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Reading Recommendations

June 2017

Scientists may have just found an unexpected new threat to the ozone layer


Severe storms over the central United States may be posing bigger problems beyond bad weather. New research suggests that frequent summertime storms in the Great Plains region could be depleting the protective ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.

The Washington Post

Technology as a driver of climate and energy politics

By Tobias S. Schmidt & Sebastian Sewerin

Technological innovation, often induced by national and subnational policies, can be a key driver of global climate and energy policy ambition and action. A better understanding of the technology–politics feedback link can help to further increase ambitions.

Nature Energy

Energy use behaviour: A window of opportunity

By Deborah Roy

The environmental impact of electric vehicles depends on the kind of energy used to charge them. A study shows that e-mails targeting electric vehicle charging for new owners can be effective for promoting greener charging behaviours.

Nature Energy

Scientists just published an entire study refuting Scott Pruitt on climate change

By Chris Mooney

In a sign of growing tensions between scientists and the Trump administration, researchers published a scientific paper Wednesday that was conceived and written as an explicit refutation to an assertion by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt about climate change.

Washington Post

Impacts and mitigation of excess diesel-related NOx emissions in 11 major vehicle markets

By Susan C. Anenberg et. al.

Across markets accounting for 80 per cent of global diesel vehicle sales, more than a third of diesel nitrogen oxide emissions are in excess of certification limits, causing many deaths.


California Engages World, and Fights Washington, on Climate Change


Gov. Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb global warming. And a battery of state lawyers is preparing to battle any attempt by Washington to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.

NY Times

Engineering Cu surfaces for the electrocatalytic conversion of CO2: Controlling selectivity toward oxygenates and hydrocarbons

Christopher Hahn et. al.

Anthropogenic global warming necessitates the development of renewable carbon-free and carbon-neutral technologies for the future. Electrochemical CO2 reduction is one such technology that has the potential to impact climate change by enabling sustainable routes for the production of fuels and chemicals.


Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990

By Chris Mooney

A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise, but its acceleration, is now underway.

Washington Post

Are advanced biofuels ready for takeoff?

By John Fialka

As a major U.S. exporter that has dealings with over 150 countries, Boeing had worked with airlines in the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and better flying practices. Now it helped form and lead the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG). It currently represents 27 airlines that consume one-third of the world’s jet fuel.

Climate Wire

The next energy economy

By Asa S. Hopkins

Burn Out: The Endgame for Fossil Fuels Dieter Helm Yale University Press, 2017. 301 pp.

This new book identifies three “predictable surprises” that will affect our energy future and traces their economic effects. Along the way, Helm provides a concise primer on the history of global energy economics, politics, and diplomacy. Looking to the future, he identifies those who will be well positioned to harness these surprises.


Rightsizing carbon dioxide removal

By Christopher B. Field, Katharine J. Mach

The current pace of their deployment is far from sufficient for holding warming well below 2°C, the goal of the Paris Agreement. Two approaches for bridging this gap are widely discussed. 1st , the rate of decarbonization could be accelerated. 2nd , continuing emissions could be compensated by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


A year of smog, in 5 charts

Whether that’s in Kansas or Kathmandu, here’s a quick overview of a year’s worth of news about smog, that nasty combination of fog and smoke that gets mixed with other pollutants and hangs over cities.

World Economic Forum

Overexplaining or underexplaining methane’s role in climate change

By Michael J. Prather and Christopher D. Holmes

Methane lies at the nexus of climate and air quality, being both a major anthropogenic greenhouse gas—causing about one-half of the warming of carbon dioxide—and a precursor of tropospheric ozone pollution. Over the industrial era, atmospheric methane abundances rose from about 720 parts per billion (ppb) (10−9 mole fraction) to over 1,850 ppb today.


Understanding the regional pattern of projected future changes in extreme precipitation

By S. Pfahl, P. A. O’Gorman & E. M. Fischer

Changes in extreme precipitation are among the most impact-relevant consequences of climate warming, yet regional projections remain uncertain due to natural variability and model deficiencies in relevant physical processes.

Nature Climate

World Lags on Clean Energy Goals

By Stephen Leahy

At the current pace in 2030 there will still be one person in ten without electricity, according to the Global Tracking Framework 2017 report. Most of those people will be in Africa.


Saying goodbye to glaciers

By Twila Moon

Global glacier volume is shrinking. This loss of Earth’s land ice is of international concern. The problems of glacier loss do not stop at sea level rise; glaciers are also crucial water sources, integral parts of Earth’s air and water circulation systems…


Obama Sees New Front in Climate Change Battle: Agriculture


Michelle Obama has long been one of the world’s best-known advocates for healthier food production and better eating, but it was her husband who showed up here on Tuesday to talk about climate change and the challenges it presented to feeding the world’s growing population.

NY Times

Asian glaciers are a reliable water source

By Tobias Bolch

The people, economies and agriculture of central Asia and parts of south Asia rely on water from mountains. Modelling suggests that glacier melt, in particular, is a key water source during dry periods in some of these regions.


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