Research

Musical chairs: Analyzing the evolution of stakeholders in Peru’s mining sector through dialogue tables 1/30/2023

Musical chairs: Analyzing the evolution of stakeholders in Peru’s mining sector through dialogue tables

Payne Institute Research Associates Alicia Polo y La Borda Cavero and Aaron Malone, Yezelia Caceres Cabana, and Ronaldo Quinta Soto write about how mining is an important but often contentious activity. Despite substantial research on mining dynamics and conflict, there has been less analysis of the stakeholders. This paper centers stakeholders and analyzes the case of Peru, asking: Who are the stakeholders in dialogues and conflicts around Peru’s mining sector? How have stakeholders changed over time, and how do they vary across contexts?  January 30, 2023.

Net Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Value Chains 1/30/2023

Net Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Value Chains

The Payne Institute is a collaborator in the creation of the Net Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Value Chains.  The Roadmap is a net zero transition guide that sets out a science-based decarbonization strategy for copper and nickel mining value chain actors. It highlights how mining sector actors can lower their emissions footprints, including scopes 1 and 2, and a subset of scope 3. It shows how to take advantage of the growth in demand coming from end users such as EVs, solar, wind, and storage. And it demonstrates how a net zero strategy offers opportunities to improve broader ESG impacts and performance, access sustainable finance, and contribute to a just energy transition.  January 30, 2023.  

Pathways to net-zero emissions from aviation 1/30/2023

Pathways to net-zero emissions from aviation

Candelaria Bergero, Payne Institute Fellow Greer Gosnell, Dolf Gielen, Seungwoo Kang, Director Morgan Bazilian and Steven J. Davis write about how international climate goals imply reaching net-zero global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by roughly mid-century (and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century). Among the most difficult emissions to avoid will be those from aviation given the industry’s need for energy-dense liquid fuels that lack commercially competitive substitutes and the difficult-to-abate non-CO2 radiative forcing. Here we systematically assess pathways to net-zero emissions aviation.  January 30, 2023.

Decarbonizing the chemical industry: A systematic review of sociotechnical systems, technological innovations, and policy options 1/23/2023

Decarbonizing the chemical industry: A systematic review of sociotechnical systems, technological innovations, and policy options

Changwoo Chung, Jinsoo Kim, Benjamin K.Sovacool, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Minyoung Yang write about how chemicals, essential materials for modern life, emit substantial greenhouse gases during production and use. Like the other carbon-intensive industries, the chemical industry is a complex and diverse industry to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonizing the chemical industry is critical to overcoming the climate crisis and building a sustainable and vibrant future. We conducted a comprehensive and systematic review screening more than 5.6 million articles and thoroughly analyzing a shortlist of 246 studies about the decarbonization innovations of the chemical industry. Based on the review results, we identified the sociotechnical system of the industry into four groups: raw materials, chemical making processes, chemical product making and usage, and waste management and recycling.   January 23, 2023.

Ukraine Power Outages Viewed From the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite at Night 1/10/2023

Ukraine Power Outages Viewed From the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite at Night

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge, Research Associate Tilottama Ghosh and Mikhail Zhizhin, and student researcher Elijah Mt.Castle write about how as the Russia-Ukraine war approaches the 1 year mark the electrical grid in Ukraine has taken devastating damage. Russia has hit more than 200 targets in the electrical infrastructure. This has left millions of Ukrainian citizens without power in the cold winter months. In the early days of the war Russia captured the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russia has now militarized the facility installing several Grad rocket launchers around the dry storage for spent nuclear fuel. Protective structures were erected to defend the launchers, but these structures violate international nuclear and radiation safety regulations.   January 10, 2023.  

$50M partnership with UT Austin, CSU to tackle oil & gas greenhouse gas emissions accounting. 1/10/2023

COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES ALONG WITH UT AUSTIN, CSU TO TACKLE OIL & GAS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ACCOUNTING IN A $50 MILLION PARTNERSHIP

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling and Fellow Arvind Ravikumar and the Payne Institute has partnered with the University of Texas at Austin and Colorado State University to stand up a new $50 million multidisciplinary research and education initiative that will address the growing need for accurate, timely and clear accounting of greenhouse gas emissions across global oil and natural gas supply chains.  Data and analysis from this major new endeavor will help both public and private institutions develop climate strategies and actions informed by accurate data, identifying both opportunities for emissions reductions and verification. The Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab (EEMDL) will be hosted at UT Austin. January 10, 2023

