Bill Nye-promoted satellite sails into area on sunbeams

A little crowd-funded satellite promoted by TELEVISION host and science educator Expense Nye has been propelled into a higher orbit utilizing only the force of sunshine blowing against its sail in space, a novel propulsion designers state could “equalize” spaceflight.

The Lightsail 2 spacecraft, roughly the size of a loaf of bread, was launched into orbit in June and unfurled a tin foil-like solar sail designed to steer and press the spacecraft, utilizing the momentum of tiny particles of light called photons emanating from the sun, into a greater orbit.

The satellite was developed by the California-based space research study and education non-profit group the Planetary Society, whose chief executive is the tv character commonly referred to as Costs Nye the Science Guy.

The technology assures an essentially endless source of space propulsion as a substitute for finite materials of rocket fuels that the existing generation of spacecraft rely on to manoeuvre in flight.

” We are enjoyed declare mission success for Lightsail 2,” program supervisor Bruce Betts stated Wednesday on a call convened with press reporters to expose that the spacecraft had raised its own orbit by 1 mile, sailing under the pressure of beams from the sun.

Flight by light, or “sailing on sunbeams,” as Bill Nye stated, might best be used for missions bring cargo in space or on small satellites with adequate room for releasing bigger, and therefore more powerful, solar sails.

Other applications include keeping an eye on solar radiation that interferes with Earth-bound communication networks.

The solar sail innovation could also decrease the need for pricey, troublesome rocket propellants and slash the cost of navigating small satellites in area.

” We highly feel that missions like Lightsail 2 will equalize area, make it possible for more people, more organizations around the globe to send spacecraft to interesting and remarkable locations in the planetary system that will lead us to address that deep concern: ‘Where did all of us originate from?'” Nye said.

The Lightsail job started in the 1990 s, however its first planned model, Universe 1, was ruined during a malfunctioning launch on a Russian rocket taking off from a submarine in 2005.

The Planetary Society got its the next prototype, Lightsail 1, into space in 2015, but technical issues kept it from climbing high adequate to be guided by sunshine.

Lightsail 2 ended up being the most current spacecraft to demonstrate space-bound solar sailing after Japan’s speculative IKAROS spacecraft in 2010.

The Lightsail project grew from an idea pictured by the society’s co-founders– executive director Louis Friedman and late astronomer and author Carl Sagan– to send out a solar sail craft to rendezvous with Halley’s Comet in the 1970 s.

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LightSail teams declares success in solar sail experiment

This image was taken by a camera aboard the LightSail 2 satellite during the solar sail deployment sequence at 1849 GMT (2: 49 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, July 23. Credit: The Planetary Society

The gentle push of sunlight is slowly changing the orbit of the Planetary Society’s crowd-funded LightSail 2 satellite after it unfurled a thin solar sail the size of a boxing ring last week, officials confirmed Wednesday.

LightSail 2 is the capstone of a decade-long, $7 million effort to advance the science of solar sailing, a technique that could allow small probes to travel across the solar system, or to other stars, at faster speeds and lower cost.

“On behalf of the tens of thousands of people around the world who came together to help the dream of solar sailing move forward, we’re thrilled to declare mission success for LightSail 2,” said Bruce Betts, the LightSail program manager at the Planetary Society, a non-profit space advocacy group headquartered in Pasadena, California.

LightSail 2 was one of 24 satellites launched June 25 by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. At the time of launch, LightSail 2 was cocooned inside a larger spacecraft named Prox 1, which released the solar sail craft a week into the mission.

Based on a CubeSat platform, LightSail 2 was about the size of a loaf of bread when folded up for launch. A few days after separating from Prox 1, LightSail deployed solar panels to begin recharging the craft’s lithium-ion batteries, then officials sent the command to open the sail July 23, somewhat later than originally planned to allow extra time for engineers to fine-tune the CubeSat’s attitude control system.

“Our criterion for mission success was to demonstrate controlled solar sailing in a CubeSat by changing the spacecraft’s orbit using only light pressure of the sun,” Betts said. “This is something that’s never been done before in a small spacecraft.”

In a press teleconference Wednesday, Betts said the high point, or apogee, or LightSail 2’s orbit had increased by a little more than a mile — about 1.7 kilometers — over the preceding four days. LightSail 2 does not carry any other means of propulsion, so engineers have attributed orbit change to solar sailing.

