Innovations come and innovations go. However, there are very few innovations that stay. The same is more or less applicable to green innovations as well. In fact, with the millennials also worrying about sustainability, the market for these is huge. Nevertheless, from all the green concepts that are becoming popular, there are few that are taking the centerstage. These are the innovations that show an extravagant innovation and, at the same time, fulfill the certain pressing need of humanity. Given below are 11 such amazing inventions for the globally warmed world.
11 – Most amazing inventions for a globally warmed world
1. Floating houses
Global warming has significantly increased the temperature globally. Moreover, it has also taken coastal areas under its territory by flooding them in water. Flooding problems and concurrent housing shortage have led to the development of unique floating houses. Earlier, such houses were created by the firm Dura Vermeer. These installed on the coasts of Maasbommel city in 2007. They consist of hollow cubes which provide them upthrust and enable them to float in water. These houses can resist up to five meter rise in sea level.
2. Artificial glaciers
Agriculture of developing countries like India is fully dependent on rains and rivers. The rivers of India, Peru, Chile etc and many more countries are glaciers fed. Furthermore, the melting of glaciers is posing a big problem for agriculturists of these countries.
To solve this problem, a concept of creating an artificial glacier has been given by Chewang Norphel. He is a retired civil engineer in the Ladakh region of north India. These artificial glaciers are very resourceful and provide water in summers. The glacier is created by collecting water into a shallow pool blocked with rocky embankments. Water in the pool freezes with the fall in temperature and forms a sheet of ice. When summers approach this water melts and is used to sow the crops. The largest artificial glacier till date is one kilometer long and 45 meter wide.
3. Drought- and heat-resistant crops
It’s not only difficult for human beings to survive in the scorching heat. In addition, it is also impossible for crops too to stay alive in such conditions. Researchers are using selective breeding methods to adapt crops with the changing climatic conditions. Behavior and characteristics of the drought-tolerant species is studied carefully. Furthermore, their features are added to the crops by genetic engineering. Researchers are already experimenting with oilseed rape and maize. Moreover, their drought-tolerant samples are ready with 40 percent better yield than the conventional variety. Similarly, tests are being carried out on wheat in Egypt which is claimed to use one-eighth of the water used by conventional wheat crop.
4. Rotating power-generating skyscrapers
A unique building has been designed by Italian-Israeli architect David Fisher in Dubai, where each floor can rotate about its central axis independent of other floors of the building. The shape of this building constantly changes with the rotation of its floors. This eco-friendly building is fitted with wind turbines between each floor which generates huge amount of energy that could power 10 similar sized buildings. After designing green building for Dubai, Fisher is designing similar towers for London, New York and Moscow.
5. Vertical farms
Producing crops closer to the consumers and using efficient techniques will cut down on wasted water and other resources used for farming. Dickson Despommier at Columbia University in New York City stated that 80 percent of the land available for farming is already being used and to feed more people by 2050 we will have to produce crops in farms in Skyscrapers. Moreover, The solar-powered lighting system will be used to grow the crops, and there will be provisions to recycle water and waste by natural means. Crops will be safe from flood as well as drought and required amount of irrigation could be provided.
6. Solar-powered air conditioning
High temperature rise in Australia has made summers extremely hot and unbearable. Similarly there is a huge demand for air conditioning equipments in California. Mike Dennis, an engineer at the Australian National University has found out an eco-friendly air conditioning concept that works on solar energy. The design is very efficient and gives the maximum cooling effect when the Sun is at its peak. It also provides hot water which could be used for other household purposes. Air compressed with thermal energy sprays refrigerant out of a jet, and heat is lost in this process as the refrigerant evaporates.
7. Floating sustainable cities
We have already discussed floating houses, on the similar rationale concept for laying floating city has been created. Cities like Sydney, New York and London which have to invest huge amount on flood defenses are looking forward to create such sustainable floating cities. In addition, this innovative and ingenious concept has been given by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut and is believed to be a long term solution to rising sea-levels. Moreover, these cities could accommodate as many as 50,000 refugees and could generate power using various renewable sources including wind, wave, and solar heat.
8. Urban Wind Turbines
Designed by AeroVironment, the rooftop wind turbine was released in the market in 2007, and was designed to be set up on top of commercial buildings where they would rotate at much lesser speeds than other conventional wind towers. These turbines do not require support towers as well, and are easy to install and maintain. They also produce less vibration and noise than their bigger contemporaries do. AeroVironment believes that these rooftop turbines would soon be located on every urban skyline in the world.
9. Geodesic Dome
Designed by Buckminister Fuller, this breakthrough shelter consists of an efficient bubble like dome that offers more space and utilizes less material and energy in the process. The dome’s stability also increases with size, a feature that is achieved by the self-bracing framework brought about by the triangle lattice design. The Geodesic dome has found its place in the Epcot Center in Disney World and the Biosphere in Montreal.
10. Recycled Glass
Oregon’s Bottle Bill kick-started in 1971, what everyone calls recycling today. Recycling glass helps people to save and reuse old containers that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The process used to recycle this glass is more energy-efficient, as less amount of energy is required to recycle glass than other raw materials. The recycled bottles can be converted into other options like jewelry, storage vessels, sand, stained glass windows, and even asphalt composites, etc.
11. Reusable Water Bottles
Over 30 million plastic bottles are being dumped into landfills around the world on a daily basis. These bottles would take thousands of years to decompose properly, littering and degrading the environment. The best way to prevent this from happening would be to opt for reusable water bottles made of non-plastic raw materials. These bottles are environmental friendly, lightweight, durable and contain a nontoxic coating that does not alter the taste of the water/drink.
While restricting emissions remains the best possible way to stop global warming, researchers all over the world are trying to invent more efficient ways to save our planet from a devastating end. In fact, this end may not be far away if the global carbon dioxide emission continued rising at the same pace. Awareness for the environment would lead to many more inventions, energy-saving technologies, and consumption of alternate sources of energy.
With more and more people joining the drive to save the environment every day, it will not be surprising if more eco-friendly innovations come into the limelight in the coming years. However, these innovations will always be remembered for flagging off the movement in the right direction.