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«Wind Power: Advantages and Disadvantages»

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Wind power is the ability to make electricity using the air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. In other words, is the use of air flow through wind turbines to mechanically power generators for electric power.

Wind power, as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consumes no water, and uses little land. Specifically, harnessing energy from the wind and turning it into renewable electricity has many advantages, not only for the environment, but also for the area itself.

Here, some advantages of wind power:

  • Wind power is a clean fuel source:

Wind power doesn’t pollute the air, like the use of coal or oil. Wind turbines don’t produce atmospheric emissions that increase health problems like asthma or create acid rain or greenhouse gases. As a result, wind energy lessens our reliance on fossil fuels from outside nations as well, which helps our national economy and offers a variety of other benefits as well.

  • Wind power is cost-effective:

It is one of the lowest-cost renewable energy technologies available today. Wind turbines can give energy to numerous homes, and people can buy their power from a service organization that offers wind energy for a specific area.

  • Wind power is inexhaustible:

Wind is actually a form of solar energy. Specifically, winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the Earth, and the Earth’s surface irregularities. For as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the energy produced can be harnessed to send power across the grid.

  • Wind turbines can be built on existing farms or ranches:

This benefits the economy in rural areas, where most of the best wind sites are found. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the ground. Also, wind power plant owners make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land, providing landowners with additional income.

  • Wind power increases energy security:

By using wind energy to generate electricity, we are reducing our dependency on fossil fuel alternatives such as coal, oil and gas. In many cases, these natural resources are often sourced from other countries, which can fluctuate the price and cause serious economic problems or supply shortages for some countries. By using renewable energy sources, a country can help to reduce its dependency on global markets and increase its energy security.

  • Job Creation:

The wind energy industry has helped to create jobs all over the world. Jobs have been created for the manufacture of wind turbines, the installation and maintenance of wind turbines and also in wind energy consulting. This is an element very important for the economy of the region.

However, there are also some disadvantages that should be mentioned:

  • Threat to Wildlife:

Wind turbines pose a threat to wildlife, especially for birds and other flying creatures that may be in the area. So, this is a serious problem, because wind turbines are contributing to mortality rates among bird and bat population.

  • Noise and Visual pollution:

One of the disadvantages of wind turbines is the noise pollution, that they generate. A single wind turbine can be heard from hundreds of meters away. For example, wind turbines make a sound that can be between 50 and 60 decibels.

Also, there is the problem of visual pollution. Many people think that the wind turbines remain unattractive, as they have concern that it may tarnish the beauty of landscapes.

  • Expensive to set up :

The installation of a wind turbine is considered expensive. If we add also the cost of the supplies that will be need, the problem is becoming greater.

So, taking into consideration all the above, it is clearly understood that this new source of energy has both, advantages and disadvantages. As a result, we have to be careful and to make the best choices.

What do you think about it? Do we have to follow the example of wind power on not?

Dipla Aikaterini (Arid Zone Afforestation)

 

 

 

 

Remote island has ‘world’s worst’ plastic rubbish density

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An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study. Henderson Island, part of the UK’s Pitcairn Islands group, has an estimated 37.7 million pieces of debris on its beaches. The island is near the centre of an ocean current, meaning it collects much rubbish from boats and South America.

The joint Australian and British study said the rubbish amounted to 671 items per square metre and a total of 17 tonnes. “A lot of the items on Henderson Island are what we wrongly refer to as disposable or single-use,” said Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania. In addition to fishing items, Henderson Island was strewn with everyday things including toothbrushes, cigarette lighters and razors.

The condition of the island highlighted how plastic debris has affected the environment on a global scale, Dr Lavers said. “Almost every island in the world and almost every species in the ocean is now being shown to be impacted one way or another by our waste,” she said. “There’s not really any one person or any one country that gets a free pass on this.” Plastic was devastating to oceans because it was buoyant and durable.

Follow the link to learn more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-39931042

 

 

Germany breaks renewables record with coal and nuclear power responsible for only 15% of country’s total energy

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Germany has broken a new record for renewable energy, with low-carbon sources nearly obliterating coal and nuclear power last weekend. Sustainable energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydro power provided a record 85 per cent of the country’s total energy.

Germany has been investing heavily in renewables, as part of the government’s Energiewende initiative to transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear power to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply by 2050.

