[Jun 26-Jul 2’23] Extreme heat and extreme costs
Deforestation increased 10% last year, peak transport related oil consumption by 2027, renewables essential during Texas heatwave where oil and gas companies released lots of gas to avoid explosions.
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.
😼 Renewables and storage essential in keeping Texas’ grid operational during major heatwave
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#mountainrain] — As the planet warms, mountain regions can expect 15% more extreme rainfall for every 1 degree Celsius increase, according to a study published in Nature. The increase in extreme rainfall is almost double the increase in total extreme precipitation, including both rain and snow, that climate scientists previously expected. This is important because rain produces more hazards for humans than snow, including floods, landslides, and soil erosion. About one-quarter of the human population lives either in mountain regions or directly downstream from them, and rainfall is one of the most important factors in predicting the risks of these hazards.
[#wildfiresmoke] — A new study from Stanford University offers a way to trace smoke and pollution from individual wildfires of origin, which could help officials determine which wildfires are likely to have the biggest health consequences for the greatest number of people and allocate firefighting resources accordingly. The study is the first to cover the whole contiguous United States and shows that as fires have worsened, so has their smoke. The researchers focused on particulate matter, made of very small solid particles floating in the air, which can enter people’s lungs and blood and lead to problems such as difficulty breathing, inflammation, and damaged immune cells.
[#CO2emissions] — NASA has released new visualizations showing the buildup of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere over the course of a year. The videos demonstrate how CO2 is carried around the world on air currents and highlight the imbalance in CO2 emissions between the northern and southern hemispheres. The project is a “great example” of “show, don’t tell” science communication, according to a climate scientist from the UK Met Office.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#energyoutlook] — According to DNV's annual global energy report, solar PV power will become the cheapest source of new electricity globally by 2050. DNV predicts that by then, coal will have 4% of the market and fossil gas will have 8%, while 70% of the world's electricity will come from variable renewables and fossil fuels will account for just 10% of electricity production. Solar PV capacity is expected to grow 24 times over compared to 2020, and solar is expected to account for 30% of global on-grid electricity production by 2050, on the back of 54% of the world's power capacity.
[#china] — China is set to double its wind and solar power capacity and reach its 2030 goal of producing 1,200 GW of energy five years ahead of schedule, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor. As of Q1 2023, China's utility-scale solar capacity has reached 228 GW, more than the rest of the world combined, and its combined onshore and offshore wind capacity surpasses 310 GW. The report attributes China's progress to government policies, including subsidies and regulations, but notes that challenges remain, such as an outdated electricity grid and inefficiencies in transporting energy across the country.