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The Boston Globe

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane University finds that rising seas have the potential to inundate the MBTA’s network and underscores the importance of fortifying the system’s infrastructure, reports Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “Severe flooding is a grave challenge for the T,” explains graduate student Michael Martello.

CNBC

MIT Energy Initiative researchers have found that while battery and fuel production for electric vehicles create higher emissions than traditional cars, those emissions are offset by the greater energy efficiency of EVs. “Currently, the electric vehicle in the U.S., on average, would emit about 200 grams of CO2 per mile,” says senior research scientist Sergey Paltsev. “We are projecting that with cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles by 75%, from about 200 (grams) today to about 50 grams of CO2 per mile in 2050.”

National Geographic

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, emphasizes the importance of reaching net-zero emissions as fast as possible. “By pushing natural gas—which is indeed cleaner than coal, but it’s still a fossil fuel that releases a lot of CO2 and more importantly, a lot of methane—we are actually hurting renewables,” says Paltsev. 

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Sanjoy Mitter, Prof. Munther Dahleh, research affiliate Le Xie and their colleagues underscore the need to build a “resilient energy ‘superhighway,’ an electric grid that delivers a wide portfolio of energy supplies to the end users in a reliable manner.” They add that: “Investments are needed both in building the backbone interconnections, as well as in upgrading the ‘last mile’ distribution grid.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian Dunleavy writes that MIT researchers have developed a new way to potentially expand sources of biofuel to include straw and woody plants. "Our goal is to extend this technology to other organisms that are better suited for the production of these heavy fuels, like oils, diesel and jet fuel," explains Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos.

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

Climate Now

Senior research engineer Howard Herzog speaks with Climate Now about carbon capture and storage, and how the technology could be used to help reach net-zero emissions.

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub Co-Director Randolph Kirchain and postdoctoral associate Hessam AzariJafari explore how building lighter-colored, more reflective roads could potentially help lower air temperatures and reduce heat waves. “As cities consider ways to combat the effects of climate change, we believe strategically optimizing pavement is a smart option that can make urban cores more livable,” they write.

Climate Now

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, speaks with Climate Now hosts James Lawler and Katherine Gorman about climate projections and the tools he and his colleagues use to communicate projected climate outcomes to policymakers and the public.

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, emphasizes the importance of including climate change as part of retirement planning. “Preparing for possible conditions and costs of climate change should now be part of our retirement plan,” writes Coughlin.

The Guardian

Writing for The Guardian, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of a worldwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign. “Vaccinating the world will be crucial if countries are going to act together to confront the climate crisis,” they write, “which will require many of the same things as delivering vaccines: resources, innovation, ingenuity and a true partnership between rich and developing countries.”

New York Times

As the curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, addressed how we can live together and how architecture is responding to longstanding global issues that contributed to Covid-19’s global spread, from climate change and migration to political polarization and inequality, reports Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times. “The pandemic will hopefully go away,” said Sarkis. “But unless we address these causes, we will not be able to move forward.”

The Hill

Prof. Ronald Prinn writes for The Hill about the urgent need for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help reduce global temperature increases. Lowering “transition risks toward net-zero-emissions economies will involve integration of both physical and transitional components, a process that requires new and improved models and frameworks,” writes Prinn. “The goal is to empower decision-makers in government and industry to lower the transition risks as an integral companion to mitigation strategies.”

Science

A new study by MIT researchers finds that air pollution can enhance lightning sparked by wildfires, reports Nikk Ogasa for Science.  Ogasa notes that the researchers “also found that air pollution did more than enhance lightning; wildfire smoke more than tripled the intensity of thundershowers.”

Climate Now

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with Ozak Esu and James Lawler of Climate Now about how we know the climate is changing. “We have high confidence that this very high rate of warming, by the standards of the geological past, is owing to the measured incontrovertible increase in greenhouse gases," says Emanuel.