Friday, June 10, 2016

Climate warming sometimes-but not always-benefits insect pests

University of Michigan News

As the world warms, outbreaks of plant-eating insect pests are expected to intensify, largely because warmer temperatures favor the pest's biology while boosting growth of the plants they eat.

Several studies suggest that climate warming may be a big benefit to plant-eating pests at high latitudes, especially high in subarctic or arctic ecosystems.

Friday, June 03, 2016

The world is about to install 700 million air conditioners. Here’s what that means for the climate

The Washington Post

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Keith Watson, the Vice President of Corporate Research and Development at Dow Chemical Company, and Kevin Self, Senior Vice President Strategy, Business Development & Government Relations at Schneider Electric, have joined the External Advisory Board of the Energy Institute. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

America’s commuter system is going off the rails

CNN, feat. Victor Li

Long a source of national pride, America's infrastructure is in critical need of repair, but federal government spending on the issue has gone down 9% in the past decade.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chemists settle longstanding debate on how methane is made biologically

U-M News Service, feat. Stephen Ragsdale

Like the poet, microbes that make methane are taking chemists on a road less traveled: Of two competing ideas for how microbes make the main component of natural gas, the winning chemical reaction involves a molecule less favored by previous research, something called a methyl radical.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Over roughly the past 10 years, the United States has experienced remarkable growth in the production of natural gas and oil. This growth has taken place across dozens of regions, from the scrub of west Texas to the plains of North Dakota to the pastoral hills of Appalachia. It has sparked economic growth, raised environmental concerns and reduced energy prices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Oil and gas development has increased substantially in the United States over the past decade, largely due to production from low-porosity rock formations subjected to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This rapid growth has created a variety of opportunities and challenges for local governments across the country. Experts at this seminar will explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era. RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative.

Friday, May 13, 2016

How to avert a Great Lakes water catastrophe

Detroit News, feat. U-M Water Center

The Great Lakes are one of our planet’s most valuable natural resources, providing drinking water to 40 million, generating tens of billions of dollars in economic activity annually and giving those of us lucky enough to live in Michigan an endless source of awe and inspiration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Producers and crew from PBS's Nova series are visiting the Energy Institute's Battery Lab this week while filming a special on the future of energy storage and vehicle electrification. Battery Lab Manager Greg Less, along with Battery Fabrication Specialist Bill Hicks, are building batteries with host David Pogue, while Professors Levi Thompson, Jeff Sakamoto and Christian Lastoskie will guide the production team through their lab spaces and give interviews about their work. UMEI Director Mark Barteau will appear to discuss the future of energy storage and transportation. 

Friday, May 06, 2016

Revised energy bill would still harm Michigan ratepayers, advocates say

Midwest Energy News

Michigan Senate Republicans spent the past six months revising a comprehensive energy policy proposal that brought fierce opposition from interest groups over electric choice, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A peek into the future of mobility*

Triple Pundit, feat. Mark Barteau

Last week at Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas, the winning team from Quebec’s Université Laval achieved the equivalent of 2,584 miles per gallon with a car students designed and built themselves. This year, the company added a side event to the regular competition — a symposium entitled Powering Progress Together, which featured a number of prominent thinkers in fields related to motor transportation who came to share their views on the future of this critical sector.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Climate change is a potential threat to the welfare of mankind and its mitigation is becoming urgent. Nuclear energy, which provides one-fifth of U.S. electricity generation, is currently the leading utility-scale, carbon-free baseload power source in America.  But it is expensive, controversial, and regulated in a way that poses challenges to technological innovation. So how does nuclear power fit into U.S. climate change mitigation goals going forward?