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?

Water footprint of food production

Water is a necessary resource for food production, but given increasing stress on water resources around the world, the concept of water footprint for food production becomes a relevant idea for thinking about economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture.   Specifically, through innovations in irrigation and development of food crops with less need for water during … More Water footprint of food production

Carbon tax may not help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in some industries

Carbon tax is commonly described as a mechanism for putting a price on carbon, and thus, provides an incentive for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, some industries such as power generation and cement production could not reduce carbon dioxide emissions, given the state of technology available for power production from fossil fuels and cement production. … More Carbon tax may not help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in some industries

Building of solar panel farm on previously cultivated land cannot be accounted for as carbon footprint of solar energy

Solar energy is commonly described as clean energy able to reduce the carbon footprint of energy provision. However, there is a notion that if the land area set aside for building solar panel farm was originally used for land cultivation, the displacement of farming area must be accounted for as a cost of solar energy. … More Building of solar panel farm on previously cultivated land cannot be accounted for as carbon footprint of solar energy

Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?

Climate change has prompted scientists and policy makers to fathom whether humanity should continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy production. Specifically, considering that a threshold of atmospheric carbon dioxide exists where there would be irreversible effects of climate change on the globe in what is known as dangerous anthropogenic interference (DAI), how much … More Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?