[Jan 3-9’22] Happy new year
More trouble with Thwaite’s glacier, Norway EV sales going berserk, how ice and fire are connected and fossil climate change ads on google.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
Happy new year everybody! I hope everybody had a great one and that you didn’t, like our family, became COVID positive 2 days before x-mas so you had to cancel everything 😬.
This week was a bit weird. I didn’t find very many interesting news items to share with you. Maybe the good journalists are still on x-mas/new year break.
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
🙀 Thwaite’s glacier might be completely gone by 2030
😻 Norway’s EV sales are pounding ahead.
😼 Interesting article on how melting ice affects wildfire occurences
💩 Google climate change terms subjects you to fossil fuel industry propaganda.
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#thwaitesglacier] — I don’t normally get very freaked out about doomy headlines since they’re usually exaggerated. But there has been a lot about the so called “Doomsday Glacier” these recent weeks also known as Thwaites glacier which, if it melts, will raise global sea levels by ~3m (hence the Doomsday name). More and more scientific evidence points towards that this glacier is melting rapidly and could in worst case scenarios be gone by 2030. Now this is quite doomy. And I post this article because I think it does a good job at diving deep into the various uncertainties about this research.
[#fireice] — Here’s an interesting article about how ice melting in the Arctic is driving wildfires in the US. The short version is that as the ice melts, the sun heats up the surface more at the poles and this in turn drives favorable weather for wildfire.
[#heat] — It looks like December was the hottest December on record in the US by more than 3C although still pending a detailed analysis. Locally in some states the temperatures were even higher. Temperatures in Texas for instance ended up on average 6C higher than the previous hottest December.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#oceanenergystorage] — The annual tech gadget fair CES had one interesting winner of the Best Innovation Award: Ocean Grazer. The company has developed a new type of ocean based energy storage which is a bit of a mix between the concept of compressed air storage and pumped hydro in which large bladders on the sea floor are soaking up the excess energy from offshore wind turbines.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#ev] — Norway, where EV sales are going berserk, saw 67% of all car sales go to EVs in December. Note that the headline says 90%, but that’s not really the relevant number here as 23% points of those are fossil hybrids.
[#sustainablehousing] — Here’s a look at what the future of sustainable living could look like for mixed income families. A new project in Michigan turns and old youth detention center into a sustainable house complete with locally grown food.
🛁 Clean non-electrifiable activities
Some activities we do today can’t be electrified, these must be cleaned some other way.
[#steel] — Sweden is pushing heavily it’s green steel factory HYBRIT with the plans to expand capacity to 10Mt of green steel by 2030. However, those plans are largely dependent on a few economical factors such as decline in cost of green hydrogen and green electricity.
🌳 Protect and grow nature
Nature is our ally, we must protect it and help it help us.
[#salt] — It’s winter here in our hemisphere and that means roads everywhere will be sprayed with salt. Unfortunately, a growing body of research is indicating that all this salt is bad for the environment. Poisoning everything from fish to human water supplies.