“How can forests suddenly die and emit carbon?”
Forests are one of the greatest carbon sinks available on this planet. However, with the changing climate, the conditions that led to their life are now changing. Induced heat stress and the spread of pathogens are causing entire forests to wither away and release stored carbon. This Forest Dieback can create a positive reinforcement cycle in which the more trees that die the worse the climate becomes, leading even more trees to die off. Two of the most extreme cases of this are in the Amazon rain forest and the Boreal forest, where large portions of the former is actually turning into a savanna.
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How Climate Change Will Lead to Water Crises
“How will there be more water crises because of Climate Change?”
With the advent of the changing climate, almost every environmental variable will be affected. In particular, areas which have dry climates will become dryer. This means less water will be produced, leading to shortages. Such shortages will cause haphazard issues for infrastructure systems designed for greater supplies of water, resulting in difficult tensions. An illustration of this can be found in Cape Town, South Africa, where a dry spell caused the municipality to enact draconian water supply restrictions. This is How Climate Change Will Lead to Water Crises.
How Carbon Capture Can Reduce Radiative Forcing
“How can carbon capture reduce the amount of radiation absorbed from the sun?”
Greenhouse gases are responsible for the increase the increase of the heat trapped in the atmosphere. But with carbon capture, there will be less greenhouse gases and therefore less radiative forcing. This is How Carbon Capture Can Reduce Radiative Forcing.
“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.