[Nov 29-Dec 5’21] Albatross divorces
Wildfires are erasing forests, first flight flown on 50% sustainable aviation fuel, how nature-based solutions can help and how the fossil fuel industry has negatively impacted climate policy.
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.
🙀 Wildfires are erasing forests in the US.
😻 First flight flown on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.
😼 An interesting article diving into how nature-based solutions can help.
💩 A new study highlights the fossil fuel industry’s major impact on bad climate policy these past decades.
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#divorce] — A new study has found that divorce among albatrosses increases under climate change. Normally, albatross divorces are very rare, only occurring to about 3.7% of couples and typically because they can’t successfully raise a chick. But in the hottest years the study has found that albatross divorces more than doubled to around 7.7%.
[#meaningful] — Here’s an interesting paper from last week about “meaningful climate science”. It’s basically the idea that climate science the way it’s presented today might not be as powerful in terms of how people understand it because it’s very math based (obviously). This article argues for a more story-driven approach to presenting climate science.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#perovskite] — You might have heard me mention Perovskite solar cells before, but this new material keeps on breaking records. Last week new research was published in which a Perovskite solar cell reached 23.7% efficiency (meaning that it converts 23.7% of incoming solar energy to electricity) which is a new world record.
[#nuclear] — With pressures mounting on governments to clean up their grids European countries increasingly look to nuclear power. Or at least some do (like France, Britain and many Eastern European countries) and some really don’t (like Germany). This article tries to get to the bottom of that.
[#renewables] — The IEA’s new Renewables Market Report for 2021 just came out and according to it there are good reasons to expect exceptional high growth in the renewables sector in the coming years. 2021 alone is expected to see 290 GW of capacity coming online (which is 3% higher than 2020 which already had pretty stunning growth). However, it is not all rosy in renewables land as the sector is also experiencing price increases in deployments, especially the price of polysilicon is rising quite rapidly.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#ev] — Here’s a simple quick look at how EV “smart charging” can help in many facets of the clean energy transition in the coming years with a specific focus on projects in the US.
[#batteries] — Battery prices have dropped to 132$/KWh, that’s an 89% drop since 2010. Prices are not the same in all regions. They’re cheapest in China (111$/KWh) but up to 40-60% more expensive in Europe and US. However, with the expected rise in commodity prices on the horizon, it seems likely that the cost might increase a little bit in the short term.