SnippETS for 12 September 2019
Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.
This week we cover Hydrogen and its role in the future low emissions economy.
We also look at how your food choices impact the climate, including; what you buy, when you buy it and what you do with the food scraps.
We then discuss how ocean kelp forests can fight rising GHG emissions and the effects of warming.
Lastly, we commend Ireland and Scotland for making big climate policy announcements!
Hydrogen is the word on everyone’s lips these days, with some praising it, others cursing it and many more who have no idea what to think about the coming hydrogen economy. Most people tend to think that using hydrogen as a energy source is a new thing, when in fact we have been using it for a long time. Read on to learn more about hydrogen and how it will fit in to the energy mix of the future
In another article about hydrogen, the government is embracing the hydrogen economy as a way forward in a carbon constrained era. In this piece we learn that the government wishes NZ to become a “green” hydrogen producer. This will be first and foremost to meet our own energy needs but also to export Hydrogen in the future.
here's a link to the Green Paper.
Keeping with hydrogen, and taking it up to the troposphere, this article looks at what is happening in the world of zero carbon aviation. No, we are not talking about exploding zeppelins here, this is hydrogen fuel cell powered electric aeroplanes! Given that aviation is a major contributor to atmospheric GHGs, let us hope to see major advances in hydrogen fueled flight in the near future!
Since we are discussing flying in a low carbon manner, we should also discuss the issues around GHG emissions and flying. This article deals specifically with flying to conferences and makes the argument that conferences should be planned to accommodate for people who want to use mass transit options. That may work for Kiwis going to Auckland for a conference, but getting to Sydney by train may be a bit harder…
Now, moving on to food. It turns out you can drastically shrink your climate footprint without drastically changing your diet. An analysis last month led by the World Resources Institute (WRI), found that there’s not a huge difference, in terms of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, between cutting out about half the red meat in your diet and going full vegetarian. Good news for climate conscious omnivores!
When you hear “happy hour” you most likely think of cheap drinks at the bar, however, the Finnish supermarket chain S-market are bringing the concept to their stores, all in the name of reducing food waste. With 1/3 of the food produced and packed for human consumption being lost or wasted, it’s good to see that some supermarkets are looking to reduce this wastage.
If there are food scraps, and in reality there will likely always be at least a little, composting is a great way of reducing their impact on the environment. Not only that, but compost is the key to storing carbon in soils, especially in semi-arid areas. Compost feeds the growing plants, but also feeds the soil and the microbes within. These microbes would otherwise take dietary required nutrients from the soil if the added organic matter is missing, releasing CO2 in the process.
Researchers are now looking to the oceans to fight against rising GHG emissions. Specifically, looking at farming seaweed in the open ocean then sinking the mature plants to the sea floor, being an effective way to fight warming. Seaweed also fights against acidification, deoxygenation, and other marine impacts of global warming that threaten the biodiversity of the seas and the source of food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people. Not to mention there are millions of square kilometers of sea available for this!
In our next 2 articles we look to Ireland & Scotland who aren’t just talking about climate action but have laid out plans to combat climate change. Ireland will plant 440 million trees by 2040. Better soil management is a key part of their action plan along with a new carbon tax, and increased investment in renewable energy.
Scotland was the first nation to declare a climate emergency in April this year. They have declared it and have now released a raft of measures that will allow them to hit their target of zero emissions by 2045. Scottish Highlands & Islands first zero aviation region, make bus travel more attractive, decarbonise railways, electric cars are in the mix to reach their goal.
A new way of producing hydrogen - using light instead of heat energy...with nanoparticles as catalysts.
Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors