Climate Change ☀️
Air pollutant reductions could enhance global warming without greenhouse gas cuts
As countries around the world race to mitigate global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions, an unlikely source could be making climate goals harder to achieve without even deeper cuts in greenhouse gas production: reductions in air pollution.

New modeling experiment of the long-term effects of reductions in air pollutants known as sulfate aerosols predicts further increases in surface air temperature at current and increased carbon dioxide levels because of loss of an overall cooling effect caused by the light-scattering particles. Such modeling accounting for slow climate responses to changes in the atmosphere indicates the need to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide simultaneously.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210310122456.htm

Mapping the best places to plant trees
Reforestation could help to combat climate change, but whether and where to plant trees is a complex choice with many conflicting factors. To combat this problem, researchers report on an interactive map of reforestation opportunity in the United States. The tool will help foresters, legislators, and natural resource agency staff weigh the options while developing strategies to restore lost forests.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210311085321.htm

Why $4-a-Gallon Gas May Be Coming Your Way This Summer
Even as oil and gasoline prices rise, industry executives are resisting their usual impulse to pump more oil out of the ground, which could keep energy prices moving up as the economy recovers.

The oil industry is predictably cyclical: When oil prices climb, producers race to drill — until the world is swimming in petroleum and prices fall. Then, energy companies that overextended themselves tumble into bankruptcy.

That wash-rinse-repeat cycle has played out repeatedly over the last century, three times in the last 14 years alone. But, at least for the moment, oil and gas companies are not following those old stage directions.


An accelerating rollout of vaccines in the United States is expected to turbocharge the American economy this spring and summer, encouraging people to travel, shop and commute. In addition, President Biden’s pandemic relief package will put more money in the pockets of consumers, especially those who are still out of work.

Even before Congress approved that legislation, oil and gasoline prices were rebounding after last year’s collapse in fuel demand and prices. Gas prices have risen about 35 cents a gallon on average over the last month, according to the AAA motor club, and could reach $4 a gallon in some states by summer. While overall inflation remains subdued, some economists are worried that prices, especially for fuel, could rise faster this year than they have in some time. That would hurt working-class families more because they tend to drive older, less efficient vehicles and spend a higher share of their income on fuel.

In recent weeks oil prices have surged to over $65 a barrel, a level that would have seemed impossible only a year ago, when some traders were forced to pay buyers to take oil off their hands. Oil prices fell by more than $50 a barrel in a single day last April, to less than zero.

That bizarre day seems to have become seared into the memories of oil executives. The industry was forced to idle hundreds of rigs and throttle many wells shut, some for good. Roughly 120,000 American oil and gas workers lost their jobs over the last year or so, and companies are expected to lay off 10,000 workers this year, according to Rystad Energy, a consulting firm.

Yet, even as they are making more money thanks to the higher prices, industry executives pledged at a recent energy conference that they would not expand production significantly. They also promised to pay down debt and hand out more of their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/business/energy-environment/oil-prices-opec-shale.html

How India's rice production can adapt to climate change challenges
As the global population grows, the demand for food increases while arable land shrinks. A new study investigates how rice production in India can meet future needs by adapting to changing climate conditions and water availability.

"Rice is the primary crop in India, China, and other countries in Southeast Asia. Rice consumption is also growing in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world," says Prasanta Kalita, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at U of I and lead author on the study.

"If you look at where they traditionally grow rice, it is countries that have plenty of water, or at least they used to. They have tropical weather with heavy rainfall they depend on for rice production. Overall, about 4,000 liters of water go into production and processing per kilogram of rice," he states.

Climate change is likely to affect future water availability, and rice farmers must implement new management practices to sustain production and increase yield, Kalita says.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the world population will grow by two billion people by 2050, and food demand will increase by 60%.

"We will need multiple efforts to meet that demand," Kalita states. "And with two billion more people, we will also need more water for crop production, drinking water, and industrial use."

... Overall, the best approach to achieve a 60% increase in rice production while minimizing additional irrigation needs is a combination of conservation strategies and a 30% reduction in post-harvest loss, the researchers conclude.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210311185929.htm

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations