“How can we quantify the carbon emitted by a building during construction?”
Buildings energy efficiency is one of the most widely studied topics in combating climate change. However, these operational emissions are not the only cause of emissions. In addition, there is the carbon emitted during manufacturing, transport, and construction of the building. What makes this Embodied Carbon special is that once the building is finished its embodied carbon cannot go down, unlike operational carbon which can be lowered through energy efficiency programs. That’s why more research needs to go into lowering the carbon intensity of construction.
The Ratio of Fresh Surface Water to Ocean Surface Water and Why it Matters
“Why does it matter that there is over thirty-two times as much water in the ocean than lakes?”
Water is foundational to biological life. 97% of surface water is located in the ocean while the rest are in lakes and other freshwater sources. Since humans are using freshwater at unsustainable rates and ocean water has extra salinity, people will have to think more about conserving water and expanding desalinization.
Time-Dependent Grid Emissions
“How can thinking of greenhouse gas emissions on a more minute level lead to more accurate recordings of greenhouse gas emissions?”
When grid emissions from electricity is analyzed, typically it is done so on a per-day or per-annum basis. However, with greater levels of distributed energy resources on the grid now, emission rates can vary hour to hour. By taking in Time-Dependent Grid Emissions to account, we can obtain a better picture of how much greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere. Demand side-response can help further minimize such emissions.
Why the Oceans Are Becoming More Acidic
“How are CO2 emissions changing our oceans?”
Every second of every minute of every hour more and more carbon dioxide is being pumped into our atmosphere. Since the carbon intensity in the air will increase, the ocean will absorb more CO2. This larger amounts of this element will react with the H2O in water to form Carbonic Acid (H2CO3) and Hydrogen ions (H+). With a higher volumetric makeup of the latter elements, the oceans will become more acidic, threatening the stability of sea-life. This is Why the Oceans Becoming More Acidic.
Why Undergrounding Power Lines Makes Them More Vulnerable to Flood Damage
“Why is undergrounding power lines not recommended for flood-prone areas?”
Undergrounding power lines is a recommended course of action to build resilience against forest fires, storms, and heavy winds. However, this also makes them more prone to flood damage, as they will become submerged in water in the event of one. This is Why Undergrounding Transmission Lines Makes Them More Vulnerable to Flood Damage.
“How can we remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?”
Climate change is one of the most if not THE most dangerous event happening right now. And much of this is driven by the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While most efforts are currently concentrated on limiting further emissions, there are currently efforts underway to actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. Known as Carbon Sequestration, this can be accomplished through a variety of methods such as increasing plant biomass or having large-scale fans suck up great amounts of CO2. If things become very drastic, then we may have to significantly increase the scale of carbon sequestration.
Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience
“Why does Cyclone Idai in Mozambique show that cities need to build climate change resilience?”
The Mozambique city of Beira was recently hit by Cyclone Idai. Due to the intensity of the storm and the lack of resources, over 90% of the city was destroyed. The infrastructure was so damaged that metal roofs flew off of buildings. Since catastrophic climate events will rise in the future, cities will need to invest to change how to combat these problems. This is Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience.
Image credit: https://qz.com/africa/1576018/cyclone-idai-mozambique-death-toll-could-rise-to-over-1000/