The Blue Files | Episode 4

[As Featured in Episode 4]

Sahara Power

To harness the power of the sun, crews in Egypt are putting the touches on one of the world’s largest solar installations. The Benban Solar Park will be made up of more than 7 million photo-voltaic panels. The renewable resource project is so massive, that it will be visible from space. Officials implemented a plan to build the $4 Billion project after enduring repeated blackouts caused by fuel shortages. The park is about 600km south of Cairo and will not only increase Egypt’s power generation capacity, but will also serve to incorporate more renewable sources into the country’s power generation mix. Despite its undeniably sunny climate, solar isn’t the only renewable energy that Egypt is investing in – it also plans to build huge wind farms on the Red Sea.

Underwater Wonder

Specialized  underwater crews are planting what they say will serve as “a nursery”  for marine life. Beginning this winter, acres of seagrass will be  planted at Dale Beach, Pembrokeshire, in South West Wales, to help  tackle climate change. Scientists  believe that scattered seagrass meadows, like the one being planted at  Dale Beach, are effective at locking in billions of tons of carbon.  Conservationists say this latest endeavor is the UK’s biggest seagrass  restoration, after 92% of the plants were lost in the last 100 years.  These meadows naturally exist on every continent except in the cold  waters of Antarctica.Specialized  crews will be planting a million seeds of what are being called a  “wonder plant” which acts as a nursery for marine life. The initiative will help reduce carbon dioxide – a gas which contributes to global warming. Jenny  Oates, UK Seas Program Manager at WWF, says, “Seagrass is something  that can store carbon 35 times faster than a tropical forest” An  incredible feat for a submarine plant. 

A Tree For Your Thoughts

A study out of Australia says increasing neighbourhood tree canopies may be like a ‘superfood’ for community mental health.
Researchers from the University of Wollongong, revealed that adults with 30% or more of their neighbourhood covered in some form of tree canopy had 31% lower odds of developingpsychological distress. What’s more, the evidence suggests that it’s not just green that helps to ease the mind – as large grass areas, without a tree canopy, do not seem to support mental health.  Several reasons are cited, including missed opportunities for physical activity. For example, people are more likely to use a vehicle, rather than walk, through a space without trees to shield them from the midday sun. Previous studies back up the findings that trees are good for the mind and body. Walking through green space has shown to reduce blood pressure, boost memory recall and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

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