Archive for 2013

‘Horrible’ sea level rise of more than 3 feet plausible by 2100, experts say

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 6, 2013   View Article

Melting glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland may push up global sea levels more than 3 feet by the end of this century, according to a scientific poll of experts that brings a degree of clarity to a murky and controversial slice of climate science.

Such a rise in the seas would displace millions of people from low-lying countries such as Bangladesh, swamp atolls in the Pacific Ocean, cause dikes in Holland to fail, and cost coastal mega-cities from New York to Tokyo billions of dollars for construction of sea walls and other infrastructure to combat the tides.

Battery aging reversed to keep electric train chugging along

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 4, 2013   View Article

Researchers have written an algorithm that reverses aging in rechargeable lead-acid batteries, a breakthrough that will let them keep their all-electric train chugging along longer.

“To be able to rejuvenate anything is pretty remarkable,” Christopher Rahn, a mechanical engineer at Pennsylvania State University, told NBC News. “I mean, how many times in life do you actually reverse aging?”

Tornado generator may create the energy of a coal-fired power plant

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 3, 2013   View Article

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s foundation recently invested $300,000 in a start-up company that aims to harness energy from tornadoes. A single twister-generator machine could produce as much energy as a coal-fired power plant without the downside of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Atmospheric Vortex Engine is the brainchild of Louis Michaud, a Canadian engineer who first started talking about the concept in the early 2000s. He’s successfully proven it works with 13-foot diameter version.

Spikey robot ‘hedgehogs’ to explore Martian moon

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 2, 2013   View Article

A spike-covered robotic hedgehog is being developed to precisely hop, bounce and tumble across the Martian moon Phobos on a scouting trip for a human mission to Mars, according to a space scientist working on the project.

The Martian moon Phobos is one of the red planet’s two satellites, each just a few kilometers wide. Many scientists consider the moon a must-visit destination to learn more about Mars, the evolution of the solar system, and, perhaps, use as a base camp for future robotic explorations of Mars.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach