Author Archives: Beatriz Kasser

Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in September

Mother Jones

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The American economy added 148,000 new jobs in September, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 58,000. That’s worse than last month, but basically in the same general area of “meh.” The BLS reports that nothing much has changed:

The unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent, changed little in September….The number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, was also little changed over the month….Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in September….The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged at 7.9 million in September.

We should be doing better than this. And if it weren’t for the fiscal cliff deal and the sequester and all the other austerity measures we’ve put in place since 2010, we probably would be. These numbers might very well be double what we’re actually seeing. This, as always, is a self-inflicted wound.

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Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in September

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Study: Global Warming Worsened 2012’s Extreme Weather

Mother Jones

This story first appeared on the Guardian website and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Half of last year’s extreme weather—including the triple-digit temperatures of America’s July heat wave—were due in part to climate change, new research said on Thursday.

The study, edited by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the UK Met Office, detected the fingerprints of climate change on about half of the 12 most extreme weather events of 2012.

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Study: Global Warming Worsened 2012’s Extreme Weather

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Buried in Muck, Clues to Future NYC Drought

Mother Jones

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Piermont Marsh seems an unlikely place to learn about drought. This warren of narrow streams and muddy, reed-choked embankments clinging to the edge of the Hudson River twenty miles north of Times Square is the domain of crabs, worms, herons, and other water-loving creatures. But as Columbia University climatologist Dorothy Peteet paddles a narrow aluminum canoe deep into the marsh, she insists that buried deep in this black, sulphur-stinking muck are clues that could reveal when, and how badly, the nation’s largest city will next be struck by crippling drought.

Here, she says, “we can get these climate records that we can’t get anywhere else.”

Some climate researchers tap ancient air bubbles trapped in Arctic ice to read long-lost atmospheres; some slice open stalagmites in tropical caves to measure 100,000-year-old rainfall. Peteet is on the hunt for pollen. She dredges up mud from as deep as 45 feet underground and hauls it back to her lab at the nearby Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. There she boils, bakes, and filters it to sift out pollen, not much thicker than a human hair, from plants several thousand years old. The relative abundance and variety of different species indicate climate conditions at the time the pollen was dropped: An uptick of dry-weather species like hickory and pine points to drought.

Pollen, and seeds like these, could shed light on how future droughts will impact New York City. Tim McDonnell/Climate Desk

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Buried in Muck, Clues to Future NYC Drought

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Solar plane completes cross-country trip despite torn wing

Solar plane completes cross-country trip despite torn wing

Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse approaches John F. Kennedy Airport.

You know a plane is hot when wing damage actually hastens its arrival.

That happened Saturday night, when the solar-powered Solar Impulse completed a historic stop-and-start transcontinental voyage across America that began May 3 in San Francisco.

Total flying time: 105 hours and 41 minutes
Distance flown: 3,511 miles
Average speed: 33 miles per hour
Gasoline consumed: 0 drops

From Reuters:

The Solar Impulse, its four propellers driven by energy collected from 12,000 solar cells in its wings to charge batteries for night use, landed at John F. Kennedy Airport at 11:09 p.m. EDT, organizers said.

The experimental aircraft had left Dulles International Airport outside Washington for its last leg more than 18 hours earlier, on a route that took it north over Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

The spindly aircraft had been expected to land in the early hours of Sunday, but the project team decided to shorten the flight after an 8-foot (2.5 meter) tear appeared on the underside of the left wing.

The wing damage forced organizers to cancel a planned Statue of Liberty flyover, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from achieving their dream of coast-to-coast solar-powered flight.

Between San Francisco and New York, the plane stopped over at Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C., holding public events and meeting public officials.

Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse’s pilots, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, celebrate after reaching New York.

“Flying coast-to-coast has always been a mythical milestone full of challenges for aviation pioneers,” Solar Impulse copilot and chairman Bertrand Piccard said. “During this journey, we had to find solutions for a lot of unforeseen situations, which obliged us to develop new skills and strategies. In doing so, we also pushed the boundaries of clean technologies and renewable energies to unprecedented levels.”

Read more about the Solar Impulse: Solar plane crosses U.S., injects sexiness into the green conversation

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

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Solar plane completes cross-country trip despite torn wing

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How President Obama’s Climate Speech Could Have Rocked Even More

Mother Jones

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President Obama’s speech Tuesday on climate change is getting pretty high marks. Or as Al Gore put it, it was “the best address on climate by any president ever.”

