Climate

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ABC — anything but coal

Policymakers, industry and government officials will have to invest US $2.5 trillion for electricity generation over the next 20 years. A new report presents the environmental costs and benefits linked to different renewable energy sources, and makes one thing abundantly clear: anything is better than coal.

Timing is everything for renewable energy use

There’s no time to waste in shifting to renewable energy sources if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. That’s especially true when it comes to bioenergy, which causes a temporary increase in CO2 levels that is later removed as replacement biostocks grow.

Uncovering secrets of ice that burns

Methane hydrates can be seen as a potential energy source or as a dangerous source of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than CO2. With the help of a supercomputer and an interdisciplinary team, scientists have uncovered important details about their stability if they are disturbed by human-induced or natural forces.

Going for a geothermal world record

In Italy, researchers and drilling technologists are on the verge of making a geological breakthrough. They’re drilling deep enough to find what they call ‘supercritical’ water. If they succeed it will be a major technological breakthrough.

Turning political pledges into action on climate change

Beginning on 30 November, the nations of the world will gather in Paris to discuss a new global agreement on climate change. But what will it take to transform international political will into real action to curb global warming?

111 days in the ice

Drilling down to understand sea ice

Global warming is upending virtually everything that scientists know about the Arctic ice cap. During the first half of 2015, a multinational team of researchers froze the RV Lance into the Arctic ice to learn more about how this ice has changed. NTNU researchers were among the scientists seeking to learn more about this changing environment.

Carving up the global carbon pie in a new way

When negotiators come to Paris this December to discuss a binding and universal agreement on controlling climate change, they have to know how much each country contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions problem. A new method offers the best hope yet for accurately accounting for these emissions by providing the right incentives and assigning fair responsibilities.

A Third Industrial Revolution for Norway

Norway’s wealth and prosperity over the last four decades has been built on oil, but Jeremy Rifkin, a futurist and social and economic thinker, says it’s time for the country to change. The Third Industrial Revolution is coming, and Norway needs to abandon fossil fuels and move towards a greener future that relies on renewable energy, shared transport and ultra-efficient housing.

Extreme weather in the Arctic causes problems for people, wildlife

The last week of January 2012 brought wild weather to the Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard and its largest town, Longyearbyen. A new cross-disciplinary study provides a comprehensive look at the effects of this extreme weather event on everything from town infrastructure to the natural environment.

Low-carbon electricity future is clean and feasible

The countries of the world wrapped up preliminary climate talks in Lima, Peru this weekend with an agreement on how the UN’s 194 countries will tackle climate change. The agreement comes in advance of major negotiations scheduled for Paris next year to designed to curb the world’s production of greenhouse gases. In a publication from earlier this year, researchers at NTNU’s Industrial Ecology Programme report that the low-carbon future that would result from curbing greenhouse gas emissions is both feasible from a practical standpoint, and will also substantially reduce air pollution.

Turning humble seaweed to biofuel

A Norwegian research group has been able to achieve bio-oil yields of 79% from a common kelp. Other researchers working with the same species have yields closer to 20%. The secret is to heat the kelp very quickly and bring it to the right temperature within seconds.

Hope for the climate, hope for clean air

Climate talks in New York this week have offered a glimmer of hope that the world’s political leaders finally understand the need to act to curb global warming. An NTNU researcher says that these actions will have a beneficial side effect: cleaner air in some of the most polluted places on the planet.

Lopwood and brushwood make high-grade charcoal

When the forestry machines have finished extracting timber, what is left are tops and branches – waste which cannot be used. However, according to researchers, it is possible to turn these heaps of lopwood into high-quality charcoal.

A global challenge

Three climate researchers talk about the latest report from Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). In English, French and Italian.

Crash course

As the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice cap melts away, new trans-Arctic shipping routes will open and see a growing amount of shipping traffic. But what’s the best way to protect ships and other ocean structures if they crash into icebergs?

Northern lights

Secrets of the High North

The Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard offers scientists the chance to investigate some of the most intriguing – and perplexing – puzzles facing the high north.

Choking on their own growth

The population of the world’s cities is growing by 60 million people a year. What can urban planners do?