Comparison of the Gaussian plume and puff atmospheric dispersion models on oil and gas facilities 1/6/2023

Comparison of the Gaussian plume and puff atmospheric dispersion models on oil and gas facilities

Payne Institute Student Researchers Meng Jia and Will Daniels, and Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling write about how characterizing methane emissions on oil and gas facilities often relies on a forward model to describe the atmospheric transport of methane. Here we compare two forward models: the Gaussian plume, a commonly used steady-state dispersion model, and the Gaussian puff, a time varying dispersion model that approximates a continuous release as a sum over many small “puffs”. We compare model predictions to observations from a network of point-in-space continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) collected during a series of controlled releases.  January 6, 2022.

Implementing safety zones for lunar activities under the Artemis Accords 1/4/2023

Implementing safety zones for lunar activities under the Artemis Accords

Payne Institute Fellow Alexander Gilbert writes about how improving technology could enable new commercial and scientific activities in outer space, including crewed stations, space mining, and advanced planetary science in locations like the Moon or asteroids. To facilitate novel space exploration activities, the United States led the development of a new multilateral set of principles, the Artemis Accords.  The Accords and other soft law propose the ability to establish controversial “safety zones” surrounding space operations of participant states and mission-authorized nationals. January 4, 2023.  

Methane emission detection, localization, and quantification using continuous point-sensors on oil and gas facilities 12/27/2022

Methane emission detection, localization, and quantification using continuous point-sensors on oil and gas facilities

Payne Institute Student Researchers William Daniels and Meng Jia, with Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling write about how they propose a generic, modular framework for emission event detection, localization, and quantification on oil and gas facilities that uses concentration data collected by point-in-space continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS). The framework uses a gradient-based spike detection algorithm to estimate emission start and end times (event detection) and pattern matches simulated and observed concentrations to estimate emission source location (localization) and rate (quantification).  Potential uses for the proposed framework include near real-time alerting for rapid emissions mitigation and emission quantification for data-driven inventory estimation on production-like facilities. December 27, 2022.

Could Space-based Satellites Power Remote Mines? 12/18/2022

Could Space-based Satellites Power Remote Mines?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributes to this article about how a study from a group of researchers at the Colorado School of Mines looked at one potential use case of space-based technologies – powering remote mining sites that aren’t connected to any electric grid. Unfortunately, even at those extremes, solar power satellites aren’t yet economical enough to warrant the investment.  December 18, 2022.  

Statistical Moments of VIIRS Nighttime Lights

Statistical Moments of VIIRS Nighttime Lights

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher D. Elvidge, Feng Chi Hsu, Mikhail Zhizhin, Tilottama Ghosh, and Tamara Sparks write about how they generated VIIRS day/night band multiyear and annual statistical moments for a widely dispersed set of test areas. The moments were calculated from 15 arc second nightly temporal profiles spanning 2012-2020, filtered to exclude cloudy and sunlit data, with radiance adjustments to reduce view angle and lunar illuminance effects. The moment data were examined in two ways: 1) Geospatial grids-which reveal zonation and temporal changes present in urban areas, and 2) Scattergrams of moment pairs.  December 16, 2022.

Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference 12/5/2022

Saudi Arabia’s Future Minerals Forum partners with global think tanks ahead of January conference

Saudi Arabia’s global conference Future Mineral Forum has partnered a host of major think tanks to drive innovation and thought leadership, according to a statement.  Launched in 2022 by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the FMF has now joined forces with the Development Partner Institute, the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Clareo, and the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines.  Through these partnerships with the think tanks and research institutions, the FMF is targeting to provide dynamic insights that propel the development of the industry in line with strict environmental, social and governance principles. December 5, 2022. 

CONCRETE SOLUTIONS TO INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES 11/8/2022

CONCRETE SOLUTIONS TO INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Lori Tunstall is featured in this article about how she is developing novel methods of improving concrete to help lower its overall environmental footprint.  She’s trying to help make concrete more durable so it can stand up to the punishing freeze-thaw cycle that exists in many cold climates, as well as other causes of degradation that, over time, cause concrete to crack, crumble and break apart. Concrete that lasts longer doesn’t need to be replaced as often which, in turn, will help reduce the demand for the heavy CO2-emitting production process.   November 8, 2022.  

