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The Threat from Indonesian`s Mt. Agung Volcano Grows; A Tire for Mars May Have Applications on Earth, Hydrogen Car Appears on Welsh Roads
Aired November 29, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: An erupting volcano in Indonesia has already forced the evacuation of 30,000 people. Authorities say 100,000 more need
to get out of the danger zone. That`s our first story on CNN 10 this Wednesday.
Before Mount Agung on the Indonesian island of Bali started erupting last week, it had been dormant for more than 50 years. Its last eruption was in
1963. But though it spewed ash more than five miles in the air over the past few days, authorities are concerned that a larger eruption could
So, Bali`s main airport has been shut down. Tens of thousands of people have headed to shelters and everyone within six miles of Mount Agung`s peak
has been ordered to evacuate. Though government officials say many are staying in their homes to protect their gardens and their animals.
Besides the danger, though, there`s an economic effect to all of this. Bali is considered an Indonesian island paradise. Its biggest industry is
terrorism. Millions visit every year, many traveling over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
With thousands cancelling their vacations, international airlines, local businesses and street vendors could all lose money. One analyst says just
having Bali`s main airport closed costs the island about $18 million every day.
The terrorism industry has been hurt before by terrorist attacks and volcanic activity. The worst case scenario this time around, according to
experts, is if Mount Agung erupts on and off for several months. That would hurt Bali and Indonesia as a whole.
But it`s not unheard of on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
SUBTITLE: What is the "Ring of Fire"?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There`s one thing you need to know about the Ring of Fire, it produces 90 percent of the world`s earthquakes.
The Ring of Fire includes about 250 volcanoes. Many of them are submarine volcanoes, meaning they`re underwater, as are 75 percent of the world`s
volcanoes in total.
Now, the Ring of Fire is also called the Circum Pacific Belt. It`s a result of plate tectonics. The movement of the plates has created a nearly
continuous series of oceanic trenches and chains of volcanoes, stretching for 25,000 miles in a horseshoe shape pattern from New Zealand, past Japan,
across the Bering Strait and down toward the tip of South America.
The plate movement also causes earthquakes. Because many of these earthquakes occur in the ocean, the Ring of Fire is also known for tsunamis
produced when the ocean floor is either forced to rise or fall. When the mega thrust event happens in this region, the water is displaced, and the
water pushes ashore.
Most tsunamis are only a few inches high, but there are times that that wave and that swell can be as tall as buildings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Earth only dates back to 1924, about a thousand people live there and it`s not too far from New Mexico.
This isn`t revisionist geography. This is Earth, Texas, not Blue Earth, Black Earth, or Earth City, just Earth.
Now, there are several stories about how this tiny town got its name and we don`t know for sure which is true. What we do know is that Earth is the
only place on Earth that`s just named Earth, except, of course, the Earth itself.
Now, that`s random and down to earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: OK, NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration might have reinvented the wheel, or at least the tire.
The problem: NASA`s Curiosity rover, a $2.5 billion vehicle that`s currently wheeling around Mars has significant damage to its tires. Small
rocks apparently tore large holes in them.
This may be the solution. It`s called the super elastic tire. It`s non- pneumatic, meaning it needs no air. It`s made of an alloy of nickel and titanium. That apparently allows it to snap back into shape after being
deformed by rocks or ledges or whatever else it might rove over.
NASA says the super elastic tires were created for future mars missions, though they probably won`t be used on the next one scheduled for 2020. But
engineers say they maybe used on earth-bound vehicles one day. Even if they`re better than the current air and rubber variety, though, there`s a
chance their costs would be considerably higher, maybe astronomical.
Though sales of electric cars have increased in recent years and engineers are constantly looking for alternatives to gasoline, the internal
combustion engine is not on the way out, though the inventor of a new hydrogen-powered vehicle disagrees.
For one thing, gas powered cars are more profitable for companies to manufacture. There are tens of thousands more gas stations than there are
public fast-charging places. Gas powered vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, and that fuel is a lot cheaper than hydrogen.
Still, as technology advances, you can expect to see other types of vehicles more often.
