News Archive:

ERG Alum Evan Mills Cited for Xbox Emissions Research

ERG Alumnus Evan Mills‘ research on the carbon emissions of gaming systems was recently cited on a published article from Grist. The article, titled “How the Xbox stands between Microsoft and its climate goals”, uses Mills’ research to display how gaming consoles like the Xbox have a significant impact on annual emissions.

“Behavior is a big sneaker in the whole energy and climate change area. The human factor in energy use in homes or offices or gaming is just as important as the technology,” said Mills.

To read the full article, click here.

ERG Zeke Hausfather Warns Normalizing “Worst Case” Climate Change

In a recent article published by Nature, ERG Alumnus Zeke Hausfather suggests that using more-realistic baselines for emissions would create better policies to counter global warming.

“Overstating the likelihood of extreme climate impacts can make mitigation seem harder than it actually is. This could lead to defeatism, because the problem is perceived as being out of control and unsolvable. Pressingly, it might result in poor planning, whereas a more realistic range of baseline scenarios will strengthen the assessment of climate risk,” said Hausfather.

However, he contends that “this admission does not make climate action less urgent. The need to limit warming to 1.5 °C, as made clear in the IPCC’s 2018 special report13, does not depend on having a 5 °C counterpoint.”

To read the rest of his article, click here.

The Beam features Kammen on the Critical Lack of Clean Cooking

ERG professor Dan Kammen recently published a collaborative article on the Beam discussing the challenge of not only providing clean cooking energy services as a basic necessity, but also how new technological improvements like the biomass improved cookstove can be more efficiently implemented.

“… strong evidence that clean cooking and climate energy solutions are not only about technological development or progressive and climate-friendly policies but instead are also about having a willing and able coalition on the ground to implement them”.

Read the full article here.

ERG PhD Student Taryn Fransen Testifies on the UNEP Emissions Gap Report

ERG PhD Student Taryn Fransen has recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science on the UNEP Emissions Gap Report. In the hearing, Fransen discusses what the emissions gap report indicates for our future, and how Congress can help reduce global emissions.

To watch Fransen’s testimony, click the link here and skip to 42:00 in the video. Additional Q&A featuring Fransen is distributed throughout the rest of the hearing.

ERG Alum Hausfather Reveals Hottest Decade Ever

ERG Alumnus Zeke Hausfather was cited on The Washing Post and KQED for analyzing new data revealing how “2019 capped world’s hottest decade in recorded history”.

“What happens in the future depends a lot on our emissions of greenhouse gases as a society. If we continue emitting at current levels, we will continue warming at about the same rate. What happens in the future is really up to us,” said Hausfather.

Read the full article here, and listen to the full radio broadcast here.

Forbes cites ERG PHD Student Stephen Jarvis on Germany’s Nuclear Phase-Out

ERG MS/PHD student Stephen Jarvis, in collaboration with economists Olivier Deschenes and Akshaya Jha, had their research paper cited in the Forbes article titled “As The Costs Of Germany’s Nuclear Phase Out Mount, Little Appetite For A Rethink”.

“One of the most striking findings in our study is that by far the largest cost of the phase-out is the increased mortality risk associated with exposure to local pollution. Despite this, most of the discussion of the phase-out, both at the time and since, has focused on electricity prices and carbon emissions–air pollution has been a second order consideration at best,” said Jarvis.

Read the full Forbes article here, and the full research paper here.

ERG Alum Patrick Gonzalez Testifies to Congress on Global Warming Risks

ERG alumnus Patrick Gonzalez, despite being threatened with a “cease and desist” letter from supervisors, has recently testified to Congress on the risks global warming has on national parks. Gonzalez was cited in the New York Times and Science, stating that “I saw it [the threat] as attempted intimidation… It’s interference with science and hinders our work”.

Read the New York Times article here, and the Science article here.

ERG’s Lara and Kammen on Potential for Biomass Feedstock from Drought

ERG student José Daniel Lara and ERG professor Daniel Kammen, in collaboration with forest researchers in UC Berkeley’s department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, recently published “Characterization of the woody biomass feedstock potential resulting from California’s drought” in Nature, Scientific Reports.

“Regional tree die-of events generate large quantities of standing dead wood, raising concern over catastrophic wildfire and other hazards. Governmental responses to tree die-off have often focused on incentivizing biomass energy production that utilizes standing dead trees removed for safety concerns. However, the full distribution of potential woody bioenergy feedstock after tree die-off has not been evaluated due to the complexities of surveying and precisely measuring large forested areas,” the paper states.

Read the full paper here.


Image: Sarah Klockars-Clauser

Valeri Vasquez Returns with the All-Women Expedition from Antarctic Voyage

Valeri Vasquez, an ERG doctoral student, has recently returned with the largest-ever delegation of 100 women from a month long expedition in Antarctica. Their journey to the frozen continent was part of an initiative to bring more women into STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medical fields), fighting climate change and building women empowerment.

“Women have been absent from Antarctic science and Antarctic decision-making for a long time, there’s been a delay as an artifact of the heroic era when men would come down and conquer the great white continent,” said Shaw, a conservation biologist at the University of Queensland. “I’m captivated by preserving Antarctica — it’s the last true wilderness on the planet. If we can’t protect that, what hope is there?”

Read the complete journey of Vasquez and her teammates here.

Dan Kammen and Researchers Urge More Aggressive Action Against Climate Change

In a new study done by ERG’s Dan Kammen and a team of researchers, analysis shows that global warming crisis is worse than previously thought. However, their research also shows how it is completely possible for countries to achieve an increased and sustainable rate of decarbonisation through more aggressive policies against climate change.

“What we need now is a renewed and co-ordinated effort to represent these developments in influential global climate and energy systems models. Doing so is critical to saving trillions of dollars, while achieving stringent climate mitigation outcomes,” Kammen says.

Read the complete article here.