At both the beginning and end of the speech the president invoked the historic “Earthrise” image, taken from the Apollo 8 mission on Christmas Eve of 1968 as the craft orbited the moon. That “blue marble” is the namesake of this blog itself, and was a great inspiration to the developing environmental movement in the 1970s.

At the close of the speech, the president put it like this:

…that image in the photograph, that bright blue ball rising over the moon’s surface, containing everything we hold dear—the laughter of children, a quiet sunset, all the hopes and dreams of posterity—that’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for. And if we remember that, I’m absolutely sure we’ll succeed.

It looks like Obama here may be channeling the celebrated environmental writer (and longtime Mother Jones contributor) Bill McKibben, who similarly drew upon “Earthrise” to great effect at the opening to his 2010 book Eaarth. Only, McKibben goes considerably further—and arguably achieves a more impressive rhetorical effect—by noting that global warming has literally changed what Earth looks like from space. What this suggests is that the “Earthrise” picture wouldn’t be the same today as it was in 1968 (although to be sure, some of the differences might be hard to notice given the distance of the shot).

Here’s McKibben:

Consider the veins of cloud that streak and mottle the earth in that glorious snapshot from space. So far humans, by burning fossil fuel, have raised the temperature of the planet by nearly a degree Celsius…A NASA study in December 2008 found that warming on that scale was enough to trigger a 45 percent increase in thunder-heads above the ocean, breeding spectacular anvil-headed clouds that can rise five miles above the sea…

And again:

Or consider the white and frozen top of the planet. Arctic ice has been melting slowly for two decades as temperatures have climbed, but in the summer of 2007 that gradual thaw suddenly accelerated. By the time the long Arctic night finally descended in October, there was 22 percent less sea ice than had ever been observed before, and more than 40 percent less than the year that the Apollo capsule took its picture…Within a decade or two, a summertime spacecraft pointing its camera at the North Pole would see nothing but open ocean. There’d be ice left on Greenland—but much less ice.

Barack, Bill—you guys should talk. Between the two of you, you just might move us to save this rock.


How President Obama’s Climate Speech Could Have Rocked Even More

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Standard Parts Of Solar Energy Panels

Solar power mechanisms use the sunlight’s radiation, an eco-friendly source of energy that is readily available in abundance to produce electricity which in turn can be used to power up your devices like pcs, fridges and television among others. They capture the photons from sunshine and the solar cells convert them in to electricity. No matter of what could be the size of solar power panels devices the exact same fundamental components are required to electricity in a beneficial and easily available form. While solar panels are the heart of any sort of solar electrical power device, it requires the taking elements in conjugation to run perfectly. Depending upon individual preference one could either go with acquisition of specific components separately or could purchase a solar panel system.

Solar Panels: Solar pv cells are typically made up of silicon alloys that change the sunshine falling into direct current. Array of solar batteries adjacent to each other is framed in a rigid frame that with each other offsets a solar panel. The panels can either be ground installed or can be put in on roofs to make the most of the suns’ direct exposure. Hing on your need you could decide on the size of the system that can accomplish your properties balance electricity requirements.

Rooftop Racking:.

Racking is a metal framework that is ideally attached to the roofing system to provide the necessary stability to the solar energy panels. It even makes certain that the panels stay positioned at the right angle to ensure maximum sunshine strikes the panel. Racking is attached to the roof covering with bolts and even secured to avoid any type of leak.

Energy Meter & Grid:.

Utility meter is something that makes an intrinsic part of your alreadying existing electric mechanism. When your solar power panel system is efficiently installed and connected, your energy meter will offer the dual function – it not just keeps track degree of the electricity that you produce in surplus of what is eaten by you. The excess of electrical power generates is fed back in to the power grids making you credit ratings in your electrical power bills.

Battery: solar panels start creating electricity from the initial day of setup. The power created is readily available for immediate usage. However, to make certain uninterrupted supply of power to properties and business ventures on days when sun does not shine or over cast days, the electrical power must be saved into batteries. Multiple batteries can additionally be linked level to make sure that you do not lack power anytime in cases of emergency or unfavorable weather.

Inverters: To make the electricity created by the solar energy panels made use of by any kind of tool, it has to initially be changed from direct existing (DC) to rotating present (Air Conditioning). Inverter is exactly what specifically does the same point. It draws the DC power from the battery and improves it into AC electrical power before feeding to the power grids.

Monitoring Tool:.

The cordless monitoring gadget gotten in touch with your inverter displays the degree of energy generated by your mechanism at any sort of factor of time, without also making you tip outside of your home.

Solar power panels allow for an excellent solution to satisfy the myriad power requirements of residential and also business houses. Kindly see our site for top-notch build solar panels system.

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