Research

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022 5/11/2022

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this World Economic Forum report on how the global energy transition builds on the trends from the Energy Transition Index to provide perspective on the current challenges and recommendations on how to navigate the transition through a turbulent macroeconomic and geopolitical environment. A series of compounded shocks pose short-term risks to energy affordability, sustainability, and energy security. However, the window to prevent the worst consequences of climate change is closing fast.  May 11, 2022.

Estimating global economic well-being with unlit settlements 5/5/2022

Estimating global economic well-being with unlit settlements

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group writes about how it is well established that nighttime radiance, measured from satellites, correlates with economic prosperity across the globe.  For 49 countries spread across Africa, Asia and the Americas we are able to predict and map the wealth class obtained from ~2,400,000 geo-located households based upon the percent of unlit settlements, with an overall accuracy of 87%. May 5, 2022.  

Power Outage in Afghanistan as Seen by DNB 4/20/2022

Power Outage in Afghanistan as Seen by DNB

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tilottama Ghosh writes about how the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US Armed forces, which was completed on August 31st, 2021, can be viewed from ‘space.’ Areas which were lit before become dimmer or become completely dark because of the loss of electricity.  April 20, 2022.  

Project Canary Adds to Independent Stature with 3rd Party Assessment of ESG Data by Big Four Accounting & Payne Institute 3/23/2022

Project Canary Adds to Independent Stature with 3rd Party Assessment of ESG Data by Big Four Accounting & Payne Institute

The Payne Institute is happy to partner with Project Canary on methane and emissions monitoring and data science to ensure independent verification and assessment of data and operating standards.  The Payne Institute will also perform a third-party assessment of all Project Canary internal controls and data analysis.  March 23, 2022.

Colorado clean energy policy landscape: A case study 3/11/2022

Colorado clean energy policy landscape: A case study

Eliza Hotchkiss, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, William Toor, and Keith Hay write about how for decades, countries, states, and municipalities have established energy policies to address local air pollution and global climate change goals. The thousands of policies and measures enacted globally take various forms but are aimed at different sectors of the economy. These policies are the result of a complicated process of analysis, budgeting, management, and politics.  This paper provides an overview of the recent legislative sessions, and how the policies enacted support the Colorado Climate Change Roadmap.  March 11, 2022.

The VIIRS Day/Night Band: A Flicker Meter in Space? 3/9/2022

The VIIRS Day/Night Band: A Flicker Meter in Space?

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge, Researcher Mikhail Zhizhin, David Keith, Steven D. Miller, Researcher Feng Chi Hsu, Researcher Tilottama Ghosh, Sharolyn J. Anderson,Christian K. Monrad, Director Morgan Bazilian, Jay Taneja, Paul C. Sutton, John Barentine, William S. Kowalik, Christopher C. M. Kyba, Dee W. Pack, and Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling write about how the VIIRS day/night band (DNB) high gain stage (HGS) pixel effective dwell time is in the range of 2–3 milliseconds (ms), which is about one third of the flicker cycle present in lighting powered by alternating current. Thus, if flicker is present, it induces random fluctuations in nightly DNB radiances. This results in increased variance in DNB temporal profiles.  Over time, there is a trend towards the reduction of flicker in outdoor lighting through the replacement of HID with low-flicker LED sources. This study indicates that the effects of LED conversions on the brightness and steadiness of outdoor lighting can be analyzed with VIIRS DNB temporal profiles.  March 9, 2022.  

Mines to support new U.S. Department of Energy entrepreneurship program 3/8/2022

Mines to support new U.S. Department of Energy entrepreneurship program

Payne Institute Fellow Werner Kuhr, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation(E&I) at Mines, will support West Gate, the Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office new lab-embedded entrepreneurship program, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. West Gate will provide mentorship and technical resources for promising cleantech innovators, and Mines will be supporting the effort with office space at the Beck Venture Center. Additionally, West Gate innovators will have the opportunity to participate in E&I programs like Innov8x, where they can pose problems that Mines students from all departments can brainstorm and help define, as well as come up with new potential solutions.  March 8, 2022. 

