- It’s time to share my favorite technology finds of late with you – this might be my favorite article section that I write each month!
Battery – Scientist recently made a significant advance towards sustainable bio-fuel cells where by a stable gel is laden with energy-rich enzymes that create energy by transferring electrons back and forth.Solar – A non-toxic flavoring agent used commonly in foods might hold the key to lightweight plastic solar cells. This design for low-cost perovskite solar panels should be able to out-produce their more common silicon rivals. A single one of these solar panels could produce enough water for an entire family. Singapore recently installed the world’s largest floating solar farm, I wonder how it will impact the local ecosystem?Random Fun Stuff – If you believe 99% of climate scientists, we have too much carbon dioxide (and other greenhouses gases) in the atmosphere; this idea extracts some of that CO2 and converts it to electricity. This polymer made from orange peels could help farmers alleviate the impacts of drought. Clothes dryers suck up tons of energy – but this design uses 70% less power, no heat and dries clothes in just 20 minutes! You should try zapping your weeds next time rather than using harmful pesticides; or maybe you should try using flexible concrete for your next patio/walkway.
- A double dose of NOAA global climate reports this month! First, the December 2016 report shows that it was the third hottest in the 137-year record at 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average but still well below the December record set in 2015 at 2.02 degrees. The annual 2016 global report paints a bleaker environmental picture as 2016 was the third year in a row of record setting heat at 1.69 degrees above the 20th Century average. Will the Drumpf administration tackle this problem? Seems unlikely with his choice to head the EPA.
- It’s definitely time for spring, this cold has got me down – so for my Google Search of the month, how about we go with, “GIS and sunshine!” And much to my delight, I found this article from The Sentinel Watch about GIS and the wine industry. I mean what better way to celebrate sunshine than with a little wine – cheers!
- In last month’s review of online GIS websites for the largest city in a state, we reached the last state, Wyoming; so now it is back to the top for a review of the second largest city in the state’s online resources, starting with Montgomery, Alabama. And while the homepage leaves much to be desired, there is a reasonable web map that can be accessed here. It has a limited number of layers that can be turned on and off. One cool feature is the Pictometry button under Tools, it brings up a view of a small location of very high resolution oblique (side view) aerial imagery. There is no way to download actual GIS data from what I can see.
Brock Adam McCarty