LightSail 2’s ultra-thin sail was stowed into the spacecraft’s toaster oven-sized body during launch, but once unfurled, it covers an area comparable to that of a boxing ring, or about 344 square feet (32 square meters). The pressure from solar photons, or units of light, imparts a tiny measure of acceleration on the sail, but it will be enough to change LightSail 2’s orbit.

“This is a very exciting day for us, and for me personally,” said Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society. “This idea that you could fly the spacecraft, that you could get propulsion in space, from nothing but photons is really counterintuitive. It’s surprising. And for me, it’s very romantic that you’ll be sailing on sunbeams.”

This chart shows LightSail 2’s orbit apogee and perigee since launch. From 26 July to 30 July, the spacecraft raised its orbital high point, or apogee, by about 2 kilometers. Credit: The Planetary Society / Data provided by NXTRAC

Telemetry radioed to the ground by LightSail 2 shows the spacecraft is turning its sail broadside to the as it goes around the Earth. The CubeSat’s orientation allows for pressure from solar photons to push on the sail with a force no more than the weight of a paperclip, according to the Planetary Society.

“Our acceleration divided by mass, or thrust to mass, is the highest of any sail launch so far,” Nye said. “And in order to do this, we have to tack in Earth orbit, which means we have to twist the spacecraft 90 degrees every 50 minutes.”

The LightSail 2 experiment is the second solar sailing CubeSat developed by the Planetary Society, and the group’s third attempt overall at a solar sail experiment in low Earth orbit.

A predecessor mission named LightSail 1 lifted off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in May 2015.

The LightSail 1 CubeSat successfully expanded its solar sail, but the spacecraft’s altitude was too low to demonstrate sailing on sunlight. At LightSail 1’s altitude, aerodynamic drag influenced the craft’s orbit more than the minuscule effect from sunlight.

An earlier solar sail experiment led by the Planetary Society, named Cosmos 1, failed to reach orbit after a launch from a Russian submarine.

The Planetary Society says the LightSail program, comprising both CubeSat missions, cost around $7 million from 2009 through March 2019. Planetary Society members, private citizens, foundations and corporate donors helped pay for the program.

NASA provided the launch of the LightSail 1 mission in 2015 on an Atlas 5 rocket, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory provided LightSail 2 with a ride into orbit on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy.

LightSail 2’s demonstration comes after the Japanese IKAROS mission became the first spacecraft to rely solely on solar sailing for propulsion. IKAROS launched with Japan’s Akatsuki mission toward Venus in 2010, and opened its 2,110-square-foot (196-square-meter) sail in interplanetary space.

But the IKAROS spacecraft was much larger than LightSail 2. The solar sailing success announced Wednesday proves a relatively low-cost CubeSat-class nanosatellite — within the budget of small space agencies, universities and numerous private companies — can use light pressure to reach far-flung destinations.

A NASA-funded CubeSat mission named NEA Scout will employ a solar sail to travel to a near-Earth asteroid after flying into deep space on the first mission of NASA’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket.

“This is demonstrating solar sale propulsion in these CubeSats, in small spacecraft,” Betts said. “That means it’s a possible interplanetary propulsion technique for possible piggyback missions of CubeSats, small missions in the future. And in the fairly near future, NASA’s NEA Scout will do this with a spacecraft twice as large. But it’s really demonstrating it can be done, and so hopefully opening up a whole new field of spacecraft and spacecraft propulsion between the planets.”

Future solar sails could be powered by laser light arrays to accelerate toward other stars, achieving speeds impossible with conventional rocket engines.

Artist’s concept of LightSail 2. Credit: The Planetary Society

Officials expect LightSail 2 to remain in orbit for about a year before atmospheric drag pulls it back to Earth, when it will burn up during re-entry.

“We’re going to be, over the next several weeks, continuing to raise the orbit apogee, and we think that we can do that for about a month, probably through the end of August,” said Dave Spencer, LightSail 2’s project manager.

“As we’re doing that, our perigee, or the close point in the orbit, is going to move slightly lower over time,” Spencer said. “And as it moves lower, the atmosphere is going to cause more drag, to the point where it’s going to be impossible for us to overcome that atmospheric drag through the use of solar pressure.”

LightSail 2’s attitude control system does not have the ability to point the solar sail to circularize its orbit. Future missions will have that capability.