Most Downloaded Paper Award 2021 3/6/2022

Most Downloaded Paper Award 2021

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge received the 2021 Most Downloaded Paper Award from the Journal of Environmental Management (JEM) for the co-authored article titled Light Pollution in USA and Europe: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  The Award recognizes papers published in JEM in a given year (2019 in this case) that received the highest numbers of downloads (Web of Science) in the following three years including the year of publication (2019-2021 in this case). Dr. Elvidge’s contribution to the scientific advancement of resources, conservation and recycling fields has been highly recognized.  March 6, 2022.

Satellite imagery shows Ukraine going dark 3/3/2022

Satellite imagery shows Ukraine going dark

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group provided the satellite images for this article about how as Ukraine defends against a Russian invasion, lights across the country have dimmed.  Before Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, nighttime satellite imagery captured the bright lights of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Rivne and other urban areas. Now that same imagery shows a country that has gone dark, steeling itself against a brutal and unprovoked military attack.  We compared the average nightly lightscape of Ukraine in January to February 25, the night after the invasion began, and found a dramatic reduction in lights across the country.  March 3, 2022.

Satellite Data Provides Insights about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine 3/2/2022

Satellite Data Provides Insights about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group (EOG) can capture a unique view of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine using satellite data provided by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard a Joint Polar Satellite System co-operated by NOAA and NASA. The EOG’s VIIRS Nighttime Lights (VNL) product can display nighttime lights while the group’s VIIRS Nightfire (VNF) product can detect thermal anomalies on the Earth’s surface.  March 2, 2022.

Managing upstream oil and gas emissions: A public health oriented approach 2/26/2022

Managing upstream oil and gas emissions: A public health oriented approach

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, C. Sorenson, Payne Institute Fellow Jay Lemery, Payne Institute Student Scholar C.F. Workman, H. Lindstadt, and Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian discuss how oil and natural gas are the largest primary global energy sources, and upstream gas emissions from these fuels can impact global climate change and local public health. This paper employs a public health-oriented perspective that reviews grey and academic literature, industry data, technical reports, and policy trends to highlight issues of emissions monitoring. February 26, 2022.

VNF DETECTS OIL CONTAINER EXPLOSION 2/4/2022

VNF DETECTS OIL CONTAINER EXPLOSION

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tamara Sparks detected the explosion of the Trinity Spirit, a floating oil production, storage, and offloading vessel, which exploded and caught fire off the coast of Nigeria early on Feb 2, 2022. February 4, 2022. 

Decarbonizing the ceramics industry: A systematic and critical review of policy options, developments and sociotechnical systems 2/2/2022

Decarbonizing the ceramics industry: A systematic and critical review of policy options, developments and sociotechnical systems

Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Aoife M.Foley, Payne Fellow Steve Griffiths, Payne Director Morgan Bazilian, Jinsoo Kim, and David Rooney write about how ceramics are considered one of the greatest and earliest most useful successes of humankind. However, ceramics can be highly damaging to natural and social systems during their lifecycle, from material extraction to waste handling.  This critical and systematic review seeks to identify alternatives to mitigate the climate effects of ceramics products and processes to make their lifecycle more sustainable.  February 2, 2022.

Green Cold War or Climate Anarchy? Together We Can Decide 1/25/2022

Green Cold War or Climate Anarchy? Together We Can Decide

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how climate change is going to reshape the world, whether we succeed at tackling it or not. That’s no longer a statement coming only from scientists, but from the insurance industry, too. Governments and corporate boards are very interested in trying to diminish risks, but also capture opportunities.  January 25, 2022.

Rare earth element resource evaluation of coal byproducts: A case study from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming 1/22/2022

Rare earth element resource evaluation of coal byproducts: A case study from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming

D.A. Bagdonasa, A.J. Enriquez, Payne Fellow K.A. Coddington, D.C. Finnoff, J.F. McLaughlin, Payne Director M.D. Bazilian, E.H. Phillips, and T.L.McLing write about domestic Rare Earth Element sources and production are limited in the United States and currently rely on final processing overseas. Increasing demand and resource security domestically has led to significant investigation into rare earth element domestic resources. Much of this work focuses on unconventional potential ore stocks, including coal and coal byproducts. This investigation focuses on coal byproducts generated as ash from coal burning power stations. January 22, 2022.