A multinational Delphi consensus to end the COVID-19 public health threat

A multinational Delphi consensus to end the COVID-19 public health threat

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian co-authored this paper about how despite notable scientific and medical advances, broader political, socioeconomic and behavioural factors continue to undercut the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the wake of nearly three years of fragmented global and national responses, it is instructive to note that three of the highest-ranked recommendations call for the adoption of whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches, while maintaining proven prevention measures using a vaccines-plus approach that employs a range of public health and financial support measures to complement vaccination.  November 3, 2022.  

The Future of Oil and Gas Production in Urban and Suburban Environments 10/25/2022

The Future of Oil and Gas Production in Urban and Suburban Environments: “Is Colorado an Example of Where the North American Crude Oil and Natural Gas Industry Might be Headed?”

Mines Student Researcher Wyatt Lindsey, Alumni William Jordan, Student Researcher Chiang Cheng Siew and Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jim Crompton write about how there has and is much discussion about the future of fossil fuels, specifically the oil and gas industry. With growing concern on climate change, the need for a diversified energy portfolio, incorporation of clean energies into energy production, and the expectation for an energy transition away from fossil fuels to non-carbon energy solutions, such as renewables, signifies that the energy transition has already begun. While the energy industry is transitioning due to market forces, public policies, and technological advances, fossil fuels are not yet forgotten in the total energy supply of the future.  October 25, 2022.  

Mines professors contribute to roadmap for successful wind energy projects 10/14/2022

Mines professors contribute to roadmap for successful wind energy projects

Electrical Engineering’s Kathryn Johnson and Payne Faculty Fellow Engineering, Design & Society’s Jessica Smith were co-authors on the findings recently published in JOULE.  The two Colorado School of Mines professors were part of an effort to create a first-of-its-kind roadmap that demonstrates how communities, governments and researchers can work together to consider social, technical, economic and political challenges and opportunities to create successful wind energy projects – even when the wind doesn’t blow. October 14, 2022.

John G. Speer honored with IFHTSE Medal 10/10/2022

John G. Speer honored with IFHTSE Medal

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow John Speer received the international IFHTSE award which recognizes distinguished achievements in heat treatment and surface engineering.  Speer was honored for “his life-time achievement in physical metallurgy, development and heat treatment of advanced steel concepts from theory to practical application, with particular focus on his leading role in the development of the Quenching and Partitioning Process.”  October 10, 2022.

Multiscale Methane Measurements at Oil and Gas Facilities Reveal Necessary Frameworks for Improved Emissions Accounting 10/6/2022

Multiscale Methane Measurements at Oil and Gas Facilities Reveal Necessary Frameworks for Improved Emissions Accounting

Jiayang Lyra Wang, Payne Institute Researcher Associate William S. Daniels, Faculty Fellow Dorit M. Hammerling, Matthew Harrison, Kaylyn Burmaster, Fiji C. George, and Fellow Arvind P. Ravikumar write about how methane mitigation from the oil and gas (O&G) sector represents a key near-term global climate action opportunity. Recent legislation in the United States requires updating current methane reporting programs for oil and gas facilities with empirical data. While technological advances have led to improvements in methane emissions measurements and monitoring, the overall effectiveness of mitigation strategies rests on quantifying spatially and temporally varying methane emissions more accurately than the current approaches. In this work, we demonstrate a quantification, monitoring, reporting, and verification framework that pairs snapshot measurements with continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) to reconcile measurements with inventory estimates and account for intermittent emission events.  October 6, 2022.  

WHAT THE WAR IN UKRAINE LOOKS LIKE FROM ABOVE 9/22/2022

WHAT THE WAR IN UKRAINE LOOKS LIKE FROM ABOVE

Payne Institute Communications Associate Brooke Bowser, Earth Observation Group Researcher Fen-Chi Hsu and Director Christopher Elvidge, and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian write about how satellite imagery can help us understand kinetic activity in Ukraine.  To better understand how the war is progressing the Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group has collected satellite images showing the light and fire patterns accompanying the military activity.  September 22, 2022.  

Demand in the dark: Estimating the true scale of unmet electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa 9/11/2022

Demand in the dark: Estimating the true scale of unmet electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mines Mineral and Energy Economics student researcher Sankalp Garg, Payne Institute Fellow Benjamin Attia, Payne Institute Program Manager Brad Handler, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how although the understanding the scale of energy poverty remains elusive, it is a key metric in the global effort to eradicate poverty.  This paper provides insights into the true scale and impacts of unreliable electricity service provision and introduces a simple and novel approach to quantifying the difference between electricity supply and demand, accounting for both met and unmet demand in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  September 11, 2022.

