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Global Warming

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New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with New York Times reporter Peter Wilson about how climate change can impact global inequality. “The responsibility for the emissions that lead to climate change rests mainly with rich countries and their consumers, but the cost is mainly going to be borne by citizens in poor countries,” says Duflo. 

Bloomberg

Researchers from MIT, the University of Southern California, Redfin, and the National Bureau of Economic Research found that property listings with flood risks were less likely to be looked at and bid on by potential homebuyers, reports Leslie Kaufman for Bloomberg.

The Hill

Hessam Azarijafari, incoming deputy director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, Ronnen Levinson of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Andrew Laurent of the Concrete Sustainability Hub write for The Hill about how cities can combat extreme heat by implementing more reflective pavements. “To protect vulnerable communities, federal and local officials must cool cities with high-reflectance pavements before the opportunity to limit the impacts of global warming vanishes,” they write.

Bloomberg

Researchers from the MIT Energy Initiative have found that “without restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions, the Northeast will have even higher per-kilowatt emissions from electricity generation in 2050 than it does now,” reports Justin Fox for Bloomberg. Fox writes that the “modeling results are an indication that the Northeast faces unique challenges in decarbonizing.”

Fortune

This summer’s heat waves and droughts have brought forth a series of issues including disruption of crop production, further inflation, and electrical issues, reports Colin Lodewick for Fortune. “I think it’s too early to quantify, but I have no doubt that these extreme events are contributing to high prices,” says Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. “In the future, if we don’t change the course of action, it’s going to be worse.” 

Newsweek

Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), an MIT spinout, has signed an agreement with the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to “support the fastest path to clean commercial fusion energy,” reports Ed Browne for Newsweek. “CFS says its agreement with UKAEA could involve exchanges of knowledge and collaboration on things like fuel, modeling, manufacturing and maintenance,” writes Browne. 

The Washington Post

Postdoctoral fellow Joshua A. Schwartz and University of Pennsylvania PhD candidate Sabrina B. Arias write for The Washington Post about their research exploring how American cities and towns are taking action to help reduce carbon emissions. “Major urban areas account for about 30 percent of the U.S. carbon footprint,” they write. “This means even relatively narrow efforts focused on those cities could still have a significant impact.”

Bloomberg

Jennifer Rumsey MS ’98 has been named the first female CEO of Cummins Inc., a truck engines and power-generation equipment manufacturing company, reports Brooke Sutherland for Bloomberg. “Rumsey’s technical background is exactly what Cummins needs right now as the company pivots from its legacy as a maker of diesel engines and plots its role in the energy transition,” writes Sutherland.

The Boston Globe

Institute Prof. Emeritus Peter Diamond speaks with Boston Globe reporter Scot Lehigh about the Fed’s attempts to control inflation. “My message to the Fed would be, yes, we need to cool the economy, but we need to go slowly in doing so, and see how this plays out, because we shouldn’t have confidence in our predictions,” says Diamond.

Financial Times

A study from MIT and the University of California San Diego highlighted how temperature variation can affect sleep, reports Veronika Samborska and Chris Campbell for the Financial Times. “That survey of 765,000 US respondents reported that increased night temperatures were linked to a higher number of nights of “insufficient sleep” in the self-reporting by participants,” write Samborska and Campbell.

Forbes

Alumna Jennifer Rumsey SM ’98 will become the first woman to lead Cummins, the largest maker of diesel engines for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, since its founding in 1919, reports Alan Ohnsman for Forbes. “Rumsey… intends to continue the shift to products that generate far less climate-warming emissions,” writes Ohnsman.

New York Times

Researchers at MIT have found that due to the ongoing circulation of dust, sea salt, and organic matter produced by vegetation, even eliminating all human-caused pollution would still leave half of the world’s population exposed to particulate levels deemed unsafe by the World Health Organization, writes David Wallace-Wells for The New York Times. “When pollution combines with extreme heat, researchers have found, overall mortality risk can grow by more than 20 percent.”

TechCrunch

Research affiliate Jason Prapas founded Fyto, a company dedicated to developing hardware and software to automate and scale the production of aquatic plants, reports Christine Hall for TechCrunch. Prapas says that “Fyto’s technology taps into a farm’s waste streams as inputs to enable farmers to increase productivity and improve nutrient management while reducing production costs, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions, in some operations by over 50%.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT scientists have suggested that a raft of thin-film silicon bubbles could potentially block the sun’s radiation from further warming the Earth and help prevent some of the impacts of climate change, reports Tim Newcomb for Popular Mechanics. “The MIT group believes that if the raft of bubbles can deflect 1.8 percent of incident solar radiation before it hits Earth, they can fully reverse today’s global warming,” writes Newcomb.

Forbes

Researchers from MIT, University College London, the University of Cambridge, and the NOAA have found that space projects by Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos are contributing to global warming and depleting the earth’s protective ozone layer, reports David Vetter for Forbes. “The London-Cambridge-MIT team looked at all the rocket launches and reentries that took place in 2019 and found that the global warming efficiency of black carbon soot released from rockets is 500 times greater than the same substance released at the Earth’s surface and by aircraft,” writes Vetter.