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Airplane Turbulence Could Get Much Worse in Coming Decades

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People who get nervous over turbulence during air travel should probably feel fortunate they don’t have to worry about what might be coming later this century. According to a new study from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, the roller coaster sensation in passenger planes could see up to a 149 percent increase.

The paper, which was published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, identifies climate change as the culprit. With increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, planes will have a more difficult time with the vertical wind shears that create resistance and destabilize an aircraft. Study author Paul Williams estimated that light turbulence, which is common, could see a 59 percent increase; drink-spilling moderate turbulence up to a 94 percent increase; and heavy turbulence a 149 percent increase.

Although turbulence rarely results in serious injury today—according to one study, just 24 passengers and crew were injured in 2013 out of the 826 million travelers who flew that year, though the researchers of the current study cite data documenting higher rates in different years—a marked change in frequency could conceivably lead to more accidents, particularly with unbelted passengers and loose luggage.

Williams used a computer simulation to measure the effects of turbulence on planes traveling at 39,000 feet when there is twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a change that could occur by the end of the century. The paper speculates that onboard turbulence detection software might assist a plane in avoiding problem areas.

[h/t Popular Mechanics]

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Amsterdam is Turning Plastic Trash Into 3D-Printed Furniture
PrintYourCity
PrintYourCity

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is taking a unique approach to waste management, Inhabitat reports. Under the direction of The New Raw, a Rotterdam-based design studio, recycled plastic is being used to make public benches that capture a lot of the area’s charm while providing solutions for the 51 pounds of plastic refuse each Amsterdam resident tosses away each year.

The initiative is called Print Your City! and encourages those materials to be repurposed via 3D printing to make new, permanent fixtures. The New Raw calls it a “closed loop” of use, where the plastic is used, reused, and materialized in the same environment. The bench, dubbed XXX, seats two and rocks back and forth with the sitters' movements, offering a metaphor for the teamwork The New Raw is attempting to cultivate with the general public.

A plastic chair is surrounded by trash
Print Your City!

“Plastic has a major design failure,” says Panos Sakkas, an architect with The New Raw. “It’s designed to last forever, but it’s used only for a few seconds and then easily thrown away.”

The goal is to collect more plastic material in the city to use for projects that can be designed and implemented by citizens. In the future, 3D printing may also support bus shelters, waste bins, and playground material—all of it recyclable.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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To Encourage Responsible Trash Disposal, a Startup in Nigeria Pays People for their Waste
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Nigeria is home to more than 180 million people, who produce more than 32 million tons of waste per year and just 20 to 30 percent of this garbage is collected, according to one estimate. To provide Nigerians with incentive to dispose of their trash responsibly, Junks, a Nigerian waste management startup, provides people with the chance to exchange their trash for cash, according to Konbini.

The company offers to pay for items and materials like discarded electronics, glass, plastic, aluminum, books, and clothes. Once purchased, these materials are re-sold to wholesalers and recycling companies, according to Techpoint. Potential users who want to sell their trash are required to register on the startup's website, Junks.ng, and fill out a form with a description of the trash they're selling, along with their asking price and contact information. Once this information is received, representatives from Junks are sent to pick up and pay for the waste.

Computer programmer Bradley Yarrow founded Junks.ng in August 2017. Based in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, Nigeria, the company currently has just three employees, in addition to Yarrow. That said, the tiny startup appears to be doing big business, judging from a growing list of sold junk—which includes laminating machines, old laptops, and scrap car parts—already listed on Junks.ng.

[h/t Konbini]

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