Minerals and the clean-energy transition: the basics 1/21/2022

Minerals and the clean-energy transition: the basics

The Payne Institute research is featured in this article and podcast about a lot of the talk in the energy world, and the minerals needed by clean-energy technologies and whether mineral supply problems might pose a threat to the clean-energy transition.  The US, like most developed countries, has become highly import-dependent in minerals.  January 21, 2022.

Ex-post analysis of energy subsidy removal through integrated energy systems modelling 1/15/2022

Ex-post analysis of energy subsidy removal through integrated energy systems modelling

V. Aryanpur, M. Ghahremani, S. Mamipour, M. Fattahi, B. ´O Gallach´oir, Payne Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and J. Glynn write about how energy subsidies can incentivise the overconsumption of energy resources and contribute to other economic or social distortions. In this paper, an ex-post analysis is presented that explores the extent to which electricity subsidy reform could have reduced Iran’s energy demand during the period 1984–2017. It also quantifies the techno-economic and environmental benefits that could have been achieved through such reforms.  January 15, 2022.

How Satellite Monitoring Can Help Protect Refugees 1/4/2022

How Satellite Monitoring Can Help Protect Refugees

Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron, Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge, Researcher Feng Chi, Hsu, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how we are crafting one response to the plights of refugees worldwide through a satellite monitoring technology called Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Lumen Watch. The technology is a prototype developed by the Earth Observation Group in order to monitor changes in nighttime light radiance in geographic locations of interest. Currently, the software monitors the light radiance of two refugee settlements: the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and Al-Jufaynah Camp in Marib City, Yemen, which hosts thousands of people who have been internally displaced by the civil war.  January 4, 2022.  

Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities 1/3/2022

Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Adrienne Marshall and Emily Grubert write about how as water-for-energy quantification efforts progress, research should emphasize decision support for energy system design, incorporating crucial hydrologic dynamics.  Beyond the location of water use, relative scarcity, and potential competing uses, these include sub-daily to interannual temporal dynamics, the impacts of climate change on these dimensions, potential feedbacks between energy and water systems, and the impacts of hydrologic variability or change on policy-based incentive structures. This article reviews prior US-focused efforts to quantify water use for energy, highlights why these nonstationarities are analytically relevant with a brief policy case study, and highlights research needs for decision support under twin nonstationarities. January 3, 2022.  

THE EMERGING GLOBAL NATURAL GAS MARKET AND THE ENERGY CRISIS OF 2021-2022 12/14/2021

THE EMERGING GLOBAL NATURAL GAS MARKET AND THE ENERGY CRISIS OF 2021-2022

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert, Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and Samantha Gross write about the the ongoing energy crisis of late 2021 looks sure to move into 2022. It has already had wide-ranging impacts on economics, the environment, and security. This essay considers a few of the tensions arising for government policy, investors, and consumers. The crisis has three distinct elements: COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, greater interconnectedness of natural gas markets, and signs of energy price
volatility during the energy transition away from fossil fuels. December 14, 2021.

Giant cracks push imperilled Antarctic glacier closer to collapse 12/14/2021

Giant cracks push imperilled Antarctic glacier closer to collapse

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Matthew Siegfried is featured in this article about how research suggests that giant fractures in the floating ice of Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier — a fast-melting formation that has become an icon of climate change — could shatter part of the shelf within five years.  December 14, 2021.

Big Data and AI in Advancing Geothermal Energy 12/13/2021

Big Data and AI in Advancing Geothermal Energy

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow H. Sebnem Düzgün looks at geothermal resources are subsurface and require costly discovery, exploration, development and operation processes. But mining engineers @ Colorado School of Mines are finding answers in Big Data and AI. Energy Resources Intelligence (ERI) is an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based prediction system that supports investment decisions in geothermal. The ERI system produces accurate footprints of potential subsurface geothermal resources using deep-learning algorithms, multimodal big data analytics and statistical- and machine-learning (SML) methods, which lead to cost reductions in geothermal discovery and exploration.  December 13, 2021.  

