Tuesday March 17th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Climate Activism and Science Adjusts To New Life Due To Coronavirus
Dear Diary. Climate science research, unfortunately, is being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This morning I received a note from Climate Central that their office was closed, and that they would suspend operations and research, hopefully temporarily. My Inside Climate News feed indicated that the coronavirus outbreak was affecting Arctic research flights:
Worldwide people are having to isolate due to the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses are closing, and most individuals, if they can, are working from home. Organizations, such as churches and synagogues, can’t hold normal functions due to the recommendation in this country that more than 50 people at a time should not meet. Gone are the days of massive youth protests concerning the climate. So, what as climate activists can we do beyond protesting via Skype and writing on blogs like yours truly?
The short answer, not much, although climate strikers can still hold up signs individually while outdoors.
Add the European Union to the list of regions likely to struggle meeting climate goals as the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the global economy. The EU’s goal to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent will likely be overshadowed by the union’s efforts to battle the virus and stem the financial crisis, Bloomberg reports:
In this country I learned that the solar industry will be detrimentally affected by the viral outbreak. This reposted from Reuters:
March 17, 2020 / 12:11 AM / Updated 13 hours ago
Coronavirus creating solar industry ‘crisis’: U.S. trade group
3 Min Read
(Reuters) – The spreading coronavirus is threatening project schedules in the booming U.S. solar industry following a year in which the sector topped natural gas as the nation’s top new power source, according to a report published on Tuesday.
Fallout from the pandemic has impacted both supply chains and demand in the fast-growing industry, and the president of the top U.S. solar trade group said its annual market report’s projection of 47% growth in 2020 will be ratcheted down in the coming weeks and months.
It was still too soon to incorporate the pandemic’s impact into the sector’s outlook with certainty, the Solar Energy Industries Association said.
“It’s really across the board a pretty significant crisis in the solar industry in addition to a significant crisis in the overall economy,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in an interview.
Solar companies are facing not only disruptions to supplies of components such as panels and inverters, but labor shortages as Americans are asked to limit social contacts to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 disease or are forced to stay home due to school closures, Hopper said. In the rooftop solar market, homeowners may be putting large investments on hold for the time being, she added.
The slowdown marks a major about-face for the industry, which has been growing rapidly as states and businesses seek to move away from fossil fuels amid growing concerns about their role in climate change.
The industry has 10 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale projects currently under construction, the report said. Once online, they would generate enough power for about 1.9 million homes.
Last year, the U.S. solar industry installed 13.3 GW of capacity, a 23% increase from the prior year. Utility-scale projects accounted for nearly two-thirds of the market.
Solar accounted for 40% of the nation’s new electric generating capacity, compared with 32% for natural gas and 27% for wind.
The residential solar market had its biggest year every for installations at 2.8 GW. The sector benefited from increased demand in California after planned power outages during wildfire season left hundreds of thousands of utility customers in the dark, the report said.
Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Marguerita Choy
My Cobb County Climate Reality Chapter has scheduled a Zoom meeting for Thursday. Researchers can still do these, so all progress won’t stop:
At least there will be a slight downtick with emissions like which occurred in 2008 during the Great Recession, but I fear that this will be quite different. My “Scooby Sense” is telling me that until we get a vaccine we will all be isolating and scaling back significantly as a society for weeks and months putting off much needed environmental changes. The economic recession or depression could be far worse than the virus…perhaps worse than that of 2008. To top that, obviously, there probably will be many more deaths and much suffering from people fighting to stay alive from this contagion.
When people are struggling day to day during an immediate crisis it’s very hard to think about or plan for anything that is years or decades away from fruition, let alone during good times. Unfortunately this is now the new big wrinkle for the climate crisis problem. I’ll probably post more on this in the next few days.
Now, here are some of todays articles on the coronavirus:
Here is some more weather and climate news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)
Here are some recent South American “ET’s:”
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”