A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.
Groundwater is an extremely precious resource, being a key source of sustenance for humanity and the ecosystems we inhabit. — gizmag.com
(Ground)water-related articles on Archinect:And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Pragmatic" category, are...And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Speculative" category, are...How is water used in California?World Faces Water Crisis in Less Than...
[Botany professor Paloma Cariñanos] found it surprising that the design of these green spaces thought about landscaping, climate, and fashion criteria, but didn't think about pollen problems.
[She] says that in the future, urban green spaces 'will become 'comfort islands' inside 'urban heat islands.''...Cariñanos and her team stress that their research is a tool for planning and prevention. They hope that other cities will be able to use their methods to prevent high allergen levels. — phys.org
You can read more of Cariñanos' team's research in the Journal of Environmental Quality.More on Archinect:Welcome to the jungle: Sou Fujimoto lectures on applying natural infrastructure to urban designDelhi’s air pollution is worse than Beijing's. A new app measures the air quality in real...
In a new paper published Thursday, a team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your physical health.
[...] they found that “having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.” — washingtonpost.com
"We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses...
Builders pulled back from Mauna Kea as hundreds of protesters set up roadblocks to oppose construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on top of Hawaii’s sacred mountain. State and local police arrested a dozen demonstrators. — RT
"Protesters say they are taking a stand to defend Mauna Kea, sacred to native Hawaiians, from the international conglomerate attempting to build the mega-telescope, also known as the TMT. They say the 18-story building represents an unacceptable desecration of the mountain."The Thirty Meter...
A microdevice called Human Organs-on-Chips is engineered with the astounding ability to mimic the complex structures, functions, and mechanical motions of whole human organs. Fabricated by scientists Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University's Wyss Institute, Human Organs-on-Chips...
By manipulating the structure of steel on a nanometre scale, [Hansoo Kim and his colleagues at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea] (have) produced a material which has the strength and the lightness of titanium alloys but will, when produced at scale, cost a tenth as much. — The Economist
The new, potentially-revolutionary alloy utilizes nickel, in addition to aluminum and iron, to create a metal that is as strong as steel but much lighter and cheaper. The scientists created the alloy using nanotechnology to manipulate the structure of steel on a minute level.Noting the decrease in...
The mortar resists microcracking through in situ crystallization of platy strätlingite, a durable calcium-alumino-silicate mineral that reinforces interfacial zones and the cementitious matrix. The dense intergrowths of the platy crystals obstruct crack propagation and preserve cohesion at the micron scale, which in turn enables the concrete to maintain its chemical resilience and structural integrity in a seismically active environment at the millennial scale. — Berkeley Lab
The provisional conclusions of the study are that the brain behaves differently when exposed to contemplative and non-contemplative buildings, contemplative states elicited through “architectural aesthetics” are similar to the contemplation of traditional meditation in some ways, and different in other ways, and, finally, that “architectural design matters.” — theatlantic.com
Interestingly enough, the ONE Prize "Smart Dock" competition has two 1st prize winners for 2014. Organized by Terreform ONE, this year's theme had participants propose a new design and science educational facility for the renovated Building 128 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The program of the collaborative educational facility will also include a public outreach center for socio-ecological design as well as spaces for lectures, events, and design studios for about 30 graduate students. — bustler.net
Out of 92 teams from 22 countries, the jury — chaired by Christian Hubert of Christian Hubert Studio and Chair of Terreform ONE — awarded two 1st prize winners, one 3rd prize winner, and one honorable mention.1st Prize ($3500): THE LUCENT CUBEBy “CAD monkeys" - Yun Wan, Silvia Lopes...
The new science of neuroaesthetics [...] tells us much about the way pure form is dealt with by the brain. [...] V S Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, and William Hirstein, a philosopher at Elmhurst College in Illinois, argue that we are innately attuned to recognise things as unified objects – such that we find brushstrokes or architectural features that can be mentally assembled into a coherent whole more beautiful. — aeon.co
Indonesia is preparing cloud-seeding operations in an effort to combat a haze of air pollution blanketing neighbouring Singapore. Pollution levels were "moderate" levels on Tuesday morning, according to the pollution standard index, a day after hitting "unhealthy" levels. The worst affected parts of the island are in the west and closest to Indonesia. The haze has become an annual event in this part of Southeast Asia, as farmers illegally burn forest or plantation areas to clear land. — Al Jazeera America
Scientists have recently discovered deep deposits of a powerful warming gas leaking into the ocean from previously hidden vents just off North America's East Coast, kicking up underwater carbon dioxide levels [...] Most of the vents are located about 1,600 feet down, the perfect spot for the ocean's temperature and water pressure to combine and create an oozing mix of ice and methane gas, a powerful substance with an impact on global warming that's 20 times more damaging than that of [CO2]. — News.Mic
What does a city look like? If you’re walking down the street, perhaps it looks like people and storefronts. Viewed from higher up, patterns begin to emerge: A three-dimensional grid of buildings divided by alleys, streets, and sidewalks, nearly flat in some places and scraping the sky in others. Pull back far enough, and the city starts to look like something else entirely: a cluster of molecules.
At least, that’s what it looks like to Franz-Josef Ulm, an engineering professor [...]. — bostonglobe.com
In a paper he recently published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, Tao points to two regions of China... that have a similar geographic location as the Midwest—but far fewer tornadoes. The difference, he says, is that China's plains are surrounded by three east-west mountain ranges, which slow down passing winds enough to prevent tornados from forming.
Tao, then, is essentially suggesting we build mountain range-sized walls across Tornado Alley... — motherboard.vice.com
A new technique developed by a Binghamton University physicist and his colleagues will improve the quality of flexible, conductive, transparent glass. (The sort that's needed for Minority Report-style giant computer displays.)[...] Creating a more reliable production process for a-IGZO will save electronics manufacturers money. It could also reduce energy use, as a fully transparent display can take advantage of ambient light and does not require as much backlighting. — ScienceDaily
Advances in technologies such as this one will enable glass to go beyond transparency and become screens, with the potential to radically change architecture and urbanism. A future in which windows, doors, and even walls could stream movies or display art is fast approaching. LED and LCD screens...
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