How We Can Better Predict Weather Catastrophes

We need to develop an early warning system to forecast climate-induced extreme weather events.

#arctic-regions, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #earth, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #siberia, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #weather

0

How We Can Better Predict Weather Catastrophes

We need to develop an early warning system to forecast climate-induced extreme weather events.

#arctic-regions, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #earth, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #siberia, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #weather

0

Companies Say They Care About the Climate. Their Actions Fall Short.

Many big businesses have not set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Others have weak goals.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #blackrock-inc, #boards-of-directors, #brazil, #carbon-dioxide, #carbon-disclosure-project-cdp, #cargill-inc, #corporations, #electric-light-and-power, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #google-inc, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #institutional-shareholder-services-inc, #levi-straussco, #microsoft-corp, #standardpoors-500-stock-index, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-states

0

Here’s how Elon Musk’s $100 million Xprize competition for carbon removal will work

Elon Musk notified the world that he would be donating $100 million to pursue new technologies for carbon capture, methods through which carbon dioxide can be actively extracted from the atmosphere as a means to help stave off climate change. As TechCrunch reported in January when he made the tweet, Musk’s sizeable pool of monetary incentive would be going to the Xprize foundation, a non-profit that has organized similar ambitious technology competitions aimed at developing world-changing tech. Now, Xprize and Musk have released new details of the competition.

The entire $100 million prize pool is up for grabs with this competition, which will seek solutions that can “pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way.” That’s an ambitious goal, and one that seeks methods for carbon extraction which have a net negative effect on the overall global balance of the element’s presence. Xprize aims to award up to 15 finalists $1 million each, along with three top winners, with $50 million to the Grand Prize victor, and $20 million and $10 million respectively for second and third place. 25 student scholarships valued at $250,000 each will also be up for grabs specifically for student team entrants.

To qualify for victory, solutions must be able to extract 1 ton of CO2 per day, and be viable in a scaled, validated model at time of presentation, with the ability to scale it to “gigaton levels” in commercially viable ways in future. Those are big goals for new technologies, but the competition’s stakes are high: Musk has frequently referred to climate change as an existential threat to humanity, and carbon capture is one key means to combat it.

Carbon capture methods exist, and some are at the center of new startups and emerging businesses, like Canadian company Carggon Engineering which uses CO2 extracted from the atmosphere to create new types of fuel, or Air Vodka, a carbon negative vodka distilled using C02 removed from the atmosphere. Though there are a handful of companies pursuing this, the problem is that it’s typically very expensive to remove carbon in a way that is both safe and that has no subsequent impact on the environment from its resulting byproducts.

The new Xprize competition hopes to spur the development of a wide range of emerging companies in a way similar to how the the 2004 $10 million private spaceflight Ansari Xprize led the development of a whole new era in the space industry. The competition will officially begin on April 22, 2021, at which time full guidelines will be made available and registration will open. Applicants will have up to four years to submit their solution, with the competition closing on Earth Day 2025 and the initial $1 million awards distributed after 18 months following that. That will provide the funding necessary for teams to build out their full-scale demos to claim the top prizes.

#articles, #carbon-dioxide, #chemistry, #earth-day, #elon-musk, #greentech, #tc, #transhumanism, #xprize

0

Researchers make their own enzyme pathway to get CO₂ out of the air

Researchers make their own enzyme pathway to get CO₂ out of the air

Enlarge (credit: Olivier Le Moal | Getty Images)

Before this century is over, we’re almost certainly going to need to pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. While we already know how to do carbon capture and storage, it takes a fair amount of energy and equipment, and someone has to pay for all that. It would be far more economical to pull CO2 out of the air if we could convert it to a useful product, like jet fuel. But processes like that also take a lot of energy, plus raw materials like hydrogen that take energy to create.

Plants and a huge range of microbes successfully pull carbon dioxide out of the air and use it to produce all sorts of complicated (and valuable!) chemicals. But the pathways they use to incorporate CO2 aren’t very efficient, so they can’t fix enough of the greenhouse gas or incorporate it into enough product to be especially useful. That has led a lot of people to look into re-engineering an enzyme that’s central to photosynthesis. But a team of European researchers has taken a radically different approach: engineering an entirely new biochemical pathway that incorporates the carbon of CO2 into molecules critical for the cell’s basic metabolism.

Sounds good in theory

On the rare occasions that most biologists think about biochemical pathways, energy is an afterthought. Most cells have enough of it to spare that they can afford to burn through their own energy supplies to force rather improbable pathways forward to get the chemicals they want. But grabbing carbon out of the atmosphere represents a very different sort of problem. You want it to happen as a central part of the cell’s metabolism rather than a pathway out on the periphery so that you grab a lot of carbon. And you want it to happen in a way that’s more efficient than the options the cells already have.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#biochemistry, #biology, #carbon, #carbon-dioxide, #catalysis, #science, #synthetic-biology

0

U.K. to Halt Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been positioning himself as a leader in fighting global warming, an area where he can make common cause with President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

#carbon-dioxide, #global-warming, #great-britain, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #johnson-boris, #organization-for-economic-cooperation-and-development, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

0

Airlines Gear Up to Transport Vaccines That Could Revive Travel

Planes are one part of an elaborate supply chain to move billions of doses of vaccines around the world.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #american-airlines, #belgium, #carbon-dioxide, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delta-air-lines-inc, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #federal-aviation-administration, #united-airlines, #united-parcel-service-inc, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization

0

‘Is Exxon a Survivor?’ The Oil Giant Is at a Crossroads.

Exxon Mobil is struggling to find its footing as demand for oil and gas falls and world leaders and businesses pledge to fight climate change.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #carbon-dioxide, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dow-jones-stock-average, #exxon-mobil-corp, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hydrocarbons, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #raymond-lee-r-1938, #shale, #solar-energy, #stocks-and-bonds, #texas, #tillerson-rex-w, #united-states, #wind-power, #woods-darren-w-1965

0

New York State’s Divestment Threat Is a Victory for Climate Activists

The comptroller’s threat to pull billions from fossil fuel investments is a big victory for climate activists.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #bp-plc, #carbon-dioxide, #coal, #dinapoli-thomas-p, #exxon-mobil-corp, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #new-york-city, #new-york-state, #office-of-the-comptroller-nys, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pensions-and-retirement-plans, #stringer-scott-m, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

0

Burning Fossil Fuels Helped Drive Earth’s Most Massive Extinction

Massive volcanic eruptions ignited oil and coal deposits in Siberia in the events that led to the Permian-Triassic “Great Dying” event.

#carbon-dioxide, #coal, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #fossils, #geology, #geology-journal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #nature-geoscience-journal, #oceans-and-seas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #research, #volcanoes, #your-feed-science

0

Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050

The announcement, coming weeks after a similar pledge by China, will require a major overhaul of the infrastructure in Japan, which remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

#carbon-dioxide, #coal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #japan, #nuclear-energy, #suga-yoshihide

0

Japan’s New Leader Sets Goal of Being Carbon Neutral by 2050

The announcement, coming weeks after a similar pledge by China, will require a major overhaul of the infrastructure in Japan, which remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

#carbon-dioxide, #coal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #japan, #nuclear-energy, #suga-yoshihide

0

When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

The Trump administration’s moves to decouple the two economies means less leverage over Beijing’s green policies.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #chengdu-china, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #environment, #gansu-province-china, #general-assembly-un, #global-warming, #green-climate-fund, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hong-kong, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #liu-he-1952, #obama-barack, #outsourcing, #pacific-ocean, #paris-agreement, #pew-research-center, #pollution, #steel-and-iron, #united-states, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

What’s Green, Soggy and Fights Climate Change?

You might be surprised: Protecting peat bogs could help the world avert the worst effects of global warming, a new study has found.

#carbon-dioxide, #environmental-research-letters-journal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #peat, #research, #wetlands

0

China’s Pledge to Be Carbon Neutral by 2060: What It Means

Under international pressure to do more to address global warming, Xi Jinping made a surprise commitment to drastically reduce emissions. Now comes the hard part.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #carbon-dioxide, #china, #coal, #communist-party-of-china, #conservation-of-resources, #general-assembly-un, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #politics-and-government, #xi-jinping

0

Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial.

The Times spoke to two dozen experts who said decisions made now would spell the difference between a difficult future and something far worse.

#carbon-dioxide, #disasters-and-emergencies, #earth, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #weather, #wildfires

0

Microsoft commits to putting more water than it consumes back into the ecosystems where it operates by 2030

One good trend in 2020 has been large technology companies almost falling over one another to make ever-bolder commitments regarding their ecological impact. A cynic might argue that just doing without most of the things they make could have a much greater impact, but Microsoft is the latest to make a commitment that not only focuses on minimizing its impact, but actually on reversing it. The Windows-maker has committed to achieving a net positive water footprint by 2030, by which it means it wants to be contributing more energy back into environment in the places it operates than it is drawing out, as measured across all “basins” that span its footprint.

Microsoft hopes to achieve this goal through two main types of initiatives: First, it’ll be reducing the “intensity” of its water use across its operations, as measured by the amount of water used per megawatt of energy consumed by the company. Second, it will also be looking to actually replenish water in the areas of the world where Microsoft operations are located in “water-stressed” regions, through efforts like investment in area wetland restoration, or the removal and replacement of certain surfaces, including asphalt, which are not water-permeable and therefore prevent water from natural sources like rainfall from being absorbed back into a region’s overall available basin.

The company says that how much water it will return will vary, and depend on how much Microsoft consumes in each region, as well as how much the local basin is under duress in terms of overall consumption. Microsoft isn’t going to rely solely on external sources for this info, however: It plans to put its artificial intelligence technology to work to provide better information around what areas are under stress in terms of water usage, and where optimization projects would have the greatest impact. It’s already working towards these goals with a number of industry groups, including The Freshwater Trust.

Microsoft has made a number of commitments towards improving its global ecological impact, including a commitment from earlier this year to become ‘carbon negative’ by 2030. Meanwhile, Apple said in July that its products, including the supply chains that produce them, will be net carbon neutral by 2030, while Google made a commitment just last week to use only energy from carbon-free sources by that same year.

#apple, #carbon-dioxide, #chemistry, #energy, #google, #greentech, #microsoft, #microsoft-windows, #renewable-energy, #tc, #water

0

U.S. and European Oil Giants Go Different Ways on Climate Change

While BP and other European companies invest billions in renewable energy, Exxon and Chevron are committed to fossil fuels and betting on moonshots.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #bp-plc, #carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #carbon-dioxide, #chevron-corporation, #exxon-mobil-corp, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hydrocarbons, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline

0

How to Ship a Vaccine at –80°C, and Other Obstacles in the Covid Fight

Developing an effective vaccine is the first step. Then comes the question of how to deliver hundreds of millions of doses that may need to be kept at arctic temperatures.

#astrazeneca-plc, #biontech-se, #carbon-dioxide, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #corning-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fedex-corporation, #ice, #moderna-inc, #pfizer-inc, #shortages, #united-parcel-service-inc, #vaccination-and-immunization

0

The Wildfires Show That Stopping Climate Change Is No Longer Enough

We have to adapt to it, too.

#affordable-housing, #california, #carbon-dioxide, #debatable, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #newsom-gavin

0

LanzaTech is developing a small-scale waste biomass gasifier for ethanol production in India

As part of the continuing global rollout of LanzaTech’s technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions and turn those emissions into fuel and chemicals, the company is rolling out a new small-scale waste biomass gasifier in India.

