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New research, May 14-20, 2018

Skeptical Science - 0 sec ago

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change impacts

Mankind

Assessing the Impacts of Extreme Agricultural Droughts in China Under Climate and Socioeconomic Changes (open access)

"Our simulations project a rise of 2.5~3.3% in average rice, maize, and wheat productivity before 2050 but decrease thereafter if climate warming continues."

Climate change adaptation strategies and food productivity in Nepal: a counterfactual analysis

"Based on a survey of 720 farming households in Nepal, our results show that adoption of adaptation strategies has significantly increased food productivity. Among the adaptation strategies, soil and water management are shown to have the largest impact on food productivity followed by adjustments to the timing of farm operations and crop and varietal adjustment."

Strengthening climate change adaptation capacity in Africa- case studies from six major African cities and policy implications

Adaptation to climate change at local level in Europe: An overview

The changing sensitivity of power systems to meteorological drivers: a case study of Great Britain (open access)

Interpreting nonlinear semi-elasticities in reduced-form climate damage estimation

The economic impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish fisheries and aquaculture in the United Kingdom

Human damage assessments of coastal flooding for Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta due to climate change-related sea level rise in the twenty-first century

Global exposure and vulnerability to multi-sector development and climate change hotspots (open access)

Evaluating climate change adaptation efforts on the US 50 states’ hazard mitigation plans

Coastal hazard risk assessment for small islands: assessing the impact of climate change and disaster reduction measures on Ebeye (Marshall Islands)

Differences between low-end and high-end climate change impacts in Europe across multiple sectors (open access)

"For example, for the 2080s, mitigation consistent with the Paris Agreement would reduce aggregate Europe-wide impacts on the area of intensive agriculture by 21% (on average across climate models), on the area of managed forests by 34%, on water stress by 14%, on people flooded by 10% and on biodiversity vulnerability by 16%."

The effect of meteorological conditions and air pollution on the occurrence of type A and B acute aortic dissections

Biosphere

Phytoplankton Do Not Produce Carbon‐Rich Organic Matter in High CO2 Oceans

How training citizen scientists affects the accuracy and precision of phenological data

21st century tundra shrubification could enhance net carbon uptake of North America Arctic tundra under an RCP8.5 climate trajectory (open access)

Plant cuticle under global change: Biophysical implications

Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwestern songbird

Explaining European fungal fruiting phenology with climate variability

Roles of climate niche conservatism and range dynamics in woody plant diversity patterns through the Cenozoic

Coupled climate–forest growth shifts in the Chilean Patagonia are decoupled from trends in water–use efficiency

As temperature increases, predator attack rate is more important to survival than a smaller window of prey vulnerability

Catalytic power of enzymes decreases with temperature: New insights for understanding soil C cycling and microbial ecology under warming

Heat waves and their significance for a temperate benthic community: A near‐natural experimental approach

Spring phenology at different altitudes is becoming more uniform under global warming in Europe

Metapopulation dynamics in a changing climate: Increasing spatial synchrony in weather conditions drives metapopulation synchrony of a butterfly inhabiting a fragmented landscape (open access)

Global importance of large‐diameter trees

Other impacts

Climate Change Projected to Exacerbate Impacts of Coastal Eutrophication in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Climate change mitigation

Energy production

Clean vehicles as an enabler for a clean electricity grid (open access)

Changes in European wind energy generation potential within a 1.5 °C warmer world (open access)

Climate, air quality and human health benefits of various solar photovoltaic deployment scenarios in China in 2030 (open access)

Climate Policy

Research on carbon market price mechanism and influencing factors: a literature review

Regional Climate Change Policy Under Positive Feedbacks and Strategic Interactions

Climate change

Temperature, precipitation, wind

Identification and analysis of recent temporal temperature trends for Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Preceding winter La Niña reduces Indian summer monsoon rainfall (open access)

Potential impact of 1.5 °C and 2 °C global warming on consecutive dry and wet days over West Africa (open access)

Global Character of Latent Heat Release in Oceanic Warm Rain Systems

Reduced Urban Heat Island intensity under warmer conditions (open access)

Extreme events

Risks from climate extremes change differently from 1.5°C to 2.0°C depending on rarity (open access)

A comprehensive flash flood defense system in China: overview, achievements, and outlook

Future heat waves and surface ozone (open access)

Can Regional Climate Modeling Capture the Observed Changes in Spatial Organization of Extreme Storms at Higher Temperatures?

