Renewable power to synthetic gas begins testing in the US

A new pilot combines hydrogen, microbes and biogas to perform energy storage. Photo Credit: NREL By Katie Fehrenbacher, GTM, 16 Oct 2017 Last month, a team of researchers and engineers quietly installed a first-of-its-kind energy reactor on the campus of a government lab just west of Denver, Colorado. The device — a 25-foot-tall, thin mass of industrial silver pipes and …

How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation

 October 19, 2017  No Comment  Ellen Brown 6 min read SHARE The policy of guaranteeing every citizen a universal basic income is gaining support around the world, as automation increasingly makes jobs obsolete. But can it be funded without raising taxes or triggering hyperinflation? In a panel I was on at the NexusEarth cryptocurrency conference in Aspen September 21-23rd, most participants said no. This is …

Power lines and electrical equipment are a leading cause of California wildfires

17 Oct 2017, LA Times The deadliest wildfires in state history have raised questions about whether a repeat culprit might again be to blame for starting or spreading at least some of the Northern California blazes: utility companies and their equipment. The explosive failure of power lines and other electrical equipment has regularly ranked among the top three singular sources of …

Whales and dolphins have complex relationships of working together for mutual benefit, using tools, taking care of youngsters, calling by name, and social play

Treehugger, Oct 2017 Whales and dolphins have a language of their own, and a major study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, reveals many other remarkable things that cetaceans have figured out as well. The research was a collaboration between scientists from The University of Manchester, The University of British Columbia, The London School of Economics and Political Science and Stanford University; …

Interpreting 1.5C

In addition to climate finance, the Paris Agreement also committed signatories to the aspirational target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. However, the text does not explicitly spell out how the limit should be interpreted – potentially creating confusion when communicating how achievable 1.5C is and the mitigation effort required. In a guest post, Dr Joeri Rogelj, from the …

First sign of “big oil” moving into EVs

Oil and gas majors continue exploring new markets in electrification: Shell Buys Slice of the Electric Vehicle Market With Purchase of NewMotion By Emma Foehringer Merchant, October 13, 2017 As the uptake of electric vehicles accelerates, oil and gas majors have continued to grapple with how much to invest in a technology that could put them out of business. On Friday, Royal …

Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges

There is a new report, Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges, by researchers from Berkeley Lab and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study estimates demand charge savings from solar and battery storage systems co-deployed in commercial buildings. It follows two previous studies that examined demand charge savings from solar on a stand-alone basis for residential and …

Stark Evidence: A Warmer World Is Sparking More and Bigger Wildfires

The increase in forest fires, seen this summer from North America to the Mediterranean to Siberia, is directly linked to climate change, scientists say. And as the world continues to warm, there will be greater risk for fires on nearly every continent.   By Nicola Jones • Yale 360 2 Oct 2017 On a single hot, dry day this summer, an astonishing 140 …

Ridehailing adds more VMT and takes more from transit than previously thought

A new report on the adoption and use of ride-hailing finds that services like Uber and Lyft attract passengers away from public transit, biking, and walking, in addition to serving as a complementary mode (e.g., for commuter rail). The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies compiled 2000 interviews from US major cities on ride-hailing and its impact on travel decisions. October …

Lungs of the earth remain in the global south. Image shows the monthly solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), produced from other space instruments.

October 12, 2017, GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre,  Life on Earth is impossible without photosynthesis. It provides food and oxygen to all higher life forms and plays an important role in the climate system, since this process regulates the uptake of carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere and its fixation in biomass. However, quantification of photosynthesis at the ecosystem-to-global scale …