Asteroids: Risk and Impacts, or Air Conditioning Demand?

Addenda by dk, 2 am Fri, 25 July: ‘City Killer Sized Asteroid Aptly Named “Asteroid 2019 OK” Barely Missed Earth this Morning‘ // Jul 25, 2019

What a crazy coincidence. Last night I uploaded three videos on asteroid and comet impacts. This morning we had an extremely close call. Asteroid 2019 OK missed Earth by 0.19 LD (72,000 km; about 6 Earth diameters; 19% of Earth-to-Moon distance). Asteroid diameter was between 57 to 130 meters, speed 24.5 km/s. Upper end size would hit with an energy of 260 MT (17,000 Hiroshima size bombs), causing a 2.6 km diameter crater 556 meters deep. The fireball would have been 1.5 km in diameter, and the frequency of occurrence is about once every 12,000 years. An extremely close call; and a total surprise.

Ref 1:  The Watchers:  ‘Asteroid 2019 OK to flyby Earth at 0.19 LD on July 25 – the largest of the year‘.

Ref 2:  ‘Apollo Asteroid
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All below, published about 12:00:30 am EST, early Thursday (late Wed PST).

Risks and Impacts of Asteroids and Comets on Humanity: 1 of 3 // Jul 24, 2019

Risk = Likelihood x Consequence. Abrupt climate change is happening now and consequences are becoming increasingly severe. However, there are other existential risks that humanity faces. In this 1st of 3 videos on asteroid and comet impacts and risks, I hopefully pique your interest by discussing some of the most famous impacts, such as the:

I talk about the sky surveys to find asteroids and comets, and nifty sites to calculate impact effects.
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Asteroid and Comet Impact Effects: Fireball, Earthquake, Ejecta, Air Blasts, Tsunamis: 2 of 3 // Jul 24, 2019

Imagine that an asteroid strikes Earth 100 km (62 miles) from your location; it is like the asteroid from 66 million years ago that killed most dinosaurs. You are too close, in fact inside the fireball so everything ignites within seconds. After 20 seconds, a magnitude 10.3 earthquake hits you.

Ejecta arrives 2.4 minutes after impact, your location collapses into the final crater, and eventually covers you with 876 meters of ejecta. An air blast hits 5.05 minutes after impact. A massive tsunami wave is generated. Actually you don’t have to imagine this; you can easily calculate all this on a easy-to-use website, as I demonstrate:)

Ref:  Impact Earth, Purdue University.
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Asteroid Mitigation: Gravity Tractors, Kinetic Impactors, Laser Ablation, Nuclear Detonation: 3 of 3 // Jul 24, 2019

I am willing to bet that you are not aware of the “Planetary Defense Coordination Office -PDCO”.  These folks categorize and track “Potentially Hazardous Objects -PHOs; a subset of Near Earth Objects -NEOs whose orbits come close to Earth’s and are if a size large enough (30 to 50 meters; or 100 to 165 feet) to cause significant damage on Earth.

Strategies and technologies to mitigate PHOs, including gravity tractors, kinetic impactors, laser ablation, and nuclear detonations are studied as possible ways to deflect and/or break up and destroy the asteroid or comet to save Earth. That is a relief:)
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Global Growth in Air Conditioning Demand is Warming the World: 1 of 2 // Jul 21, 2019

Heatwaves around the planet are happening much more often, at much higher temperatures and humidities, with much longer durations, and they are occurring in regions that did not have them before. Thus, demand for air conditioning is skyrocketing.

Globally, the 1.6 billion AC units in 2018 are projected to grow to 5.6 billion units by 2050, and by 2050 they will use as much electricity as China does today for all activities. Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation to power these ACs will nearly double, and waste heat from ACs that is vented outside can heat cities by a few degrees.

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All about Air Conditioning: Necessary for Survival: 2 of 2 // Jul 21, 2019

Most homes in hot counties have not yet purchased their first Air Conditioner, for example

  • India has less than 5% penetration.
  • Japan leads the world, with over 91% of households having AC today, followed by
  • the USA with 90%,
  • Korea at 86%,
  • Saudi Arabia at 63%, and
  • China at 60%, with
  • Mexico down to 16%, and other countries well below that.
  • Most Europeans don’t have or have previously needed AC, with France about 5%
  • and Germany about 1%,

but long duration severe heat waves there recently are quickly changing AC from a luxury item to a survival item. I chat about all the details, and about the need to increase efficiencies.

Ref:  The Future of Cooling, IEA–International Energy Agency.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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