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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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).

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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‘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

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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

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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

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