Cloud Feedback Key to Marine Heatwave off Baja California

Forcings and feedbacks

Observations of Local Positive Low Cloud Feedback Patterns and Their Role in Internal Variability and Climate Sensitivity (open access)

"Objective analysis of two long‐term satellite cloud fraction data sets together with observed sea surface temperature (SST) during the same periods suggest strong patterned SST‐low cloud fraction feedback. Internal modes of variability, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, emerge from this analysis, and associated with these SST variability modes are corresponding low cloud fraction patterns that suggest a strong and positive local low cloud feedback to the SST anomalies. Such SST‐LCC feedback is important for both internal variability and future climate change. We find that such feedback is too weak in current models, which implies stronger than expected future latent warming and possibly higher climate sensitivity."

Decadal evolution of the surface energy budget during the fast warming and global warming hiatus periods in the ERA-interim (open access)

The Combined Influence of Observed Southern Ocean Clouds and Sea Ice on Top‐of‐Atmosphere Albedo

Feedback mechanisms of shallow convective clouds in a warmer climate as demonstrated by changes in buoyancy (open access)

Global distribution of aerosol optical depth in 2015 using CALIPSO level 3 data

Improved Global Net Surface Heat Flux

Attribution of Local Temperature Response to Deforestation

Cryosphere

Impacts of extratropical storm tracks on Arctic sea ice export through Fram Strait

Links between the Amundsen Sea Low and sea ice in the Ross Sea: seasonal and interannual relationships

Intense Winter Surface Melt on an Antarctic Ice Shelf (open access)

"The station recorded temperatures well above the melting point even in winter. The occurrence of winter melt is confirmed by satellite images and by thermometers buried in the snow, which measured a warming of the snow even at 3 m depth. Between 2014 and 2017, about 23% of all melt in Cabinet Inlet occurred in winter. Winter melt is due to warm winds that descend from the mountains, known as föhn. We have not seen the amount of winter melt increasing since 2000. However, we expect winter melt to happen more frequently if greenhouse gas continues to accumulate in the atmosphere."

Topographic Steering of Enhanced Ice Flow at the Bottleneck Between East and West Antarctica (open access)

The Inferred Formation of a Subice Platelet Layer Below the Multiyear Landfast Sea Ice in the Wandel Sea (NE Greenland) Induced by Meltwater Drainage

Statistical Forecasting of Current and Future Circum‐Arctic Ground Temperatures and Active Layer Thickness

Bedrock Erosion Surfaces Record Former East Antarctic Ice Sheet Extent (open access)

Hydrosphere

Future hydroclimatological changes in South America based on an ensemble of regional climate models

Atmospheric and oceanic circulation

Underestimated AMOC Variability and Implications for AMV and Predictability in CMIP Models

Coherent Circulation Changes in the Deep North Atlantic from 16°N and 26°N Transport Arrays (open access)

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation and associated climatic conditions around the world during the latter half of the 21st century

Ocean circulation drifts in multi-millennial climate simulations: the role of salinity corrections and climate feedbacks (open access)

The Sensitivity of Future Ocean Oxygen to Changes in Ocean Circulation

Carbon cycle

Climate Sensitivity Controls Uncertainty in Future Terrestrial Carbon Sink

The Ephemeral Signature of Permafrost Carbon in an Arctic Fluvial Network

Dominant regions and drivers of the variability of the global land carbon sink across timescales

Plant Regrowth as a Driver of Recent Enhancement of Terrestrial CO2 Uptake

"Here using multiple terrestrial biosphere models, we demonstrate that despite a large contribution from CO2 fertilization, the enhanced CO2 uptake in the 2000s cannot be fully explained without an increasing uptake by land use change, in particular, plant regrowth. The regrowth effect is most pronounced in North America, Europe, and temperate Eurasia, and they account for 94% of the global total CO2 uptake enhancement by plant regrowth. The strengthening trends in both CO2 fertilization and plant regrowth suggest that the deceleration of the atmospheric CO2 increase continues in the future."

