Category Archives: Waterless

Miami can have one last Super Bowl, as a treat

The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will face each other in the Super Bowl on Sunday in Miami. The game will only last a few hours, but Florida is just beginning a decades-long war with a foe that can’t be beat: sea-level rise. If emissions continue to rise unchecked, Miami’s football stadium could be flooded with standing water and America’s holiest championship game will have to be played somewhere else.

For a sneak peek at what Miami Garden’s Hard Rock Stadium, the venue for Super Bowl LIV, could look like in a few decades, look no further than Florida’s coastline. Nearly 600,000 people in South Florida face “extreme” or “high” risk from sea-level rise, according to the Trump administration’s 4th National Climate Assessment. Already, the sea level around Florida is 8 inches higher than it was 70 years ago. Over the past decade, the rate of acceleration has sped up. Florida seas are now rising an inch every three years. Floods are inundating low-lying cities like Miami even on sunny days.

A new report from Climate Central — an organization that analyzes how climate change affects the public — shows that Hard Rock Stadium, between 4 and 6 feet above sea level, is likely to experience some of this flooding in the coming century. It’s not just the football field that’s at risk of getting swamped by climate change. Local roads, the stadium’s $135 million training facility, the tennis center, and parking lots will face higher odds of being submerged.

Developers recently completed a three-year-long, $500 million renovation of the stadium. But the stadium’s state-of-the-art canopy and high-definition screens won’t save it when the floods come. The Hard Rock Stadium property has at the very least, a 1 percent chance of being submerged by rising seas every year by 2070 if the world continues emitting greenhouse gases business-as-usual. By 2090, the risk of the stadium experiencing serious flooding each year rises to 10 percent.

Remember, this is likely an underestimate. A 2019 U.N. report found that the kind of floods this report is talking about will occur in Miami every year as soon as 2050. Plus, the Climate Central analysis didn’t account for rain-induced flooding, seepage, backed-up storm drains, or other reasons why water might make its way into low-lying areas.

Nickolay Lamm / Climate Central

Flooding isn’t the only climate-related issue facing American football teams and their legions of dedicated fans. Extreme heat and bad air quality also threaten players’ abilities to pass, tackle, and run. Another Climate Central analysis that looked at temperatures during football season shows that all 30 National Football League cities have warmed, on average, 2.3 degrees F over the past 50 years. Miami is in the middle of the pack when it comes to rising temperatures, but the home cities of the Nevada Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona Cardinals have all warmed more than 4 degrees since 1970.

Hard Rock Stadium is taking some measures to reduce its impact on the planet. In November, the home of the Miami Dolphins announced it aims to eliminate 99.4 percent of single-use plastics by the end of 2020. The move would divert 2.8 million pieces of plastic from landfills every year. And at the upcoming 54th Super Bowl, fans will sip drinks out of aluminum cups instead of plastic ones, pee in waterless urinals, forgo straws, and make their way out to the parking lots under LED lights. It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t address the outsized carbon footprints of events like the Super Bowl. Fans attending a mega sporting event have carbon footprints about seven times larger than people going about their daily lives.

After Sunday’s game, Miami will have hosted 11 Super Bowls, more than any other city. It doesn’t matter how many single-use plastics the Miami Dolphins ban from their stadium — if the world keeps emitting carbon business-as-usual, Miami won’t be able to hold onto that record for long.

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Miami can have one last Super Bowl, as a treat

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Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science – Robert Kunzig


Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science

Robert Kunzig

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 17, 2000

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton

A vivid, up-to-date tour of the Earth's last frontier, a remote and mysterious realm that nonetheless lies close to the heart of even the most land-locked reader. The sea covers seven-tenths of the Earth, but we have mapped only a small percentage of it. The sea contains millions of species of animals and plants, but we have identified only a few thousand of them. The sea controls our planet's climate, but we do not really understand how. The sea is still the frontier, and yet it seems so familiar that we sometimes forget how little we know about it. Just as we are poised on the verge of exploiting the sea on an unprecedented scale—mining it, fertilizing it, fishing it out—this book reminds us of how much we have yet to learn. More than that, it chronicles the knowledge explosion that has transformed our view of the sea in just the past few decades, and made it a far more interesting and accessible place. From the Big Bang to that far-off future time, two billion years from now, when our planet will be a waterless rock; from the lush crowds of life at seafloor hot springs to the invisible, jewel-like plants that float at the sea surface; from the restless shifting of the tectonic plates to the majestic sweep of the ocean currents, Kunzig's clear and lyrical prose transports us to the ends of the Earth. Originally published in hardcover as The Restless Sea. "Robert Kunzig is a creator of what oceanographer Harry Hess once referred to as 'geopoetry.' He covers vast tracts of time and space and makes his subjects electrifying."—Richard Ellis, The Times [London] "The Restless Sea immediately surfaces at the top of the list of journalistic treatments of oceanography. . . .The book opened my eyes to numerous wonders."—Richard Strickland, American Scientist  "When you head for the coast this summer, leave that trashy beach novel at home. Instead, pack Robert Kunzig's book. Because just beyond your rental cottage lies the restless sea, where three-mile-tall mountain ranges criss-cross the ocean floor, and deep trenches harbor mysterious creatures. . . . The book is easy to read, and will bring you up to date on the startling discoveries oceanographers have made during the past few decades."—Phillip Manning, The News and Observer [Raleigh, North Carolina] ] "Anyone who loves the sea should read this book."—Sebastian Junger

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Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science – Robert Kunzig

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Can farmed fish go vegetarian?

Can farmed fish go vegetarian?


The worldwide aquaculture industry is growing faster than a genetically engineered salmon. By 2030, the World Bank forecasts that 62 percent of the fish eaten the world over will have come from a fish farm — up from about half today.

Aquaculture is an alternative to commercial fishing. But all those farmed fish need to eat, and most of them eat smaller fish harvested from oceans. Which kind of defeats the whole point of aquaculture.

Forage fish like anchovies and sardines are being hauled out of the seas, mixed with soy and other ingredients, turned into pellets, and used as fish feed.

To get away from this practice, which harms oceanic food webs, scientists are trying to figure out how to rear fish on vegetarian diets. QUEST/KQED reports:

To avoid using wild fish in farmed fish diets, the United States Department of Agriculture has spent the past ten years researching alternative diets that include plants, animal processing products and single-cell organisms like yeast, bacteria, and algae.

The USDA has proven that eight species of carnivorous fish — white sea bass, walleye, rainbow trout, cobia, arctic char, yellowtail, Atlantic salmon and coho salmon — can get enough nutrients from these alternative sources without eating other fish. …

[USDA fish physiologist Rick] Barrows said that fish, like people, don’t need specific foods but rather specific nutrients in order to stay healthy. In fact, all animals essentially need the same forty nutrients — a combination of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Turning carnivorous fish into vegetarians is not some far-off fantasy. David McFarland raises his trout on algae.

McFarland runs McFarland Springs Trout farm, based in Susanville, California. He was raising trout to stock rivers and lakes. The idea piqued his interest and after two years of testing the diet on a small scale and tweaking the ingredients he started feeding it to the fish.

“I thought if we’re not doing it, who will?” McFarland said. He admits there are drawbacks to using an alternative diet, namely the cost.

McFarland wanted to feed his trout a diet heavy on spirulina, a bacteria-based superfood, but he can’t afford it. Already his vegetarian feed is more expensive than the cheap and nasty fishmeal concoctions used in most aquaculture operations. More on that gunk here:

This chart from the World Bank report shows the growth of aquaculture and the decline of fishing:

World BankClick to embiggen.

The Key to Sustainable Fish Farming? Vegetarian Fish, QUEST/KQED

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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Can farmed fish go vegetarian?

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These are dark days for the Arctic — literally

These are dark days for the Arctic — literally

Sarah Sonsthagen / U.S. Geological Survey

Things are getting gloomy up north, where the Arctic region is losing its albedo.

