Category: Earth/Climate science

Carbon taxes

Carbon taxes

Carbon taxes

07/28/17

“How can we fight pollution using economics?”
There are many tools available to achieve sustainable development. The ones most often talked about on this blog are technological in nature. However, engineering is not the only way to fight for a cleaner future, and another tool at our disposal are those of economic nature. So let’s think of one possible solution using financial motivation. Well, it is commonly known that individuals do not like to have money taken away from them. So what if we were to take money away from people who pollute too much? This is the fundamental idea behind a carbon tax and can be used by policy makers to influence people to adopt more sustainable practices.

Surveying triangulation

Surveying triangulation

Surveying triangulation

07/03/17

“How can we measure real world triangles accurately?”

 

In surveying, it is often useful to measure triangular areas. However, how exactly is this accomplished? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to find out. We know from high school trigonometry that if we can find the length and angle of one side of a triangle then we can find out the rest with ease. So how what if we were to apply this idea in reality successive lengths of rods whose length were accurately known? Well, this is the fundamental idea behind surveying triangulation and was the main surveying technique before the 1950s

Engineering surveying

Engineering surveying

Engineering surveying

07/03/17

“How do Engineers determine an accurate topology of an area?”

 

Civil engineering projects often involve large projects. And these large projects will often take up a large area. And in many parts of the world, this area might consist of uneven terrain. So how can we accurately find out the topology of an area? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to find out. We know that with mechanical devices, we can easily gather information about irregularities in terrain. And by using computer technology, we can analyze this information to obtain a better view of the area. So what if we were to apply this concept to reality, and create an interconnected network of equipment to survey the land? Well, this is the fundamental idea behind engineering surveying, and it’s one of the most fundamental aspects of Civil Engineering.

Particulate matter

Particulate matter

Particulate matter

Isaac Gendler

06/23/17

“What are those tiny solid and liquid drops in the air?”

 

When we think of the Earth’s atmosphere, we probably imagine that it is completely gaseous. But this is not the case, and in fact, it is impinged by tiny droplets of solid and liquid known as particulate matter. Particulate matter originates from sources such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires, and are usually have diameters that range from 2.5-10 micrometers. This small size allows for particulate matter to be inhaled and cause serious health problems in the lungs and bloodstream. However, with the help of a little bit of government regulation, particulate matter can be reduced!

Low-cost air pollution sensors

Low-cost air pollution sensors

Low-cost air pollution sensors

Isaac Gendler

06/18/17

“How can we produce low-cost air pollution sensors?”

 

Air pollution sensors are absolutely necessary for policy making. But for many developing countries, such technology is often too expensive. So how can we make the costs less prohibitive? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to figure this out. We know that the main cost of monitoring air pollution comes from deploying sensors. But humans all over the world are already carrying advanced sensors with them, smartphones! A team at the University of California San Diego have developed a series of sensors that can communicate with a user’s smartphone using an app called CitiSense to perform real-time pollution monitoring. The goal of this project is to eventually to create a system in which entire communities can use to gather pollution data

Air pollution sensors

Air pollution sensors

Air pollution sensors

06/17/17

“How can we monitor air pollution?”

 

With the advent of industrialization, air pollution has become a significant issue in many parts of the world, inducing grievous health issues and productivity impairments. As such, governments and independent organizations are taking action to reduce this nefarious trend. However, before we can take steps to eliminate pollution, we must first know how much needs to be eliminated. To do this, engineers have developed air pollution sensors which can analyze the atmosphere for certain elements (ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide) for human analysis

What would happen if Earth’s core cooled down?

What would happen if Earth’s core cooled down?

What would happen if Earth’s core cooled down?

06/08/17

“What would be the effects if the Earth’s core cooled down?”

 

The core of the Earth contributes substantially to the operation of the planet. But what would happen if it were to cool down greatly? Well, let’s think about it. Not only does the core’s high internal temperature (with levels matching the surface of the sun) keep the exterior of the Earth can stay warm in the void of space, but it also serves to sustain the terrestrial magnetic field that shields the Earth from harmful radiation. So if the Earth were to cool down, it would become much like the moon, lacking an electromagnetic shield and being subject to the whims of intense temperature swings.