Availability of space constraints the deployment of solar power in high density cities

Amongst renewable energy sources, solar power suffers from linear scaling between surface area and power output. Specifically, the increase in power output of solar power is directly proportional to the surface area used. Hence, to generate a large amount of power for catering to the energy needs of a large city, large amount of surface … More Availability of space constraints the deployment of solar power in high density cities

Developing a theme for a tutorial set helps facilitate learning

Tutorials complement lecture in highlighting relevant concepts taught in the lecture classes as well as providing another opportunity for the reinforcement of important concepts. Usually taught in small group discussion setting, tutorials are typically guided by a tutorial set prior to the session. Comprising a set of questions that could serve as placeholders for important … More Developing a theme for a tutorial set helps facilitate learning

Vegetation’s response to global warming

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, Issue 7596, pp. 633-636, “Boreal and temperate trees show strong acclimation of respiration to warming”   Summary of article: Using statistical analysis of a large sample of temperature response curves obtained by measuring carbon dioxide loss from leaves in simulated temperature changes, the study opens our eyes to the role … More Vegetation’s response to global warming

Satellite imagery of clouds reveals evidence of climate change

Article in Nature, Vol. 536, Issue 7614, pp. 72-74, “Evidence for climate change in the satellite cloud record”   Using climate modelling specific for predicting cloudiness and satellite records of cloud cover, the reasons underlying recent decadal changes in cloud cover and movement of storm tracks were uncovered. The study illustrates the increasing utility of … More Satellite imagery of clouds reveals evidence of climate change

Clouds constitute a significant source of uncertainty in climate modelling

Clouds play dual roles in our understanding of how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration impact on climate. Firstly, they serve as reflectors that reflect the incoming solar radiation back into space, and thus constitute a cooling factor in climate modelling. However, cloud also traps heat in the air layer between it and the ground due … More Clouds constitute a significant source of uncertainty in climate modelling

Flow batteries could provide for grid level storage

Intermittency in solar and wind power meant that energy storage solutions would need to be used to provide power during times when solar and wind power are not available. However, difficulties exist in using current lithium-ion battery technologies for storing large amount of wind and solar power as grid level storage given problems with scaling. … More Flow batteries could provide for grid level storage

Alaska tundra has become a source of carbon dioxide

Arctic permafrost serves as a permanent store of carbon given its perennial frozen nature. However, with global warming and rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic, many areas of the Arctic permafrost have thawed. With microbial activity degrading the trapped carbon in the permafrost, significant releases of methane and carbon dioxide would contribute to the total … More Alaska tundra has become a source of carbon dioxide

Weather attribution studies could relate a particular weather event to climate change with high accuracy

The ability to relate a particular weather event to climate change was lacking about a decade ago. However, with a statistical modelling approach combined with computer simulation of climate evolution, it has become possible to identify, with high accuracy, the causative factors that influence a weather event. Typically, climate modelling could inform the relative extent … More Weather attribution studies could relate a particular weather event to climate change with high accuracy

Incorporation of climate interactions into models for predicting epidemic outbreaks

In a warming world, patterns of disease outbreaks are changing partly due to the changing patterns of vector spread and movement. For example, mosquitoes vectors of many diseases are moving to new locales in a warming world that help spread diseases to new areas where there was none before. Thus, there is a trend in … More Incorporation of climate interactions into models for predicting epidemic outbreaks

Do renewable fuels solve a climate change problem or air quality problem?

Whether renewable fuels help combat climate change or solve local air quality problems depends on how cleanly the fuel could be burned. Specifically, if the renewable fuel burns cleanly and with less emissions compared to conventional gasoline, it could potentially help alleviate local air pollution problem. However, if the renewable fuel is comparable to conventional … More Do renewable fuels solve a climate change problem or air quality problem?