As the Great Salt Lake Dries Up, Utah Faces An ‘Environmental Nuclear Bomb’

Climate change and rapid population growth are shrinking the lake, creating a bowl of toxic dust that could poison the air around Salt Lake City.

#arsenic, #conservation-of-resources, #drought, #global-warming, #great-salt-lake-utah, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #population, #salt-lake-city-utah, #water, #wind

Why Climate Change Makes It Harder to Fight Fire With Fire

Worsening wildfires in recent years have led officials to embrace planned fires to thin forests before disaster strikes. But the warming world is making it tougher to do safely.

#arizona, #boulder-colo, #california, #colorado, #fires-and-firefighters, #florida, #forest-service, #forests-and-forestry, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #heat-and-heat-waves, #nature-conservancy, #nebraska, #new-mexico, #oregon, #rain, #texas, #united-states, #university-of-california-los-angeles, #wildfires, #wind

Arizona Wildfires Seize on Chaotic Winds and Parched Forests

An uncontained springtime blaze north of Flagstaff, along with smaller fires in New Mexico and Colorado, has been a harsh reminder that fire season might now be year-round.

#evacuations-and-evacuees, #fires-and-firefighters, #flagstaff-ariz, #wildfires, #wind

Severe Storms Are Again Expected Across the Midwest and the South

Meteorologists said thunderstorms could produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes in the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley, a day after tornadoes injured nearly two dozen people in Texas.

#floods, #little-rock-ark, #louisville-ky, #mississippi, #national-weather-service, #tennessee, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

South Braces for Second Wave of Storms After 2 Deaths

Nearly 14 million people across the region faced an enhanced risk of severe weather on Wednesday. Forecasters said the storms could produce tornadoes.

#alabama, #atlanta-ga, #birmingham-ala, #chattanooga-tenn, #deaths-fatalities, #georgia, #tennessee, #texas, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Texas Wildfire Grows to 33,000 Acres, but Poses Little Threat

The Crittenberg Complex fire near Fort Hood could burn for more several days, if not weeks, a fire official said on Monday.

#crittenberg-complex, #forests-and-forestry, #fort-hood-tex, #texas, #weather, #wildfires, #wind

New Orleans Tornadoes Leave a Path of Destruction

At least one person was killed, and many houses were destroyed.

#edwards-john-bel-1966, #national-weather-service, #new-orleans-la, #rescues, #st-bernard-parish-la, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Dangerous Storms Threaten the Deep South After Tornadoes Rip Through Texas

Some schools and state offices in Louisiana were closed ahead of the forecast.

#edwards-john-bel-1966, #floods, #louisiana, #mississippi, #mobile-homes-and-trailers, #severe-weather, #texas, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Texas and the Southeast Brace for Tornadoes and Heavy Rain

Severe weather, bringing several inches of rain and damaging winds, was expected to begin Monday afternoon in Texas and then move over Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday, forecasters said.

#alabama, #floods, #louisiana, #mississippi, #national-weather-service, #oklahoma, #rain, #tennessee, #texas, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

6 Injured as Powerful Storms Tear Through the South

A violent storm damaged nine mobile homes in Atmore, Ala. “It looked like all the trailers just exploded,” a sheriff said of the scene.

#alabama, #florida, #mobile-homes-and-trailers, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Saharan Sands Float North to Europe, Coating Cities With Dust

A European monitoring service projected that the dust, which cast an eerie orange pall over much of the continent, could reach as far as Denmark.

#dust-and-sand-storms, #european-union, #wind

At Least 6 Killed as Powerful Storms Rampage Across Iowa, Officials Say

The National Weather Service said a preliminary examination of photos and videos from around Winterset, Iowa, suggested damage from a tornado with wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour.

#deaths-fatalities, #des-moines-iowa, #iowa, #madison-county-iowa, #national-weather-service, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind, #winterset-iowa

Why Do We Watch the Weather on TV While It Is Happening Just Outside?

The strange allure of watching someone else stand in the blizzard.

#hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #snow-and-snowstorms, #television, #weather, #wind

Storm Eunice Kills at Least 8

Gusts toppled trees and sent debris flying, leaving tens of thousands without power and disrupting travel a day later.

#europe, #great-britain, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #rain, #storm-eunice, #wind

As Gale Made an Extreme Sport of Heathrow Landings, He Called the Plays

Jerry Dyer became a media sensation after filming, and commenting on, planes landing at the London airport during a howling storm.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #heathrow-airport-london-england, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #london-england, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #wind

Storm Eunice Slams Britain With Dangerously High Winds

Wind gusts of up to 90 miles per hour were expected in parts of the country. One weather official said the storm would be the worst the country has seen in 30 years.

