Research

Making influence visible at the Paris Climate Summit

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Studies of power and influence at sites of global environmental governance often overlook the role of Indigenous Peoples in the agreement-making processes. This limits our understanding of these processes and how they can be shaped for more effective, inclusive and just global governance. A research team led by Professors Laura Zanotti (Anthropology) and Kimberly Marion…

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Ice nucleating particles on the Arctic are on the rise

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Atmospheric aerosol particles that can trigger ice formation in clouds are referred to as Ice Nucleating Particles (INP). The frequency and properties of clouds in the Arctic are especially sensitive to concentrations of INPs, yet the main sources and concentrations of INPs in this region remain uncertain. Over the past 30 years, warming in the…

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Policy priorities for achieving China’s mitigation goals

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2. As the largest sector of China’s fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions, manufacturing will play an important role in achieving emission reduction goals in China. Three main types of energy-related CO2 mitigation policies are anticipated to be implemented in the coming years: fuel substitution, improved energy efficiency,…

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mushroom

Global change is impacting important plant-fungi associations

Friday, February 14th, 2020

In the forests of North America, a mutualistic relationship exists between trees and mycorrhizal fungi—fungi supply trees with nutrients and trees provide carbon to fungi. It is well documented that these forests are experiencing unprecedented change due to a combination of stressors including climate change, nitrogen deposition, habitat fragmentation, invasive species and fire suppression; however,…

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Water recycling in agricultural landscapes

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Drained agricultural landscapes within the U.S. Midwest are faced with the challenge of addressing both excess and deficit water conditions, often within the same year, while also minimizing negative impacts on water quality and the environment. Drainage water recycling, the practice of capturing and storing water drained from fields and using the stored water to…

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Smokestacks

Emissions trading: auctioning vs grandfathering permits

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Emissions trading programs are increasingly used as market based climate policy instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Under these programs, a national or regional limit (cap) is placed on the total amount of emissions across a given industry, or the whole economy. The total amount is split into allowances, each permitting a company to…

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ice

Canadian Arctic warmest in 115,000 years

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Arctic temperatures are increasing faster than the Northern Hemisphere average due to strong self-reinforcing feedbacks unique to polar regions. This warming is causing rapid retreat of the region’s glaciers, especially in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, however the degree to which this recent warming is unprecedented remains unclear. To address this knowledge gap, Professor Nat Lifton…

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close view of corn field

Climate change enhances economics of conservation tillage

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Farmers have traditionally used intensive tillage to prepare the ground for the next year’s harvest and for weed control. Intensive tillage, however, adversely affects the soil in a field and it leads to sediment and nutrient runoff resulting in pollution of surface water and increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Changing weather patterns associated with climate…

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The growing risk to the U.S. electricity grid

Monday, January 27th, 2020

A secure and resilient electric grid is vital to national security, a strong economy, and critical services like those provided by water utilities and hospitals. As the demand for power continues to grow, the aging U.S. grid is being stretched to capacity. Moreover, supply risk can result from climate-induced shifts in electricity use and/or damaged…

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Assessing progress towards the Paris Agreement

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

When 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, they committed to keeping global mean temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century and to make efforts to limit the rise to below 1.5 degrees.  Instead of setting legally binding emission reduction targets, however, the agreement relies…

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