Investment in sustainable energy has been so successful that for several hours on Sunday electricity prices fell into negative figures, as renewable sources fed so much power into the grid that supply exceeded demand. Coal use fell to an all-time low, with public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reporting that on 30 April coal-fired power stations were only operational between three and four in the afternoon and  produced less than eight gigawatts of energy, well below their maximum output of about 50 gigawatts.

Germany announced in May 2011 that it plans to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022, in addition to nearly eliminating fossil fuel power..

Follow the link to learn more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-renewable-energy-record-coal-nuclear-power-energiewende-low-carbon-goals-a7719006.html?utm_campaign=Twitter&utm_source=Link&utm_medium=AMS

 

 

 

Arid Zone Afforestation – Who we are

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Arid Zone Afforestation (AZA) is a non-profit organization that acts to combat desertification on a local and global level, in arid, semi-arid, and deserted regions, where rainfall is limited or non-existent, by the use of innovative, environmentally friendly planting technologies, such as the Safe Tree planting system.

Our Mission

  • Reforestation and afforestation of arid areas and deserts
  • Research to combat desertification and soil erosion
  • Planting of fruit trees and trees for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use
  • Experimental tree planting in deserts
  • Research and experimental planting to regenerate corroded and deserted areas
  • Protection of the environment and combating climate change by any means
  • Any activity directly or indirectly related to the realisation of the above
  • Reforestation of burned land

Resources

All of AZA’s income assets and resources are derived exclusively from

  • Subscriptions and contributions of the organization’s partners and supporters
  • Donations and sponsorships
  • Inheritances and bequests

Your contribution is vital to further promote the public support and more the movement forward.

Follow us to learn more about our mission and our projects:

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/aridzoneafforestation/?_rdr

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AridZonAfforest

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arid_zone_afforestation/

Pinterest: https://gr.pinterest.com/aridzoneaffores/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aridzoneafforestation/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AridZoneAfforestationOrg

 

Η σημασία των δασών και ο ρόλος του ανθρώπου

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Όπως όλοι γνωρίζουμε, η προστασία του Περιβάλλοντος αποτελεί ένα ζήτημα ύψιστης σημασίας, παρά την εκάστοτε αδιαφορία που δείχνουμε κατά καιρούς. Συγκεκριμένα, το φυσικό περιβάλλον μέσα στο οποίο ζει ο άνθρωπος, είναι πρωταρχικής σημασίας, τόσο για την υγεία του, όσο και για την ανάπτυξη και ευημερία του.  Ωστόσο, παρατηρείται μία παράλογη καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος, με υπεύθυνο τον ίδιο τον άνθρωπο. Η άγνοια, η αδράνεια, σε συνδυασμό με τις διάφορες δραστηριότητες του, οδηγούν στην καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος.

Μολονότι, με την έννοια φυσικό περιβάλλον εννοείται η φύση γύρω μας, τα δέντρα, το νερό, ο αέρας, το φως και γενικότερα όλα αυτά τα στοιχεία που είναι πολύ σημαντικά για να ζήσει ο άνθρωπος, παρατηρείται μια καταστροφή αυτού του «μεγάλου σπιτιού», κάτι που θα πρέπει να αλλάξει, διότι τα θετικά στοιχεία τα οποία μας παρέχονται είναι πολύ σημαντικά.

Ένα από τα πιο σοβαρά ζητήματα είναι η «καταστροφή των δασών». Κάθε χρόνο, παρατηρείται μία αύξηση των περιστατικών, όπου τεράστιες εκτάσεις δασών εξαφανίζονται, είτε λόγω πυρκαγιών, είτε από εκκοπή ξυλείας, είτε από εκχερσώσεις για οικόπεδα, αεροδρόμια κτλ.

Γι’ αυτό το λόγο, θα πρέπει να συνειδητοποιήσουμε ότι το δάσος είναι ένα σύνολο πολυσύνθετο με δική του ζωή και με ξεχωριστή θέση, ρόλο και σημασία μέσα στη φύση και με τεράστιες δυνατότητες, που θα πρέπει να αξιοποιηθούν σωστά.