Colorado School of Mines, BHP announce founding partnership for Global Energy Future Initiative 8/30/2022

Colorado School of Mines, BHP announce founding partnership for Global Energy Future Initiative

Colorado School of Mines Global Energy Future Initiative and BHP announce a founding partnership ahead of the Inaugural Global Energy Future Innovation Forum and Innov8x Challenge set for Sept. 7-8.  BHP becomes a founding partner of the initiative to drive innovative sustainable energy solutions. Through this partnership, BHP will sponsor research projects and participate in steering committees and working groups, adding industry expertise to solve complex problems. In exchange for their expertise, BHP will gain access to cutting-edge research critical to building a sustainable future for the mining industry. Through this partnership, BHP and GEFI aim to develop renewable, secure, resilient, and adaptive energy systems and infrastructure, fostering worldwide economic development while reducing environmental impacts.  August 30, 2022.

Fifty years of nightly global low-light imaging satellite observations 8/26/2022

Fifty years of nightly global low-light imaging satellite observations

Congratulations to the Payne Institute Earth Observation Group (EOG) for fifty years of service!  The EOG was formed in 1994 and has dedicated their efforts to making global nighttime light data products for uses by the science and policy communities. Many of the shortcomings of DMSP data were addressed with the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) day/night band (DNB), which opened a new era in nighttime light studies. In total, EOG has produced 65 annual global nighttime light products and over 650 monthly products.  August 26, 2022.

Mines economics professor appointed to Colorado state advisory committee 8/25/2022

Mines economics professor appointed to Colorado state advisory committee

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange has been appointed to the Governor’s Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.  Ian Lange, an expert in energy economics, will serve a four-year term on the Governor’s Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee.  August 25, 2022.

Mines department head wins Society of Petroleum Engineers international award 8/25/2022

Mines department head wins Society of Petroleum Engineers international award

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jennifer Miskimins is awarded 2022 Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).  The honor recognizes superiority in classroom teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession and special effectiveness in advising and guiding students.  August 25, 2022.

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions 8/23/2022

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian co-authors this paper about how the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine have impacted the global economy, including the energy sector. The pandemic caused drastic fluctuations in energy demand, oil price shocks, disruptions in energy supply chains, and hampered energy investments, while the war left the world with energy price hikes and energy security challenges. The long-term impacts of these crises on low-carbon energy transitions and mitigation of climate change are still uncertain but are slowly emerging. This paper analyzes the impacts throughout the energy system, including upstream fuel supply, renewable energy investments, demand for energy services, and implications for energy equity, by reviewing recent studies and consulting experts in the field.  August 23, 2022.

How energy subsidy reform can drive the Iranian power sector towards a low-carbon future 8/11/2022

How energy subsidy reform can drive the Iranian power sector towards a low-carbon future

Vahid Aryanpur, Mahshid Fattahi, Siab Mamipour, Mahsa Ghahremani, Brian ÓGallachóir, Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and James Glynn write about how substantial energy subsidies are recognised as the leading cause of Iran’s inefficient electricity generation and consumption. This paper investigates the impacts of subsidy removal on future electricity demand and the required generation mix. A hybrid modelling framework is developed to analyse supply and demand sides under harmonised assumptions. August 11, 2022.

Kamini Singha wins SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 7/13/2022

Kamini Singha wins SEG Reginald Fessenden Award

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Kamini Singha is the recipient of the 2022 Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).  Singha, whose research focuses on physical hydrologic processes on the Earth’s surface and subsurface, was selected for “her extensive and significant contributions of applied geophysics to hydrogeophysics, including critical zone hydrology, anomalous solute transport, and water resources management.”  July 13, 2022. 

Less is More: The Impact of Auto Lender Risk on Household Auto Purchases

Less is More: The Impact of Auto Lender Risk on Household Auto Purchases 

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange, Payne Institute Researcher Caitlin McKennie, and Mirko Moro write about how credit risk can be an impediment to new auto purchases, especially for electric vehicles. This paper looks at the elimination of auto loan cramdowns for Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, where the loan value is made equal to the auto value, on three outcomes: auto value, likelihood of new auto, and loan-to-value ratio of new autos. Using a difference-in-difference approach based on a state’s historical use of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we show that household’s secure better loan-to-value ratios and acquire higher valued autos due to lower credit risk following the reform. July 5, 2022.

