Aura - Ochrona Środowiska (AURA Environmental Protection) 2021/10

  • About roadside trees, or does the lashing of the sea protect ships from sinking?
    Examples of tree species growing along roads in Poland are given. Their importance for biodiversity is briefly discussed. Roadside trees are massively cut down in Poland, usually without any sense. The safety of the drivers is the pretext. Habitats of many species of organisms are irretrievably destroyed: birds, invertebrates, lichens and other fungi. There are very few avenues of roadside trees under legal protection.
  • Cultivation and use of hemp
    Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is one of the first cultivated plant species in the world. In Poland, the cultivation of this plant also has a long tradition, and it was appreciated already in the pre-Slavic times. Hemp adapts well to various soil and climatic conditions, and its cultivation requires the proper preparation of the grower. Currently, the plant has gained popularity thanks to its multidirectional use for the needs of various industries (textile, chemical, paper, food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, energy and construction). Seeds and flowers contain a group of valuable compounds, such as cannabinoids, with prophylactic and healing properties in the course of many diseases. One of the most distinctive cannabinoids found in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD), which is non-intoxicating, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in abundant amounts in the cannabis plant. CBD has anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticoagulant and neuroprotective effects. Hemp is also a valuable source of many minerals, protein, fiber, amino acids and vitamins.
  • The use of medicinal mushrooms in medicine
    Mushrooms are valued for their unique taste and aroma, thanks to which they are commonly used in the kitchen. Some species have also been appreciated around the world as they are a valuable source of nutrients, minerals and biochemical compounds that can be used in medicine.
  • Climate protection in the USA
    Climate protection in the USA is a controversial issue. For many years, experts have argued whether carbon dioxide - considered the most important factor in spoiling the world's climate - can be considered a pollution under national regulations. Moreover, the legitimacy of adopting regulations in this matter is critically dependent on economic parameters, the values of which are not generally agreed. It seems, however, that the recent evolution of views widespread in the USA on this subject heralds far-reaching changes in the tightening of the requirements for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Radiation and noise in Poland in the light of statistical data
    The State Environmental Monitoring in Poland examines not only the emission of typical industrial and municipal pollutants, but also the radiation situation in the country and in selected places where the radiation is higher. The gamma radiation power and the content of radioactive isotopes in the environmental components and in food are measured. The control of ionizing radiation as nuclear radiation is carried out by the National Atomic Energy Agency. This radiation takes the form of corpuscular radiation, including alpha, beta and protons, and electromagnetic radiation, including gamma and X-rays (X-rays) with wavelengths less than 100 nm (nanometers), as well as radio and light radiation. When ionizing radiation passes through matter (solids, liquids, gases, living tissue), it ionizes, i.e. changes the electric charges of atoms and molecules that were previously neutral, which means the formation of negative and positive ions that are harmful to living organisms (radiation sickness). Then radiation protection is necessary. We divide ionizing radiation sources into natural and artificial ones. Natural radiation is emitted by radionuclides - molecules undergoing spontaneous nuclear transformations - contained in the components of the natural (natural) environment, i.e. in soil, water and air, as well as in building materials, as well as in the human body. Moreover, it comes from outer space. On the other hand, artificial radiation is emitted - as a result of economic activity - by radiation facilities and devices, such as nuclear reactors (X-rays, gamma rays), X-ray machines, cobalt bombs (X-rays) and radioactive isotopes, which are produced and used in industry and medicine, science.
  • Renard Park in Strzelce Opolskie
    Park in Strzelce Opolskie - its full name is: a historic city park in Strzelce Opolskie in the English style - was established in the 19th century (1832) at the castle, commissioned by A. Renard, the then owner of the city, nearby estate (castle). Count Andrzej Maria Renard was a person of great merit to Silesia - the creator of modern industry.
  • Bird's brains
    Strange is a bird, the strangest bird I have ever seen. It's called the dash. It has black and brown feathers and a white bib. Saw him in the mountains. Before my eyes, he plunged into the cold depth of the rushing stream. Suicide, I thought or what? But after a while the bird flew out, dusted off its wings and began to chew on the delicacies pulled from the bottom. At that time I did not know yet that it was the only diving songbird in Poland. When I looked at the bird portraits made by Adam Wajrak, it turned out that the bird weighing only 6 deco does not fly away to warm countries and in the middle of winter, with enthusiasm, it throws itself into the swollen icy water. For bread and entertainment. Doesn't that contradict common opinion about the vanity of the bird's brains? The cerebellum can be different, just like the weight of Polish birds. The golden rabbit weighs only 5 grams, as much as the indulgence ring. The largest - the swan, is a colossus, two thousand times heavier than a mice rabbit. However, eighty percent of the birds do not exceed 2 kilograms. Their weight is largely limited by the size and motor skills of the wings.
  • Technomasa versus
    biomasa One of the most expressive manifestations of human super-righteousness, and at the same time arguments in favor of calling the present epoch an anthropocene, is the amount of anthropogenic mass. In 2020, it equaled the biomass of all organisms inhabiting the Earth. At the beginning of the 20th century, the anthropogenic mass was 35 gigatonnes of tons and accounted for only 3% of the global biomass. The mass of buildings and infrastructure is already higher than the biomass of trees and shrubs. Plastics weigh twice as much as the biomass of all land and marine animals. In 2040, technomass may already be 3 times larger than the biomass on Earth.
  • Projects that may have a significant impact on the environment in a landscape park
    Question: Is the prohibition of the implementation of projects that may have a significant impact on the environment within the meaning of Art. 51 of the Environmental Protection Law refers to such projects specified in the regulations currently in force, despite the fact that Art. 51 of the Environmental Protection Law has been repealed?
  • Technological curiosities from around the world
    Efficient organic cells Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified a key mechanism responsible for the lower efficiency of organic solar cells and indicated how this obstacle can be overcome. Flexible, translucent and cheap organic solar cells can significantly expand the range of solar energy applications. They could be installed on the exterior walls of buildings and used to efficiently recover the energy used for indoor lighting, which is not possible with conventional silicon panels. Their production is also much more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, the development of this technology has slowed down in recent years, partly because of their lower efficiency. A typical silicon-based solar cell can be as efficient as 20 to 25%, while organic solar cells can be approximately 19% efficient under laboratory conditions, and approximately 10 to 12% efficient under real conditions.

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