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Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and we, as machine learning experts, may wonder how we can help. Here we describe how machine learning can be a powerful tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping society adapt to a changing climate. From smart grids to disaster management, we identify high impact problems where existing gaps can be filled by machine learning, in collaboration with other fields. Our recommendations encompass exciting research questions as well as promising business opportunities. We call on the machine learning community to join the global effort against climate change.


Obama fostered big changes in energy, cuts in pollution but did so quietly

The Japan Times

HANGZHOU, CHINA – Mostly unnoticed amid the political brawl over climate change, the United States has undergone a quiet transformation in how and where it gets its energy during Barack Obama's presidency, slicing the nation's output of polluting gases that are warming Earth. As politicians tangled in the U.S. and on the world stage, the U.S. slowly but surely moved away from emissions-spewing coal and toward cleaner fuels like natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar. The shift has put the U.S. closer to achieving the goal Obama set to cut emissions by more than a quarter over the next 15 years, but experts say it is nowhere near enough to prevent the worst effects of global warming. The overlooked changes took center stage Saturday in China. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping entered the world's two worst polluters into a historic agreement to ratchet down heat-trapping pollution.


Why the Symbolism Behind Coal Is Still So Powerful

Mother Jones

Smoke rises from the stacks of the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station, as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. This story was originally published by High Country News and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. It struck me as funny at first: Coal and guns being elevated to the status of platonic ideals or, even more loftily, the refrain of a bad country song. All it was missing was Jesus, beer and Wrangler butts. A few days later, though, as I sat on a desert promontory overlooking northwestern New Mexico, the sticker didn't seem so funny.


Green power runs up against desert conservation in California

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers' grand ambitions to fight climate change are running into a familiar obstacle: the parochial concerns of local governments and property owners. The latest battle over state needs vs. local control is being fought in San Bernardino County, where the Board of Supervisors voted last month to ban solar and wind farms across vast stretches of rural desert communities. The decision was cheered by residents who have complained that the proliferation of large renewable energy projects threatened to wipe out their scenic vistas and upend the fragile desert ecosystem. San Bernardino County's ban comes just as California is supposed to be dramatically ramping up its renewable energy usage as part of the state's effort to slash the carbon emissions that promote climate change. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring utility companies to get 60% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and 100% from zero-carbon sources by 2045.


US To Purchase Heavy Water From Iran For 8.6 Million, Deal To Be Signed Friday

International Business Times

The U.S. will purchase 32 tons of heavy water from Iran, in a deal valued at 8.6 million, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing senior American officials. The deal will be signed by U.S. and Iranian officials in Vienna Friday. "The idea is: Okay, we tested it, it's perfectly good heavy water. We'll buy a little of this," U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told the Journal. "That will be a statement to the world: 'You want to buy heavy water from Iran, you can buy heavy water from Iran.