Articles

406 Items

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.

Uncovering the Domestic Factor in the Sino-Russian Energy Partnership

World Bank Photo Collection/Flikr

Journal Article - Geopolitics

Uncovering the Domestic Factor in the Sino-Russian Energy Partnership

| Oct. 15, 2018

The article outlines the role of national narratives in driving both Russia and China’s energy foreign policy and goes on to argue that the Sino-Russian gas breakthrough in 2014 was due to the peculiar way in which domestic factors paired with international circumstances to produce the outcome at that particular moment.

a man looks up near smoke spewing from a chimney near the Jiujiang steel and rolling mills in Qianan

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Air Quality–Carbon–Water Synergies and Trade-offs in China's Natural Gas Industry

    Authors:
  • Yue Qin
  • Lena Höglund-Isaksson
  • Edward Byers
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| Sep. 14, 2018

Both energy production and consumption can simultaneously affect regional air quality, local water stress and the global climate. Identifying the air quality–carbon–water interactions due to both energy sources and end-uses is important for capturing potential co-benefits while avoiding unintended consequences when designing sustainable energy transition pathways. The authors examine the air quality–carbon–water interdependencies of China's six major natural gas sources and three end-use gas-for-coal substitution strategies in 2020.

rendering of Carbon Engineering’s air capture design

Courtesy of Carbon Engineering

Journal Article - Joule

A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere

    Authors:
  • Geoffrey Holmes
  • David St. Angelo
  • Kenton Heidel
| 2018

The authors describe a process for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere in an industrial plant. The design captures ∼1 Mt-CO2/year in a continuous process using an aqueous KOH sorbent coupled to a calcium caustic recovery loop. They describe the design rationale, summarize performance of the major unit operations, and provide a capital cost breakdown developed with an independent consulting engineering firm. They report results from a pilot plant that provides data on performance of the major unit operations.

 Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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

US Nuclear Power: The Vanishing Low-carbon Wedge

    Authors:
  • M. Granger Morgan
  • Ahmed Abdulla
  • Michael Rath
| July 10, 2018

Nuclear power holds the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the US energy system. Whether it could do so in its current form is a critical question: Existing large light water reactors in the United States are under economic pressure from low natural gas prices, and some have already closed. Moreover, because of their great cost and complexity, it appears most unlikely that any new large plants will be built over the next several decades. While advanced reactor designs are sometimes held up as a potential solution to nuclear power's challenges, the authors' assessment of the advanced fission enterprise suggests that no US design will be commercialized before midcentury. That leaves factory-manufactured, light water small modular reactors (SMRs) as the only option that might be deployed at significant scale in the climate-critical period of the next several decades.

Inspiration Point, Canada

Wikimedia CC/Allysa Felix

Journal Article - Economic Letters

Potentially Large Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity Tail Uncertainty

| July 2018

The authors reply to Cox et al. (2018), Nature 553 (7688), 319–322. Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), the link between concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and eventual global average temperatures, has been persistently and perhaps deeply uncertain. Its "likely" range has been approximately between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Centigrade for almost 40 years (Wagner and Weitzman, 2015). Moreover, Roe and Baker (2007), Weitzman (2009), and others have argued that its right-hand tail may be long, "fat" even. Enter Cox et al. (2018), who use an "emergent constraint" approach to characterize the probability distribution of ECS as having a central or best estimate of 2.8℃ with a 66 percent confidence interval of 2.2–3.4℃.