Cross-Sensor Nighttime Lights Image Calibration for DMSP/OLS and SNPP/VIIRS with Residual U-Net 12/10/2021

Cross-Sensor Nighttime Lights Image Calibration for DMSP/OLS and SNPP/VIIRS with Residual U-Net

Dmitry Nechaev, Payne Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Alexey Poyda, Payne Research Associate Tilottama Ghosh, Payne Research Associate Feng-Chi Hsu, and Payne Senior Research Associate, Director of Earth Observation Group Christopher Elvidge write about how remote sensing of nighttime lights (NTL) is widely used in socio-economic studies of economic growth, urbanization, stability of power grid, environmental light pollution, pandemics and military conflicts. Currently, NTL data are collected with two sensors: (1) Operational Line-scan System (OLS) onboard the satellites from the Defense Meteorology Satellite Program (DMSP) and (2) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi NPP (SNPP) and NOAA-20 satellites from the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). However, the nighttime images acquired by these two sensors are incompatible in spatial resolution and dynamic range. To address this problem, we propose a method for the cross-sensor calibration with residual U-net convolutional neural network (CNN).  December 10, 2021.

Large-Scale Controlled Experiment Demonstrates Effectiveness of Methane Leak Detection and Repair Programs at Oil and Gas Facilities 12/9/2021

Large-Scale Controlled Experiment Demonstrates Effectiveness of Methane Leak Detection and Repair Programs at Oil and Gas Facilities

Jiayang (Lyra) Wang, Brenna Barlow, Wes Funk, Cooper Robinson, Adam Brandt, and Payne Institute Fellow Arvind P. Ravikumar write about the importance of reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations as a near-term climate action is widely recognized. Most jurisdictions around the globe using leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs to find and fix methane leaks. In this work, we empirically evaluate the efficacy of LDAR programs using a large-scale, bottom-up, randomized controlled field experiment across ~200 oil and gas sites in Canada. We find that tanks are the single largest source of emissions, contributing to nearly 60% of total emissions. The average number of leaks at treatment sites that underwent repair reduced by ~50% compared to control site.  December 9, 2021.

Extending the DMSP Nighttime Lights Time Series beyond 2013 12/9/2021

Extending the DMSP Nighttime Lights Time Series beyond 2013

Payne Research Associate Tilottama Ghosh, Kimberly E. Baugh, Payne Senior Research Associate, Director of Earth Observation Group Christopher Elvidge, Payne Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Alexey Poyda, and Payne Research Associate Feng-Chi Hsu write about data collected by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) sensors have been archived and processed by the Earth Observation Group (EOG) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to make global maps of nighttime images since 1994. Over the years, the EOG has developed automatic algorithms to make Stable Lights composites from the OLS visible band data by removing the transient lights from fires and fishing boats. The ephemeral lights are removed based on their high brightness and short duration. However, the six original satellites collecting DMSP data gradually shifted from day/night orbit to dawn/dusk orbit, which is to an earlier overpass time. At the beginning of 2014, the F18 satellite was no longer collecting usable nighttime data, and the focus had shifted to processing global nighttime images from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) data. Nevertheless, it was soon discovered that the F15 and F16 satellites had started collecting pre-dawn nighttime data from 2012 onwards. Therefore, the established algorithms of the previous years were extended to process OLS data from 2013 onwards.  December 9, 2021.

Decarbonizing the glass industry: A critical and systematic review of developments, sociotechnical systems and policy options 12/3/2021

Decarbonizing the glass industry: A critical and systematic review of developments, sociotechnical systems and policy options

Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Aoife M. Foley, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Director Morgan Bazilian, Jinsoo Kim, and David Rooney write about how glass is a material inextricably linked with human civilization. However, environmental issues relating to the glass industry are not just limited to the manufacturing stage, but also from raw materials extraction, which impacts local ecosystems and creates other environmental challenges associated with tailing ponds, waste disposal and landfills. This systematic review poses five questions to examine these issues and themes.  December 3, 2021.

