This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.
One of the most well-known impacts of climate change is rising sea levels, and already coastal areas have started making plans to handle the flooding that will come with rising ocean waters. But new research published this week finds that those plans might need to accelerate, as the scientists behind it found that the flooding impacts of increased sea levels are likely to happen faster than previously thought. Not because of any change in carbon emissions, but because of better technologies.
In decades past, researchers used radar to determine coastal elevations, which were then plugged into flooding models. But the problem, these researchers found, is that radar can’t always tell the difference between plants and the ground. Advances in lidar, however, don’t have that issue, enabling more accurate measurements. With those measurements, the study suggests that coastal flooding will happen sooner than previously anticipated, meaning that governments in those regions have shorter deadlines to work with in order to deal with potentially catastrophic climate impacts.
The Big Read
Ayala-Backed AC Energy Expands Solar Footprint With $293 Million Philippine Project
AC Energy is deepening its investments in renewable energy with the construction of a 300-megawatt solar farm in Zambales province, north of Manila.
Discoveries And Innovations
More than one-third of the Amazon rainforest has been degraded by humans, according to new research, as scientists say the region is transitioning to become deforested at a pace faster than previously estimated.
The British Antarctic Survey reported Monday that a hunk of the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica has calved off the larger shelf, creating an iceberg taking up about 1,550 square kilometers.
Sustainability Deals Of The Week
Flood Monitoring: Tech startup Floodbase, which provides data analysis of flood risks, announced that it raised a $12 million series A led by Lowercarbon Capital.
Green Hydrogen: Element Resources announced this week that it will be building and operating a renewable hydrogen manufacturing plant in the city of Lancaster, CA. The facility, when complete, will be able to produce 20,000 tons of hydrogen annually and is targeted to begin operations in 2025.
On The Horizon
The U.S. Department of the Interior has given Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming until January 31 to reach a voluntary agreement on how to cut their use of water from the Colorado river, which is approaching critically low levels, reports the New York Times, but it doesn’t look like any agreement is happening soon, which means the Federal government may have to step in and make the decisions for them.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
The next generation of US nuclear plants could be tiny but powerful (Popular Science)
The Fight Over California’s Ancient Water (The Atlantic)
Agricultural Innovation For A Warming World (Noema)
Green Transportation Update
Regulators have pushed carmakers for years to reduce harmful tailpipe exhaust and more recently to curb carbon emissions from internal combustion engines. But there’s an entirely overlooked form of auto pollution that even electric vehicles create: dust from petroleum-based tires. A growing body of research by scientists worldwide is tracking its effects and have found that along with being a key source of microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans and waterways, it’s also linked to a decimation of coho salmon in the Pacific Northwest and may threaten other fish species.
The Big Transportation Story
Nikola To Run Hydrogen Production, Fuel Cell Truck Stations Under ‘HYLA’ Brand
Nikola has had a wild few years, but the electric truck maker is working to overcome damage to its reputation from founder Trevor Milton’s fraud conviction. This week it confirmed its hydrogen fuel cell semi will hit the road late this year and said it’s creating HYLA, the brand its fuel stations and hydrogen production operations will use. Along with its own trucks, HYLA stations will also be available to competitors’ fuel cell trucks.
More Green Transportation News
Scaling EV Charging On City Streets, Creatively
Should We Fight Climate Change Or Support Free Trade?
What Tesla Brand Crisis? Musk Says His Vast Twitter Audience Confirms Popularity
Hertz And Avis/Budget Are Renting Teslas And Other EVs But Charging Up Before Return Is A Mess
Electric Vehicle Charging Will Soon Require 12 Times More Energy Than Used Today, Warns Motorway Services Boss
Tesla Posts Best-Ever Quarterly Revenue And Profit
Tesla Pouring $3.6 Billion Into Nevada Plant For EV Battery, Semi Production
Researchers Warn The EV Transition Needs Too Much Nasty Lithium. That’s Not How Transitions Work
MIT/IEEE-Published Study Falsely Imagines Computing In Robocars Will Emit Lots Of Carbon. Relax, It’s Unlikely.
Relentless European Electric Car Sales Success Will Include Chinese Disruption
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