Carbon dioxide is essential, but laughing gas can roast us pretty quickly

It’s well established that greenhouse gases trap heat and are responsible for the global warming we are seeing today. But despite carbon dioxide winning the popularity contest, there are other types of greenhouse gases — some many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The focus of this post will be to understand the sources and consequences of nitrous oxide a.k.a. laughing gas.

The reason we talk about carbon dioxide more is because of its dominant concentration in the atmosphere, about two-thirds of all greenhouse gases. And while nitrous oxide is only about 6% of the total, it is nearly 300…


SUSTAINABILITY

On a large scale, probably no. But there are ways solar can immensely help the rail infrastructure.

Trains are the most efficient mode of transportation we have. Despite carrying 9% of global passengers and 7% of global cargo, they make up just 3% of global transportation energy use.

Around the world, about 75% of trains are electrified with the rest running on diesel. This makes them the right candidate to run on complete clean energy without significant investments in overhauling the infrastructure.

But What Would It Take To Do That?

1. 100% Rooftop Solar-Powered Trains

In 2017, Australia ran the world's first 100% solar-powered train fitted with a 6.5 kW system on top of its two coaches. The battery capacity, at 77 kWh, was similar to a high-end Tesla Model…


BOOKS

5 takeaways from the book by Naomi Klein

Importing a pen from halfway across the globe doesn't raise an eyelid, but the idea of helping a poor island in sustainable growth seems preposterous.

The book explains how climate change is not a problem but a symptom of a much larger problem called Capitalism. Although an informative book in several ways, here are my top five key takeaways.

1. Fossil fuel companies have carbon reserves almost five times our existing carbon budget

Pumping out fossil fuel for the last 200 years is what has primarily resulted in today's situation. But what already sounds like a lot has still not exhausted even half of Earth's known stock. …


CLIMATE CHANGE

And vice versa.

The food we eat shares a close relationship with the quality of the land on which it is grown and the air around it. This results in the climate impacting all of our food, and currently, the relationship is not a desirable one.

With agriculture, the impact of climate change becomes personal as our food starts to change.

How Agriculture Affects Climate Change

  1. Land use — Soil removes about one-fourth of all carbon on the Earth. As plants and trees grow, they use up carbon dioxide. When they die, the decay process releases all that they contain back into nature. If the land is…


CLIMATE CHANGE

Amazon has a massive carbon footprint. What is Bezos doing about it?

Bezos Earth Fund
Bezos Earth Fund

Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. With great money comes great power, and comes great responsibility. What is that responsibility?

Let’s start with Bezos’ business, then look at what he is doing, and then finally at what he should be doing.

Amazon's Impact on the Climate

Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, largest cloud computing company, and fifth-largest video streaming provider. This means two things when it comes to its impact on the environment:

  1. It delivered nearly 3.5 billion packages in 2019. That means an enormous amount of transportation of goods — via planes, ships, trucks, etc. And this number is…


NUCLEAR ENERGY

AI can eliminate many manual and tedious tasks and bring down design, operation, and waste management costs.

Nuclear power is one of the cheapest forms of generating carbon-free energy but is instead known for being the opposite. While constructing a nuclear plant is expensive and recent projects in the US and EU have suffered from overruns, operating it is cheaper than many other energy sources. It also turns out that the reason for expensive construction is not entirely technical and often has political factors outside the control of the maker. So how can these costs be reduced?

A nuclear plant's costs are made up from capital and operation costs. Capital costs include site preparation, engineering, manufacturing, construction…


Using influencer marketing to save the world—one tree at a time.

targeted youtube campaign
targeted youtube campaign

Jimmy Donaldson is a 22 years old young man from North Carolina who makes youtube videos. In 2019, he was going to hit an important milestone, and he wanted to have a special celebration.

Jimmy, also known as Mr. Beast, was going to hit 20 million subscribers. He posed the question to his subscribers about how they would like to see him mark the event. Amongst a myriad of responses, one particular request started gaining round.

People wanted him to plant 20 million trees.

This, of course, wasn’t going to just save the Earth, but 20 million more trees certainly…


NUCLEAR ENERGY

Here's a case for why we should not discard this source of abundant, carbon-free energy.

"Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that's available 24 hours a day." — Bill Gates

You may be a skeptic and deny that the Earth is not warming up because, depending on where you live, the effect may not be noticeable to you. But hopefully, what you can’t deny is the increasing number of weather-related disasters occurring around the world, which also happens to be a really expensive mess we are getting ourselves into.


CLIMATE CHANGE

Scientists say we may be headed for a 1.5˚C increase in average temperatures by 2030. What does that mean?

WHY IS 1.5˚C A CONCERNING NUMBER?

The earth is not new to global warming. Last time it happened, about 11,000 years ago, the Ice Age ended and humans were able to start farming and grow as a civilization. Since then, the global temperatures have gone up and down within a range of about 0.5˚C.

Fast forward to 1750, the Industrial Revolution happened. The global temperature change then was a warming of about 0.1˚C. But humans, with newly invented coal-powered engines and machinery, were soon going to change Earth's natural rhythm.

At the time of Industrial Revolution, the average global temperature was up by about 0.1˚C. …


POLITICS

The US has long been admired for innovation leadership, and so it's time to move on from someone who frequently mocks at science.

96% of the world population lives outside of the US but takes a keen interest in the national elections. Most of them know who the President is and understand the impact the US is having on the world under his reign. No matter if the person’s interest is in politics or something else, the fact that what happens in the US has far-reaching effects keeps everyone curious.

For me, I care about climate change. And there are…

Priya Aggarwal

Climate | Books | Science | Wellness

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store