Skip to Content

ESP ESP | ENG ENG Search:

PROGRAMMES

Reading Recommendations

June 2018

Climate change won’t heat the planet equally

By Thomas Gaulkin

In places closer to the equator that usually see only slight variations in temperature, the consequences of global warming are likely to be far more extreme. The outsize vulnerability of the world’s poorest people to damaging effects of climate change like droughts and floods is well established. It’s harder for people to overcome disasters in regions without the resources and infrastructure that are plentiful in wealthier parts of the world.

 

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Addressing the minimum fleet problem in on-demand urban mobility

M. M. Vazifeh, P. Santi, G. Resta, S. H. Strogatz & C. Ratti

Information and communication technologies have opened the way to new solutions for urban mobility that provide better ways to match individuals with on-demand vehicles. However, a fundamental unsolved problem is how best to size and operate a fleet of vehicles, given a certain demand for personal mobility.

 

Nature

Rise in CFC emissions threatens ozone recovery

by Mark Peplow

Rogue trichlorofluoromethane likely originates from production facilities in East Asia. In a feat of atmospheric detective work, researchers have uncovered evidence that thousands of metric tons of an ozone-destroying chemical are still being released into the air every year, despite a global ban on production. Their investigation traced trichlorofluoromethane (a chlorofluorocarbon, CFC-11) back to east Asia, and concluded that it was probably emitted by new, unreported production facilities.

 

CEN

The cost of a warming climate

Wolfram Schlenker &Maximilian Auffhammer

A study finds that meeting climate-change mitigation targets will lead to a substantial reduction in economic damages. Here, economists present opposing views on the approach used by studies such as this one.

 

Nature

Narrowing pathways to a sustainable future

Guy Midgley

At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009, the Alliance of Small Island States, supported by African countries, called for a temperature target of 1.5°C above the preindustrial level, as opposed to the more broadly accepted 2°C limit, as the basis for a global multilateral climate agreement. A subsequent UNFCCC-established review concluded that 2°C of warming cannot be considered safe and that less warming would be preferable.

 

Science

An unexpected and persistent increase in global emissions of ozone-depleting CFC-11

Stephen A. Montzka et al.

The reduction in the atmospheric concentration of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) has made the second-largest contribution to the decline in the total atmospheric concentration of ozone-depleting chlorine since the 1990s. However, CFC-11 still contributes one-quarter of all chlorine reaching the stratosphere, and a timely recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer depends on a sustained decline in CFC-11 concentrations. Here we show that the rate of decline of atmospheric CFC-11 concentrations observed at remote measurement sites was constant from 2002 to 2012, and then slowed by about 50 per cent after 2012.

 

Nature

Chemical storage of renewable energy

Joel W. Ager and Alexei A. Lapkin

The conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuels and chemicals using renewable energy is a potential pathway to mitigate increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and acidification of the oceans. In a process that is essentially the reverse of combustion and is analogous to photosynthesis, CO2 can be electrochemically reduced to hydrocarbons by using renewable power sources such as wind and solar.

 

Science

The logic of fossil fuel bans

Fergus Green

Until recently, national bans on fossil fuel-related activities were a taboo subject, but they are now becoming increasingly common. The logic of appropriateness that underpins such bans is key to understanding their normative appeal, and to explaining and predicting their proliferation.

 

Nature Climate Change

A wider role for climate scenarios

Reto Knutti

Most published geoengineering scenarios are climate modelling studies, which biases the public perception of what is possible and desirable. Scenarios should be used more broadly to engage scientists, policymakers and society in a debate about which future climate and world we want.

 

Nature

The thinking error at the root of science denial

Jeremy P. Shappiro

Could seeing things in black-and-white terms influence people’s views on scientific questions? Currently, there are three important issues on which there is scientific consensus but controversy among laypeople: climate change, biological evolution and childhood vaccination. On all three issues, prominent members of the Trump administration, including the president, have lined up against the conclusions of research.

 

Salon

Future climate risk from compound events

Jakob Zscheischler et. al

Floods, wildfires, heatwaves and droughts often result from a combination of interacting physical processes across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here we show how a better understanding of compound events may improve projections of potential high-impact events, and can provide a bridge between climate scientists, engineers, social scientists, impact modellers and decision-makers, who need to work closely together to understand these complex events.

 

Nature Climate Change

Comparing extraction rates of fossil fuel producers against global climate goals

Saphira A. C. Rekker, Katherine R. O’Brien, Jacquelyn E. Humphrey & Andrew C. Pascale

Current methods to define greenhouse gas emission targets for companies fail to acknowledge the unique influence of fossil fuel producers: combustion of reported fossil fuel reserves has the potential to push global warming above 2 °C by 2050, regardless of other efforts to mitigate climate change3. Here, we introduce a method to compare the extraction rates of individual fossil fuel producers against global climate targets, using two different approaches to quantify a burnable fossil fuel allowance (BFFA).