Phasing out coal plants worldwide won’t be easy. These four approaches could help 12/2/2021

Phasing out coal plants worldwide won’t be easy. These four approaches could help

Payne Institute Researcher Brad Handler, Katie Auth, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about how reducing coal use around the world is critical for decreasing air pollution and addressing climate change, yet global coal consumption continues to grow in some regions. At the recent U.N. climate negotiations, countries agreed to “phase down” coal use, but achieving these goals won’t be easy, or cheap — and that’s where innovative financing comes in. Our research suggests that getting the right financial structures in place can help countries bring the dirtiest forms of power offline faster and accelerate new clean energy deployment.  December 2, 2021.

Solving a large energy system optimization model using an open-source solver 11/25/2021

Solving a large energy system optimization model using an open-source solver

Colorado School of Mines and NREL Advanced Energy Systems PhD Candidate Madeline Macmillan, Kelly Eurek, Wesley Cole, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about how open-source energy models are becoming more widely used for electric power systems planning. The solutions for these models are often computed using commercial optimization solvers, which require licensing fees that can be a potential barrier for certain organizations and researchers. This study explores the ability of the open-source COIN-OR linear programming (CLP) solver to compute solutions for the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model—a large-scale, open-access electricity system planning model for the United States developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).   November 25, 2021.

Structural resolution and mechanistic insight into hydrogen adsorption in flexible ZIF-7 11/24/2021

Structural resolution and mechanistic insight into hydrogen adsorption in flexible ZIF-7

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow C. Michael McGuirk and authors write about how flexible metal–organic frameworks offer a route towards high useable hydrogen storage capacities with minimal swings in pressure and temperature via step-shaped adsorption and desorption profiles. Yet, the understanding of hydrogen-induced flexibility in candidate storage materials remains incomplete. Here, we investigate the hydrogen storage properties of a quintessential flexible metal–organic framework, ZIF-7. We use high-pressure isothermal hydrogen adsorption measurements to identify the pressure–temperature conditions of the hydrogen-induced structural transition in ZIF-7. November 24, 2021.

Improving Satellite Monitoring of Methane Emissions 11/9/2021

Improving Satellite Monitoring of Methane Emissions – Data science is fundamental to better emissions tracking

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling, Researcher William Daniels, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Communications Associate Brooke Bowser write about how reducing methane emissions is a focus of addressing climate change. To do so effectively requires a robust monitoring and reporting system. Using data science, researchers at the Payne Institute are able to reduce the limitations of existing satellite data by providing localized estimations of methane fields to help fill the gaps of current monitoring.  November 9, 2021.

Subpixel Analysis of Primary and Secondary Infrared Emitters with Nighttime VIIRS Data 11/7/2021

Subpixel Analysis of Primary and Secondary Infrared Emitters with Nighttime VIIRS Data

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Senior Research Associate Christopher D. Elvidge, Research Associates Mikhail Zhizhin, Feng-Chi Hsu, Tamara Sparks, and Tilottama Ghosh write a paper on the research of the subpixel analysis of two temperature phases present in fire pixels detected in nighttime VIIRS data. Here, they present the flaming subtractive method, with which they have successfully derived temperatures and source areas for two infrared (IR) emitters and a cooler background. This is developed as an add-on to the existing VIIRS nightfire algorithm version 3 (VNF v.3) which uses Planck curve fitting to calculate temperatures and source areas for a single IR emitter and background. November 7, 2021.

THE MOSAIC APPROACH: a Multidimensional Strategy for Strengthening America’s Critical Minerals Supply Chain 10/18/2021

The Mosaic Approach: a Multidimensional Strategy for Strengthening America’s Critical Minerals Supply Chain

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contribute to this report by the Wilson Center on how the United States faces a troubling scenario when it comes to the supply chain for critical minerals. Rapidly increasing demand, under-developed national resources, intense international competition, and years of neglect in this issue area place the U.S. at a distinct disadvantage vis-à-vis China in securing access to the metals and Rare Earth Elements that are vital for the energy transition and for geopolitical ambitions. This paper reflects the dialogue sustained by a high-level group of stakeholders in the summer of 2021 and argues that the United States must take a number of key steps to make the critical minerals supply chain more resilient.  October 18, 2021.

