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Tag: heating

Low tax on heating is bad for climate, report says

Low tax on heating is bad for climate, report says

Science
The rich benefit most from a de facto subsidy for home heating, a report says.The paper from the think tank Green Alliance makes the point that heating gas incurs VAT at only 5% instead of the usual 20%.Because the wealthy own the biggest houses, it says, they gain twice as much as the poorest from low VAT.The report suggests increasing VAT, then using the proceeds to insulate the homes of the poor.It also recommends increasing their benefits.The low VAT level on gas and heating oil is seriously hampering the UK’s ability to cut carbon fast enough to tackle the climate emergency, the authors say.Their new analysis says the government is still effectively subsidising domestic gas and other heating fuels to the tune of £2.2bn a year through the discounted V...
Tests show heating is the best way to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

Tests show heating is the best way to disinfect N95 masks for reuse

Science
May 5 (UPI) -- Test results suggest N95 masks can be safely disinfected through heating 50 times before their filtration efficiency begins to decline. With N95 masks still in short supply in many parts of the country. Doctors, nurses and other professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic have been forced to reuse their masks. N95 masks feature a fine webbing of "meltblown" polypropylene fibers. The porous material is breathable but capable of capturing 95 percent of particles. Electrostatically charged fibers help wrangle those particles that slip through the pores. Recommendations from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggest heating, ultraviolet radiation and bleach can all be used to disinfect N95 masks. However, when scientists at Stanford University a...
Scientists use spacecraft's measurements to study solar wind heating

Scientists use spacecraft's measurements to study solar wind heating

Science
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- With the help of a NASA spacecraft, astrophysicists have uncovered the process by which energy is transferred between electromagnetic fields and plasma in space. Most of the visible matter in the universe exists in the form of plasma, an ionized state of matter. Understanding how energy is transferred to and from ionized particles in space can help scientists to better understand a variety of cosmological phenomena. The transfer of energy from electromagnetic turbulence in space to the electrons in the solar wind is caused by a process known as Landau damping. When electromagnetic waves travel through plasma and the plasma particles themselves are traveling at the same speeds, the plasma particles absorb the wave's energy, reducing -- or damping -- the electromagnetic wav...
Climate change dials down Atlantic Ocean heating system

Climate change dials down Atlantic Ocean heating system

Science
A significant shift in the system of ocean currents that helps keep parts of Europe warm could send temperatures in the UK lower, scientists have found.They say the Atlantic Ocean circulation system is weaker now than it has been for more than 1,000 years - and has changed significantly in the past 150. The study, in the journal Nature, says it may be a response to increased melting ice and is likely to continue.Researchers say that could have an impact on Atlantic ecosystems.Scientists involved in the Atlas project - the largest study of deep Atlantic ecosystems ever undertaken - say the impact will not be of the order played out in the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow.But they say changes to the conveyor-belt-like system - also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturnin...
Schools warned over hackable heating systems

Schools warned over hackable heating systems

Technology
Dozens of British schools' heating systems have been found to be vulnerable to hackers, according to a probe by a security research firm.Pen Test Partners says the problem was caused by the equipment's controllers being connected to the wider internet, against the manufacturer's guidelines.It says it would be relatively easy for mischief-makers to switch off the heaters from afar.But an easy fix, pulling out the network cables, can address the threat.Even so, the company suggests the discovery highlights that building management systems are often installed by electricians and engineers that need to know more about cyber-security."It would be really easy for someone with basic computer skills to have switched off a school's heating system - it's a matter of clicks and some simple typing," P...