[May 29-Jun 4’23] Safe and just planetary boundaries
Beaming solar power from space, use trees or machine to remove carbon? and clean energy investments take the lead (again).
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!
[#tippingpoint] — Rising temperatures could cause plankton and other aquatic organisms to shift from carbon absorbers to emitters, potentially becoming a significant source of carbon emissions and accelerating global warming. This tipping point, caused by a sudden shift in the microbes' eating habits, has not yet been considered in climate models. Basically, if these plankton go into a mode here they eat bacteria, then they emit CO2. These microorganisms are among the world's most abundant organisms, living in the ocean, lakes, peatlands, and other bodies of water. Nutrient pollution can cloud the warning signal before the tipping point, which could arrive with no warning, and it's unclear how long the world will have before the catastrophic switch.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#beamingsolar] — Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have successfully beamed solar power collected in space using microwaves to a receiver on Earth, marking a significant breakthrough in renewable energy. The experiment was conducted using the Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment (MAPLE), which is part of Caltech's Space Solar Power Project. The technology could allow for energy to be sent to remote regions and areas affected by natural disasters without the need for energy transmission infrastructure on the ground.
[#investing] — A new report by the IEA shows that global clean energy investments surpasses fossil fuels for the 8th consecutive year and it’s even increasing the spread. Clean energy got 700B$ more in investment compared to fossil fuels.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#retrofit] — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has launched a program to retrofit federal public rental housing units for climate change, but advocates say it falls short of what is needed. The $837.5 million initiative will fund retrofits for some of the country's oldest and least energy-efficient rental buildings, but will only reach hundreds of eligible properties, according to a HUD official. Advocates say the climate crisis requires greater investment, but the program is a step towards addressing the issue and is part of the Biden administration's Justice40 plan to address underserved, pollution-burdened neighborhoods.