UC Berkeley

Increasing Efficiency Through Power Line Reconductoring, with Umed Paliwal

The expansion of renewable energy is heightening the need for improved transmission capacity of our electrical grid. Unfortunately, rapid grid expansion to meet this demand faces funding and cost allocation obstacles. Large-scale reconductoring of advanced conductor systems has been proposed as an alternative. We spoke to Umed Paliwal, a researcher from UC Berkeley, to learn more about the process and benefits of reconductoring.

Alleviating Urban Heat Traps, with Jeff Goodell

The dangers of extreme heat in an evolving climate is evident across many parts of the world, and the cities are the first to bear the most severe consequences. Rising temperatures and the inherent rigidity of concrete building structures trap heat waves within urban areas, directly threatening the health of residents and especially vulnerable populations like outdoor workers. Urban planners are seeking new solutions to help dissipate heat. We spoke with Jeff Goodell, the author of The Heat Will Kill You First, about building climate resilience in urban landscapes by creating shared Safe Hubs with air conditioning and establishing green spaces.

Calculating Threats from Rising Temperatures Using Heat Indexing, with Professor David Romps

In addition to the environmental impacts of rising temperatures, climate change is detrimentally affecting public health. Heat indexing is a technique used to calculate and gauge the impacts of heat on the human body based on a multitude of weather conditions. We spoke to Professor David Romps from UC Berkeley to learn more about heat indexing and its significance in maintaining public health and safety in extreme heat.

Reducing Plastic Pollution with Bioplastics, with Raegan Kelly

Petroleum-based plastics have a profound impact on human health and the environment. The production of greenhouse gasses from the creation of plastics and the sheer quantity of plastic waste yielded from human activities significantly contribute to climate change, disrupting marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Bioplastics are a promising solution, upholding the strength of petroleum-based plastics but compostable and biodegradable. We spoke with Raegan Kelly of Better for All about shifting the paradigm of human consumption of plastic by using biodegradable cups.

RERUN: Using CRISPR to Fight Climate Change with Professor Kris Niyogi

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.