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August 2017

Reassessing the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of toluene

Mario J. Molina, Renyi Zhang et. al.

Our work reveals that the formation and subsequent reactions of cresols regulate the atmospheric impacts of toluene oxidation, suggesting that its representation in current atmospheric models should be reassessed for accurate determination of ozone and SOA formation. The results from our study provide important constraints and guidance for future modeling studies.

PNAS

Empirical prediction intervals improve energy forecasting

Lynn H. Kaack et. al.

Empirical density forecasting methods provide a probabilistic amendment to existing point forecasts. Here we lay the groundwork for evaluating the performance of these methods in the data-scarce setting of long-term forecasts. Results can give policy analysts and other users confidence in estimating forecast uncertainties with empirical methods.

PNAS

Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made

Roland Geyer, Jenna R. Jambeck and Kara Lavender

By identifying and synthesizing dispersed data on production, use, and end-of-life management of polymer resins, synthetic fibers, and additives, we present the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured. We estimate that 8300 million metric tons (Mt) as of virgin plastics have been produced to date.

Science

Nitrogen stewardship in the Anthropocene

Sybil P. Seitzinger & Leigh Phillips

Nitrogen compounds, mainly from agriculture and sewage, are causing widespread eutrophication of estuaries and coastal waters. Rapid growth of algal blooms can deprive ecosystems of oxygen when the algae decay, with sometimes extensive ecological and economic effects. Nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel combustion also contribute to eutrophication, and nitrous oxide, N2O, is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas (GHG).

Science

The World May Have Less Time to Address Climate Change Than Scientists Thought

By Scott Waldman

A new global temperature baseline casts doubt on humanity’s ability to meet the Paris target

Scientific American

Where global warming gets real: inside Nasa’s mission to the north pole

By Avi Steinberg

For 10 years, Nasa has been flying over the ice caps to chart their retreat. This data is an invaluable record of climate change. But does anyone care?

The Guardian

California Shows How States Can Lead on Climate Change

Editorial

California, renewed its commitment to reducing ghg last week by extending, to 2030, its cap-and-trade program, which effectively puts a price on emissions. It’s a bold, bipartisan commitment that invites similarly ambitious policies from other states.

NY Times

Sulfur injections for a cooler planet

Ulrike Niemeier and Simone Tilmes

Limited commitment for sufficient mitigation efforts and the uncertainty related to net-negative emissions have intensified calls for options that may help to reduce the worst climate effects. One suggested approach is the artificial reduction of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface by increasing the reflectivity of Earth’s surface or atmosphere.

Science

How air pollution affects your health – infographic

Paul Tinker and Tom Levitt

Exposure to air pollutants has been linked to suppressed lung growth, asthma, heart disease, foetal brain growth damage and the onset of diabetes

The Guardian

How to govern geoengineering?

Janos Pasztor, Cynthia Scharf, Kai-Uwe Schmidt

The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5° to 2°C above preindustrial temperature, but achieving this goal requires much higher levels of mitigation than currently planned. This challenge has focused greater attention on climate geoengineering approaches, which intentionally alter Earth’s climate system, as part of an overall response starting with radical mitigation. Yet it remains unclear how to govern research on, and potential deployment of, geoengineering technologies.

Science

A cirrus cloud climate dial?

By Ulrike Lohmann& Blaž Gaspariniutor

The most prominent and best researched climate engineering approach is the injection of atmospheric aerosol particles or their precursor gases into the stratosphere, where these particles reflect solar radiation back to space. Climate engineering through cirrus cloud thinning, in contrast, mainly targets the long-wave radiation that is emitted from Earth.

Science

Human-made aerosols identified as driver in shifting global rainfall patterns

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Scientists found that aerosol particles released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels are a primary driver of changes in rainfall patterns across the globe.

Science Daily

  Ditching diesel won’t clear the air

Editorial

Arguments about the environmental benefits of petrol or diesel engines are outdated.

Nature

The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is one the government isn’t telling you about

By Sid Perkins

Four lifestyle choices had a major impact: Become a vegetarian, forego air travel, ditch your car, and—most significantly—have fewer children.

Science

Overestimate of committed warming

Gavin A. Schmidt,  Richard B. Alley, Ralph F. Keeling, Thomas F. Stocker, et. al.

Palaeoclimate variations are an essential component in constraining future projections of climate change as a function of increasing abundances of anthropogenic greenhouse gases1. The Earth system sensitivity (ESS) describes the multi-millennial response of Earth.

Nature

Biofuels needed but some more polluting than fossil fuels, report warns

Damian Carrington

Royal Academy of Engineering report backs increased use of biofuels but says more should come from waste rather than food crops.

The Guardian

Could renewable ‘power-by-wire’ help fix China’s air pollution problems?

IOP Publishing

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined if ongoing power transmission capacity investment in China could also reduce local adverse health impacts from air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions

Science Daily

Thermodynamic constraint on the depth of the global tropospheric circulation

David W. J. Thompson, Sandrine Bony, and Ying Li

The study explores two fundamental problems in climate science: (i) The physical factors that govern the depth of the troposphere, and (ii) the response of clouds to climate change.

PNAS

Carbon Fee and Dividend: Bipartisan Progress Towards a Climate Change Solution

By Allison Piper

The “Carbon Fee and Dividend” plan, in whatever form it may take, can make significant and necessary change in this country. As the climate worsens, the world is moving towards clean energy. However, pro-green Democrats and free-market Republicans’ failure to agree on climate solutions has prevented the United States from making that transition.

Harvard Politics

Air Pollution from Energy is a Global Challenge

In their new report, “Energy and Air Pollution” the International Energy Agency says that “air pollution is an energy problem” as discusses the role that the energy sector can play in reducing air pollution around the globe.

Scientific American

How Cities Could Save Us

By William McDonough

Urban areas can improve the planet as well as people’s lives if we design them to be much more resourceful with energy, water, food and minerals

Scientific American

 



MARIO MOLINA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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