The Circular Economy
“How do we need to rethink our approach to consumption?”
Widespread industrialization has lead economically developed societies to think of products of having a finite linear lifespan. However, with the advent of climate change, this needs to change drastically. Instead, manufactured products will need to be recycled and reutilized in a Circular Economy. This will ensure maximum resource utilization and minimize carbon emissions.
Image Credit http://www.wrap.org.uk
How Energy Storage Can Increase Carbon Emissions
“How can energy storage increase carbon emissions?”
Numerous renewable energy proponents around the world are promoting energy storage as the solution to intermittency. However, if not planned out carefully, energy storage can be very unsustainable. This is because energy storage can store any type of energy, clean or not, with a preference for cheaper inputs. This means that cheaper overnight coal might be used for storage and then placed against more expensive natural gas or solar. In addition, energy is lost during storage, so the net efficiency drops as well. This is How Energy Storage Can Increase Carbon Emissions.
Image and research credit Hittinger, E. S., & Azevedo, I. M. (2015). Bulk energy storage increases United States electricity system emissions. Environmental science & technology, 49(5), 3203-3210.
How Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change
“How is Heat Transfer Used to Model Climate Change?”
Heat Transfer is one of the foundational course for a Mechanical Engineer. But internal combustion engines and HVAC are not the only things that the theory can be applied to. Climate Scientists will use many of the same Heat Transfer equations when designing climate models. In this way, Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change.
Image credit singularityhub.com
Climate Change Model Verification
“How can we verify climate change models?”
Climate models are extremely useful for helping us predict the impacts of climate change. But how can we verify them? Well, what if we were to map their mathematical functions to historical data and see if they accurately predict temperature rises? If it turns out to be correct, then the model has a good chance of being valid. This Climate Model Verification, often known as hindcasting, gives our methods validity for future policy work.
Image credit http://www.skepticalscience.com
Climate Change Modeling
“How can we create models for the future climate?”
We seem to hear about the predictions of the future climate all the time in the media. Whether it be a warning if we go 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels or the ever-increasing rate of global warming. But how do we actually obtain this information? Well, people from a variety of different academic disciplines come together to make mathematical models that take in a variety of complex terrestrial processes and their interactions with each other and then layer it on to a physical model of the earth to produce a simulation of what will happen. This is known as Climate Change Modeling and is one of the most important tools that humans have to make policy goals.
Image credit http://www.gfdl.noaa.go
How Load Shedding Helps Fight Climate Change
“How can load shedding be beneficial for the planet?”
When power grids receive a demand overload, they often go into load-shedding to prevent a blackout. Not only does the reduced load prevent a blackout but also emit less carbon dioxide! Without having to worry about an infrastructure recovery or extra emissions, the grid’s impact on climate change will be reduced.
Fire Resiliency in the Bay Area
“How can the Bay Area Adapt to Climate Change-Induced Fires?”
The climate is changing drastically around the world. Temperatures are rising, and dry areas are getting drier. And one of the hardest-hit places right now is in Northern California. As a result of the (as of writing) on-going Butte County Fire, smoke has filled the air of the San Francisco Bay, making it deadlier to breathe in than New Delhi! And with the warming climate, things are only going to get worse.
But things can be done about this. To build resiliency against future fire-related disasters, The Bay Area can enact stricter fire codes, install more ventilation systems in buildings, create underground tunnels between critical infrastructure areas so people can avoid air pollution, and have N95 mask distribution stations. This way, Fire Resilience can be built in the Bay Area