Two previously unnoticed oceanic gateways of warm water have been linked to the extreme thinning of East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier according to new research from the University of Texas at Austin. This discovery raises concern for the state of the Antarctic ice sheet and rising sea levels.
Broad Sustainable Building, a construction company in China, recently built a 57-floor, 2-million-square-foot skyscraper in just 19 days. That is an average of three floors per day. The building has 19 10-meter-tall atriums, enough office space for 4000 people and 800 apartments. The structure is made up of prefabricated sections that reduced the use of concrete by 15,000 trucks, which translates into less dust released into the air.
The world’s population is rising and with it are food demands. Policymakers are targeting Africa’s wet savannas as expendable areas easily converted into cropland. A study out from Princeton University finds that such a conversion to farmland would come at a high environmental cost.
A major slope stability failure occurred last week at Yeager airport's main runway, urging to the evacuation of homes located at the foot of the reinforced slope and relocation of their owners. The reinforced slope was by the time of its construction the largest reinforced slope in the United States.
Extensive landslide phenomena are developing in the last few days in Amaliada Greece, threatening an entire village. The situation is significantly worsened by rainy weather and scientists monitoring the phenomenon are still unable to make any predictions about its completion.
Constructed in 2006, just outside Kadonowaki, Japan, the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital stands as a monument to civil engineering. The five-story, 402-bed hospital operated at full capacity during and immediately after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the east coast of Japan in 2011. Surrounding the building like a moat, the hospital’s base isolation system enabled its survival without even a broken window. The steel springs and rubber dampers of the isolation system, that support the hospital, reduced the horizontal displacement of the building to just 26 centimeters. Engineers, also, estimate that several more earthquakes of similar magnitude can be sustained before the base isolation springs need replacement. Japan’s long history with earthquakes has fostered a significant culture of seismic design and much of its infrastructure is useable after an event.
The two storey home in a Thai neighborhood for factory workers has a special feature that is not directly visible to the average eye. Hidden in the home's foundation is a system that allows it to float in case of extreme flooding events. This innovative floating system, developed in Thailand is a promising response to Thailand's high flooding frequency.