Smog in China
Buildings are shrouded in smog in China. Heavy smog has been lingering in northern and eastern parts of China since last week, disturbing the traffic, worsening air pollution and forcing the closure of schools.
Photograph: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
A giant iceberg, named B-31 by the US National Ice Center, estimated to be roughly the size of Singapore, from the Landsat 8 satellite. B-31 in early November calved from Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier (top) as the shelf of Pine Island Glacier has been moving forward at roughly 2.5 miles per year. Such events happen about every five or six years, though Iceberg B-31 is about 50 percent larger than previous ones in this area. If Pine Island Bay clears of ice by the annual sea ice minimum in February/March, then Iceberg B-31 could move out into the Southern Ocean.
The 4,000 inmates at Santa Rita Jail in the San Francisco Bay Area have an unusual home. The Alameda County facility boasts a microgrid, a self-contained power system consisting of a 1.2-megawatt rooftop solar array, five wind turbines generating 11.2 kilowatts, a one-megawatt fuel cell, and two megawatts worth of batteries to store all that energy.
That makes Santa Rita perhaps the world’s greenest modern jail, according to a discussion at a recent conference. It, and other large-scale infrastructure projects like it, are another sign that institutions are beginning to pull the plug on a century-old energy business model in which a monopoly utility sells electricity at a regulated rate for a regulated profit to captive customers. “We’re saving a $100,000 a year while generating our own renewable energy,” Matt Muniz, Alameda County’s energy program manager, said of the facility at a recent conference in San Francisco.
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Industrial side effect:
Vehicles move in heavy smog on the 3rd Ring Road in Beijing, China. According to Beijing environment monitoring data, the air quality of central area and southern parts of Beijing is heavily polluted.
Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media
Village Underground / 54 Holywell Lane EC2A 3PQ, London
Train carriages recycled into affordable artists’ studios on reclaimed land on top of a derelict railway viaduct. The carriages offer a number of sustainable features such as solar power.
Picture: Jack Foxcroft + Google
A photo taken and tweeted by the West Midlands Fire Service shows firefighters as they tackle the fire at J&A Young recycling factory in Smethwick.
Green or Arid
- These are rather unusual; crafted from a year’s worth of data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite, this digitally-constructed image show the difference between green and arid areas of Earth. Photograph: NASA/NOAA/Rex Features
- Here, urbanised areas of northern Egypt are visible amidst the deserts. The image also shows the Nile River which provides life-sustaining water to the region. Photograph: NASA/NOAA/Rex Features
WE ARE THE APOCALYPSE
A man rows his boat through a heavily polluted part of Chaohu Lake, the fifth largest freshwater lake in China, in Anhui Province
Picture: Quirky China News / Rex Features