Characterizing biospheric carbon balance using CO2 observations from the OCO-2 satellite (open access)

Other papers

Palaeoclimatology

Where is the 1-million-year-old ice at Dome A? (open access)

Random and externally controlled occurrences of Dansgaard–Oeschger events (open access)

Categories: Climate Change

ADB Leads Formation of Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change

At the 53rd Annual Meetings of the Bank in Busan, Korea, the African Development Bank brought stakeholders together for an “open dialogue” to discuss the establishment of the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change. The initiative was well received by key continental and global stakeholders who agreed with the Bank that Africa needs immediate climate change action.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Scottish Energy Minister visits Natural Power’s new control room and Brockloch Rig Wind Farm

Natural Power has opened a new control room in its global headquarters ‘The Green House’, which was officially launched by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse yesterday along with Brockloch Wind Farm which is to be operated by the company.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Horizon 2020 Project Demonstrates ‘RealValue’ in Small-Scale Energy Storage

Launched in 2015, ‘RealValue’, funded by Horizon 2020 has just released its findings following the conclusion of the €15.5 million ($18 million) European small-scale energy storage project.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Motorola scientist announces new tech for solar self-powered cars by 2021

A team made up of some of the world’s foremost energy scientists says it has developed technology enabling electric vehicles to greatly increase their solar energy efficiency, decreasing their reliance on fuel or electricity.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Tidal Energy Technologies Focus of MONITOR Project

A new Interreg Atlantic Area project focused on investigating the forces acting on blades and structures of tidal energy converters and their impact on reliability will be officially launched at the International Conference on Ocean Energy in June 2018.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Finland and China Building Test Platforms to Develop Clean Energy Systems

The Zhangjiakou Demonstration Zone in China and Åland Islands in Finland were presented at the Clean Energy Ministers Meeting held in Copenhagen on May 24th.
Categories: Renewable Energy

This Farm Is Medicine

Meet Murray Provine. He used to be a steak-and-potatoes type of guy living a no-exercise, traveling-executive lifestyle.

All that changed after Provine was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily, radiation destroyed Provine’s tumor. He got a second chance.

That’s when Provine decided it was time for him to eat right and take control of his own health. He knew his body was full of toxins. It needed to heal itself. One way to do that, he decided, was to start growing his own food.

Under the tutelage of rancher and consultant Allen Williams, Provine converted his 110-acre horse property in Clarksville, Georgia, into an Adaptive Multi-Paddock grazing farm.

Three years later, Provine and his land are in much better health. Both transformations are well-documented in Peter Byck’s most recent film, “This Farm is Medicine.”

Categories: Food and Farming

World's top oil trader says no one will avoid Iran sanctions

Fuel Fix - 1 hour 10 min ago

(Bloomberg) -- The world’s top oil trader said it will be near impossible to avoid U.S. sanctions on Iran, suggesting Donald Trump’s attack on OPEC’s third-largest producer may have a bigger impact on the global crude market than many anticipate.

The totally different responses from Asda and Tesco to Round Up 'micro protest'

The Ecologist - 1 hour 52 min ago
The totally different responses from Asda and Tesco to Round Up 'micro protest' Channel Activism brendan 25th May 2018 Teaser Media
Categories: Green News

Germany Faces Gigawatt-Scale Loss of Onshore Wind Power

Greentech Media: Headlines - 2 hours 3 min ago

Germany could be facing a gigawatt-scale “decommissioning wave” in its onshore wind sector.

Writing earlier this month for the German-language magazine Top Agrar, Hinrich Neumann reported that many of Germany’s 28,000 onshore wind turbines could be decommissioned beginning in 2020.

Under Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which took effect in 2000, renewable energy sources, including onshore wind turbines, secured priority grid access and guaranteed above-market payment for each kilowatt-hour delivered to the grid. These feed-in tariff (FIT) payments lasted for 20 years.

In 2020, the first of those feed-in tariff contracts expire. The Institute for Integrated Production Hannover (IPH), a non-profit industrial engineering company, estimates that 2.4 gigawatts of installed onshore wind capacity will lose eligibility for guaranteed payments each year. In 2020, up to 4,500 turbines could come down because they will have been rendered uneconomical without the guaranteed payments, IPH project engineer Martin Westbomke told Neumann.