Beirut Power: Trends and Turning Points 10/14/2021

Beirut Power: Trends and Turning Points

Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron, Earth Observation Group Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge and Research Associate Feng-Chi, Hsu write about how in Beirut, it plunged the 2.4 million-person city into darkness this weekend. The Lebanese power grid shut down on Saturday due to depleted fuel resources, which comes after months of economic crisis in the country. October 14, 2021.

Revealing the Dynamics and Roles of Iron Incorporation in Nickel Hydroxide Water Oxidation Catalysts 10/12/2021

Revealing the Dynamics and Roles of Iron Incorporation in Nickel Hydroxide Water Oxidation Catalysts

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ryan Richards collaborates on a paper that looks at how the surface of an electrocatalyst undergoes dynamic chemical and structural transformations under electrochemical operating conditions. There is a dynamic exchange of metal cations between the electrocatalyst and electrolyte. Understanding how iron in the electrolyte gets incorporated in the nickel hydroxide electrocatalyst is critical for pinpointing the roles of Fe during water oxidation. Here, we report that iron incorporation and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are highly coupled, especially at high working potentials.  October 12, 2021.

Application of Mobile Energy Storage for Enhancing Power Grid Resilience: A Review 10/10/2021

Application of Mobile Energy Storage for Enhancing Power Grid Resilience: A Review

Mines/NREL Advanced Energy Systems PhD student Jesse Dugan, Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Salman Mohagheghi, and NREL Researcher Benjamin Kroposki write about how natural disasters can lead to large-scale power outages, affecting critical infrastructure and causing social and economic damages. These events are exacerbated by climate change, which increases their frequency and magnitude. Improving power grid resilience can help mitigate the damages caused by these events. Mobile energy storage systems, classified as truck-mounted or towable battery storage systems, have recently been considered to enhance distribution grid resilience by providing localized support to critical loads during an outage. This paper provides a comprehensive and critical review of academic literature on mobile energy storage for power system resilience enhancement.  October 10, 2021.

Mines professor part of team using supercomputing, big data to answer seismology’s biggest questions 10/7/2021

Mines professor part of team using supercomputing, big data to answer seismology’s biggest questions

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ebru Bozdag is one of the five principal investigators of a $3.2 million NSF research project over four years that will unite seismic data analysis and modeling with supercomputing power to answer some of the biggest questions about Earth’s seismic activity, interior, and dynamics. October 7, 2021.

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa Addressing economic and social challenges 10/6/2021

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa: Addressing economic and social challenges

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Faculty Fellow Rennie B. Kaunda, Thomson Sinkala, Payne Scholar Caleb F. Workman, Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and Deputy Director Greg Clough write about how mining and mineral processing continues to be a source of lasting environmental problems in many developing economies. Phytoremediation has proven to be a viable strategy to remediate contaminated lands and limit environmental damage, but it has not been widely implemented partially due to social and economic challenges.  This paper provides a conceptual approach for phytoremediation-based mineral recovery and explores the social and economic challenges related to large-scale deployment.   October 6, 2021.  

National Science Foundation Invests $75 Million In Five New Data Science Institutes 10/4/2021

National Science Foundation Invests $75 Million In Five New Data Science Institutes

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Eric Toberer has been named as a lead of an NSF Harnessing the Data Revolution Institutes.  The institutes will bring together researchers and engineers in data science to develop and apply new technologies in several areas of science spanning biology, physics, neuroscience, geophysics, and climate change.  October 4, 2021.  

Colorado’s Skies Really Are That Much Smokier As Western Wildfires Worsen 9/28/2021

Colorado’s Skies Really Are That Much Smokier As Western Wildfires Worsen

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tamara Sparks contributes to this article about how a surge of large wildfires in the West, fueled in part by climate change, has increased the number of days residents are breathing smoke across nearly every part of Colorado.  The number of days with smoky skies has grown over the last decade, the data show, blanketing Colorado from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope — including northern parts of the state and the heavily populated Front Range corridor.  September 28, 2021.

Planning for a Resilient Home Electricity Supply System 9/28/2021

Planning for a Resilient Home Electricity Supply System

Emon Chatterji, Advanced Energy Systems PhD Candidate Kate Anderson, and Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about the resilience of power systems is already a key issue that is getting frequent attention all over the world. It is useful to analyze resilience issues not only for bulk supply, but at all levels including at a customer level. This is because distributed energy resources can play a prominent role in enhancing resilience. A planning model is developed that incorporates multiple facets of resilience and individual customer preferences.  September 28, 2021. 

