872,735 research outputs found

    Dr. Vaughn Bryant Visit plus two lectures

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    I am requesting funding for Dr. Vaughn Bryant\u27s recent visit (March 19-21) to UMaine where he met with a diversity of researchers across campus and presented two lectures on his areas of expertise. Vaughn is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Palynology Laboratory at Texas A&M University. He is internationally known for his research in forensic pollen analysis, prehistoric diet reconstruction, honey research, and in the reconstruction of paleoenvironments. Dr. Bryant conducts extensive forensic palynological investigations for the CIA, DOE, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). He pioneered efforts in three new and emerging areas of pollen research including: 1 ) the floral sources used by honeybees to produce honey, the use of pollen coefficient data to identify and verify premium grades of honey, and techniques used to identify the geographical origin of commercially-imported and exported honey; 2) the use of pollen data to track and help eradicate agricultural insect pests such as the boll weevil, corn earworm, root worm, and celery looper; and 3) the use of pollen as an important forensic tool used to track and convict criminals. Dr. Bryant has published numerous books, over 150 scholarly publications, and hundreds of presentations around the globe, and he was honored with the prestigious Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research by the Society for American Archaeology, the premiere archaeology society. He has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, Fox Network News, the BBC, CBS News, 3-2- 1 Contact, and the Discovery Channel. His c.v. is attached

    Renewable Energy Target review

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    SUMMARY This is the Climate Change Authority\u27s second review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The RET targets reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector and thereby contributes significantly to reducing Australia\u27s overall emissions. In its 2012 review of the RET, the Authority found that the RET was stimulating considerable investment in renewable energy and argued that a stable and predictable policy was essential to sustain this investment. It concluded that no major changes were warranted to the overall RET design, but suggested some minor operational changes. The uncertain future of the Authority until recently has limited the time available to conduct this review. Largely for that reason, the Authority has focused on what, it its view, are the most important issues. The Authority has also drawn on both its 2012 Authority review, and on the review conducted this year by a panel headed by Mr Dick Warburton AO LVO. The RET and Australia\u27s emissions reduction goals In 2010, when the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) was set at 41,000 GWh, it was estimated that this contribution, with contributions from the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and other pre-existing renewables (notably hydro), would together represent at least 20 per cent of Australia’s (then) projected total electricity demand in 2020. Given that electricity accounts for approximately one-third of Australia’s emissions of greenhouse gases, renewable sources were seen as making a significant contribution to Australia’s broader emissions reduction goals. Reducing emissions in the electricity sector plays a pivotal role in climate change policies around the world. Unchecked climate change is widely seen as posing serious risks for the Australian community and its economy. Together with the broader international community, Australia has agreed to a goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This requires concerted action by all countries— including Australia—to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The RET, as currently legislated, is a significant part of Australia’s policy response to that challenge. The RET arrangements were envisaged to deliver ‘at least 20 per cent’ of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and are projected to reduce Australia\u27s emissions by 58 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) over 2015–20, and by much larger amounts in later periods. The RET arrangements are not perfect but, in the Authority’s view, they are effective in reducing emissions (at reasonable cost) in the centrally important electricity sector. Given the absence of effective alternative measures bearing upon this sector, the Authority does not favour any significant scaling back of the 2020 LRET target of 41,000 GWh

    Carbon Farming Initiative review

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    SUMMARY The Authority is required by legislation to review the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) every three years; this is its first review. The review has benefited from consultations with stakeholders from a range of sectors and the Authority thanks those who contributed. When introduced in 2011, the CFI was designed to complement the carbon pricing mechanism. Accordingly, it focused on sectors not covered by the carbon price, namely: agriculture, waste (in part), and land use, land use change and forestry. CFI projects earned credits that could be sold to entities with liabilities under the carbon pricing mechanism. The carbon price has since been repealed, and the CFI has been expanded to form the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and now covers all sectors of the economy. The ERF is the central plank of the government’s Direct Action Plan to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. It has been introduced through amendments to the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (Cth), which brings it within the scope of this review. For simplicity’s sake, this report refers to the CFI as the scheme as originally configured, and the ERF as the scheme as approved by the parliament in November 2014. Under the ERF, the government will purchase emissions reductions through auctions (and possibly other means). Fixed-price contracts, typically for seven years, will be offered to those who are successful at auction. Other changes to streamline the scheme are also being introduced, and a safeguard mechanism (that will discourage large emitters from increasing their emissions above historical levels) is to commence in July 2016. While these changes are substantial, the ERF retains an essential characteristic of the CFI in that it credits projects for reducing emissions below a defined baseline, and the baseline reflects what would have been expected to occur in the absence of the scheme. The changes to the CFI are important for this review in two ways. First, as the scheme is being expanded to become the central element of Australia’s policy to reduce emissions and meet its targets, the lessons to be gleaned from its operation to date will be of interest in assessing the likely performance of the ERF. Second, as this review follows closely on the policy development process for the ERF, care has been taken not to duplicate that process, but to focus instead on the extent to which the design of the ERF addresses problems identified with the CFI, as well as other challenges that may arise

    2019 Climate Change Institute Organizational Chart

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    The 2019 organizational chart for the University of Maine Climate Change Institute submitted with the institute\u27s annual report. The chart reveals names of research staff and research themes

    National climate, agriculture and socio-economic development policies and plans formulated with the use of scenarios across six global regions

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    Climate change impacts bring great uncertainty, raising the need to plan for the future. As the impacts of climate change are complex and far-reaching, it can be extremely difficult to foresee exactly what the consequences will be, and how they will affect different regions and sectors. However, by bringing together relevant stakeholders and brainstorming "what if" ideas of possible future scenarios, policy makers can prepare themselves for a variety of potential challenges. Including stakeholders from diverse backgrounds can avoid blindspots focused on a single vision of the future

    The SmartAG partner: CCAFS East Africa Bi-Annual Newsletter, July - December 2019

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    We are pleased to share with you our SmartAg Partner bi-annual newsletter, highlighting policy engagement, ongoing research, field updates and activities with partners from the second half of 2019
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