Category: Publications

Public Support for International Climate Action: September 2021

Download the document.

Summary: The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow Scotland (UK) beginning on October 31, 2021. The two-week conference “will bring [nearly all the countries in the world] together to accelerate action towards the goals of the [2015] Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

As context for the conference, this report describes how registered voters in the United States view a variety of policies related to international climate action. This survey was fielded from September 10 – 20, 2021, drawing on a representative sample of the U.S. population (n = 1,006; including the 898 registered voters whose data are included in this report). This report is a follow-up to our March 2021 report, which included most of the same survey items as the current report, and was released just prior to President Biden’s Earth-Day Leaders Summit on Climate. This executive summary reports the results from all registered voters, while the report breaks the results down by political party and ideology.

  • 66% of registered voters think the United States should be doing more to address global warming.
  • 66% think the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries do, an increase of 5 percentage points since our survey in March 2021.
  • 73% support the U.S. government’s pledge to reduce the nation’s carbon pollution by 50% by the year 2030.
  • 66% support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions (+8 percentage points since March 2021)
  • 61% support providing financial aid and technical support to developing countries to help them prepare for the impacts of global warming (+6 percentage points).
  • 78% support the United States pressuring other countries to reduce their carbon pollution.
  • 74% think other industrialized countries (such as England, Germany, and Japan) should be doing more to address global warming.
  • 81% think developing countries (such as China, India, and Brazil) should be doing more to address global warming.

Webinar: Three Years in the Making: Calibrated, Validated and Publicly Available End Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock

Oct 28, 2021 11 am CDT
Register here.

End-use load profiles describe how and when energy is used and are critically important to utilities, public utility commissions, state energy offices and other stakeholders for a variety of purposes such as valuing energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed energy resources. The U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Lab and Berkeley Lab present a free webinar on October 28, 2021 to provide an overview of the project, options to access the end-use load profiles and share information on two forthcoming reports documenting the project, “End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock: Methodology and Results of Model Calibration, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification” and “End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock: Applications and Opportunities”.

Efficiency improvements and renewables reduce emissions—but also trick people into using more energy

Read the full story in Fast Company. The original study appears in Global Environmental Change.

Making investments toward reducing emissions has economy-wide benefits, but in the residential sector can lead to a “rebound effect,” where people use more energy than they did before when they know it’s cleaner and cheaper.

Sandia creates global archive of historical renewable energy documents

Read the full story from Sandia National Laboratories.

Sandia’s solar researchers and librarians have spent the past few years collecting, digitizing and cataloging a host of reports, memos, blueprints, photos and more on concentrating solar power, a kind of renewable energy produced by using large mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on a tower to generate electricity. These historical research documents are now in a publicly accessible digital archive for other concentrating solar power researchers, historians, corporations and citizens to view.

New app tackles Mississippi River pollution

Read the full story from WQAD.

The Quad Cities joined a new Mississippi River clean-up initiative that utilizes an app to track pollution data.

Xtreme cleanup and local governments have collaborated with the Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative for a month-long program tracking data on litter along the river and the land that surrounds it. The app is called the Marine Debris Tracker app

EcoCommons – mapping the future in environmentally challenging times

Read the full story from Griffith University.

Griffith University is driving the construction of EcoCommons, a world-first collaborative platform for analysing and modelling ecological and environmental challenges.

Department of Defense Climate Adaptation Plan

Download the document.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has identified climate change as a critical national security issue and threat multiplier (DOD 2014a) and top management challenge (DOD 2020a). Climate change will continue to amplify operational demands on the force, degrade installations and infrastructure, increase health risks to our service members, and could require modifications to existing and planned equipment. Extreme weather events are already costing the Department billions of dollars and are degrading mission capabilities. These effects and costs are likely to increase as climate change accelerates. Not adapting to climate change will be even more consequential with failure measured in terms of lost military capability, weakened alliances, enfeebled international stature, degraded infrastructure, and missed opportunities for technical innovation and economic growth.

The Department must take bold steps to accelerate adaptation to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change. These adaptation efforts must align with our strategic objectives and mission requirements, ensuring that our military can deter aggression and defend the nation under all conditions. DOD will build upon previous work (see inside back cover). Other DOD actions include scientific and engineering research to understand adaptation requirements, new policies and guidance, improved construction codes and standards, tools to assess and evaluate climate exposure at installations, and a requirement for comprehensive installation master planning.

Permafrost thaw could release bacteria and viruses

Read the full story from the European Space Agency.

When considering the implications of thawing permafrost, our initial worries are likely to turn to the major issue of methane being released into the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming or issues for local communities as the ground and infrastructure become unstable. While this is bad enough, new research reveals that the potential effects of permafrost thaw could also pose serious health threats.

As part of the ESA–NASA Arctic Methane and Permafrost Challenge, new research has revealed that rapidly thawing permafrost in the Arctic has the potential to release antibiotic-resistant bacteria, undiscovered viruses and even radioactive waste from Cold War nuclear reactors and submarines.

Prolonged exposure to air and noise pollution may increase heart failure risk in women: study

Read the full story at The Hill.

Prolonged exposure to air pollution and traffic noise may increase the risk of heart failure in women, according to a study released Wednesday.

Smoggier skies, lower scores? A Brazilian study examines the effects of air pollution on students’ cognitive performance

Read the full story from the University of Chicago Press Journals.

A new study published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists looks at the causal relationship between outdoor air pollution levels on nationwide university entry examination day and students’ cognitive performance in Brazil.

In “The Effects of Air Pollution on Students’ Cognitive Performance: Evidence from Brazilian University Entrance Tests,” authors Juliana Carneiro, Matthew A. Cole, and  Eric Strobl use Brazilian data on concentrations of ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM10) and a data set of students’ scores to examine the impact of air pollution on academic performance in national examinations. The air pollution data focuses on Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo—Brazil’s most industrialized states—using air pollution and weather monitoring station data to build a unique data panel from 2015–17.

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