The new gasifier, which was announced Tuesday on TechCrunch Disrupt’s virtual stage, will be hosted at Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical, one of India’s largest refiners. The LanzaTech gasifier, which will be built in partnership with Indian project development firm Ankur Scientific, will use waste to make ethanol and chemicals rather than power.

While most of the industry uses large-scale, expensive oxygen-blown gasifiers to make liquids, the LanzaTech air blown technology is much cheaper and easier to operate and can still produce bacteria at a scale that produces a meaningful amount of ethanol.

Contamination also isn’t an issue with the gas feedstock for LanzaTech’s bacteria, according to Holmgren. The new process can produce biochar that ends up replacing fertilizer in soil and thereby reducing nitrogen oxide emissions, which are another greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change.

If the pilot project is successful and the gasifiers are rolled out at scale across India, it could mean an ability for the country to produce roughly 25 billion liters of ethanol per year and result in removing 60 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to LanzaTech’s estimates.

“Overall something that people said makes no sense, may well make sense and may well result in benefits beyond just the immediate reuse of waste agri carbon and production of a fuel that results in keeping some petroleum in the ground,” according to a statement from Holmgren. “Holistic systems thinking is the way.”

For Holmgren, the small pilot project in India is an example of how small-scale, low-cost distributed systems can compete with the big oil industry.

“There are two paths to scale, bigger which is cheaper per unit produced, or massively replicating a small scale unit (numbering up vs. scaling up),” Holmgren said. “Most people have always believed that numbering up is for toys and food, but I think it will also fit process technology. Certainly, larger fits petroleum, but it can’t fit biotechnology or biomass or waste gases which are distributed and difficult to move.”

Decarbonization, Holmgren believes, will require a reimagining of traditional systems if humanity is to break the carbon cycle that’s now causing global climate catastrophes that can be observed in the Western United States right now.

“We must not benchmark today’s innovation against the past; we must, instead, imagine and create a very different future, one where the production of energy, fuels and chemicals is based on distributed, rather than centralized principles,” said Holmgren. “Recent breakthroughs in miniaturization, automation, AI and 3D printing enable distributed production beyond anything that could have been previously imagined and of course, a simple gasifier will help that along.”

#biofuels, #biogas, #biomass, #carbon-dioxide, #chemicals, #disrupt-2020, #food, #india, #lanzatech, #renewable-energy, #tc

0

In Visiting a Charred California, Trump Confronts a Scientific Reality He Denies

A president who has mocked climate change and pushed policies that accelerate it is set to be briefed on the scorched earth and ash-filled skies that experts say are the predictable result.

#air-pollution, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #california, #carbon-dioxide, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disasters-and-emergencies, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #green-new-deal, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #presidential-election-of-2020, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #science-and-technology, #states-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wildfires

0

When the Otters Vanished, Everything Else Started to Crumble

Against the backdrop of climate change, the delicate underwater ecology of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands is hurting from declines in otters.

#alaska, #aleutian-islands, #algae, #carbon-dioxide, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #otters-animals, #reefs, #research, #science-journal, #sea-urchins, #seaweed, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

0

Did Something Burp? It Was an Earthquake

Years of observations in central Italy show that more carbon dioxide percolates through Earth’s crust during periods of strong seismic activity.

#carbon-dioxide, #earthquakes, #geology, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #italy, #research, #science-advances-journal, #your-feed-science

0

In face of federal inaction, California gets five automakers to cut CO2

Cars congest I-10 in Los Angeles late October 2006. That year, the state sued several US and Japanese automakers for their alleged contribution to global warming.

Enlarge / Cars congest I-10 in Los Angeles late October 2006. That year, the state sued several US and Japanese automakers for their alleged contribution to global warming. (credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, five automakers signed agreements with California’s Air Resources Board to implement cleaner emissions standards over the next few years. BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo will reduce vehicle emissions between model years 2021 and 2026.

