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The Green Energy Revolution

History of climate change

Climate change has been recognised through the change of the climate throughout history. In the last 800,000 years, there have been eight cycles of ice age and destructive warmer periods. The last ice age was around 11,700 years ago creating the modern climate era and human civilization. The climate changes are developed through very small variations in earth's orbit that divert the amount of solar energy our planet receives. This differentiates from the warming trend as this clearly is the act of human activities since the mid 1800s. This warming trend has been increasing at a rate that has not been seen over recent millennia. The associated human activities have released the atmospheric gases that have trapped more of the sun's energy in the earth system. This very energy has increased the warmth in the atmosphere, ocean and land. The race is on to find innovative ways to slow down the destruction of climate change.

Plant protein materials

Firstly, a new innovative idea from Xampla is to use plant protein materials instead of single use plastics. This very invention comes from the creator in Simon Hombersley, when his 10 year old niece walked out of restaurant due to their negligence in the consideration of reusable plastics. The CEO of Xampla leads one of the most successful startups in biomass industry with this innovation. Spider webs have been addressed as inspiration, this is because they are the strongest materials in nature, holding up to 350 times their own weight. The reason for this is that the spider silk is protein, which is found in animals and in plants. Therefore, it was necessary to use how spiders convert their protein and replicate this to convert plant proteins into a material that will be able to replace flexible plastic film in all commercial products.

Natural wood glue

Adding to this, there is a race currently to discover biobased solutions for the chemicals that are found in concrete, adhesive and tarmac. The most promising development to date that is being explored by researchers is the process of using lignin from wood in tarmac in place of the standard bitumen. This natural wood glue binds together the cellulose fibres in your typical plants. This information is what being used as the inspiration for its use in the production of asphalt pavement. The tests are still ongoing, these tests will assess the effect of years of heavy traffic over the period of a short few weeks. This innovative idea will benefit the planet, due to trees being a natural source of carbon storage even when they have been cut, this means that their will be a significant reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide floating in our atmosphere as it will be locked into the ground. This information was fact checked in a preliminary study in Canada. This study suggested that emissions of up to 117,000 to 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year could be avoided in Canada alone. This would have the same effect as removing 56,171 cars off the road each year.

Giant water cannons

In addition, there has been speculation of the solution of giant water cannons at the poles. This was surround the process of installing millions of water cannons to shoot seawater onto the surface of ice sheets, which would then consequently re freeze and thicken the ice sheets. The reason for this is that it will enable the ice to last longer and reflect sunlight which will result in the reduction of global warming. This plan does not come without the substantial estimated sum of around 500 billion US Dollars. Unfortunately, this idea has come under scrutiny with researchers arguing that the refrozen ice will not remain frozen for long enough time to have a significant benefit on global temperature and therefore will struggle to be an aid to the climate change movement.


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