Ειδικότερα, τα δάση παίζουν πολύ σημαντικό ρόλο, διότι παράγουν το απαραίτητο και αναντικατάστατο για την ζωή μας οξυγόνο, και συγχρόνως δεσμεύουν το επικίνδυνο για την ζωή διοξείδιο του άνθρακα, ενώ αποτελούν και πηγή τροφίμων, φαρμάκων και καθαρού νερού, απαραίτητο στοιχείο για τον άνθρωπο και κατ’ επέκταση για τη διαβίωσή του. Επιπρόσθετα, παρέχουν ένα ευρύ φάσμα περιβαλλοντικών υπηρεσιών, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της διατήρησης της βιοποικιλότητας, την υδροδότηση, τον έλεγχο των πλημμύρων, καθώς και την προστασία από τη διάβρωση του εδάφους και της απερήμωσης. Παράλληλα, συμβάλλουν στη διατήρηση ενός σταθερού κλίματος του πλανήτη και του περιβάλλοντος, ενώ είναι και ζωτικής σημασίας, όπως προαναφέρθηκε, για την επιβίωση και την ευημερία των ανθρώπων.

Ο άνθρωπος συνδέθηκε με το δάσος από την πρώτη στιγμή της εμφάνισής του πάνω στη γη και μάλιστα στενότατα, καθώς, του εξασφάλισε τροφή, στέγη, προστασία, ψυχαγωγία και εργασία. Του πρόσφερε την απαραίτητη ξυλεία, τα καυσόξυλα και τα άλλα δασικά προϊόντα (καρπούς, ρετσίνι κ.ά.) για τη διαβίωση και την πρόοδό του, ενώ του έδωσε επίσης και ευκαιρίες και δυνατότητες για κοινωνικές, θρησκευτικές, καλλιτεχνικές και άλλες εκδηλώσεις και απασχολήσεις για την πνευματική, κοινωνική και πολιτιστική του άνοδο.

Το δάσος, στο πέρασμα των αιώνων, συνεχίζει να προσφέρει όλα αυτά τα θετικά στοιχεία, παρά τη συμπεριφορά του ανθρώπου, γεγονός που μας υπενθυμίζει ότι θα πρέπει να αξιοποιήσουμε με τον καλύτερο τρόπο αυτή την πολύτιμη και αστείρευτη φυσική πηγή ζωής, συμβάλλοντας στην προστασία του και κατ’ επέκταση παίρνοντας σημαντικά μέτρα για τη διασφάλισή του, ξεκινώντας με την ενημέρωση του κοινού για τη σημασία και την προσφορά των δασών, αλλά και γενικότερα, όλου του φυσικού περιβάλλοντος.

Αρθρογράφος: Δίπλα Αικατερίνη (Arid Zone Afforestation)

How solar became the world’s best hope for a post-fossil fuel energy system

Seville, Spain, July 11th 2016: Solar Impulse is flying over the Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant, which is partially owned by Masdar, Solar Impulse’s host partner in Abu Dhabi, after taking off from Seville to Cairo, Egypt with André Borschberg at the controls. Departed from Abu Dhabi on march 9th 2015, the Round-the-World Solar Flight will take 500 flight hours and cover 35’000 km. Swiss founders and pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg hope to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world. The duo will take turns flying Solar Impulse 2, changing at each stop and will fly over the Arabian Sea, to India, to Myanmar, to China, across the Pacific Ocean, to the United States, over the Atlantic Ocean to Southern Europe or Northern Africa before finishing the journey by returning to the initial departure point. Landings will be made every few days to switch pilots and organize public events for governments, schools and universities.

Just a few years ago experts the world over, bemoaned the prohibitive cost of solar power. But today it is widely considered to be the best and most affordable hope for decarbonising the world’s energy system.

Solar prices are down 62% in the last eight years, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis, and on track to beat the cost of coal within a decade. In fact, it’s already achieved that milestone in more than 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum.

“All aspects of solar power generation are getting cheaper with scale,” says Dr Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

“A larger market means there is more enthusiasm to improve module technology, that there is more research taking place to increase invertor lifetimes and that ‘soft’ costs such as financing, site planning and installation are tumbling as experience grows.” This is echoed by Professor Keith Barnham of Imperial College London, who singles out the Chinese government for “funding bigger production lines and new supply chains.”

The enormous fall in silicon solar panel prices at the beginning of the decade was, according to Professor, “mainly down to Chinese government and investors funding bigger production lines and new supply chains.”

