Category: Commentary Series

SATELLITE DATA CAPTURES POWER OUTAGES IN SUDAN’S CIVIL WAR 5/19/2024

SATELLITE DATA CAPTURES POWER OUTAGES IN SUDAN’S CIVIL WAR

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how a horrible full-scale civil war in Sudan is creating chaos, anarchy, mass starvation, and the world’s largest population of internal refugees – approximately nine million.  The researchers have created a temporal profile of nighttime lights for Khartoum where seasonal variations in lights within a year can be seen, but the interannual radiance was stable until the conflict started in April 2023.  May 19, 2024.

NAVIGATING COMMERCIAL ADVISORY IN THE VCM 5/16/2024

NAVIGATING COMMERCIAL ADVISORY IN THE VCM

School of Mines Mineral and Energy Economics Masters candidate Jared Andreatta and Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler write an explainer of the various types of Commercial Advisory services firms that participate in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). These advisory firms primarily help buyers find, evaluate and transact carbon offset credits, but offer distinct approaches. May 16, 2024.

SATELLITE DATA REVEALS THE START OF CANADA’S WILDFIRE SEASON 5/16/2024

SATELLITE DATA REVEALS THE START OF CANADA’S WILDFIRE SEASON

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how as of May 14, 2024, there are 143 active wildfires in Canada, and 39 are out of control, according to Canadian experts and officials. The Earth Observation Group has calculated the temperatures and spatial extent of active burning across Canada with their Nightfire algorithm applied to data collected by NOAA’s Visible infrared Imaging Spectrometer Suite (VIIRS).   May 16, 2024.

LEEDING POWER BACK TO COMMUNITIES THROUGH GREEN BUILDING CODES 5/10/2024

LEEDING POWER BACK TO COMMUNITIES THROUGH GREEN BUILDING CODES – ADVICE FOR POLICYMAKERS CONSIDERING LEED CERTIFICATION

Payne Institute Student Researcher Nathan Li compares goals of original, local green building codes and their potential for projects to use LEED certification as a path of compliance. By using his professional experience in LEED certification to analyze these codes’ language and priorities, he provide guidance on the applicability of LEED to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals set by jurisdictions.  Nathan then makes suggestions to policymakers not to rely on the widespread acceptance of LEED to communicate a sustainability commitment, but instead use locally specific codes that require needed changes in their communities.  May 10, 2024.

New Method for Tracking Down Methane Emissions on Oil and Gas Sites 3/27/2024

New Method for Tracking Down Methane Emissions on Oil and Gas Sites

Payne Institute Student Researcher William Daniels, Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how reducing methane emissions is a key component of short-term climate action.  Empirical data and transparent models are key pillars of emission reduction efforts.  Payne Institute researchers William Daniels, Meng Jia, and Dorit Hammerling have developed a completely open-source analytical framework for detecting single-source methane emissions, determining the source location, and estimating an emission rate using data from continuous monitoring systems (CMS).  March 27, 2024.

Exploring policy choices for addressing forever chemicals 3/25/2024

Exploring policy choices for addressing forever chemicals

Payne Institute Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Student Researcher Isabel Guajardo Retamales and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how on March 20, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) convened a pivotal hearing titled “Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances.  The session focused on the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic chemicals found in various industrial and consumer products. March 25, 2024.

VIIRS SENSORS SHOW BREADTH OF TEXAS WILDFIRES 2/29/2024

VIIRS SENSORS SHOW BREADTH OF TEXAS WILDFIRES

Payne Institute Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how using the VIIRS Nightfire satellites, the Earth Observation Group at the Payne Institute for Public Policy has calculated the temperatures and spatial extent of active burning in the Texas Panhandle with their Nightfire algorithm applied to data collected by NOAA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer Suite (VIIRS). February 29, 2024.

EOG’S VIIRS SATELLITES CONFIRM DRONE ATTACKS ON RUSSIAN OIL INFRASTRUCTURE 2/16/2024

EOG’S VIIRS SATELLITES CONFIRM DRONE ATTACKS ON RUSSIAN OIL INFRASTRUCTURE

Payne Institute Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how using the VIIRS Nightfire satellites, the Earth Observation Group at the Payne Institute for Public Policy was able to confirm several of the recent Ukrainian drone attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in Russia that have occurred over the past several weeks.  February 16, 2024.

SOLAR SURGE PUTS PRESSURE ON SILVER SUPPLY (BUT LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING) 2/14/24

SOLAR SURGE PUTS PRESSURE ON SILVER SUPPLY (BUT LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING)

Payne Institute Communications Associate Kristin Ziv and Director Morgan Bazilian write about the global demand for solar panels and as it soars, so does the demand for silver – a key component in the manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar installations are breaking records worldwide in both volume and low price, according to BloombergNEF. February 14, 2024.