It’s Their Endangered World Too: How Global Warming Has Affected European Wildlife

Blog11 - It's Their Endangered World Too: How Global Warming Has Affected European Wildlife

Isn’t it funny how everyone claims to love animals yet very little of us care about how our actions affect their lives? Today, we discuss how European wildlife has been drastically affected by global warming. Humans aren’t the only living things on this planet. We live our lives breathing the same air as the animal kingdom.

Our actions affect them in ways that most people don’t realize. You’ve probably seen videos of sea turtles whose shells did not develop well because they swam into soda rings. You’ve even probably seem videos about the effects of oil spills on avian life. What most people tend to not remember is the drastic effect that man-made global warming has on animals.

Weather extremes wipe out their food

Droughts kill plant life. The drastic lack of plant life causes the death of herbivores. The death of herbivores means that carnivores do not have food either. It’s a vicious path that we’ve sadly seen before.

Ocean acidification really messes up plankton populations. If you do not realize, plankton is the preferred food of millions of species of marine life. If the plankton doesn’t grow properly, a cascade occurs that will end up hurting humans in the long-run.

Shifting climate destroys habitats

If you ever wanted to see how fast climate change can affect our ecosystem, go look at some corals. Coral bleaching is a response to severely warm temperatures. In certain areas in the world, coral bleaching has gotten so bad that over 70% of corals simply die.

When corals die, fish have nowhere to live. When the ice caps melt because of global warming, this raises the sea levels. When sea levels go up, they can error beaches and shores wherein sea turtles lay their eggs.

wild1 - It's Their Endangered World Too: How Global Warming Has Affected European Wildlife

Which animals are most at risk?

In a general sense, all of them are at risk. However, there are some that truly risk dying out more than others. Some of these are: polar bears and sea turtles.

Something truly needs to be done

This is the only planet we have and the animals we share the planet with don’t have much of a choice on where they live. So if we continuously disregard our environment, we slowly but surely build up the ways in which we decide to kill off ourselves and our planet.

If you have any causes near and dear to your heart, share them with us!

Read More

Smart Grid: Is This The Solution To Global Warming?

Blog9 - Smart Grid: Is This The Solution To Global Warming?

Are you familiar with the concept of the Smart Grid? Join us today as we explore the theories, practical applications, and its relativity to the topic of Global Warming.

What is the Smart Grid?

The smart grid is known as the application of digital tech to the electric power sector. It consists of a host of technologies that are built together in order to be able to fully run diagnostic on its own system. Smart Grids are made to improve not only the performance but also the way electric grids could be accessed and modified.

Smart Grids have been the favorite topic of energy symposium for the last decade or so. One thing that makes them so different for previously existing electrical grids is that the “smart” grids are packed with various software to efficiently link the operation of the energy source.

Special characteristics

  • Integrated Communications
  • Advanced Control Methods
  • Evolved Interface and Support
  • Automatic Meter Reading or Advanced Metering Infrastructure

What is meant by automatic meter reading?

In the aim to provide a seamless and intelligent system, the AMR grants permission for utility providers to directly access electricity, water, and gas meters. It does away with the need to send personnel to do a physical reading of the user’s meters per month. The same is accomplished regarding connection and disconnection.

wind3 - Smart Grid: Is This The Solution To Global Warming?

What does a smart grid have to do with global warming?

Smart Grinds are ideally able to reduce greenhouse gasses in different ways. It helps regulates the voltage received by your system. Smart grids are often operated at a lower voltage in order to avoid distribution losses.

While it does not promise to remove climate change for you, it will definitely slow global warming’s advancement. This smart system is made specifically to adapt and learn in order to develop better ways to mitigate climate change.

As a smart grid does away with the necessity of physically sending someone to read meters or address issues, it severely cuts down air pollution cause by the transportation system of engineers.

What else can a smart grid do?