 

Nature Climate Change

Draining peatlands gives global rise to greenhouse laughing-gas emissions

University of Birmingham

Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas — a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, a new study shows.

 

Science Daily

The influence of the Tula, Hidalgo complex on the air quality of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area

Escalante, J., et al

Se utilizó un modelo de calidad del aire para analizar las emisiones provenientes de la refinería de Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) “Miguel Hidalgo” y la planta termoeléctrica “Francisco Pérez Ríos” de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) localizadas en la ciudad de Tula, Hidalgo

 

Science Direct

Automated data scanning for dense networks of low-cost air quality instruments: Detection and differentiation of instrumental error and local to regional scale environmental abnormalities

Shoshtari, A.M., et al

Recent improvements in low-cost air quality instrumentation make deployment of dense networks of sensors possible. However, the shear volume of data from these networks means that traditional methods for data quality control and data analysis are no longer viable

 

Science Direct

How do we turn climate dialogue into action?

by Mohamed Adow

Both storytelling and political will are needed to deliver on climate goals. When the Paris climate agreement was signed, the reason many celebrated with such acclaim was not the national commitments to cut emissions – added together those only limited global warming to between 2.7 and 3.5 degrees Celsius.

 

Reuters

Trends in continental temperature and humidity directly linked to ocean warming

Michael P. Byrne and Paul A. O’Gorman

Changes in surface temperature and humidity over land are important for climate-change impacts on humans and ecosystems. Here, we show how trends in land humidity and temperature in recent decades are linked to ocean warming. While changes in temperature and humidity have been different over land and ocean, these changes have combined to give equal changes in the moist static energy of the air over land and ocean, consistent with expectations from atmospheric dynamics.

 

PNAS

Because of climate change, hurricanes are raining harder and may be growing stronger more quickly

By Jason Samenow

Two studies published in the past week have troubling implications for the effects hurricanes have on society because of climate change, now and in the future. One directly links Hurricane Harvey’s disastrous rains to the amount of heat stored in the ocean, which was record-setting before the storm plowed into Texas last year. The other shows an increasing trend in storms that are becoming really strong, really fast.

 

Washington Post

Air quality co-benefits of carbon pricing in China

Mingwei Li, Da Zhang, Chiao-Ting Li, Kathleen M. Mulvaney, Noelle E. Selin & Valerie J. Karplus

Climate policies targeting energy-related CO2 emissions, which act on a global scale over long time horizons, can result in localized, near-term reductions in both air pollution and adverse human health impacts. Focusing on China, the largest energy-using and CO2-emitting nation, we develop a cross-scale modelling approach to quantify these air quality co-benefits, and compare them to the economic costs of climate policy.

 

Nature Climate Change

Earth’s atmosphere just crossed another troubling climate change threshold

By Chris Mooney

For the first time since humans have been monitoring, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have exceeded 410 parts per million averaged across an entire month, a threshold that pushes the planet ever closer to warming beyond levels that scientists and the international community have deemed “safe.”

 

Washington Post

DOE’s maverick climate model is about to get its first test

By Gabriel Popkin

The world’s growing collection of climate models has a high-profile new entry. Last week, after nearly 4 years of work, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released computer code and initial results from an ambitious effort to simulate the Earth system. The new model is tailored to run on future supercomputers and designed to forecast not just how climate will change, but also how those changes might stress energy infrastructure.

 

Science

Environmental impact of electric vehicles in China? It depends on how they are charged

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Electric vehicles play a key role in China’s plan to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

 

Science Daily

Feeling the heat

Drought and heatwaves are inextricably linked, and have devastating socio-economic and environmental impacts. This issue features a suite of articles outlining how these extreme events may increase in magnitude and frequency with anthropogenic warming, highlighting the increased need to mitigate and adapt to future conditions.

 

Nature Climate Change

Temperature accelerates the rate fields become forests

Jason D. Fridley and Justin P. Wright

We found consistent evidence that climate is the strongest driver of tree establishment, suggesting that temperature limitation of succession in northern latitudes is likely to be reduced under future warming, potentially increasing rates of carbon uptake on abandoned agricultural land.

PNAS

 



MARIO MOLINA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Prolongacion Paseo de los Laureles No. 458, Despacho 406
Col. Bosques de las Lomas, Cuajimalpa, C.P. 05120, Mexico, D.F.
Telephone: +00 (52-55) 9177 1670