[GWSG] SLR rates; TX lessons; desert solar; IPCC on timing; ins. rates; fish decline; oceans' probs.; EIA on gas; a digital earth

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Wed Feb 24 09:26:01 EST 2021

1. New studies of ice melting rates show that estimates have been too conservative and that sea level rise has been steeper than we knew. https://phys.org/news/2021-02-reveal-global-ice.html

2. The Texas freeze highlights the need for environmental justice, and the results when we live out the values of Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/21/texas-freeze-greg-abbott-ted-cruz-oil-gas-green-new-deal

3. Solar panels absorb more heat than does sand, so solar panels in the desert change its albedo, with results for the rest of the planet. Solar power is not entirely free of climate mischief. Thanks to Tom Larson for the article. https://theconversation.com/solar-panels-in-sahara-could-boost-renewable-energy-but-damage-the-global-climate-heres-why-153992

4. John Kerry said that we have nine years left “to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis.” He should have said that we need to act immediately as we are feeling the effects of past emissions now, and all further emissions increase the damage. The IPCC statements on the timing of climate action are often mistaken. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/22/kerrys-claim-that-we-have-nine-years-left-avert-climate-crisis/?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_content=20210222&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20Daily

5. The premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program, set to be reset this spring, need to quadruple on homes in flood plains to reflect current risks. The risks in 2050 will require a sevenfold increase. FEMA disclaims the analysis, which was from the First Street Foundation. Currently covered properties are limited by law to an 18% increase for the owner. When a property is sold, though, the new owners pay full rates. The effect will be to discourage developing or buying at-risk properties by reducing their market value.   https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/climate/flood-insurance-fema.html

6. Freshwater fish are in catastrophic decline, with a third facing extinction. The global movement to set aside significant portions of the earth from human use needs to include our freshwater habitats. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/extinction-threatens-third-freshwater-fish-species-report-finds-n1258591

7. A paper in PNAS outlines the broad changes in the oceans with high destructive potential and lists the steps we must take to avoid those high impact, high probability tipping points. https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-the-threat-of-high-probability-ocean-tipping-points?utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20carbonbrief%20%28The%20Carbon%20Brief%29&utm_content=20210224&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner

8. The US Energy Information Administration forecasts that new natural gas plants will cost more than they earn between now and 2050, while new PV will earn more than it costs. (Consideration of environmental, social, and health costs would shutter methane plants immediately.)  https://cleantechnica.com/2021/02/23/revenue-to-cost-ratios-for-solar-pv-natural-gas-u-s-eia-forecast-by-region-overall/

9. European scientists will initiate a highly accurate digital twin of the earth in a few months. The impact of policy proposals could be traced, as could the effects of, say, diet changes and energy management. "If you are planning a two-meter high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050."  https://phys.org/news/2021-02-scientists-highly-accurate-digital-twin.html

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