[Feb 20-26’23] No excuse for methane emissions
Climate migration is here, heat pumps way cheaper than green hydrogen, capturing heat waste can power the world and no excuse for not cutting methane emissions.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
I’m starting to get quite a bit of inbound from you my dear readers in terms of news and stories that I should include. I love this 🤩 - please keep it coming. I will try to respond to all of the e-mail and if I’m a bit slow or chose not to include your tip (yet) I hope you won’t take it personally. As a general tip about sending stuff: For me to post about it here there has to be some kind of recent article or resource that I can link to where readers can find the information. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blogpost you wrote yourself as long as it’s something I can link people to. That’s the only requirement — other than that please keep it coming 🙏.
This week I decided to feature some interesting stuff about contrails that a reader pointed me towards. If you didn’t know, contrails are the trails in the sky that airplanes leave. As it turns out contrails are responsible for about 1% of global warming because contrails eventually turn into clouds which heat the planet (in very short terms). But to me the interesting thing about contrails is that contrails are not just contrails. Contrails that occur above cold and humid areas are particularly long lasting and thus more impactful than other contrails. So the solution seem obvious: Just don’t fly in those areas — or even better simply have the aircraft change altitude, because by doing so the contrails can actually end up reflecting sunlight, thus having a cooling effect (for a little while). Obviously, all air traffic has to stop (or decarbonize) but this seems to be a very easy fix that there’s very little reason to not implement now to limit the impact of aviation. Take a look at this cool resource that explains the problem with contrails which is built by Breakthrough Energy.
Thanks to Joachim Majholm (entrepreneur, angel investor and currently consulting for climate tech companies) for submitting this and for helping bring this cool resource to life. 🙏
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
🙀 Think climate migration is only happening in countries far away? Think again
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#elnino] — The weather phenomenon El Niño is expected to arrive later this year. The last four years was under the influence of La Niña which asserts a cooling influence on our climate still the last years have proven to be some of the warmest since recording began in the late 19th century. So El Niño which have a warming effect on the planet will likely show us what’s in store for us by the end of the century.
[#bureaucracy] — Here’s an interesting article on how bureaucracy and administration is slowing down the green energy transition something that I seem to have noticed across multiple sectors recently. The issue highlighted in this article is that the system put in the place in the US to allow new electricity generation capabilities to connect to the grid is so slow that approval process can take years. But obviously there’s a fine line here between recklessly approving new capacity which the grid can’t handle and wasting precious time.
[#hydrogen] — When we finally got our heatpump installed early last year it was a joyous day to go and deregister our gas connection. Oh boy had I looked forward to that day. Interestingly I had to return to our former gas company’s website recently to put in the annual meter reading (as they still haven’t taken out the physical connection yet) and I saw that they have now rebranded to put green hydrogen front and center. A classic fossil fuel industry move. A new EU study has found that heat pumps are still 3x cheaper than green hydrogen. Blue hydrogen (the one that’s still really black) would have been cheaper if it weren’t for the rising fossil gas prices.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#methane] — The IEA annual methane report was released last week and it speaks pretty bluntly that there is “no excuse” for the fossil fuel industry and other polluters to cut those emissions especially as alternatives are among the cheapest climate solutions out there.