3 ways climate change affects tropical rainforests

On International Day for the Conservation of Tropical Forests, Human Nature explores three issues and potential solutions.

Solar Loans to Become No. 1 Consumer Finance Solution for Residential Solar in 2018

2018 is the year of the solar loan. Despite rising interest rates affecting all consumer lending, GTM Research forecasts in its latest report, Bringing Scale, Profitability and Value to the Residential Solar Market, that solar lending will become the No. 1 consumer finance solution for residential solar systems in 2018. Source: Bringing Scale, Profitability and Value to the Residential Solar Market This increase in solar lending comes at the expense of both the third-party-owned (TPO) and cash markets, which includes personal and home equity lending. The TPO market hit its peak in 2016 as companies like SolarCity and Vivint

Future projections of Antarctic ice shelf melting

This is a re-post from ClimateSight Climate change will increase ice shelf melt rates around Antarctica. That’s the not-very-surprising conclusion of my latest modelling study, done in collaboration with both Australian and German researchers, which was just published in Journal of Climate. Here’s the less intuitive result: much of the projected increase in melt rates is actually linked to a decrease in sea ice formation. That’s a lot of different kinds of ice, so let’s back up a bit. Sea ice is just frozen seawater. But ice shelves (as well as ice sheets

Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

Taking action on climate is about a lot more than our energy economy. Climate disruption is the leading threat to our built environment, an accelerant of armed conflict, and a leading cause of mass migration. Its effects intensify and prolong storms, droughts, wildfires, and floods — resulting in the US spending as much on disaster management in 2017 as in the three decades from 1980 to 2010. Out

Model Independence Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all models are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creators with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are a DOI, Runability and Inclusion in the CMIP ensemble mean. Well, not quite. But it is Independence Day in the US, and coincidentally there is a new discussion paper (Abramowitz et al) (direct link) posted on model independence just posted at Earth System Dynamics

Aclima’s particulate vision maps air pollution

Revealing otherwise unseen toxicity is CEO Davida Herzl’s mission.

How forest carbon can provide ROI for your sustainable business strategy

And return on your investment for the environment, too.

5 ways that climate change affects the ocean

Human Nature examines some of the ways that climate change affects life in the oceans — and what that means for humanity.

In Indonesia, villagers find innovative ways to adapt to climate change

A new study shows that using nature to adapt to intense storms and drought can be affective for thriving in a changing climate.

Forget the Duck Curve. Renewables Integration in the Midwest Is a Whole Other Animal

In the Great Plains, wind energy is cheap. Crazy cheap. With the lowest levelized costs approaching $10 per megawatt-hour and thousands of megawatts being procured for under $20 per megawatt-hour, PPAs for new wind farms cost less than just the fuel required to run existing coal or natural gas plants. These economics have driven a wind boom in the region: renewable energy made up three-fourths of the new capacity built in the Upper Midwest in the last five years, and virtually all of the region’s active projects in the

What Financiers Need to Unlock $1 Trillion in Renewable Energy Investment

Under the right conditions financial institutions say they could double their planned investments in the U.S. renewable energy sector, with the potential to mobilize $1 trillion in cumulative private capital by 2030. In a business as usual case, investor confidence in the U.S. renewables market is expected to remain high over the next three years, according to a new survey by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). Looking further out, growth

Tiny shrimp could influence global climate changes

When we think of global warming and climate change, most of us ignore the impacts that animals have on the environment. Climate affects animals, but is the reverse true? Can animals affect the climate? I don’t know how to answer that question definitively, but I was fortunate enough to read a very recent paper from a top fluid dynamics research team from Stanford. The team, led by Dr. John Dabiri, is well known for their work on bio-inspired flow. Part of what they study is the influence of living organisms on fluid flow, especially flow of water in the oceans. This team’s recent work deals with something called aggregate motion of swimmers and it was published in

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week. Editor’s Pick In a Warming World, Deadly Bacteria Are More Resistant to Antibiotics E. coli bacteria. Source: NIAID Tom Patterson became ill in 2015 while vacationing in Egypt. He was felled by Acinetobacter baumannii, an often deadly bacterium resistant to every antibiotic his doctors tried. Patterson, a University of California San Diego psychiatry professor, should have died, but didn’t. (Experimental infusions of bacteria-killing viruses known as bacteriophages ultimately

Will climate change bring benefits from reduced cold-related mortality? Insights from the latest epidemiological research

Guest post by Veronika Huber Climate skeptics sometimes like to claim that although global warming will lead to more deaths from heat, it will overall save lives due to fewer deaths from cold. But is this true? Epidemiological studies suggest the opposite. Mortality statistics generally show a distinct seasonality. More people die in the colder winter months than in the warmer summer months. In European countries, for example, the difference between the average number of deaths in winter (December – March) and in the remaining months of the year is 10%

30 years after Hansen’s testimony

“The greenhouse effect is here.” – Jim Hansen, 23rd June 1988, Senate Testimony The first transient climate projections using GCMs are 30 years old this year, and they have stood up remarkably well. We’ve looked at the skill in the Hansen et al (1988) (pdf) simulations before (back in 2008), and we said at the time that the simulations were skillful and that differences from observations would be clearer with a decade or two’s more data. Well, another decade has passed! How should we go

Amid other ambitious targets, closing the loop remains elusive in Hawaii

“Away” has a different meaning for the string of islands.

Lessons learned from U.S. Navy microgrids in Hawaii

Military microgrids are expected to reach $1 billion in the next eight years.

3 things you didn’t know trees did for you

In honor of International Day of Forests, Human Nature looks into some of the benefits of forests that you might not know about.

Energy Jobs: Duke Promotions, Centrica and Innogy Go Deeper Into US, Dynapower, Opus One and More

We always seem to start this column with energy storage, so today let’s begin with utilities. Duke Energy has promoted Jim Henning to SVP of customer services. Amy Spiller, a 15-year veteran of Duke, will take his place as president of Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy Kentucky, according to Cincinnati

Global warming made Hurricane Harvey more destructive

Last summer, the United states was pummeled with three severe hurricanes in rapid succession. It was a truly awesome display of the power of weather and the country is still reeling from the effects. In the climate community, there has been years of research into the effect that human-caused global warming has on these storms – both their frequency and their power. The prevailing view is that in a warming world, there will likely be fewer such storms, but the storms that form will be more severe. Some research, however, concludes that there will be both more storms and more

Restricting global warming to 1.5C could ‘halve’ risk of biodiversity loss

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Daisy Dunne Limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels rather than 2C could halve the number of vertebrate and plant species facing severe range loss by the end of the century, a study finds. The analysis of more than 115,000 species finds that keeping warming at 1.5C – which is the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement – instead of 2C could also cut the number of insects facing severe range loss by two-thirds. However, if countries fail to ramp up their

If you doubt that the AMOC has weakened, read this

A few weeks ago, we’ve argued in a paper in Nature that the Atlantic overturning circulation (sometimes popularly dubbed the Gulf Stream System) has weakened significantly since the late 19th Century, with most of the decline happening since the mid-20th Century. We have since received much praise for our study from colleagues around the world (thanks for

Does global warming make tropical cyclones stronger?

By Stefan Rahmstorf, Kerry Emanuel, Mike Mann and Jim Kossin Friday marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which will be watched with interest after last year’s season broke a number of records and e.g. devastated Puerto Rico’s power grid, causing serious problems that persist today. One of us (Mike) is part of a team that has issued a seasonal forecast (see Kozar et al 2012) calling for a roughly average season