HUGO SPOWERS, FOUNDER, RIVERSIMPLE: I don`t think there`s anything on the horizon that can be remotely as efficient as a hydrogen car.
REPORTER: In tiny workshop in Wales, just down the road from these sheep, a motley crew of engineers and designers from a range of backgrounds --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Astronautical engineering.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nuclear submarines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Williams Formula One Team.
REPORTER: -- are building what they think is the car of the future.
Weighing around half that of a Tesla S battery, or a small salt water crocodile, or two grizzly bears, it emits pure drinkable water and barely
makes a noise.
SPOWERS: This is the Rasa, and as in tabular rasa or clean slate, and it`s our first functioning hydrogen fueled prototype designed for tight approval
on the public drives.
I`ll just push it forward, because you will see how light it is.
RICHARD SUTTON, AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALIST: I think the car looks fantastic. It does get opinion a lot because it`s quite unconventional. But if you`re
producing a very, very small, highly aerodynamic and efficient car, that`s what it`s going to look like. It`s got its clam shell doors.
Of course, it`s very small. It`s not designed for any kind of vanities. It`s designed to work. So, if ever there was a case to perform following
function, it`s a Riversimple Rasa (ph).
SPOWERS: So, this is the booth. And the fuel cell and the hydrogen tank are all in a sealed compartment here, and this is a decent size booth
designed to be at least a week shopping for a family of four. Too easyJet suitcases and a case of wine.
SUTTON: Low weight is everything with the Riversimple Rasa and the whole car only weighs 580 kilos. Now, compare that with Toyota, who produced, by
far, the most significant fuel cell vehicles in the world. The Toyota Mirai, they sold 44 of those in England to date. That weighs 1,800 kilos
and the Rasa uses 1/13 for power to drive it.
SPOWERS: To refuel the car is a very similar experience to a petrol car. You put a hose in, push a button on a pump and that automatically fills and
gives you about 300 mile range in three minutes.
REPORTER: One small problem, filling up might not be that easy.
SUBTITLE: There are currently 10 refueling stations in the U.K., and around 300 worldwide.
SUTTON: Until the refueling infrastructure exists for hydrogen, then it will always a bit far player compared to battery electric. But that`s set
SPOWERS: I think everybody has accepted now that petrol engines are on the way out and people are grasping at straws, thinking that that batteries are
the only solution. The problem is, we have 300 million cars in the U.K. It is inconceivable to have battery charging stations for 300 million cars.
REPORTER: Infrastructure isn`t the only challenge. Embracing hydrofuel on a global scale will require a global mind shift and an understanding that
hydrogen as fuel isn`t dangerous, stored in tanks designed to withstand massive pressure.
All this is won (ph) over the Welsh government. Thanks to their backing and crowdfunding, Hugo Spowers` team will be releasing 20 cars unto Welsh
roads in 2019.
SUTTON: The Riversimple story and Hugo Spowers who is behind it is an astonishing story. He`s really the Henry Ford of his day in many respects.
And the fact that he`s achieved what he has almost from his kitchen table is absolutely staggering.
He`s not in it for the money. He`s in it for the principle of creating sustainability and transport, as an ideology really.
REPORTER: With the global hydrogen fuel market expected to rapidly expand each year until 2021, you may well be seeing Hugo and his team`s cars
quietly on the roads in the near future.
AZUZ: In addition to the extensive training they have for their jobs, police officers often add fitness training to their schedules. And
sometimes, that includes members of the famous K-9 units.
Nitro is a perfect example. In the warm-up for the nightly routine of a K- 9 unit in Alabama, the officers and the Dutch Shepherd do push-ups. The video which started as a way to remind people to lock their cars has gone
viral, thanks to the dexterity of the dog.
Of course, other breeds work out. The boxer comes to mind. Then there`s the border curly, the squatson (ph), the barbellgian (ph) sheep dog, the
chihua-weight lifter, the English sweats hound, the bench on press (ph), the Bernese mountain climber, the Alaska mala-brute.
There may be more but we`ll stick with K9 of them for now, because that`s "10 Out of 10" for CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.