Asked about the chances Germany will see gigawatt-scale onshore wind capacity go offline after 2020 and not be replaced, Andrea Scassola, Europe wind market analyst at MAKE Consulting, said they're “high, given the ownership structure, which is typically very fragmented across a broad range of individuals (farmers, cooperatives, etc.).”

Citizen ownership of renewable energy projects is one of the pillars of Germany’s energy transition, or Energiewende, with households and farms accounting for more than 40 percent of renewables investment.

The pivot to auctions, caps on onshore wind expansion

Amendments to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act adopted in the summer of 2014 shifted government support for renewable energy from fixed feed-in tariffs to payments determined by competitive auctions. Successful bidders receive payments based on their winning bids for 20 years. 2019 marks the first year in which only onshore wind installations that have submitted winning auction bids receive government support.

The amended law also capped annual onshore wind additions at 2.8 gigawatts through 2019 and 2.9 gigawatts in 2020. The levels of the post-2020 annual caps could determine whether there is a contraction in Germany’s installed onshore wind capacity.  

Owners of existing projects whose feed-in tariffs expire, beginning in 2020, could explore repowering the sites with new, more powerful turbines. The repowered projects would have to submit successful bids in response to the government’s onshore wind tenders.

“Some professional developers are engaging in acquisition of old wind farms to repower them under the auction scheme,” said MAKE Consulting’s Scassola.

“This could turn particularly useful given the permitting constraints and the decline in projects that can qualify for a permit," she added.

But according to Clean Energy Wire (CLEW), a Berlin-based non-profit news service focused on Germany’s energy transition, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) has criticized the design of the annual onshore wind expansion cap because it does not distinguish between new build projects and wind turbines erected for repowering projects that are replacing existing turbines. So, the 2.9 gigawatt cap in 2020, for instance, represents a gross, not net, addition of onshore wind capacity to the grid.

According to research from the energy consultancy enervis cited by CLEW, repowering projects are expected to comprise a growing share of winning bids in Germany’s onshore wind auctions through 2023. Under such a scenario, there could be a net decrease in installed onshore wind capacity.

In a press statement, Matthias Zelinger, CEO of the German Engineering Federation’s Power Systems division, called on the federal government to “examine and adapt” the onshore wind expansion caps to prevent a shrinking onshore wind sector.

This week, BWE, along with the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation and Metalworkers’ Union, issued a joint appeal urging the government to “implement without delay” so-called “special auctions” for 4 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity as agreed to in the coalition treaty for the new national government.

Earlier this month, Germany’s grid operator, the Federal Network Agency, announced results of the second onshore wind auction of 2018. For the first time, an offshore wind auction was undersubscribed.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Dear FirstEnergy, America Doesn’t Need Your Coal Plants

Breaking Energy - 2 hours 15 min ago

Why do grocers mark down the price of asparagus in the spring, or strawberries in the summer? Because they’re in season and stores have excess supply, and they need to increase demand by cutting prices. The lower prices are a sign, or “price signal,” of excess supply, and the grocers are following the economic law

Keep reading →

Categories: Think Tanks

Sonnen Raises $71M and Kicks Off a Strategic Partnership With Shell

Greentech Media: Headlines - 2 hours 48 min ago

Sonnen, the German startup taking on Tesla and others in the nascent behind-the-meter energy storage market, has raised €60 million ($71 million) to grow in the U.S. and Australian markets. The company also inked a strategic cooperation agreement with its newest investor, Dutch energy giant Shell. 

Shell Ventures led Tuesday’s investment, which brings sonnen’s total funding to date to roughly $180 million. That includes $85 million in 2016 from investors including GE Ventures, Germany’s eCapital and MVP, Dutch firm SET Ventures, and Czech company Inven Capital, as well as $3 million in 2013, $9.4 million in 2014, and $12 million in 2015. 

The rising amounts of investment line up with sonnen’s growth expectations, CEO Christoph Ostermann said in a statement on Tuesday. The funding will go toward accelerating growth in the United States and Australia, its two primary markets, as well as “establishing new technologies such as energy sharing and our virtual battery pool,” CEO Christoph Ostermann said in Tuesday’s release. 