Learn more herehttp://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2017/04/14/how-solar-power-cost-price-cheap/

Millions of native oysters to be returned to the Solent

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New project aims to restore what was once Europe’s largest oyster fishery, off the south coast of England. Millions of native oysters are to be put into the Solent, once the site of Europe’s largest oyster fishery.

The five-year project aims first to restore a thriving oyster population to the waters between the south coast and Isle of Wight. Oyster beds provide habitat for many other species and the shellfish filter vast volumes of water – 200 litres per oyster – helping to clean up pollution. Once re-established, significant oyster fishing could resume.

A million young oysters will be put into the Solent in 2017, in places where they cannot be legally fished. A further 10,000 are being put in special cages in harbours, from where they can send out larvae.

Oysters have been fished in the UK since at least Roman times and at its peak in the 1920s 40 million oysters were eaten each year, with the abundance leading to the mollusc being known as a poor man’s food. But by the 1960s this had fallen to 3 million oysters a year.

The population in the Solent crashed again recently, with the annual catch falling from 200 tonnes in 2007 to just 20 tonnes in 2011 – about 250,000 shells – and oyster fishing was banned in the Solent in 2013. “It’s a perfect storm of overfishing, habitat destruction, dredging, climate change, disease, invasive species and quite possibly pollution,” said Preston, a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth who is monitoring the project.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/20/millions-of-native-oysters-to-be-returned-to-the-solent

 

Rivers vanishing into thin air: this is what the climate crisis looks like

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The Slims river in northern Canada gained infamy, not for its fishing or pristine waters, but for vanishing in a matter of four days in May 2016. The river – which stretched up to 150 meters at its widest points and averaged depths around three meters – lost its water source to another nearby river during a period of intense melting affecting one of Canada’s largest glaciers. As a result, the Slims was reduced to a trickle in less than a week.

We can now add river piracy to the growing list of unexpected, dramatic and tragic consequences of human-caused climate change. Although this is the first observed case of river piracy, it likely won’t be the last.

Such a rapid transformation of the river alters more than just the physical geography and ecosystems of one of Canada’s most majestic and ecologically sensitive regions. It also affects local Indigenous communities.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/21/rivers-vanishing-thin-air-climate-crisis#img-1

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

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Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity. Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth of different flowering plants. It says road margins are a haven for wild plants that have been lost from the countryside.

Some wild plants, such as wood calamint and fen ragwort, are now found naturally only on road verges. The charity says such plants can be brought back from near extinction, with conservation management. But it says even endangered plants on verges deemed nature reserves have been mown or cleared.

For too long road verges have been thought of as “dull, inconsequential places that flash by in the wing mirror,” said Dr Trevor Dines of Plantlife.

“Sadly, road verges have been woefully disregarded for decades and are increasingly poorly managed for nature,” he added.

“Some exceptionally rare plants including fen ragwort and wood calamint are only hanging on thanks to the existence of some remaining well-managed verges.

“But we must not get complacent – only genuine management for nature will safeguard these and other plants from extinction.”

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39670191

Forest Does Not Only Absorb CO2 But Affects Cooling Of Earth Too

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Researchers have found out that forest and trees do not only absorb the carbon dioxide emissions of the world, but they cool the Earth in other ways too. The study, which was published in the journal “Nature Climate Change”, has stated that lawmakers and legislators should really think about the forest and what they are doing to them. Trees and the forest affect the climate change big time as they affect not only the atmosphere but other parts of the world too, said the authors of an international study.

After collecting the meteorological data and the data satellites the scientists found out that there is a big difference between the farming areas and the forested areas. The cooling effects in plain fields are lower than in the areas with trees and in the forest. That was not a surprise for the researchers at all. “Forests play a more important role in cooling the surface in almost all regions of the Earth than was previously thought,” said study co-author Kaiguang Zhao, assistant professor of environment modeling and spatial analysis at The Ohio State University. “This really affirms the value of forest conservation and protection policies in the fight against climate change,” Zhao added.

What was shocking was the forest and the trees also cool down the mid and lower altitude levels of the Earth as much as how they cool the higher areas.

Read more here: http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/11250/20170329/forest-does-not-only-absorb-co2-but-affects-water-cycle-too.htm