Ammonia, vital for global agriculture, is traditionally produced with significant carbon emissions. Dr. Benjamin Snyder envisions farmers using solar power to create “green ammonia” on-site, reducing greenhouse gases and promoting self-sufficiency.
When plants photosynthesize, they temporarily remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Could we use gene editing technology CRISPR to enhance photosynthesis and increase the amount of carbon dioxide they remove? UC Berkeley biology Professor and photosynthesis expert Kris Niyogi thinks so, and he says it could fight climate change and enhance food production at the same time. In this episode, Climate Break speaks to Professor Niyogi about his lab’s early-stage research into CRISPR, photosynthesis, and applications to climate change.
Today’s proposal: using geothermal energy to generate round-the-clock, carbon-free electricity. Pat Dobson at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab explains how power plant operators can extract the geothermal energy from heat zones deep within the Earth.
Traditional hard rock lithium mining is energy- and resource-intense. But lithium is a key component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, like those used in electric vehicles. We spoke with Dr. Pat Dobson of the Geothermal Systems Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory about his work with alternative mining techniques used in the Salton Sea, in Southern California.
In an effort to combat the increasing use of non-recyclable plastics, Martin Bourque and the Ecology Center in Berkeley advocate for laws and programs that reduce plastic consumption. Their strategies, including a bag reduction initiative and a disposable foodware ordinance, have been adopted at state levels and by other cities.
Office buildings, high rises, and greenhouses are covered in windows. What if we used all that window space to capture solar energy and add to the grid’s renewable energy supply? Listen to University of Michigan engineering professor Steven Forrest explain how a change in the semiconducors used in solar panels could allow us to transform windows into power sources — without sacrificing light and transparency.
How can local governments can help advance clean energy technology? Investor-owned utilities dominate the electricity market in the United States, but community choice aggregators let municipalities control their own energy strategy.
Unlike nuclear fission made famous by the atomic bomb, nuclear fusion produces energy by fusing together hydrogen isotopes. It’s been an elusive but ultimately unattainable goal. That is until a recent breakthrough at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Physicist Annie Kritcher led the team that made this advance.
In an increasingly globalized world, trade can have a big impact on carbon emissions. Could a new kind of tariff called a carbon border adjustment mechanism, or C-BAM, transform trade policy into a source of climate progress? Listen to our interview with economist and UC Berkeley professor Joseph Shapiro to learn more about C-BAMs and how the EU is trying to make them a reality.
When grassland ecosystems are healthy, they can hold a lot of carbon. But these days, most are degraded. UC Berkeley ecologist Whendee Silver says that by using compost to restore grasslands, we can help local ecosystems and draw down more carbon from the atmosphere at the same time.