Unlike Europe’s rules, which fine automakers if they exceed a blanket fleet average for the amount of CO2 emitted per km, CARB has different targets for cars and light trucks based on their relative footprint. But each of the five OEMs has agreed to cut the amount of CO2 its vehicles produce per mile by about 17 percent by MY2026. The new agreement is broadly similar to one announced last year, although with a revised timeline that now runs through 2026.

Specifically, CO2 emissions from small cars would drop from 157g/mile in 2021 to 130g/mile in 2026, large cars from 215g/mile to 178g/mile, small light trucks from 195g/mile to 162g/mile, and large light trucks from 335g/mile to 278g/mile, with a formula to adjust vehicles that fall in between the small and large footprint areas. For context, the EU’s new fleet-wide average, which came into effect in 2020, heavily fines any automaker whose fleet average exceeds 152g/mile (95g/km).

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#air-pollution, #bmw, #california-air-resources-board, #carb, #carbon-dioxide, #cars, #climate-change, #co2-emissions, #ford, #honda, #volkswagen-group, #volvo

0

With the Biden-Harris Ticket, Environmental Justice Is a Focus

Climate change leaders said the choice of Harris signaled that Democrats will try to ensure that communities burdened by pollution would benefit from a transition to clean energy.

#air-pollution, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #green-new-deal, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #harris-kamala-d, #income-inequality, #presidential-election-of-2020

0

Global Warming Could Unlock Carbon From Tropical Soil

Warming soils in the tropics could cause microbes to release carbon dioxide from storage. One scientist called the finding “another example of why we need to worry more.”

#carbon-dioxide, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #nature-journal, #research, #smithsonian-tropical-research-institute, #soil

0

E.P.A. Proposes Airplane Emission Standards That Airlines Already Meet

Staving off a lawsuit, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations to hold airlines to the carbon dioxide emissions standards they created.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

How Much Will the Planet Warm if Carbon Dioxide Levels Double?

New research has sharply narrowed the range of outcomes.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

0

Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High

Scientists expect emissions, driven by fossil fuels and agriculture, to continue rising rapidly.

#carbon-dioxide, #earth-system-science-data-journal, #environmental-research-letters-journal, #global-carbon-project, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #methane, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #research

0

G.A.O.: Trump Boosts Deregulation by Undervaluing Cost of Climate Change

The Government Accountability Office has found that the Trump administration is undervaluing the cost of climate change to boost its deregulatory efforts.

#carbon-dioxide, #global-warming, #government-accountability-office, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

Projects to Stash Carbon Dioxide Underground Get a Boost

The government, after years of delays, is finally clarifying rules on tax breaks for companies that use carbon capture to fight climate change.

#carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #carbon-dioxide, #coal, #environment, #farmington-nm, #federal-taxes-us, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #internal-revenue-service, #new-mexico, #tax-credits-deductions-and-exemptions, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

Culprit for Mass Extinction 445 Million Years Ago? Global Warming

A planet heated by giant volcanic eruptions drove the earliest known wipeout of life on Earth.

#bond-david, #carbon-dioxide, #earth, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #geology, #geology-journal, #grasby-stephen, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #scotland, #volcanoes, #your-feed-science

0

‘Like Trash in a Landfill’: Carbon Dioxide Keeps Piling Up in the Atmosphere

Levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide reached another record in May, the month when they normally peak.

#carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #scripps-institution-of-oceanography

0

Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag

Inventors were about to test their ideas for making money by selling things made out of carbon dioxide, the main culprit in global warming. Then the pandemic struck.

#carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #carbon-dioxide, #concrete, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #vodka

0

A Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial in Scientific Research

An Interior Department official has pressed scientists to include misleading climate language—including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial—into their work.

#bureau-of-reclamation, #california, #carbon-dioxide, #central-valley-calif, #environment, #global-warming, #goklany-indur-m, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #interior-department, #irrigation, #oregon, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #water

0