Smart grids come with digital metering. These meters have software that notifies your utility provider in the event of a power outage. Having a digital meter does away with the necessary computations that may baffle the everyday end user. Instead, all the data can be presented seamlessly. This empowers users to tweak their energy consumption as they see fit. An old issue was to just do what you can and pray the next bill was lower. The Smart Grid lets users manage their home completely, finding out which is connected and which consumes most power.

Smart Grids are the future and it will allow an efficient integration of renewable energy services systems. They are also designed to be “self-healing” this is in the sense that they are able to conduct their own internal diagnosis to determine vulnerabilities and correct the issues. When there’s certainly a lot more things to do in life, having one less thing to think and worry about is always welcome.

Read More

European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

Blog7 - European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

Today, we take a closer look at European nations who are sticking to their guns. By guns, we mean their sources of unsustainable energy production.

A majority of Europe have agreed to ratify the Paris Agreement. However, not all members of the EU are following suit and are lagging behind.

Who, you may ask?

 One of these nations is France. This nation alternates between digging in their heels and putting forth the mandates given to them.

In Bosnia, there are 4 coal plants that are still operation. The residents have complained of the pollution for years but to no avail. Now, there are more plans toward more coal sites; 7 of them, in fact. Studies done regarding their proposed additional coal sites have given the figures of an 18% increase in harmful emissions. Despite the additional health risks of these new coal sites, Bosnian locals are not shying away from taking jobs in these sites.

Residents of Tuzla express that while renewable energy is still being perfected, there are no other jobs available. Therefore, they take the coal sites job with reservations.

The United Kingdom, while showing some promise, still lags behind other countries. However, since the Brexit fiasco, they are no longer really obliged to hit the target for 2020. The Netherlands, as of 2015, has only accomplished 5.8 of the goal of 14.

While there are only three years to go regarding the 2020 goal, everyone is waiting to see what the other lagging nations are planning to do.

europe 67391 1920 - European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

 Not all is lost. There are heroes.

There are now at least eleven EU nations who have managed to meet their 2020 targets. These nations are: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, and several others.

Global Warming is the very thing that the European guideline for Renewable Energy 2020 goal is trying to address. By lowering the collective emissions of the EU, they hope to significantly slash the speed in which global warming is progressing.

As the noticeable effects of global warming continue to propagate, it is ultimately more and more necessary to adhere to stricter rules regarding the lessening of carbon emissions.  As the USA has pulled out from the Paris Agreement, it will be Europe’s responsibility to blaze the path toward clean and sustainable energy.

It is wonderful how the concepts of green energy, global warming, and sustainability are all intertwined. One cannot unravel without the others. It’s a balance that must be met and maintained. In order to lessen the rapid advancement of global warming, people as a whole do need to start taking steps toward more sustainable living.

While it is great that there are now agreements that need to be met with regard to renewable energy, it is still ultimately the dependence on foreign oil that drags everything down. As long as there is a demand for the supply of gas and oil, the fight will continue. Here’s to hoping that all the European members of the EU get to meet their targets well.

Read More

Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Blog6 - Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Our brightest minds have tried to warn us consistently through the years but were adamantly ignored. Energy and Global Warming are intrinsically interwoven with each other.

Humans consume energy. Energy is produced from coal, oil, or gas. These resources do not recover over time. As a consequence, prices go higher and higher. The rapid consumption of these non-renewable resources emits gasses when consumed. These become trapped and continue to heat up our planet. This cycle goes on and on until something gives. In the worst case scenario, it’ll be our planet that eventually becomes completely inhabitable.

Our scientists have pointed out several irrefutable signs that global warming has left on Europe. Let’s look at some of them:

Extreme overall temperature

Europe has been subjected to the flux of temperature extremes. Mostly, these are in the form of terribly warm days and nights. These greatly affect human physiology and have even resulted in death in the elderly and infants. As the temperatures continue to go up, the desertification of certain areas in the Southern Europe have begun. This has brought it prolonged periods of drought and inability to harvest crops, devastating farming communities.

