Energy, Climate & Environment News

With Rapidly Increasing Heat and Drought, Can Plants Adapt?

Researcher Isaac Lichter-Marck is the first to provide evidence to resolve a long-standing evolutionary debate: Did iconic desert plants adapt to arid conditions only after they invaded deserts? Or did they come preadapted to the stresses of desert living?

How Old is Yosemite Valley?

Visitors to Yosemite Valley gape in awe at El Capitan and the Half Dome, aware, perhaps vaguely, that rain and glaciers took a long time to sculpt the landscape.

Why Some Countries Are Leading the Shift to Green Energy

Oil and gas prices skyrocketed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in spring 2022, creating a global energy crisis similar to the oil crisis of the 1970s. While some countries used the price shock to accelerate the transition to cleaner sources of energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, others have responded by expanding the production of fossil fuels.

New Study Examines Drivers of Government Investment in Energy Innovation

New analysis led by researchers from Rausser College of Natural Resources and the University of Cambridge offers insight into the trajectory of energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) that may help policymakers recalibrate their strategy to drive innovation. Published September 12 in the journal Nature Energy, the findings show that participating in Mission Innovation, a new form of international cooperation, and intensifying technology competition from China are the strongest drivers of funding for new clean energy RD&D.

Social Cost of Carbon Is More Than Triple the Federal Estimate

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the nonprofit Resources for the Future (RFF) estimates that the social cost of carbon — a key metric for evaluating the future cost of climate change — is more than three times the value currently used by the U.S. federal government.

Scientists Grow Lead-Free Solar Material With a Built-In Switch

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics, rely on semiconductor devices, or solar cells, to convert energy from the sun into electricity. Manufacturers typically dope the solar cell with chemicals so that one layer of the device bears a positive charge and another layer a negative charge. But chemical doping and layered synthesis also add extra costly steps in solar cell manufacturing.