How to grow your own fresh air (TED)

15 April 2009

Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.

How strange. I have at one time or another in the past owned all three of the plants mentioned. They all died of neglect. Maybe I should try again…

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Greenlands Ice Sheet melting

21 October 2006

According to a recent report from NASA’s Goddard Space Filght Center Greenland’s Ice Sheet now looses ice faster that it gains it.

Using a novel technique that reveals regional changes in the weight of the massive ice sheet across the entire continent, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., report that Greenland’s low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, while the high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall. The study appears in Science Express, the advance edition of Science, on Oct. 19.

This concerns me. I am also curious. Let’s see…

First we go metric:

41-14=27 cubic miles
1 mile = 1.609 kilometers
1 cubic mile = 1.609³ km³ = 4.1655 km³
In other words:
27 cubic miles = 27×4.1655 km³ = 112.469 km³.
Meanwhile:
The total area of the Earth’s Oceans is 361,126,400 km² according to Wikipedia.

So:
112.469 km³ divided by 361126400 km² = 3.114E-7 km (0.0000003114 km)
Which is about .3 mm.

In conclusion…
If all the above mentioned melted ice runs into the ocean, and if a cubic mile of ice is roughly the same as a cubic mile of water then the ocean should rise by about a third of a millimeter each year.