“There’s one experiment that I really am looking forward to, Spencer said. “If the spacecraft is still functional, once we get down to the point of re-entry, I’d like to see if we can actually control the re-entry point somewhat by changing the orientation of the solar sail. That’s an experiment that to my knowledge, hasn’t been done before, and that’s called targeted re-entry. That would be a really fascinating experiment.”

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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The City’s A lot of Hated Bridge Gets an Almost $1 Billion Transformation


Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians admired the opening of the second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge, which links Brooklyn and Queens.

Image

Credit Credit Gabby Jones for The New York City Times

Azi PaybarahNate Schweber

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A drive over the Kosciuszko Bridge, as soon as understood for traffic jams that might provoke the most sedate vehicle drivers into yelling expletives, prompted a different response from chauffeurs and bicyclists on Thursday: astonishment.

And that was during New york city’s morning rush hour.

The 2nd span of the cable-stayed Kosciuszko Bridge (probably pronounced ko-SHCH-OO-SH-ko), which links Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek, opened to automobiles on Thursday as part of an $873 million project. The very first span opened in2017 Both periods changed the collapsing bridge that opened in 1939 and became a disliked crossing because of its choking traffic.

” It was great and not bumpy,” stated Ines Leong, 40, of Astoria, Queens, who operates in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and drove over the bridge on Thursday.

The new span has four Brooklyn-bound lanes; the other period has five Queens-bound lanes. Both periods have shoulders. The bridge likewise has a 20- foot-wide secured lane for bicyclists and pedestrians, who got to first experience it, and its views of Manhattan, on Wednesday.

Many early bridgegoers were impressed.

Image

Credit Gabby Jones for The New York City Times

” The horizon looks a lot various now,” said Tom Bulger, 65, of Brooklyn, as he walked across the Kosciuszko Bridge with his household on Wednesday. The last time he keeps in mind walking throughout it remained in 1968, around the time the sidewalks on the old bridge were removed.

” The only thing that looks the very same is the cemetery,” Mr. Bulger stated, describing Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

Troy Stone, who had actually never ever walked over any of the city’s bridges until Wednesday’s preview, was struck by the view. “I’m taking it all in.”

But not every part of crossing the new bridge has actually been smooth cruising. There are no bicyclist lanes near the bridge on the Brooklyn side, according to Gerard A. Esposito, the district manager of Brooklyn Neighborhood Board 1.

” We’re worried about what occurs when you come off the bridge,” he said, standing near the bridge’s entryway in Greenpoint. “It’s a tough enough location without the new walk-cycle lane. If you’re brand-new to the area, you might not understand the danger.”

But cyclists talked to did not express those concerns.

” It’s remarkable,” said Andrew Williams, 50, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who cycled across the bridge for the very first time on Thursday morning. “I’m enjoying it.”

General, the new structure was greeted as a welcomed upgrade.

” The thing was breaking down. It appeared like it was going to fall any day,” said Henry Cordero, 50, of Glendale, Queens.

Angelo Papajorgji, 39, a specialist from Queens, stated he liked the new bridge for its swooping, trendy splendour and its splendid setting. It is likewise sparkling tidy, a big contrast, he stated, from the old, boxy bridge with its pocked concrete and rusting iron. He stated he also would not miss his tires rumbling over pits, removed asphalt and metal roadway plates.

” You’re not expected to feel the traffic,” he stated. “It’s a stunning bridge.”

For decades, lorries on the old Kosciuszko Bridge squeezed onto one period of six narrow lanes that might feel like a car park sometimes. The technique ramps were high.

The new bridge is 35 feet lower than the original. The shorter slope allows big lorries to preserve a constant speed, minimizing congestion. In revealing the opening of the 2nd period of the bridge on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo stated the new bridge would minimize traffic by 65 percent

On Thursday, Mr. Cordero drove across the brand-new Kosciuszko period while listening to motorists complain on the radio that traffic on the bridge still did not move quickly enough. “Everybody’s grumbling about, ‘I thought there was going to be less traffic,'” Mr. Cordero said. “You’re in New York City City. There’s going to be traffic, child!”

Image

Credit Gabby Jones for The New York City Times

Gregory Lewis, 70, a retired specialist who resides in Brooklyn, stated the important things that made him happiest as he strolled the bridge on Wednesday was hearing people say “Kosciuszko” correctly.

” People can pronounce. Traffic can improve,” he stated. “Individuals discover. Progress.”

Rebecca Liebson contributed reporting.

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Climate Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, Gets Here in New York After Sailing Throughout the Atlantic


Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg gotten here in New york city City on Wednesday after sailing throughout the Atlantic Ocean to call attention to the need for fast action to conserve the world.

Thunberg, a 16- year-old from Sweden, embarked in the racing sailboat Malizia II from Plymouth in the United Kingdom two weeks earlier on the trip to the U.S. to attend the United Nations Environment Action Top, which is set up to take place in September at the U.N.’s head office in New york city.

After disembarking from the vessel at a Manhattan marina, Thunberg was greeted by a crowd of advocates, consisting of a group of fellow high school students bring homemade signs. The trainees broke into chants as the sailboat slowly pulled into the marina in Lower Manhattan, including “Sea levels are rising therefore are we!” and “There is no World B!”

US-ENVIRONMENT-SWEDEN-CLIMATE-THUNBERG Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, 16, arrives in the US after a 15- day journey crossing the Atlantic in the Malizia II, a zero-carbon luxury yacht, on Aug. 28, 2019 in New York City. JOHANNES EISELE– AFP/Getty Images

Thunberg appeared a little tired from her journey, but spoke forcefully about environment change. While she does not expect everyone to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a boat like she did, she stated that she thinks it’s time for people to come together to combat environment modification.

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Urban Farmers Organising Crates Of Fruits And Vegetables On Truck

” The environment and environmental crisis is a global crisis and the biggest crisis humanity has actually ever dealt with,” she said quickly after she stepped on coast. “And if we don’t manage to collaborate and to comply … then we will fail.”

Thunberg stated that while she’s wanting to get the word out about climate modification, someone isn’t the primary focus of her message—- President Donald Trump.

” My message for him is simply listen to the science, and he undoubtedly doesn’t do that. As I always state to this question, if nobody has been able to convince him about the environment crisis, the seriousness, why should I have the ability to do that?” Thunberg said.

Thunberg launched her project for action on environment modification simply last August, when she sat outside of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm holding an indication engraved with the expression, “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (School Strike for Environment). In the year because, she assisted to arrange a March 15 strike thought to have actually been signed up with by 1.6 million people in 133 nations; met world leaders, consisting of Pope Francis; and was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Thunberg has actually accentuated the greenhouse gas emissions triggered by air travel. In Sweden, she is credited for the spread of “flygskam”—- flight embarassment—- which reports say might have motivated some Swedes to avoid taking a trip by plane.

Greta Thunberg in New York People welcome environment activist Greta Thunberg to New York as she gets here in the US after a 15- day journey crossing the Atlantic in the Malizia II, a zero-carbon luxury yacht, on Aug. 28,2019 KENA BETANCUR– AFP/Getty Images

The Malizia II is a 60- foot vessel is designed to be emission-free, and is geared up with photovoltaic panels, hydro-generators and an onboard laboratory for determining CO2 levels and other information about the surface of the ocean.

The teen set sail two weeks ago with a little group, including her father, Svante Thunberg, and co-skippers Pierre Casiraghi—- grand son of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and Grace Kelly—- and professional sailor Boris Herrmann, who has circumnavigated the world 3 times and made “numerous” journeys throughout the Atlantic, according to Herrmann’s website

As the vessel was created for racing, it was developed for speed—- but not comfort. Herrmann’s site acknowledges that the boat does not have lots of amenities, consisting of cooking centers, a toilet and a shower, although “comfy bed mattress” were added for Thunberg’s trip.

Several young individuals stated that they had actually first discovered Thunberg from YouTube, however had actually been inspired to act due to the fact that they’ve learned how environment change is impacting individuals worldwide.

Olivia Wohlgemuth, a 16- year-old trainee at LaGuardia High School, informs TIME that while she’s worried about the future, protesting to raise awareness gives her hope.

” I always feel so hopeful at protests. Climate change can be so bleak and action can be an antidote to that,” Wohlgemuth said.

Greta Thunberg in New York The Malizia II, a zero-carbon private yacht, with Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, 16, arrives in the United States after a 15- day journey crossing the Atlantic in on Aug. 28, 2019 in New York City. JOHANNES EISELE– AFP/Getty Images

Several teenagers, consisting of 15- year-old Dwight School student Alessandro Dal Bon, said that Thunberg had actually been the inspiration for them to get involved with climate advocacy.

” She’s not afraid of anybody. She’s not scared of the political leaders, she’s not scared of the business people. She simply wishes to get her message out there. And she wants to do anything for that. She’s prepared to cross the Atlantic Ocean for 15 days on a little boat to do that. That simply reveals you how determined she is,” Dal Bon states.

Thunberg thanked the sailboat’s group and stated that the journey had actually been “remarkably great,” keeping in mind that she hadn’t gotten seasick. She said that she would miss out on feeling “detached” from the world throughout the journey.

” To just sit, actually sit for hours, and simply gaze at the ocean refraining from doing anything. That was excellent. And I’m going to miss out on that a lot,” Thunberg said. “And of course, to be in this wilderness, the ocean, and to see the beauty of it. “

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Susan Collins ‘Sad’ That Assistance For Brett Kavanaugh Has Cost Her Votes

Sen. Susan Collins(R-Maine) refused to budge on her controversial assistance for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh‘s verification last year, and now the repercussions of that decision may be coming home to roost.

In an interview with Politico released Monday, the senator noted that her choice to guarantee Kavanaugh after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually attacking her when they were in high school will undoubtedly affect her reelection bid, however Collins suggested that her choice was justified.

” Have I lost some votes since of my choice to support Justice Kavanaugh? Yes, I have. And I’m sad about that due to the fact that I discussed in terrific depth my decision-making,” she stated before including that there is still “a gratitude in Maine for someone who takes a look at the realities of a problem, votes with integrity and independence.”

Collins, called a moderate, was once untouchable in Maine politics, conveniently winning the 2014 election with simply over 68%of the vote

However as 2020 looms, it is significantly clear that it will not be smooth sailing for Collins this time. Recently, The Cook Political Report changed its Senate election forecast for the state from “lean Republican” to “gamble,” showing there’s lessened confidence in Collins’ possible to win.

On the other hand, her opposition, Democratic state Home Speaker Sara Gideon, who got in the race in June, has actually tried to utilize a few of Collins’ choices, such as her endorsement of Kavanaugh, to depict her as a partisan figure.

” At one point, maybe she was various than a few of the other folks in Washington, however she does not appear that method any longer,” Gideon stated in her campaign announcement video, including that her “vote to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court may be settling for her, but it’s put females’s control over their own health care decisions in severe jeopardy.”

Collins raised $1.8 million in the last quarter of 2018 following Kavanaugh’s verification, however just $19,000 of it came from Maine residents. On the other hand, Kavanaugh fans contributed $32,000 to Collins, according to an evaluation from liber very PAC American Bridge 21 st Century.

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Greta Thunberg unfazed by rainy seas

Greta Thunberg aboard the Malizia II on August 24, 2019.
Greta Thunberg aboard the Malizia II on August 24,2019

Image: Boris Herrmann Racing twitter screenshot

By Mark Kaufman

On day 12, the waves picked up.

Environment activist Greta Thunberg’s wind-powered journey across the Atlantic Ocean struck an especially stormy stretch on Sunday. Thunberg and her cruising team, en path to a U.N. Climate Action Top(and Mashable’s Social Good Top) in New York City, struck rough seas some 300 miles from Canada’s Nova Scotia. She kept in mind this in a brief Twitter video update, quickly after a wave crashed over the boat.

” It’s extremely rough with extremely high waves,” Thunberg stated.

Amid a long seafaring journey surrounded by limitless waters and the development of a hurricane in the north Atlantic, Thunberg and her group have consistently reported undaunted spirits.

” So far they’re really enjoying the trip,” Axel Hackbarth, an onshore member of the Boris Herrmann Racing team who is supporting the mission, told Mashable on Wednesday.

When Hurricane Chantal developed and began charging eastward across the North Atlantic on Wednesday– though not presenting an immediate danger to their boat the Malizia II– the team expressed little issue. Rather, they exploited and rode the resulting winds.

” It’s working to our advantage,” explained Hackbarth.

Hackbarth estimates that Thunberg and company will arrive in New york city City between Aug. 27 and 29, depending on wind conditions. As of Sunday, the Malizia II bumped along at speeds between 23 and 28 miles per hour (20 to 25 knots).

Thunberg has actually picked a rough, adventurous trip to New York City to prevent contributing unneeded carbon dioxide emissions into Earth’s atmosphere. It’s an unmistakable declaration made by a now prominent environment activist.

Airplanes have an outsized function in releasing carbon, as airliners contribute over 2 percent of overall worldwide carbon emissions– more than most countries in the world. ” Somebody flying from London to New york city and back creates approximately the same level of emissions as the average individual in the EU does by heating their home for an entire year,” the European Commission notes

Earth’s co2 levels– the world’s most important greenhouse gas– are skyrocketing. The heat-trapping greenhouse gas is now at its greatest climatic levels in a minimum of800,000 years, though most likely countless years

But that’s not all. The current climatic CO2 increase is now occurring at rates that are extraordinary in both the historic and geologic record

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Three French kids die after wave strikes boat in Channel

French SNSM rescuers, file pic, June 2019 Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Rescuers got the victims to shore however the children were unconscious and died (file picture).

3 young French children drowned off the Normandy coast when a household’s motorboat was struck by a substantial wave and capsized in windy conditions.

Three grownups on board survived Monday’s drama, 800 m (0.5 miles) off the Agon-Coutainville beach south of Cherbourg.

Rescuers were quickly on the scene, however the boat’s stern was under water, including the cabin where the kids were caught.

The sisters aged 13 and 9, and kid aged 7, could not be restored.

The mom of the two women, spoken with by the daily Ouest-France, stated “all of it took place so rapidly we had no time even to cry out”.

They had been returning to shore, she said, when she saw water in the boat. “I called for aid, but then a big wave tipped us over,” she added.

‘ No time at all to go out’

The adults were outside the cabin, and the mom stated the children might not swim however had life coats on.

” They had no time to go out,” she described. The women’ dad “attempted to smash the cabin window, with his arm, his legs, then the boat’s anchor”.

French media report that rescuers on the Passous beach were notified by someone who had actually identified the boat in difficulty.

A sailing school boat rushed to the scene, along with a helicopter and two sea rescue groups.

The head of the local SNSM sea rescue system, Pascal Dutot, stated “it was no time to head out, the sea was too choppy, it was too windy for a boat of simply 5.50 metres [18ft]”.

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You can track Greta Thunberg’s journeys as she cruises across the high seas

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg takes off from Plymouth, Britain  on August 14, 2019.
Teenage environment activist Greta Thunberg removes from Plymouth, Britain on August 14,2019

Image: ANDY RAIN/ EPA-EFE/ Shutterstock.

By Mark Kaufman

Greta Thunberg is bound for the high seas.

On August 14 the teenage environment activist set sail from Britain to New York City aboard the Malizia II, a technologically-advanced racing sailboat that creates electricity utilizing photovoltaic panels and undersea turbines. Next month, Thunberg will speak at the U.N. Climate Action Top(and Mashable’s Social Good Top), before cruising on to a essential U.N. environment conference in Chile.

You can track her development throughout the Atlantic Ocean on the ship’s website here(there might be a load time).

” The science is clear,” Thunberg stated in a declaration after announcing the seafaring journey. “We should begin flexing the [carbon] emissions curve steeply downwards no behind 2020, if we still are to have a possibility of staying below a 1.5 [Celsius] degrees of international temperature rise.”

The sailboat's location on August 14, 2019.

The sailboat’s area on August 14, 2019.

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, scientists internationally advise curbing Earth’s warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-Industrial Transformation temperatures; though with still-rising carbon emissions, this specific objective is now far out of reach, if not almost difficult to accomplish

Airplanes have an outsized function in emitting carbon, as airliners contribute over 2 percent of overall worldwide carbon emissions– more than a lot of nations in the world. ” Somebody flying from London to New york city and back produces roughly the very same level of emissions as the typical person in the EU does by heating their home for an entire year,” the European Commission notes

So Thunberg, who has taken a year off of school to promote for environment action, is totally preventing flight.

Earth’s climatic co2 emissions are now skyrocketing CO2 levels haven’t been this high in at least800,000 years— though most likely countless years What’s more, carbon levels are now increasing at rates that are unprecedented in both the geologic and historical record

Skyrocketing CO2 emissions.

Skyrocketing CO2 emissions.

Image: scripps Organization of Oceanography

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International shipping industry under the microscope as whale death toll grows

HALIFAX — The shipping industry is under increased scrutiny after two cargo ships were fined for sailing too fast through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the rising death toll among endangered North Atlantic right whales has been partly blamed on collisions with vessels.

There have been eight deaths reported since early June, and examinations of five of the carcasses showed three of them had injuries consistent with ship strikes — a leading cause of death for these rare mammals.

“While the shipping industry has been overwhelmingly compliant in respecting these (speed limits), there are still some exceptions, and Transport Canada is examining all reported cases of non-compliance,” the department said in a statement Friday.

Sonia Simard, a spokeswoman for the Shipping Federation of Canada, stressed the industry’s level of compliance has been impressive, given the number of vessels that move through the gulf.

“It is our understanding that the compliance rate is over 98 per cent for 2019 and was equally high in 2018,” Simard, the federation’s director of legislative and environmental affairs, said in an email.

Of the more than 2,200 large vessels that transited the gulf’s shipping corridors between April 28 and July 25, the Canadian Coast Guard found 227 vessels had exceeded the reduced 10-knot speed limit — but after investigation three quarters of these cases were closed without fines.

Simard said many of the vessels flagged by an automated tracking system had exceeded the limit by only 0.5 knots or less.

However, another 48 cases are under review.

“We know how important it is,” Simard said in an interview. “We are dedicated to the best management measures.”

Chad Allen, the federation’s director of marine operations, said it’s important to understand how difficult it is for the crews of large ships to spot whales.

Typically, larger commercial vessels have an officer of the watch and a lookout posted on the bridge. Though they usually enjoy a commanding view of the seas, it can be easy to miss right whales when they break the surface.

“The right whale doesn’t present a big profile,” he said. “It doesn’t have a big dorsal fin.”

As well, when the whales surface to breath, the spray from their blowholes is often indistinguishable from breaking waves when the winds exceed 15 kilometres an hour — a common occurrence on the gulf.

“As the wind picks up, when they do spray, that spray gets dissipated very quickly,” said Allen.

The federation represents 70 shipping businesses in Canada, which include ship owners, operators and marine agents.

Boris Worm, a biology professor and well-known whale expert at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said marine mammal experts are aware of the challenges faced by the shipping industry.

“Even in good conditions, when it’s easier to see the whales, it’s hard to judge which way the whale is moving,” he said. “It becomes hard to guess which way to turn.”

David Browne, director of conservation with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, said it may be time to start talking about moving the shipping lanes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“It’s a massive undertaking,” he said. “You have to convince all of the countries of the world.”

That’s exactly what happened in late 2002, when the International Maritime Organization approved Ottawa’s plan to shift routes in the Bay of Fundy to reduce collisions with right whales. The altered lanes force ships to divert several kilometres around zones where right whales are known to gather.

“Unfortunately, the whales also moved and mostly left the Bay of Fundy and started moving into the gulf,” Browne said.

On Friday, Transport Canada said it had issued $7,800 speeding fines to two cargo vessels: the Americaborg, a Dutch container ship, and the Atlantic Spirit, a bulk carrier registered in Hong Kong.

A third vessel, cited for a $6,000 fine on July 18, was the Big Eagle, a 52-metre luxury yacht. And a fourth vessel — the bulk carrier Milos Warrior — was “sanctioned” on May 30 for an alleged infraction on Nov. 3.

Allen said even if a whale is spotted before a collision, avoiding the slow-moving animals can be tough.

“A ship is similar to a car on ice — once you start the turn, it may not take immediately,” he said.

Worm said other whales, including fin and blue whales, are fast enough to avoid most ships — but right whales are bulky and slow, which is why whalers decided long ago they were the “right” whales to kill.

And even though they have good long-range hearing, the excessive engine noise in shipping lanes can leave them confused.

“Imagine yourself standing on a highway with your eyes closed and you’re trying to cross the highway — you’ll get more nervous as you hear more noise,” Worm said. “This is the situation the whales face.”

Though commercial vessels are typically equipped with radar for navigation, that technology is designed to detect metal objects with sharp angles, not the rounded, blubbery bodies of right whales.

Sonar uses underwater sound waves instead of radio waves to detect objects, but there are concerns this technology could have an impact on the whales’ communication and navigation.

“It’s not just an issue of cost,” said Simard. “It’s a mix of research and development … in the context of the biology of the whales.”

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