May 5, 2016: Energy Matters: Climate Change

From Eric Vettel, American Energy Society


Featured resource: For the first time ever, the US Geological Survey has mapped human-induced earthquakes. In the past, USGS maps only identified natural earthquake hazards. AES Premium Members have access to this report and maps.

- Featured story: Wealthy countries gave developing countries tens of millions of dollars in aid to help them design and publish their carbon-cutting pledge programs at last year's COP 21 Paris Agreement. Funds were generally used to pay for technical expertise and educational workshops to help the world's poorest, under-resourced governments put together presentable plans.

- The methane gas leak in Southern California's Aliso Canyon has led many US cities to examine their own gas-storage infrastructure. Boston has perhaps the most dangerous system. Researchers looked at 100 randomly selected underground gas leaks across Boston metro: the oldest gas pipe has been in service since 1893; 15 of the 100 leaks are Grade 1-leaks (an immediate explosion hazard); 7 of the 100 leaks are classified as "super-emitters." AES Premium Members have access to the peer-reviewed abstract of the report

- According to China, carbon dioxide emissions fell by 1.5 percent last year, leading to a 0.2 percent reduction in global emissions. However, according to researchers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) in Norway, CO2 emissions in China rose 0.5 percent last year. Somebody is wrong.

- There are about 20.5 billion devices connected to the Internet around the world; data centers in the US use around 2 percent of overall energy, or around 100 billion kilowatt-hours of power.

- To combat rising smog levels, Mexico City will require that every car remain off the road for one day each week. Randomly assigned government stickers will identify which days are prohibited.

4 billion people live under conditions of "severe water scarcity" at least 1 month a year.

Four new documentary films about the science and consequences of global warming:
     The Ice and the Sky - how meteorological data is collected in Antarctica.
     Planet Sigma - an experimental film useing images to build the script.
     Deep Time - an economic look at climate change, with an emphasis on North Dakota.

     Children of the Arctic - what climate change means for the Iñupiat of the Alaskan tundra.