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Climate change

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The Hill

In an article for The Hill, Prof. Emeritus Henry Jacoby writes that “government agencies, even as they act to protect U.S. interests, need to try to maintain conditions favorable for international climate research efforts.”

Reuters

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang ’85, Prof. Craig Carter and Throop Wilder co-founded MIT spinout 24M, which “will manufacture next-generation lithium-ion batteries using its cell technology,” reports Reuters.  

CBS

“MIT researchers concluded wood burns dirtier than coal, and determined it takes at least 44 years for replanted trees to adsorb the carbon released from burning the ones they replaced,” reports CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti.

Bloomberg

Bruce Anderson ’73, founder and CEO of MIT spinout 247 Solar, speaks with Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour host Janet Wu about the power of solar energy and growing climate concerns for the future. “We are facing dire circumstances here,” says Anderson. “We have no clue what the climate’s tipping point is where it all of sudden goes in a direction that we cannot recover from, no matter how much carbon we remove from the air."

GBH

Lecturer Susan Murcott and graduate student Imane Ait Mbiriq speak with Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel of GBH’s Morning Edition about the MIT Climate Clock, a creation from the D-Lab that will be projected on the Green Building through May 27. “Our overall vision is that we have climate clocks in every K-12 school, in every university campus in the United States and even in the world, so that people can wake up to the reality of this new age and take action,” says Murcott.

State House News

MIT President L. Rafael Reif and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry discussed the urgency of addressing climate change during the Climate Grand Challenges Showcase event, reports Chris Lisinski for the State House News Service. “Climate change has been called a ‘super wicked’ problem. In Boston, that might sound like a local way of saying ‘really hard,’ but this phrase is actually a technical term,” Reif said. “It describes any enormously complex societal problem that has no single right answer and no clear finish line as well as multiple stakeholders with conflicting priorities and no central authority empowered to solve it.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News reporter Janet Wu speaks with President L. Rafael Reif and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry during the Institute’s Climate Grand Challenges showcase event. “If you can capture the emissions -- literally, genuinely -- then you’re reducing the problem,” said Kerry of the importance of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

ABC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with ABC News about the urgent need to transition to renewable energy sources, and how we can build a future powered by alternative energy. “Up until recently there were really significant questions about whether we could transition to another [energy] foundation,” says Trancik. “This question has now been answered in that we now have cost competitive renewable primary energy in the form of solar and wind energy and also in other types of renewable energy.”

Science

A team of researchers from MIT and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory successfully reached a 30% jump in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) efficiency, reports Robert F. Service for Science. “[TPV] is a semiconductor structure that concerts photons emitted from a heat source to electricity, just as a solar cell transforms sunlight into power,” explains Service.

Boston Business Journal

MIT announced five projects "targeting the world's toughest climate riddles" that were selected following a rigorous two-year competition, reports Benjamin Kail for Boston Business Journal. “Climate Grand Challenges represents a whole-of-MIT drive to develop game-changing advances to confront the escalating climate crisis, in time to make a difference,” says President L. Rafael Reif.

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Nidhi Subbaraman about the dramatic drops in costs to manufacture and sell renewable technologies. Subbaraman notes that Trancik’s research shows that “the steep drop in solar and lithium-ion battery technology was enabled by market expansion policies as well as investment in research and development by governments and the private sector.”

EOS

A study conducted by Prof. Susan Solomon and her colleagues has found that unlike CFCs, smoke destroys the ozone in a more roundabout way, creating concerns due to the impact of the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, reports Krystal Vasquez for EOS. “Because of the sheer scale of the event [the Australian bushfires] massive amounts of smoke penetrated the normally pristine upper stratosphere,” writes Vasquez.

Bloomberg Radio

Research engineer Paul Woskov speaks with Bloomberg Radio host Tom Moroney and Joe Shortsleeve about his work with Quaise Energy in developing a laser to drill holes into the earth. “There is a lot of heat contained within our planet. The amount of heat that is present, if tapped, could supply all of our energy needs for several million years,” says Woskov.

The Boston Globe

Researchers from MIT and MIT spinoff Quaise Energy speak with Boston Globe reporter David Abel about their work developing a new way to drill as deep as 12 miles into the Earth’s crust, using a special laser, which could provide a way to tap the geothermal energy in the rocks. “This is game-changing,” Woskov said. “We now have the potential to exploit an energy source that . . . could unleash the virtually limitless supply of energy beneath our feet.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray spotlights how a number of MIT spinoffs are working on changing the world’s energy-storage systems. “Behind these companies are key technological advances in chemistry and materials, many of them pioneered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” writes Bray. “These breakthroughs have put battery startups at the forefront of the region’s climate-tech sector.”