No, not libido — this isn’t a problem that can be fixed with ice-blue pills and adventurous nature videos. Albedo. It’s a scientific term that refers to the amount of light that the surface of the planet reflects back into space. Reflecting light away from the Earth helps keep things cool, so the loss of Arctic albedo is a major problem.

And new research has concluded that the problem is an even greater one than scientists had anticipated.

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography used satellite measurements to discover that the region is darker than it was in the halcyon days of the late ’70s. Back then, Arctic temperatures were nearly 4 degrees F cooler on average and reflective summertime ice covered 40 percent more of the ocean than it does now. And back then, 52 percent of the sun’s rays bounced off the Arctic’s surface, while 48 percent were absorbed. By 2011, those figures had reversed — 48 percent of sunlight was being reflected away and 52 percent was being absorbed.

The drooping albedo is a consequence of climate change. And the region’s changing complexion is also accelerating the rate at which the world is warming. According to the scientists’ calculations, published in a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the amount of extra energy accumulating on Earth because of declining Arctic albedo is equivalent to about a quarter of the amount of extra energy trapped here during the same period by the rise in carbon dioxide levels.

“We’re not really analyzing the subsequent increase in temperature,” Ian Eisenman, one of the authors of the paper, told Grist. “But that is an expected consequence of the increased absorption of solar energy.”

It’s not just melting snow that’s causing the top end of the Earth to darken. Eisenman said the influence of soot and other pollution settling on the snow and ice may also be important.

Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

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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These are dark days for the Arctic — literally

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Obama to trucking industry: “No more rampant gas consumption for you!”

Obama to trucking industry: “No more rampant gas consumption for you!”


While members of Congress twiddle their thumbs and idly watch the Northeast and Midwest begin to resemble planet Hoth, California dry up into an approximation of Tatooine, and, across the pond, England transform into Dagobah, President Obama continues to push past them and take action against climate change.

That’s the end of the Star Wars references, we swear — please don’t go.

Obama announced on Tuesday that he has ordered new, stricter fuel-efficiency rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions from large trucks. This will build on an earlier set of standards that were developed in 2011 and took effect this year. The new standards, to be drawn up by the EPA and Department of Transportation, are supposed to be finalized by 2016, before Obama leaves office, and then go into effect starting in 2018.

“Improving gas mileage for these trucks is going to drive down our oil imports even further,” Obama said. “That reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses’ fuel costs, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers. So it’s not just a win-win; it’s a win-win-win. We got three wins.”

Heavy-duty trucks make up just 4 percent of vehicles on the roads, but they emit 20 percent of CO2 emissions from the transportation sector, the second most polluting sector of the U.S. economy. And big trucks used over 28 billion gallons of gasoline in 2011. Taking these figures into consideration, it’s easy to see how the new rules could have a climate impact. Michelle Robinson of the Union for Concerned Scientists told The New York Times that the new standards could bring down oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2035.

Obama is also urging Congress to repeal $4 billion worth of federal subsidies currently enjoyed by oil and gas companies each year, while proposing a $200 million tax credit for companies that work to develop vehicles and infrastructure that run on alternative sources of energy.

Obama declined, to our chagrin, to comment on how he’s going to address trucks that will not commit to a lane, trucks with stupid bumper stickers, and truck drivers’ indiscriminate use of both the middle finger and the horn — all issues of equivalent national import.

Eve Andrews is a Grist fellow and new Seattle transplant via the mean streets of Chicago, Poughkeepsie, and Pittsburgh, respectively and in order of meanness. Follow her on Twitter.Find this article interesting? Donate now to support our work.Read more: Business & Technology


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Obama to trucking industry: “No more rampant gas consumption for you!”

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Seven ways the drought in the West really sucks

Seven ways the drought in the West really sucks

Johnida Dockens

Almost 87 percent of the Western U.S. is in a drought, the Los Angeles Times reports today in a big, gloomy article with big, gloomy pictures. New Mexico is 100 percent droughty. Here are just a few of the ways that sucks.

1. The Rio Grande is so dry that it’s been dubbed the Rio Sand. Satellite photos show reservoirs drying up too.

2. People in parts of New Mexico are having to take drastic measures to get water. “Residents of some towns subsist on trucked-in water,” the L.A. Times reports, “and others are drilling deep wells costing $100,000 or more to sink and still more to operate.”

3. Water wars are flaring up and states are getting litigious. Also from the Times: “Texas has filed suit, arguing that groundwater pumping in New Mexico is reducing Texas’ share of the Rio Grande. Oklahoma has successfully fended off a legal challenge from Texas over water from the Red River.”

4. Wild critters are in trouble. Wildlife managers in New Mexico are bringing water to elk herds so they don’t die of thirst. Some conservationists think those managers should also bring food to bears so the bears don’t lumber into human settlements while desperately seeking sustenance.

5. Trees are taking a beating. Thousands of trees in Albuquerque have died of thirst.

6. Swimming holes are becoming dirt holes. A trio of Texas state agencies is inviting the public to share photos of the drought, and one recurring subject is swimming signs in front of waterless landscapes, like this one.

7. Some desperate farmers in New Mexico have resorted to selling their water to fracking companies so they can afford to pay their bills. As Joe Romm writes at Climate Progress, “The worse news is that many of them are actually pumping the water out of the aquifer to do so. The worst news of all is that once the frackers get through tainting it with their witches’ brew of chemicals, that water often becomes unrecoverable — and then we have the possibility the used fracking water will end up contaminating even more of the groundwater.”

Is climate change to blame for all the droughtiness? The L.A. Times:

The question many here are grappling with is whether the changes are a permanent result of climate change or part of cyclical weather cycle. …

Nonetheless, most long-term plans put together by cattle ranchers, farmers and land managers include the probability that the drought is here to stay.

John Clayshulte, a third-generation rancher and farmer near Las Cruces, removed all his cattle from his federal grazing allotment. “There’s just not any sense putting cows on there. There’s not enough for them to eat,” he said.

“It’s all changed. This used to be shortgrass prairies. We’ve ruined it and it’s never going to come back.”

Lisa Hymas is senior editor at Grist. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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3D-Printed Pizza Brings Us One Step Closer to Meal-in-a-Pill

Nom. Photo: British Mum

NASA, those great engineers of tomorrow, just put $125,000 behind work intended to build a 3D food printer—a device that will be able to crank out “nutritionally-appropriate meals” from a mix of oils and powders, says Christopher Mims for Quartz. The money is going to a mechanical engineer, Anjan Contractor, who will build a prototype of the machine. “Contractor’s vision,” says Mims, “would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.”

Laid down layer by layer using a waterless mix of carbohydrates, protein and nutrient, according to Contractor, the device should be able to make meals out of pretty much any source of these essential foodstuffs—plants, bugs, seeds, whatever.

NASA wants the printer for long-distance space flights. Waterless powders don’t go bad, and living in space you’d probably get sick of slurping soup out of a baggie. Pizza sounds much better:

Pizza is an obvious candidate for 3D printing because it can be printed in distinct layers, so it only requires the print head to extrude one substance at a time. Contractor’s “pizza printer” is still at the conceptual stage, and he will begin building it within two weeks. It works by first “printing” a layer of dough, which is baked at the same time it’s printed, by a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. Then it lays down a tomato base, “which is also stored in a powdered form, and then mixed with water and oil,” says Contractor.

Finally, the pizza is topped with the delicious-sounding “protein layer,” which could come from any source, including animals, milk or plants.

While a 3D food printer would be able to make food-looking food, the idea isn’t so far off from the mainstay futuristic projections of the early 20th century that said we were all supposed to be eating our food in pill form by now. Against that, we’ll take the “protein” pizza.

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3D-Printed Pizza Brings Us One Step Closer to Meal-in-a-Pill

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WATERLESS BlueSeal Portion Aid for Quart


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Waterless 4003 BlueSeal Portion Aid for Gallon Bottle


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Waterless 2101 Yukon Waterless Urinal White


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