Category: Asia and the Pacific

A View from the Ground Along the Proposed Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) Route 7/15/2022

A View from the Ground Along the Proposed Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) Route

Payne Institute ESG Research Associate Baba Freeman writes about how the proposed Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) has been conceived to transport gas from the Niger delta in Nigeria, across Niger and Algeria to supply Europe as it reduces its dependence on Russian gas while transitioning to lower carbon energy. Technical risks to the pipeline’s success can also be substantially mitigated through engineering studies before the final investment decision is made. A case can be made that beyond these latter risk categories, that there would be residual risks to the TSGP’s success that are non-market and non-technical in nature. July 15, 2022.

CHINESE FISHING FLEET RETURNS YEARLY TO ARGENTINA 6/7/2022

CHINESE FISHING FLEET RETURNS YEARLY TO ARGENTINA

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt. Castle writes about a Chinese fishing fleet has returned to the waters around Argentina. This fleet has returned year after year to fish outside of Argentina’s economic exclusion zone (EEZ). The coastal waters inside of the EEZ are biodiverse and home to the second largest squid fishery in the world. Around half of the world’s shortfin squid is caught within Argentina’s waters. The shortfin squid market can generate upwards of $2.4 billion dollars a year. While legal to fish outside of the 200-mile EEZ, portions of the fishing fleet will fish illegally within Argentina’s EEZ.  June 7, 2022. 

Four Mines faculty members named Fulbright Scholars 6/6/2022

Four Mines faculty members named Fulbright Scholars

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Neal Sullivan and Marte Gutierrez were named Fulbright Scholars for the coming year.  Dr. Gutierrez’s award will take him to the University of Chile, where he will conduct research with faculty there on the impacts of climate change on landslides, rockfalls and mudflows in Chile. The research will identify localities in Chile and provide mitigation solutions for amplified geological hazard potential from climate change. Dr. Sullivan will be spending seven months at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. The work he plans to conduct there will be similar to what he and his team work on at the Colorado Fuel Cell Center: developing next-generation materials for “green” hydrogen production. WASM’s work is supported by Western Australian companies, including Fortescue Metals Group, which has pledged to become Asia’s supplier of carbon-free green hydrogen over the coming decades.  June 6, 2022.

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis 5/10/2022

Air-Conditioning Should Be a Human Right in the Climate Crisis

Rose M. Mutiso, Morgan D. Bazilian, Jacob Kincer, and Brooke Bowser write about how we need to protect vulnerable people from killer heat without destroying the environment.  As the world heats up, billions of people need air-conditioning. This 120-year-old technology used to be considered a luxury, but in the age of climate change, it is a necessity for human survival. Understandably, this has created anxiety over the climate threat of a world overrun with ACs. But the coming boom in air-conditioning is an essential shift toward reducing the enormous gap in cooling availability that exists between rich and poor people and nations—and toward producing a more equitable world.  May 10, 2022.

Biden eyes using wartime powers for minerals needed in clean energy push 3/30/2022

Biden eyes using wartime powers for minerals needed in clean energy push

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee contributes to this article about how President Joe Biden could use the Defense Production Act to help secure U.S. sources of critical minerals that are deemed key components of clean energy technology. While the U.S. possesses many of those minerals, industry and some lawmakers of both parties contend regulations have deterred development and forced the U.S. to rely on supplies from nations like China, Russia, South Africa and Australia.  March 30, 2022.

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change 3/16/2022

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change

Payne Institute Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the recent UN COP26 climate negotiations once again revealed how the richest nations in the world are not meeting their commitments to the developing world.  A vastly more important shortcoming of public climate finance is its continued failure to attract the private capital that increasingly appreciates the long-term imperative of climate action and that will be essential if the world is to spend the trillions necessary to fight climate change.  March 16, 2022.

The 2-Year Countdown to Deep-Sea Mining 1/24/2022

The 2-Year Countdown to Deep-Sea Mining

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributed to this article about how a small island nation, Nauru,  is forcing the hand of international regulators to finalize rules for deep-sea mining, but scientists say the environmental consequences are not yet clear.  Nauru, the smallest island nation in the world, invoked a legal provision last June that started a countdown clock for deep-sea mining in international waters. The move is essentially an ultimatum to speed up the completion of deep-sea mining regulations so that commercial enterprises can begin exploiting the seabed. January 24, 2022.  

Identification of Smoldering Peatland Fires in Indonesia via Triple-Phase Temperature Analysis of VIIRS Nighttime Data 7/28/2021

Identification of Smoldering Peatland Fires in Indonesia via Triple-Phase Temperature Analysis of VIIRS Nighttime Data

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group researchers Christopher D. Elvidge, Mikhail Zhizhin, Feng-Chi Hsu, and NOAA researcher Kimberly Baugh have contributed to the book titled Biomass Burning in South and Southeast Asia.  They apply a spectral un-mixing procedure to uniquely identify low-temperature (320–500 K) peatland smoldering in Indonesia using nighttime data collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The analysis begins with the detection of subpixel infrared (IR) emitters in six spectral bands spanning the near-infrared (NIR), shortwave infrared (SWIR), and midwave infrared (MWIR). With sunlight eliminated, the NIR and SWIR radiances can be fully attributed to the IR emitter. July 28, 2021.  

Olympics medals made of mashed up smartphones 7/27/2021

Olympics medals made of mashed up smartphones

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about recycled goods being used at the 2020 Olympics.  The Olympic torch, a sacred flame that dates back to ancient Greece, has now become an icon of the future, made up of aluminum waste from temporary housing built after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Meanwhile, 79,000 tons of metal salvaged from donated smartphones and electronics are now the key ingredients in 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals, according to the International Olympic Committee.  July 27, 2021. 

VIIRS Boat Detection Data (VBD) 6/8/2021

VIIRS Boat Detection Data (VBD)

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge and his researchers produce global fishing boat detection data in near-real time from low light imaging data collected by the NASA / NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The detections are produced with a nominal four-hour temporal latency – with files typically ready by 06:00 local time. Most of the detections come from vessels deploying heavy lighting to attract catch. This is a common practice in Asia and several other areas. EOG send email alerts on vessel detections in marine protected areas to government agencies and NGO’s in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.  June 8, 2021.