2018 is on pace to be the 4th-hottest year on record

Sunburned? You're not the only one. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record. Only three other years have been hotter: 2015, 2016 and 2017. The upward trend is not lost on experts, who say the rising temperature is a clear indicator of global warming. "The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. "We are seeing them play out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. And we've seen them all this summer," he said. A consistent rise Eve

Kink in the Jet Stream and Climate Change Spur Extreme Weather

Kinked, buckled, stuck or stalled, it doesn’t matter how you describe it, the jet stream -- the ribbon of wind that circles the Earth -- is doing strange things. The calamity list includes wildfires across Scandinavia, Greece and California, record heat in Texas, Japan and Africa and flooding rains along the U.S. East Coast that could last another week. The world is hotter in general, which means when temperatures spike, they do so off a higher baseline. “We are seeing some extreme jet-stream behavior, where the jet stream is contorting into these extreme loops both sharply towards the poles with ridges of high pressure and dips to the equator with troughs of low pressure,’’ said Jeff Master

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave

An innovative program in Vermont that uses batteries in customers’ homes as a “virtual power plant” paid off to the tune of almost half a million dollars during the recent heat wave, according to the utility running the project. “During that peak usage, peak hour, every megawatt that we can knock off is a real savings. That one hour is a very significant cost,” said Josh Castonguay, vice president and lead innovation officer for Green Mountain Power, which has a quarter-million customers in Vermont. At times during the heat wave that covered much of the first week of July, the utility – often known as GMP – drew electricity out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the home of


Credit: VESTAL, N.Y. — A Binghamton University professor will use $3 million in federal funding to continue research on battery systems and energy storage. Professor Stanley Whittingham and his colleagues will utilize the funding to research and “better understand” the fundamental chemical reactions in energy-storage materials, according to a joint news release from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.). Whittingham is one of the inventors of the lithium-ion battery. The researchers will use the information to make energy-storage materials work better and to develop new materials that are “cheaper, environmentally fri

Editorial: Niagara County should embrace solar farms

A California company wants to build a 900-acre solar farm in Niagara County. It would be the largest such installation in the state. (Tribune News Service) If the proposal from a California company goes through, Niagara County will be home to the largest solar wind farm in the state, covering 900 acres. A state siting board will decide whether the $210 million project, proposed by Cypress Creek Renewables, comes to fruition. There are good reasons to hope it does. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has set a mandate, called the Clean Energy Standard, for the state to get half of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030. Solar energy and wind power play major parts in fulfilling that goal. Solar pa

NYSERDA Announces Completion of 11 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Tompkins County

Tompkins County has finished installing 11 electric vehicle charging stations. (Photo: Matt Steecker / Ithaca Journal) Installations are First Step Toward Tompkins Becoming an Electric Vehicle Model County Project Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” - Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow Economy The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that Tompkins County has installed 11 new electric vehicle charging stations to support its goal of becoming the first Electric Vehicle Model County in New York State. The installations are part of the state’s Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative, a pilot project to help municipal

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