is glued to the waterfalls â€" however a stone wall beneath the surface protects swimmers from a possible tragedy.

3.Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang, Laos

The Kuang Si waterfalls are among the most impressive wonders of a country already, benefited by nature, Laos.

4. Pool of Ferraria, São Miguel, Portugal

There are numerous natural pools in the Azores, but this is one of the most well known and spectacular. You know her?

5.Top Ponds, Hot Springs, Villa Grove, Colorado

After an easy hike, visitors come to this natural pool, one of three lakes with connections between them and summer temperatures averaging 40° c. Are all surrounded by a natural beauty incomporável.

6. Beach of Coogee, Sydney, Australia

Sydney is one of the cities with the most natural pools along the coast, but the McIvors and Wylie Bths, in Coogee Beach are the most beautiful.

7. Caldeira Velha, Sao Miguel, Azores

These geothermal springs are hidden in the Woods but, nonetheless, are part of the many wonders that the Azores are known to all its visitors.

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Photo: Old Boiler, Azores. David Stanley/Creative Commons

New Caledonia: a heart-shaped solar

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For decades, the Islands suffered with the energy dependence of the continent, a highly unsustainable, inefficient and expensive. However, renewable energies came not only to give them a new impetus on energy independence â€" and the island of El Hierro, Canary Islands, is the best proof of this new reality â€" how to contribute to a new ecological reality.

The archipelago of New Caledonia is the latest renditioned to renewable, and he's so happy with this option that will build a solar plant in the shape of a heart. The plant will supply power to 750 homes from New Caledonia, helping to reduce carbon emissions and giving a romantic perspective renewables.

The plan was developed by a local drink, the Froico, and is being built by Conergy. The plant will begin producing energy in 2015 and when its life cycle comes to an end, in 2040, will have saved about 2 million tons of carbon emissions.

The central design was inspired by a local forest that will have grown in the shape of a heart, known as Coeur de Voh. "This forest is an important heritage for the people of New Caledonia and shows how extraordinary nature can be" explained managing director of Conergy to The Guardian.

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