On the flip side, they have also recorded sudden and prolonged low-temperatures. In either case too much heat and too much ice is definitely not healthy from a human standpoint.

g1 - Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Unpredictability of weather

If you’ve noticed that most meteorological forecasts have become increasingly unreliable as the years went by. This is particularly true especially for South East Asia. The predictability of weather events have been increasingly difficult to observe and report. As the climate continues to change (and not for the better), it’ll be harder and harder to provide accurate weather reporting.

Unavailability of water

Water is an important resource. However, river flows in southern and eastern Europe have seen massive reductions. Seasonal changes are now considered normal for places, like mountain areas, that did not used to have them before.

As potable water normally hails from mountain peaks and mountainous areas, the drastic changes in climate has made water supplies diminish. Highly populated areas like cities will start to exhibit signs of water shortages soon. This shall affect things like tourism, which is one of the primary sources on income for European cities.

g2 - Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Vanishing coastal areas

As the world warms, the ice caps melt and end up raising the water level of oceans. As 1/3 of the EU population reside in coastal cities, these will be impacted when the sea start to reach areas where it previously did not. This shall also affect water availability. As sea water rises and pushes inland, this shall affect the fresh water ecosystems.

Something clearly has to be done.

The reliance on oil and gas imports is not sustainable. Fossil fuels are a rapidly depleting resource. Instead of being able to provide everyone with sufficient energy, the reliance on oil continues to drive up the prices of energy. The rapid consumption of this resource restarts the awful cycle of global warming.

Read More

A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Blog3 - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Why is everyone so concerned about Global Warming? Join us as we look closer at this unnatural phenomenon and how Europe is dealing with its effects on an international scale.

What is global warming?

Global warming is often defined as the gradual increase of the Earth’s overall temperature. It is commonly attributed to the so called “greenhouse effect”. This is the effect which occurs when certain gasses do not allow the release of heat outward. Instead, they are kept in our atmosphere and projected downwards.

The greenhouse effect has been studied immensely since the discovery of its effects in 1824. It was 1895 that a Swedish chemist had discovered that carbon dioxide makes the production of greenhouse gases worse.

global1 - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Why is global warming a problem?

As the world continues to heat up, it alters our terrain and our climate. Heat is not conducive to keeping snow and ice exactly where they are. Early this year, around July, an Antarctic iceberg broke off Larsen ice shelf. It is one of the largest break offs ever recorded. It is supposedly quadruple the size of London. Global warming contributed to the berg breaking away. The saddest thing is that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen global warming affect our climate and our topography.

 In 2003, Europe experience the hottest summer in 500 years. This resulted in 70,000 deaths. Many more may follow.

How has Europe contributed to global warming?

The EU was once the world’s leading importer of oil and gas. The emissions which this led to were abominably high.

global2 - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

What is Europe doing about it?

In 2014, the EU went into an agreement to target a 40% emissions reduction by 2030. The European Commission launched The Energy Union Strategy. Its purpose was to handle the transformation of the energy supply of all European nations. The overall aim is to secure sustainable and affordable energy.

One of the goals of the EU is now the full integration of the European energy market. Doing so will provide a simultaneous standardization of how energy is created and distributed. Europe is also aiming to develop a smart electricity system.  A smart grid is a sort of electrical grid that has a variety of operational and energy measures. If successfully developed and launched, it presents a system that helps boost the rate of issue detection. It should also be able to work out issues without the intervention of specialists.

Another goal is to significantly lower the EU’s dependence of foreign energy exports.

The European Union Emission Trading scheme enacted a directive which clarified national caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources. There are several other committees and policies which have been made to lower the gas emissions of EU as a whole.

Europe is well on its way to developing smarter systems which yield better long-term effects for our energy issues. It is only a matter of time before renewable energy will be massively available to far flung parts of the EU.

Read More