It will also support a new “strategic cooperation agreement” with Shell New Energies, which will examine “innovative integrated energy propositions, enhanced EV charging solutions and the provision of grid services that are based on sonnen's virtual battery pool.” The two companies did not reveal any projects they’re working on together.

Shell has been investing heavily in grid edge companies, either through equity stakes or outright acquisition. Earlier this month, Shell acquired GI Energy, a microgrid developer, and led a $7.5 million round in Axiom Exergy, a startup that’s built thermal energy storage systems that use refrigeration systems already in place at grocery stores and other commercial buildings. 

These represent Shell’s fifth and sixth investments in companies working on the grid edge since the start of 2017. It’s part of a "grid edge shopping spree," involving major European energy players such as Enel, Total, Engie and Centrica, GTM Grid Edge Research Manager Elta Kolo noted. 

Sonnen has thousands of customers using its lithium-ion battery systems, most of them in Germany, where a combination of rising retail rates and falling solar feed-in tariffs created an economic case for storing and using a home’s solar power, rather than feeding it back to the grid.

In the U.S., sonnen is active in California, home of the most behind-the-meter batteries and solar-storage systems in the country, and in several other smaller markets.

But in October, sonnen launched its first “sonnen city” in the U.S. — 3,000 solar-battery equipped homes being built by Mandalay Homes in Jasper, Ariz. meant to serve not only as utility bill-shaving systems, but also as a “virtual power plant with a capacity of 23 megawatt-hours and output of 11.6 megawatts.” 

Unlike most of the virtual power plant or distributed energy aggregation projects out there, sonnen’s isn’t backed by a utility contract or relationship. Sonnen launched its “sonnenCommunity” projects in Germany, working with retail energy providers to tap its customers’ aggregated battery capacity for money-making or cost-reducing purposes. As of last March, the company has been bidding this capacity into the grid operator ancillary services market. 

In Australia, Sonnen has gone to market with its “sonnenFlat” offering — a promise to bring customers’ bills to zero, or at least close to it, by using their aggregated flexibility for money-making services and paying each customer their share of the profits. 

As of March, about one-third of Sonnen’s roughly 17,000 customers were participating in sonnenCommunity, Benjamin Schott, sonnen's director of business innovation, told Greentech Media. 

Sonnen isn’t limiting itself to just one big European energy partner. Last month it landed a project with Engie, the French energy and water giant, to offer solar-storage systems in the French market. And last year it announced plans to work with solar installers to bring 20,000 storage systems to Italy over the next 24 months.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Six projects awarded 70MW in Kazakh auctions

Wind Power Monthly - 2 hours 56 min ago
KAZAKHSTAN: The energy ministry has awarded just over 70MW across two tenders for wind projects in the country's northern region.
Categories: Renewable Energy

Minnesota overhauls interconnection standards to streamline clean energy

Utility Dive - 3 hours 16 min ago

The standards are the great equalizer in clean energy markets, and remain a key building block to support a strong foundation for continued clean energy growth, writes IREC Counsel Sky Stanfield.

Categories: Renewable Energy

Natural gas rates to jump 4.6 percent in Houston

Fuel Fix - 4 hours 10 min ago

Houstonians will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets to pay their natural gas bills.

Oil falls below $70 as Saudi Arabia sees oil supply increase

Fuel Fix - 4 hours 10 min ago

Oil fell below $70 a barrel in New York for the first time in two weeks as Saudi Arabia said it expects OPEC and its partners to increase supplies later this year, easing some of the restraint they’ve shown since early 2017.

Saudi minister sees 'likely' oil supply boost in second half

Fuel Fix - 4 hours 10 min ago

OPEC and its allies are likely to gradually boost oil output in the second half of the year to ease consumer anxiety as prices trade near $80 a barrel, said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih.

Scandinavian Car Dealers Don’t Want People To Buy Electric Cars

CleanTechnica - 4 hours 51 min ago
A new study finds the majority of car dealers in Scandinavia do a poor job of selling electric cars, even discouraging people from buying them. Are dealer incentives needed?
Categories: Renewable Energy

13 protesters against copper plant in India killed after police open fire

The Ecologist - 5 hours 5 min ago
13 protesters against copper plant in India killed after police open fire Channel Activism Arthur Wyns 25th May 2018 Teaser Media
Categories: Green News

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