Cycloid Torus writes: Concerned about climate change, I have been paying more attention to alternative fuels (algae biofuel, etc). Recent announcement from Algenol indicates $1.27 @ gallon is possible ( http://www.algenolbiofuels.com... ) with yields about 8,000 gallons per acre. Current US fuel consumption is roughly 283 billion gallons. Back of the envelope indicates that production at level similar to Algenol can supply the US requirement with the conversion of a desert the size of the Mojave into algae farm.
So what happens as this happens? I can see a major impact on fossil fuel exploration and extraction, but what else is going to get wrung through the wringer — or float to the top? Does moving desert into productive agriculture change the game?
Cycloid Torus writes: The CNN headline ("Experts Slam Upcoming Global Warming Report") caught my eye, and from it I learned that the full impact of global warming was underreported due to a missing icemelt issue http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/01/29/climate .report.ap/index.html. The article identified the melt of 53 cubic miles per year in Greenland as the nature of a change which has "taken scientists by surprise".
Not wanting to be surprised, I decided to find out how significant this icemelt really was. So I calculated the area of a sphere based on a radius of 4000 miles ( about 201 million square miles http://www.teacherschoice.com.au/Maths_Library/Are a%20and%20SA/area_2.htm ), checked current water coverage ratio (about 70% http://www.grandpapencil.com/projects/watercov.htm ) and determined that spread over the oceans and seas ( about 141 million square miles ) 53 cubic miles equals a shade bit more than 2 tenths of an inch. Of course, this could be slightly less as some of the ice coverage has become water, but 2 tenths of an inch is a good approximation.
So I got to wondering how important that was and I decided to find out more about all the ice in the icecaps (http://science.howstuffworks.com/question473.htm) . This clarified that if all the ice melted it would be a really important issue — and based in a melt rate of 2 tenths of an inch per year in ocean depth, it would take 33,000 years for the melting of all of Greenland's ice to raise sealevel a very significant 20 meters.
Somehow I do not find "surprise" to be a truly descriptive word when I consider the timescale. Possibly important, but not "surprising". Now honestly, were you surprised? just a weensy bit?
Cycloid Torus writes: IE7 is with us. It asked to be installed as a Critical Update this morning, so I decided to find out more about what was going on and if there are issues to this new and official piece of Windows XP. I found the following of use: