Carbon Neutral

Carbon In, Carbon Out What does it mean when an energy source is carbon neutral? Does using it still emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? What are some examples of carbon neutral sources of energy? Are all renewable sources carbon neutral? You’ve already learned about molten-salt reactors as a possible new source of energy. In this post, we’ll take a look at some new developments in the renewable energy sector. Biomass Biomass is a by-product of the agricultural industry. Let’s say you are a corn farmer and you’ve just harvested your crop. Selling the kernels is how you make money,…

amoeba

The Root Cause

The Rhizosphere Around the roots of plants, there is a tiny world called the rhizosphere. While it may be small, it is not insignificant. In fact, the rhizosphere plays an important role in cycling carbon and nitrogen between bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and the plant roots themselves. The easiest way to see the rhizosphere is by collecting water that drips out the bottom of a flower pot. You don’t need anything more than about 100x magnification to see all the players (except the bacteria). Rhizosphere Players How does this little ecosystem work? Let’s start with the bacteria. Plants will release precious…

molten-salt reactor

Molten-Salt Reactors

Written by Philippe WerrieEdited for Oralgrooves.com by Evie The Other Nuclear Reactor While proponents tout the carbon free nature of the nuclear reactor, ecologists condemn them for their risk and the nuclear waste they produce. Did you know that while there are hundreds of active nuclear power plants in the world, most of them use the same basic design? There’s actually a lot of potential ways to design a nuclear reactor. In this post, I want to introduce you to the molten-salt reactor. Components An actual nuclear power plant is a complicated machine but its basic mechanism is easy to…

global warming

It’s Complicated

Saving the Planet When you read articles about climate change, much of the focus is on carbon dioxide emissions. At the end of these articles, there may be a few encouraging tips on how to save the planet, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why the focus on carbon dioxide?”Have you ever wondered, “Is there more to the story than polar bears and melting ice caps?”Turns out, global warming is a really complicated process. In this post, I’m going to lay out some of the other factors that contribute to fluctuations in Earth’s climate. Albedo The word “albedo”…