Policy-Driven Potential for Deploying Carbon Capture and Sequestration in a Fossil-Rich Power Sector 7/2/2022

Policy-Driven Potential for Deploying Carbon Capture and Sequestration in a Fossil-Rich Power Sector

Abdallah Dindi, Payne Institute Fellow Kipp Coddington, Jada F. Garofalo, Wanying Wu, and Haibo Zhai write about how in 2020, the Wyoming Legislature enacted House Bill No. 0200 (HB0200), which requires utilities to generate a percentage of dispatchable and reliable low-carbon electricity by 2030. This state requirement must take into consideration “any potentially expiring federal tax credits”, such as the federal Section 45Q tax credit. This study aims to examine the potential role of economic and policy incentives that facilitate carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) deployment. July 2, 2022.

Decarbonizing the pulp and paper industry: A critical and systematic review of sociotechnical developments and policy options 6/30/2022

Decarbonizing the pulp and paper industry: A critical and systematic review of sociotechnical developments and policy options

Dylan Furszyfer Del Rio,  Benjamin K. Sovacool, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Jinsoo Kim, Aoife M. Foley, and David Rooney write about how paper has shaped society for centuries and is considered one of humanity’s most important inventions. However, pulp and paper products can be damaging to social and natural systems along their lifecycle of material extraction, processing, transportation, and waste handling. The pulp and paper industry is among the top five most energy-intensive industries globally and is the fourth largest industrial energy user. June 30, 2022. 

WILDFIRES IN ARIZONA 6/15/2022

WILDFIRES IN ARIZONA

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student worker Elijah Mt.Castle writes about how there are multiple fires burning north of Flagstaff Arizona. The fires are burning in Coconino National Forest. They threaten multiple communities, schools, and cultural landmarks.  June 15, 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.

INFLATING 5/24/2022

Inflating

Payne Institute Program Manager Brad Handler has prepared a quarterly report on how the top priority for the U.S. public oil and gas (O&G) companies remains to deliver higher financial returns to shareholders. Public commentary as the companies reported their 1Q22 earnings included widespread commitments to pay higher dividends and to buy back shares of their own stock.  Yet, only a couple of months after laying out their spending expectations for 2022, the companies have also begun to raise their spending budgets for the year. These increases are largely in response to rising prices for goods and services, a function of supply constraints.  May 24, 2022.

Industrial decarbonization via natural gas: A critical and systematic review of developments, socio-technical systems and policy options 5/23/2022

Industrial decarbonization via natural gas: A critical and systematic review of developments, socio-technical systems and policy options

Colorado School of Mines student researcher Shivani Mathur, Payne Institute Fellow Greer Gosnell, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Dylan D. Furszyfer Del Rio, Payne Institute Fellow Steve Griffiths, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Jinsoo Kim write about how natural gas is an important and highly flexible fuel across the industry sector globally.  However, the future of natural gas remains uncertain, especially for industry planning to be net-zero or carbon neutral by mid-century. This review addresses the role that natural gas might play in global industrial decarbonization, and how it can help decarbonize industrial processes.  May 23, 2022.  

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.

Scientists in Antarctica discover a vast, salty groundwater system under the ice sheet – with implications for sea level rise 5/5/2022

Scientists in Antarctica discover a vast, salty groundwater system under the ice sheet – with implications for sea level rise

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Matthew Siegfried‘s research is featured in this article about how a new discovery deep beneath one of Antarctica’s rivers of ice could change scientists’ understanding of how the ice flows, with important implications for estimating future sea level rise.  Glacier scientists Matthew Siegfried from Colorado School of Mines, Chloe Gustafson from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and their colleagues spent 61 days living in tents on an Antarctic ice stream to collect data about the land under half a mile of ice beneath their feet. They explain what the team discovered and what it says about the behavior of ice sheets in a warming world.  May 5, 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.

Mike McGuirk wins NSF CAREER Award to explore chalcogen bonding for next-gen materials 2/25/2022

Mike McGuirk wins NSF CAREER Award to explore chalcogen bonding for next-gen materials

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Mike McGuirk has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research that could contribute to the discovery of new materials for solar energy production, low density conductors and more.  McGuirk will receive $756,000 over five years for the project, which will focus on chalcogen bonding, a recently discovered interaction between molecules that scientists believe could lead to the realization of a new class of crystalline framework materials: Chalcogen-Bonded Organic Frameworks.  February 25, 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. 

 

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.

 

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