Research

smoke stacks

Building political support for carbon pricing—Lessons from cap-and-trade policies

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

The idea of putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions to tackle climate change has been slowly gaining traction over the past two decades. It is an approach to reducing carbon emissions that uses market mechanisms to pass the cost of emitting on to emitters. In a perspective article, Purdue Professor Leigh Raymond, Political Science,…

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Deadly combination of heat and humidity increasing worldwide

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

The past 10,000 years has been marked by a range of climate conditions in which human society is particularly well-adapted to thrive. But, as the planet warms, the range of weather conditions we can expect is changing—and it’s trending toward a combination of heat and humidity unprecedented in the three million years over which modern…

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climate change affect tree ecosystems

Environmental factors can reduce negative impacts of ozone pollution on poplar trees

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Ground-level ozone (O3) pollution alters tree chemical profiles, and consequently, the functioning of forest ecosystems including plant-herbivore interactions, litter decomposition and nutrient cycling. However, variations in soil water and nutrient availability can improve or worsen the impacts of elevated O3. Professor John Couture (Forestry & Natural Resources) and colleagues investigated the interactive effects of ground-level…

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Understanding discrepancies between scientific and lay beliefs on climate change

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

The concept of motivated reasoning— a form of biased reasoning people use to reach a preferred conclusion—is often used to explain climate change skepticism. A study led by Professor Erin Hennes (Psychological Sciences) finds that in research and in practice, motivated reasoning is too often overstated and also too often understated. The researchers offer a…

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electricity and water demand in a changing climate

More accurate climate change model reveals bleaker outlook on electricity, water use

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Urban infrastructure systems, and in particular water and electricity systems, are highly interconnected, yet infrastructure management and urban planning decisions are currently made without taking the interdependencies into account. Graduate student Renee Obringer (Ecological Sciences & Engineering) led a study that built and tested a new model for predicting interconnected water and electricity use, now,…

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farmer in field

The cost of offsetting projected crop yield losses

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Investments in agricultural research and development (R&D) will be critical for offsetting the negative impacts of climate change on the global food system. Professor Tomas Hertel (Agricultural Economics) and co-authors sought to quantify the cost required to make such an investment effective. They concluded that increased R&D adaptation investments of between $187 billion and $1,384…

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Rainbow smelt

Increasing hypoxia could eliminate rainbow smelt from Lake Erie in future years

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Bottom water hypoxia—which happens when oxygen levels become too low to support aquatic life—poses a serious and growing threat to certain types of fish. Professor Tomas Höök (Forestry & Natural Resources) and colleagues studied this threat on cold-water rainbow smelt and warm-water emerald shiners in central Lake Erie. Their research concluded hypoxia altered rainbow smelt…

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Flooded roadway

Twitter ‘fingerprint’ provides a measure of a community’s resilience to disasters

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Climate-related natural disasters such as floods, droughts, wildfires, and heat waves are expected to worsen as the Earth’s warming trend continues, stressing communities all across the country. Understanding the resilience of a community facing a climate-related crisis event is critical to improving its adaptive capacity to future disasters. A new algorithm developed by graduate student…

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Oil drilling

Would eliminating fossil fuel subsidies actually help countries meet emissions reduction goals?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Over a dozen counties explicitly include fossil fuel subsidy reform as a tactic for lowering emissions under the Pairs Agreement. However, the concrete impact of this approach in unknown. Professor Dominique van der Mensbrugghe and Purdue researcher Maksym Chepeliev (Agricultural Economics) estimated the impact of eliminating this subsidy on country-specific emissions reduction goals under several…

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smog and climate change

Recent advances, and future opportunities, in chemical imaging of atmospheric particles

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Airborne particles are highly reactive compounds that play important roles in air quality, cloud formation, and Earth’s radiative balance. In a recent review, Professor Alexander Laskin (Chemistry) provides a synopsis of advances in chemical imaging approaches used to understand airborne particles. These approaches provide unique experimental insights on the nature and sources of particles, allowing…

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