Articles

121 Items

Earthrise over the Moon

NASA/Bill Anders

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Policy Design for the Anthropocene

    Authors:
  • Thomas Sterner
  • Edward B. Barbier
  • Ian Bateman
  • Inge van den Bijgaart
  • Anne-Sophie Crépin
  • Ottmar Edenhofer
  • Carolyn Fischer
  • Wolfgang Habla
  • John Hassler
  • Olof Johansson-Stenman
  • Andreas Lange
  • Stephen Polasky
  • Johan Rockström
  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Will Steffen
  • James E. Wilen
  • Francisco Alpízar
  • Christian Azar
  • Donna Carless
  • Carlos Chávez
  • Jessica Coria
  • Gustav Engström
  • Sverker C. Jagers
  • Gunnar Köhlin
  • Åsa Löfgren
  • Håkan Pleijel
  • Amanda Robinson
| 2019

The authors examine the complexities of designing policies that can keep Earth within the biophysical limits favorable to human life.

canal of small town Shah kot District Nankana Sahib in Punjab, Pakistan

Wikimedia CC/Muhammad Sajid Mehmood

Journal Article - Water Security

Socio-Hydrological Assessment of Water Security in Canal Irrigation Systems: A Conjoint Quantitative Analysis of Equity and Reliability

| August–December 2018

This paper offers a socio-hydrological assessment of water security that compares canal irrigation entitlements with water deliveries using a conjoint analysis of system reliability and equity. 

Sunset on the Indian Ocean

NASA

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Stratospheric Aerosol Injection Tactics and Costs in the First 15 Years of Deployment

| 2018

We review the capabilities and costs of various lofting methods intended to deliver sulfates into the lower stratosphere. We lay out a future solar geoengineering deployment scenario of halving the increase in anthropogenic radiative forcing beginning 15 years hence, by deploying material to altitudes as high as ~20 km. After surveying an exhaustive list of potential deployment techniques, we settle upon an aircraft-based delivery system. Unlike the one prior comprehensive study on the topic (McClellan et al 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 034019), we conclude that no existing aircraft design—even with extensive modifications—can reasonably fulfill this mission. However, we also conclude that developing a new, purpose-built high-altitude tanker with substantial payload capabilities would neither be technologically difficult nor prohibitively expensive. We calculate early-year costs of ~$1500 ton−1 of material deployed, resulting in average costs of ~$2.25 billion yr−1 over the first 15 years of deployment. We further calculate the number of flights at ~4000 in year one, linearly increasing by ~4000 yr−1. We conclude by arguing that, while cheap, such an aircraft-based program would unlikely be a secret, given the need for thousands of flights annually by airliner-sized aircraft operating from an international array of bases.

coal-fired power plant in Shuozhou, Shanxi, China

Wikimedia CC/Kleineolive

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Managing China's Coal Power Plants to Address Multiple Environmental Objectives

    Authors:
  • Fabian Wagner
  • M.V. Ramana
  • Haibo Zhai
  • Mitchell J. Small
  • Carole Dalin
  • Xin Zhang
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| November 2018

China needs to manage its coal-dominated power system to curb carbon emissions, as well as to address local environmental priorities such as air pollution and water stress. In this article, the authors examine three province-level scenarios for 2030 that represent various electricity demand and low-carbon infrastructure development pathways.

Magazine Article - The Economist

Seeds of Change: Calestous Juma died on December 15th

| Jan. 11, 2018

Colleagues said he tweeted more than any professor they knew, and Calestous Juma’s tweets covered a swarm of things. Income inequality, and a free-trade area for Africa, you might expect. Those were the subjects he taught at Harvard: getting poorer countries, especially in Africa, to grow and thrive was the obsession of his life. But he also tweeted about a wheelchair that could climb stairs, the increasing size of steaks, and the maximum number of goats seen eating up in a tree. He was extra-delighted to send out a New York Times editorial, from 1878, about Thomas Edison’s new “aerophone”: “Something ought to be done about Mr Edison, and there is a growing conviction that it had better be done with a hemp rope.”

Calestous Juma

Martha Stewart/HKS

Newspaper Article - The New York Times

Calestous Juma, 64, Dies; Sought Innovation in African Agriculture

    Author:
  • Adeel Hassan
| Jan. 01, 2018

Calestous Juma, a prominent global advocate for sustainable development in struggling countries, particularly in his native Africa, could trace his passion for technological innovation to his arduous childhood in colonial Kenya.

Calestous Juma

Martha Stewart/HKS

Newspaper Article - The Boston Globe

Calestous Juma, 64, Champion of Sustainable International Development

    Author:
  • Bryan Marquard
| Dec. 22, 2017

A professor of the practice of international development, and a writer of great range, Calestous Juma promoted technology for the poor and vulnerable throughout the world. He also wrote a book explaining why people are wary of innovation, and delighted his more than 100,000 Twitter followers by retweeting cartoons that ribbed those who are resistant to science.

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Reduction of Solar Photovoltaic Resources Due to Air Pollution in China

    Authors:
  • Xiaoyuan Li
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Junnan Yang
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2017

Enormous growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation in China is planned, with a goal to provide 10 perecnt of total electricity demand by 2030. However, over much of China, aerosol pollution scatters and absorbs sunlight, significantly reducing surface solar radiation suitable for PV electricity generation. The authors evaluate the impact of aerosols on PV generation and find aerosol-related annual average reductions in eastern China to be more than 20 percent. In winter, aerosols have comparable impacts to clouds over eastern provinces. Improving air quality in China would increase efficiency of solar PV generation. As a positive feedback, increased PV efficiency and deployment would further reduce air pollutant emissions as well.