China has said that it will take another (small) step towards controlling its GHG emissions. This is supposed to be an actual cap on emissions in seven provinces and cities, not just an intensity target or an emissions permit trading scheme. Whether the, um, flexible nature of China’s local governments will actually produce meaningful results, we’ll have to wait and see.
Although I’m skeptical about the pie-in-the-sky stuff that I’m reading so far, the possibilities are interesting.
Basically, scientists have discovered an oxidizing molecule that reacts very rapidly (hence why they’re hard to find – they disappear so quickly in most conditions) with atmospheric compounds to form sulfates and nitrates, which form the nuclei for cloud droplets. Cloud cover acts as a sunshield, so if we were able to increase the number of these molecules entering the atmosphere, it’d probably cool the planet.
Whether that’s a good idea is another question, of course.
Gizmag Wired UK The Register Terra Daily
- The Scimitar, a flying-wing design for a UAV body, maneuvers entirely by morphing the wing surface – no flaps or joints involved. This means that it’s apparently very easy to fold up (for a drone) – you can cram three of them into a torpedo, for example, for launching from a submarine. Very interesting possibilities.
- If you’re interested in tracking climate change news, a number of articles are citing a study that says that the next ice age – which probably would have started in the next one or two thousand years – will probably be delayed by ten thousand years.
- One of the things that I’m going to be keeping an eye on this year is the legal status of civilian drone use. The reason I bring this up is that Sea Shepherd (the vigilante anti-whaling group) has received permission from the Australian government to use drones to track the Japanese whaling fleet.
- Speaking of civvie surveillance drones… here are some toy versions for making mischief.
- And, lest we forget, there are certain improvements that have to be made for drones to work in busy airspaces and around cities. Like avoiding other aircraft and knowing what spots are safe for an emergency landing.
- Smart traffic lights – they’re a dream for planners and commuters, and a nightmare for people who deal with them when they glitch. Still, maybe if they have something that tells them what’s at the intersection, that’ll help a little.
- A new pathway for cybercrime (and possibly assassination): hacking your car. Seriously, if you hook a car up to the internet, this will happen. Who, when, where, why, and how aren’t possible to determine, but it will happen. Really doesn’t make me look forward to buying my next car…
- Sleeves that track your arm movements, another way for people and companies to improve productivity.
- Connect your home appliances, thermostat, power and water supply, etc, to a single electrical monitoring system, which you can access and control via the internet. This is a smart home, and we’re likely to see more and better in the coming decade or two.
- Oh hey, I was talking about the US military’s budget plans yesterday, and here they are in the news: Wired and DefenseTech have articles on Obama’s and Panetta’s plans for the military. They were also on the network news quite a bit, too.
- There’s been some chatter on the blogosphere about the USAF X-37B spaceplane spying on China’s space station/lab. Not sure if it’s legit concerns or just a bit of noise that lacks real substance.
Canadian farmers are going high-tech, buying smartphones and tablets:
Canada isn’t seeing nearly as much snow this year as they usually do:
EU aircraft carbon tax (why the same site published four articles on the same thing, I don’t know):