#england, #great-britain, #london-england, #met-office-united-kingdom, #northern-ireland, #rain, #scotland, #storm-eunice, #wales, #weather, #wind

Texas Must Update Its Power Grid

A year ago, 10 million Texans lost power in a winter storm. The state has resisted a simple fix.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #california, #electric-light-and-power, #electric-reliability-council-of-texas, #energy-and-power, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #northeastern-states-us, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #perry-rick, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #states-us, #texas, #united-states, #wind, #wind-power

Study: Few places will struggle to balance renewables and conservation

Solar power and habitat preservation are likely to conflict, but only in some areas.

Enlarge / Solar power and habitat preservation are likely to conflict, but only in some areas. (credit: Zhi Hao)

Compared to fossil fuel plants, renewable power facilities cover a lot of ground. That ground can be put to additional uses; many wind farms are also farms, and even solar plants can work well with agriculture. But these sorts of developments are definitely not compatible with conserving sensitive habitats for wildlife or plants. Even wind farms, which have a relatively small on-ground footprint, require access roads and regular servicing.

Early studies on the matter suggest this might be a serious problem, as they found that a number of renewable power facilities had been built on land that had been identified as a sensitive habitat. But new work from researchers at the University of Southampton indicates that the problem isn’t as severe as it seems. The actual footprint of existing wind and solar farms on sensitive habitats is small and should be able to be kept small in most countries.

Carbon-free footprints

To understand present problems, you must have an idea of what land has been developed and what needs to be conserved. The researchers used two different sources to identify the footprints of current renewable power facilities. For sensitive habitats, the team started with a database of all existing protected areas. It supplemented that with maps of the ranges of all land vertebrates listed as threatened on the “Red List,” as well as the World Wildlife Fund’s list of ecoregions. The protected areas were considered a starting point, and areas for potential expansion were identified based on their ability to protect the most threatened species.

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#conservation, #energy, #green-energy, #habitat, #policy, #renewable-energy, #science, #solar, #wind

Deep Chill Sets In as Northeast Emerges From Heavy Snow and Harsh Winds

With snowplows and shovels, parts of Massachusetts and New York were clearing away piles of snow amid frigid wind chills.

#airports, #automobiles, #boston-mass, #delays-transportation, #northeastern-states-us, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #roads-and-traffic, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind

Powerful Winter Storm Brings Whipping Winds and Heavy Snow to the Northeast

Forecasters called it a “bomb cyclone” and predicted that the Boston area would be hit particularly hard.

#airports, #boston-mass, #cold-and-cold-spells, #national-weather-service, #new-england-states-us, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #snow-and-snowstorms, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind

East Coast Braces for Snow Again

A winter storm watch was in effect from eastern North Carolina up to New England. Meteorologists said that slight changes in the storm’s track could shift snow totals drastically.

#coast-erosion, #connecticut, #delaware, #east-coast-us, #interstate-95, #mid-atlantic-states-us, #new-england-states-us, #new-york-city, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind

Winter Storm Latest: Thousands Left Without Power

On Monday, parts of Pennsylvania and New York State were expected to see the brunt of a winter storm that killed at least two in the South over the weekend.

#appalachian-region, #national-weather-service, #new-york-state, #northeastern-states-us, #pennsylvania, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #snow-and-snowstorms, #southern-states-us, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind

U.S. South and Northeast Brace for Winter Storm That Pounded the Midwest

Dangerous ice was expected to hit the Carolinas, and up to a foot of snow was predicted from Tennessee to upstate New York and Vermont.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #national-weather-service, #snow-and-snowstorms, #wind

Fierce Windstorms Batter Alaska as Thousands Lose Power

Tens of thousands of people lost electricity this week, while the wind chill dipped to 35 degrees below zero.

#alaska, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #weather, #wind

Colorado Wildfires: What We Know

The fires on Thursday burned at least 500 homes and forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate.

#boulder-colo, #colorado, #denver-colo, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #wildfires, #wind

What Role Does Climate Change Play in Wind Storms and Tornadoes?

The science suggests that the United States can expect more unusual and severe storms as the world heats up, increasing the urgency for action to protect communities.

#disasters-and-emergencies, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #heat-and-heat-waves, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Power Outages Across Midwest After Storms

Hundreds of thousands of customers were without electricity after a powerful storm system swept across the central U.S. At least one death was reported.

#deaths-fatalities, #midwestern-states-us, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #tornadoes, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind

Storm Could Bring Destructive Winds to Central U.S.

A tornado watch was issued for parts of six states as wind gusts of more than 70 miles per hour bore down on parts of the Upper Midwest on Wednesday.

#colorado, #colorado-springs-colo, #des-moines-iowa, #great-lakes, #iowa, #minnesota, #mississippi, #national-weather-service, #nebraska, #polk-county-iowa, #south-dakota, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind, #wisconsin

High Tidal Surges Bring Floods to the Mid-Atlantic Region

The impact was not as severe as forecasters had feared in some places, though flood warnings and advisories remained in effect on Saturday.

#alexandria-va, #annapolis-md, #baltimore-md, #buckley-gavin, #chesapeake-bay, #coastal-areas, #delaware-river, #floods, #interstate-95, #maryland, #mid-atlantic-states-us, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #national-weather-service, #potomac-river, #water, #weather, #wind

Nor’easter Brings Hurricane-Force Winds to Massachusetts

After battering the New York area, the storm knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers across New England on Wednesday.

#massachusetts, #national-weather-service, #new-england-states-us, #weather, #wind

The decreasing cost of renewables unlikely to plateau anytime soon

Image of a wind turbine.

Enlarge

Past projections of energy costs have consistently underestimated just how cheap renewable energy would be in the future, as well as the benefits of rolling them out quickly, according to a new report out of the Institute of New Economic Thinking at the University of Oxford.

The report makes predictions about more than 50 technologies such as solar power, offshore wind, and more, and it compares them to a future that still runs on carbon. “It’s not just good news for renewables. It’s good news for the planet,” Matthew Ives, one of the report’s authors and a senior researcher at the Oxford Martin Post-Carbon Transition Programme, told Ars.

The paper used probabilistic cost forecasting methods—taking into account both past data and current and ongoing technological developments in renewables—for its findings. It also used large caches of data from sources such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Bloomberg. Beyond looking at the cost (represented as dollar per unit of energy production over time), the report also represents its findings in three scenarios: a fast transition to renewables, a slow transition, and no transition at all.

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#climate, #economics, #energy, #forecasting, #modelling, #oil-and-gas, #renewables, #science, #solar, #wind

Europe’s Energy Prices Soar Amid Switch to Renewable Resources

Britain and the rest of Europe are watching natural gas prices and utility bills soar, and Russia is coming under pressure to provide more gas.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #electric-light-and-power, #europe, #gazprom, #great-britain, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #international-energy-agency, #natural-gas, #nord-stream-ag, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #wind, #wind-power

Why Louisiana’s Electric Grid Failed in Hurricane Ida

Much of the state, including New Orleans, lost power for days because many of Entergy’s electrical poles and towers were not built to withstand a major hurricane, energy experts said.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #batteries, #disasters-and-emergencies, #electric-light-and-power, #energy-and-power, #entergy-corporation, #global-warming, #hurricane-ida-2021, #hurricane-laura-2020, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #new-orleans-la, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #solar-energy, #weather, #wind

Ida Brings Flash Floods and Upheaval to New York City

The sudden inundation from the remnants of Ida transformed familiar moments of life in New York City and its suburbs into something otherworldly, waterlogged and frightening.

#floods, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #weather, #wind

In the US, wind power is getting bigger and better, report says

A wide angle shot of wind turbines at the foot of a mountain.

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Wind power isn’t the largest part of the United States’ energy mix, but it grew over the last year, according to the Wind Technologies Market Report. The renewable energy source grew to more than 8 percent of the country’s electricity supply—reaching 10 percent in a growing number of states—and saw a whopping $25 billion in investments in what will translate to 16.8 gigawatts of capacity, according to the report.

Put out by the US Department of Energy, the sizeable report draws upon a variety of data sources for its finding, including government data from the Energy Information Administration, trade data from the US International Trade Commission, and hourly pricing data from the various system operators. “The report itself covers the entire gamut of the US wind industry,” Mark Bolinger, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and one of the authors of the report, told Ars.

Bigger is sometimes better

According to the report, the performance of wind power operations in the US has improved a great deal. We can measure this based on capacity factor, a ratio of the amount of energy a turbine actually produces compared to the amount it could have produced if it ran at its peak constantly. For recently constructed wind power projects, the average capacity factor has now cleared 40 percent. The biggest gains in this area, however, are seen in the US’ “wind belt,” a region that receives a large amount of wind, stretching from the Dakotas to Texas.

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#energy, #renewables, #science, #wind, #wind-power

Here’s How Ida Quickly Strengthened Into a Monster

Climate change plays a role in the rapid intensification of storms, and in Ida’s case, other factors worked as well to ramp up winds in a matter of hours.

#global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricane-ida-2021, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #oceans-and-seas, #weather, #wind

Tropical Storm Julian Forms in the Atlantic

Julian, the 10th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, was expected to weaken and dissipate, forecasters said.

#global-warming, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #tropical-storm-julian, #weather, #wind

What We Know About Climate Change and Hurricanes

Scientists are confident that the warming of the planet is changing the way storms behave. Here’s how.

#global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricane-ida-2021, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #weather, #wind

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Is a Regatta of Heart-Stopping Challenges

In Bomb Alley, the winds can change in an instant. And then there are the rocks.

#maxi-yacht-rolex-cup, #navigation, #sailboats-and-sailing, #sardinia-italy, #wind, #yacht-club-costa-smeralda

Where Will Tropical Storm Henri Land? It’s Tough To Tell.

Models have disagreed about whether the tropical storm, which is expected to grow into a hurricane, will hit New England or further west, in New York and New Jersey.

#atlantic-ocean, #floods, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #national-weather-service, #weather, #wind

Ana Becomes First Named Storm of Atlantic Hurricane Season

The formation of the subtropical storm makes it the seventh consecutive year that a named storm has developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season.

#ana, #atlantic-ocean, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #wind

Before Deadly Accident, Lift Boat Turned Toward Heavy Winds, N.T.S.B. Says

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board detailed the events that led to a commercial vessel’s capsizing off the Louisiana coast.

#boats-and-boating, #maritime-accidents-and-safety, #national-transportation-safety-board, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #rescues, #weather, #wind

Severe Weather Expected in South for Third Straight Day

At least two people have been killed, and forecasters said more tornadoes could come on Tuesday.

#alabama, #arkansas, #georgia, #national-weather-service, #southern-states-us, #texas, #tornadoes, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind

South Dakota Wildfires Prompt Mount Rushmore to Close

Gov. Kristi Noem said the monument was not under threat but that gusting winds could cause conditions to change quickly.

#fires-and-firefighters, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #mount-rushmore-national-memorial-sd, #noem-kristi, #rapid-city-sd, #south-dakota, #wildfires, #wind

Tornado Watch Warns South of ‘Particularly Dangerous’ Storms

The storms were expected to bring damaging winds over 100 miles per hour and large hail to parts of the South on Wednesday evening.

#national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #national-weather-service, #southern-states-us, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

Ice Floe Rescues and Highway Crashes Cap a Bad Week of Winter Weather

A cold front swept through parts of the Midwest this week, wreaking havoc on highways in Iowa. Bitter cold is in the forecast.

#cedar-rapids-iowa, #great-lakes, #lake-michigan, #national-weather-service, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind, #wisconsin

Yosemite National Park Reopens After Devastating Wind Storm Topples Sequoias

The wind storm last month downed 15 of the park’s giant sequoia trees. It also damaged park buildings, vehicles and facilities.

#weather, #wind, #yosemite-national-park-calif

US grid will see 80 percent of its new capacity go emission-free

US grid will see 80 percent of its new capacity go emission-free

Enlarge (credit: US EIA)

Earlier this week, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) released figures on the new generating capacity that’s expected to start operating over the course of 2021. While plans can obviously change, the hope is that, with its new additions, the grid will look radically different than it did just five years ago. This includes the details, where a new nuclear plant may be started up, although it will be dwarfed by the capacity of new batteries. But the big picture is that, even ignoring the batteries, about 80 percent of the planned capacity additions will be emission-free.

New nukes?

The EIA’s accounting shows that just under 40 Gigawatts of capacity will be placed on the grid during 2021, but there are a number of caveats to this. First and foremost is the inclusion of batteries, which account for over 10 percent of that figure (4.3GW). While batteries may look like short-term generating capacity from the perspective of “can this put power on the grid?”, they’re obviously not actually a net source of power. Typically, they’re used to smooth over short-term fluctuations in supply or demand rather than a steady source of power.

Still, given the rarity of grid-scale batteries even a few years ago, 4.3GW of them is striking.

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#batteries, #coal, #energy, #natural-gas, #nuclear-power, #science, #solar, #wind

Nor’easter Knocks Out Power to More Than 200,000 in New England

More than 110,000 customers in Maine alone lost electricity after a nor’easter brought high winds and heavy snow.

#connecticut, #maine, #massachusetts, #new-england-states-us, #new-hampshire, #noreaster, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind

Bond Fire Erupts Outside Los Angeles, Forcing Thousands to Evacuate

Two firefighters were injured on Thursday in Orange County as efforts to contain the Bond fire continued.

#california, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #orange-county-calif, #wildfires, #wind