Porsche signs 25-year solar deal

Porsche said Monday that it plans to build and operate a solar power microgrid at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, reducing its annual carbon emissions by 3.2 million pounds. The news came days after Ford announced what it called the largest-ever renewable energy purchase from a utility in the U.S., to power its electricity supply in Michigan with renewable energy.

The installation of Porsche’s microgrid, an on-site electrical network that harnesses power from solar panels, will begin in September and conclude in 2023. The renewable energy project is part of a $50 million development at the Porsche Experience Center campus in Atlanta.

Porsche’s 25-year operating agreement with Cherry Street Energy, the largest non-utility provider of solar energy in Georgia, will power Porsche’s on-site fleet of Taycan EVs, among other applications. The energy company will own, operate and maintain the microgrid, selling the power to Porsche.

Moving forward!

6-pole Virtual Radio Telescope

This animation shows six SunRISE SmallSats tracing out a virtual space telescope as they detect a solar radio burst…then transmit their data…to the Deep Space Network on Earth: NASA

Constructing a 6-mile-wide (10-kilometer-wide) telescope in space may sound like science fiction. However, through the combined power of six toaster-size satellites, that’s what NASA’s SunRISE will be: a gigantic radio telescope in orbit that will help deepen scientists’ understanding of explosive space weather events. These phenomena generate hazardous particle radiation that can endanger astronauts and technology in space while also threatening communications and power grids on Earth.

Each small satellite, or SmallSat, will act as a single antenna to detect bursts of radio waves from the Sun’s superheated atmosphere, known as the corona. Each is equipped with four telescoping antenna booms that extend about 10 feet (2.5 meters) to form an “X.” They will orbit Earth from about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) away, swarming together to trace out one huge virtual radio telescope.

After NASA’s Deep Space Network receives the signals from all six SmallSats, scientists will use the technique of interferometry to create a large-aperture radio telescope as wide as the distance between the SmallSats that are farthest apart – about 6 miles (10 kilometers).

This will be the equivalent of a radio telescope – larger than any ever constructed on Earth. Functioning in space, it won’t be affected by our atmosphere’s ionosphere layer which blocks reception of long radio wavelengths.

Arctic warming 4 times faster than rest of planet

The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the planet during the last 40 years, according to research published on Thursday that suggests climate models are underestimating the rate of polar heating.

“We present evidence that during 1979–2021 the Arctic has been warming nearly four times as fast as the entire globe,” the authors said in the study.

“Thus, we caution that referring to Arctic warming as to being twice as fast as the global warming, as frequently stated in literature, is a clear underestimation of the situation during the last 43 years since the start of the satellite observations.”…

As well as profoundly impacting local communities and wildlife that rely on sea ice to hunt, intense warming in the Arctic will have worldwide repercussions.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Plane over intense Yosemite fire encounters flying tree debris

The Washburn Fire burns in Mariposa Grove

Wildfire activity inside the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park is reportedly so intense it’s lifting tree debris hundreds of feet into the air, causing at least one near-miss for firefighting aircraft.

Radio traffic from a plane over the blaze Saturday documented the rare phenonemon: “Hey, just want to let you know, a branch went over the top of us,” a pilot radioed into dispatch. “A pretty good size, probably 50 feet above us coming down and fell right between tanker 103 and myself.”

“OK, copy. So like a repeat of yesterday,” the dispatcher reponded.

“That’s exactly what I’m getting that,” the pilot said. “So if we keep seeing that, we might have to knock it off. I don’t want to take a chance of busting a window on an airplane or hurting an aircraft for this.”

Rare; but, not unheard of. Just one more danger you have to watch out for fighting a forest fire.

Ozone depletion over North Pole screws up weather

The ozone layer protects life on Earth from harmful UV radiation – and also messes with the weather

Many people are familiar with the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, but what is less well known is that occasionally, the protective ozone in the stratosphere over the Arctic is destroyed as well, thinning the ozone layer there. This last happened in the spring months of 2020, and before that, in the spring of 2011.

Each time the ozone layer has been thinned out, climate researchers subsequently observed weather anomalies across the entire northern hemisphere. In central and northern Europe, Russia and especially in Siberia, those spring seasons were exceptionally warm and dry. In other areas, such as polar regions, however, wet conditions prevailed. These weather anomalies were particularly pronounced in 2020…

Whether there is a causal relationship between stratospheric ozone destruction and the observed weather anomalies is a matter of debate in climate research. The polar vortex in the stratosphere, which forms in winter and decays in spring, also plays a role. Scientists who have studied the phenomenon so far have arrived at contradictory results and different conclusions.

Read on, amigos. Contradictions, affirmation, the gamut of analysis expands.

Bitcoin investors take historic bath!

In just three days last week, Bitcoin investors saw the largest realized loss ever—losses locked in by trading—as a Bitcoin sell-off saw investors bleed $7.3 billion, according to blockchain analytics provider Glassnode. The last month has seen a sustained crash that pushed Bitcoin’s price below $20,000 for the first time since 2020.

About 555,000 Bitcoins were traded between prices of $18,000 and $23,000, according to the firm. Long-term holders liquidated about 178,00 bitcoins at prices below $23,000, with a number of them realizing losses as high as 75 percent. “The last three consecutive days have been the largest USD denominated Realized Loss in Bitcoin history,” Glassnode wrote in a tweet on June 19.

Bitcoin miners have been feeling the pain beyond wallet balances, however. The Financial Times reported that shares in listed mining companies like Marathon Digital and Hut 8 have fallen around 40 percent over the past month, with some firms having to take machines offline as energy costs increase, Bitcoin’s price drops, and funding has dried up from capital markets…

To quote the late, great, Jerry Lester…”And away we go!”