Tallgrass to track, measure emissions on U.S. interstate natgas pipeline 9/28/2021

Tallgrass to track, measure emissions on U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline

The Payne Institute is a data science partner with Project Canary to help Tallgrass Energy Partners monitor emissions, including methane and other greenhouse gases, on its Rockies Express Pipeline, making it the first U.S. company to measure the environmental impact of operations on an interstate natural gas pipeline.  September 28, 2021.  

Harnessing data for materials discovery goal of new $15M NSF Institute for Data-Driven Dynamical Design 9/28/2021

Harnessing data for materials discovery goal of new $15M NSF Institute for Data-Driven Dynamical Design

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Eric Toberer is leading the Harnessing Data Revolution Institutes funded nationwide.  A new $15 million interdisciplinary research institute led by Colorado School of Mines aims to create new theoretically grounded and experimentally validated approaches and tools to design and discover dynamical materials and structures while solving long-standing scientific challenges in the dynamical response of materials.  September 28, 2021.

Lights of a City Under Siege – Disruption to Kandahar Airport Lights Increases as the Taliban Entered the City 8/25/2021

Lights of a City Under Siege – Disruption to Kandahar Airport Lights Increases as the Taliban Entered the City

Payne Institute Communications Associate Brooke Bowser, Earth Observation Group Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the airport in Kandahar, Afghanistan has been impacted as U.S. troops began their withdrawal from a 20-year conflict, and the Taliban steadily gained more ground in the city.  August 25, 2021.

Space exploration and development is essential to fighting climate change 8/16/2021

Space exploration and development is essential to fighting climate change

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert writes about how the recently released Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents a worrying scientific consensus: climate change is happening, humans are causing it, even our best efforts cannot prevent negative effects, and reducing emissions now is essential to preventing catastrophic consequences. The Biden Administration recognizes the urgency of addressing this challenge. This prioritization rightly reflects the growing capabilities of the public and private space sectors to help our society understand, adapt, and mitigate climate change.  Perhaps most importantly, growing space activities can accelerate the clean energy transition to reduce emissions by catalyzing technological development of existing and new energy technologies.  With foresight and targeted intervention, emerging space capabilities and industry can improve our climate outcomes.  August 16, 2021.

Expanding the scope of just transitions: Towards localized solutions and community-level dynamics 8/14/2021

Expanding the scope of just transitions: Towards localized solutions and community-level dynamics

Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian, Sanya Carley, David Konisky, Fellow Hisham Zerriffi, Sandeep Pai, and Fellow Brad Handler write about the academic interpretation of the concept of just transitions has evolved considerably over the last two decades. What was generally addressed in academic research in a technocratic way, with a primary focus on job replacement and the costs thereof, has given way to broader societal thinking around the need to address injustice in legacy energy systems.  We argue that further tools based in inter-disciplinary science, social science, and humanities approaches need to be adopted to evaluate communities’ experiences with transitions and to better design and implement policy and regulation.  August 14, 2021.

Understanding the nexus of energy, environment and conflict: An overview 8/13/2021

Understanding the nexus of energy, environment and conflict: An overview

Samuel W. Kerber, Payne Institute Fellow Alexander Q. Gilbert, Faculty Fellow Mark R. Deinert, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about how energy, environment, and conflict are each the subject of significant research efforts. However, their nexus has received relatively little attention, and even less when climatic shifts are considered. Here, we examine existing literature on these individual areas, their overlaps, and elucidate the fundamental gaps in understanding their nexus.  August 13, 2021.

AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis Report 8/10/2021

AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis Report

Several Payne Institute Fellows contributed to this monumental report with the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations.  August 10, 2021.

 

The Payne Institute experts are regional, national, and international leaders in applied research in natural resources, energy, and the environment. Our team is involved in a wide variety of research projects in these fields, and are committed to sharing these results with academic and professional audiences.

 

DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints, or official policies of the Payne Institute or Colorado School of Mines.