2.2 Million Trees are missing in Toronto – taken away from our neighborhood parks and streets.
The missing trees would have removed an extra 10,000 tonnes of carbon from air each year – equivalent to carbon emissions of 7000 cars – and provide direct economic value of $3.9 million (Figure 1)
This is the latest finding from our “Fix the Six” project aimed at reducing climate emissions in Toronto.
“Fix the Six” project was conceived by HotPopRobot.com during the 24 hours #Climathon Toronto (Climate Hackathon) organised by Climate-KIC on October 28-29, 2016. The team won the First Prize as well as Climate Hero Award.
Using Google Maps, Geographical Information Software (GIS) and I-Tree application, the HotPopRobot.com team calculated the tree cover of 7 Toronto parks and 4 Toronto street (Figure 2).
Over 6400 sample points were taken while carrying out the GIS survey of the Toronto Parks and Streets taken in our sample – giving an error margin of +/- 2%.
HotPopRobot participated in the Climate Hackathon (#Climathon) organised by Climate-KIC on October 28-29, 2016 in Toronto. #Climathon brought together teams in 59 cities to work on most pressing climate challenges faced by their cities.
For Toronto, the challenge was to (1) reduce emissions from the Transportation Sector by 5% and (2) do so in a cost-neutral way. This is a huge challenge as transport sector produces over 8 Million Tonnes of Green House Gas emissions (35% of total emissions) in Toronto.
But our team did not find it challenging enough and added 2 additional goals – the solution should be acceptable inter-generationally (to give voice to future generations) and be eco-centric (benefit the whole ecosystem including birds, animals, reptiles and not just humans).
Explaining our solution to Glen Murray Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario, Canada
Our solution “Fix the Six” (Toronto is often popularly referred to as Six) proposes 300% tree intensification at street level and in open areas with native tree species. We used Open Data including Street Tree Map and Toronto Traffic Patterns, and supplemented it with primary data – counting number of trees on popular streets and taking readings from our home built Pollution Sensor to calculate emission levels and how much carbon is being sequestered by the trees on the streets.
We found out that the tree population in Toronto (10.2 million trees) are able to remove over 90% of particulate matters (from automobile emissions) and sequester over 36,000 tonnes of carbon each year. We also found out that some of the main streets, for instance King Street and Queen Street in downtown Toronto have widely different street tree densities. It would be possible to increase tree density on King Street by 90% to bring it at the same levels of Queen Street – with huge climate emissions reduction benefits.
Artash Nath and Arushi Nath. Published in SCOPE. The Newsletter of the Royal Astronomical Societ of Canda, Toronto Centre, April – May 2016.
CLUSTERS are a big group of stars. There can be open clusters or globular clusters. Globular clusters are densely packed as they are tightly bound by gravitational forces. Open clusters are less tightly bound.
Coat Hanger in the constellation Vulpecula observed at the Carr Astronomical Observatory, Collingwood.
M5 is a globular cluster in the constellation Serpens. It appeared like a fuzzy object in the telescope and it was not possible to see any individual stars or star light. M23 (NGC 6494) is an open cluster in the constellation Sagittarius. It appeared mostly as a hazy smudge but a few stars could be resolved by the telescope. M11, the Wild Duck Cluster, is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. There seemed to be lots of bright stars in a close group in the centre. It made the centre of the cluster very bright for an open cluster.
Coat Hanger is a group of seven stars. It is an asterism of the constellation Vulpecula. Since the stars are spread out we can only view it in the wider field of a binocular instead of a telescope. It is a very appropriate name as it really looks like a coat hanger.
Read complete article at: http://rascto.ca/sites/default/files/SCOPE_55-2Apr2016Co.pdf
HotPopRobot.com was invited to give a presentation at the International Space Development Conference 2016 in Puerto Rico. 18 – 22 May 2016 on creating climate change payloads for small satellites.
The key to understanding and taking action on climate change is data. 30 years of satellite-based climate data has provided groundwork for various UN treaties on climate change but more is needed to undertake climate emissions planning and monitoring at the national level. There is also a need to validate the environmental data being provided by the Government – and supplement it with data from other sources including from the civil society.
The demonstrative climate change payload by HotPopRobot was constructed using Commercial Off-the Shelf Technologies, namely nitrogen oxides, ozone, and methane sensors for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, Arduino for controlling sensors and collecting data, ultraviolet, luminosity and temperature sensors for gathering physical variables, and radio chips for communications. There was also a provision for taking a climate selfie of the location.
While NASA, EU, India, China and Japan have more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft/instruments in orbit studying all aspects of the Earth system, it is not enough to gather continuous national-level data. More countries need to become space faring and launch their own satellites as more real-time observations and action is needed to tackle climate change. This requires opening up of the space sector and lowering the entry point to working on space related projects.
Mars does not have a magnetic field nor are there constellation of satellites orbiting Mars to provide accurate location data. So how will Astronauts / Rovers on Mars navigate their way?
On 22 June 2016, HotPopRobot gave a presentation at the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto during the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) meeting of the path–finding Rover they built for planetary exploration. The Rover takes a snapshot of its surrounding using a web camera and processes this image using edge detection and gradient mapping tools of Matlab software to convert it into a visual maze.
The Rover then applies the maze-solving algorithm to find the best path forward. The coordinates of this path are sent to the driving mechanism of the Rover using Arduino and the Rover is able to drive forward avoiding obstacles. It took us over 2 months to build and program the Rover.
Artash and Arushi teamed up with Grade 5 students from Jackman Avenue Junior Public School and Jarvis Collegiate high school students for the Canada’s first-ever “handathon” to assemble prosthetic hands that will be sent to children who need them.
The event took place on 5 December 2015 and was organised by E-Nable – a nonprofit organization based in the United States that 3D-prints prosthetic hands, and the Toronto Reference Library.
Artash and Arushi demonstrated a number of projects at the opening day of the 2016 DigiPlaySpace (March 5 and 6) organised by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This was for the second time they were invited to present their projects.
The projects presented this year were:
Humanoid with 5 Senses: The robot is able to detect light (eyes), hear (ears), touch (skin), smell (nose) and taste (tongue). A combination of buzzer, lights and motor are switched on when any of the senses are activated. Continue reading