Posted on July 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New study suggests grim changes ahead
Western drought from 2000 to 2004 killed trees and affected net carbon balance, and those conditions could become the new norm during the 21st century.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Long-term climate trends suggest that drought will become much more common across the West in the coming century, potentially redefining our definitions of wet and dry years, according to a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience.
The study started by looking at the chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004, which was the most intense dry spell in about 800 years, according to tree-ring records. That multi-year drought helped propel the pine beetle epidemic to epic proportions and left many river basins depleted, but the researcher said those conditions could become the new norm for most of the coming century.
“Climatic extremes such as this will cause more large-scale droughts and forest mortality, and the ability of vegetation to sequester carbon is going to decline,” said Beverly Law, a co-author of the study, professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and former science director of AmeriFlux, an ecosystem observation network. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon sequestration, climate, drought, Environment, global warming, Oregon State University, San Diego State University | 10 Comments »
Posted on April 24, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A new study suggests photovoltaic systems add to the resale value of homes. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY.
Berkeley Lab study quantifies economic benefits of solar installations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Adding a photovoltaic solar system to your home is a good environmental move, and now, new research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that those homes sell for a premium over homes without solar systems.
“We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California have boosted home sales prices,” said lead author Ben Hoen, a researcher at Berkeley Lab. “These average sales price premiums appear to be comparable with the average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California, and of course homeowners also benefit from energy bill savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.”
The research finds that homes with PV in California have sold for a premium, expressed in dollars per watt of installed PV, of approximately $3.90 to $6.40/watt. This corresponds to an average home sales price premium of approximately $17,000 for a relatively new 3,100 watt PV system (the average size of PV systems in the Berkeley Lab dataset), and compares to an average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California of approximately $5/W over the 2001-2009 period. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, economy, energy, Environment, real estate, renewable energy, Summit County Colorado, Technology | Tagged: California, energy, Environment, home values, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Photovoltaic system, photovoltaics, real estate, San Diego State University, solar energy, Summit County News, United States Department of Energy | Leave a Comment »