[Jun 12-18’23] Fossil emissions or fuel phase-out
Hydrogen’s dirty secret, one giant heat pump, details on the Bonn climate talks and countries still planning on maintaining or expanding fossil fuel production
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#californiaweather] — California is experiencing more extreme climate swings, with droughts followed by record-breaking rains. Climate change has caused less of the state's water to fall as snow, which has led to more severe droughts and sudden, intense storms that cause floods and overflow reservoirs. Preparing for megafloods, improving groundwater storage, and shifting away from water-intensive crops are some of the ways California is confronting this new reality, which offers lessons for the rest of the country.
[#elnino] — El Niño conditions have developed, and it is expected to continue into the winter. El Niño changes global atmospheric circulation, affecting weather patterns. The monthly Niño index was above the long-term average, and climate model predictions indicate it will remain above the El Niño threshold for the next several months. The weakened Walker circulation indicates El Niño conditions have developed. While predicting anything several months in advance is difficult, there is a small chance that El Niño conditions will fizzle out.
[#hotjune] — Temperatures around the world this June have been at their highest levels in decades for this time of year, reflecting the continued emissions of heat-trapping gases and the return of the natural climate pattern known as El Niño. This could lead to a multiyear period of exceptional warmth, more-severe hot spells, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes. The current El Niño has emerged amid planetary conditions that could compound its warming effects, making it trickier for NOAA to forecast the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. A volcanic eruption beneath the Pacific archipelago nation of Tonga in January 2022 may have also increased the amount of water in the global stratosphere by more than 5 percent, contributing to global warming.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#floatingsolar] — Floating solar power plants are gaining popularity in the US as a way to introduce more solar energy into rural areas without disrupting native habitats or farmland. Engineers have met the challenges of mooring waterborne arrays and taking changes in water level, ice, snow, and other harsh conditions into account. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been trying to get floatable solar arrays off the ground in the US for years, and the global floating solar industry is already off to the races. Last year, for example, the International Energy Agency took note of Indonesia, where West Java is hosting a new 145 megawatt floating solar power plant, with plans for another 60 floating arrays in the works.
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