Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valuing Aircraft Noise: Stated Choice Experiments Reflecting Inter-Temporal Noise Changes from Airport Relocation

Abstract: The relocation of Athens Airport provided a rare experimental context in which residents experienced significant changes in noise levels due to the introduction or removal of aircraft noise. This paper reports the results from surveys around both airport locations, using stated choice experiments to estimate values for aircraft noise. The respondents were offered actual inter-temporal noise change scenarios rather than hypothetical variations, which is uncommon in the literature, incorporating the presence or absence of an airport and other relevant transport attributes that also changed with the airport relocation. Whilst there is some variation in the valuation of the airport closure and opening, when these values are adjusted to reflect the actual change in decibels, there is remarkably little difference between the old and new airports. However, a significant variation in aircraft noise values is identified between different areas, with respect to education and to a lesser extent income. Our preferred estimate of the monthly household willingness to pay for terminating aircraft noise exposure is 13.12€ and for avoiding the onset of aircraft noise is 9.53€.

by Sotirios Thanos, Mark Wardman and Abigail L. Bristow
Environmental and Resource Economics via SpringerLink www.SpringerLink.com 
Volume 50, Number 4; December, 2011; pages 559-583
Keywords: Aircraft noise, Choice experiments, Environmental valuation, Stated choice, Stated preference, Willingness to pay, Willingness to accept compensation

Monday, January 23, 2012

Willingness to Pay for Ancillary Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation

Abstract: Assessing the Willingness to Pay (WTP) of the general public for climate change mitigation programmes enables governments to understand how much taxpayers are willing to support the implementation of such programs. This paper contributes to the literature on the WTP for climate change mitigation programmes by investigating, in addition to global benefits, the ancillary benefits of climate change mitigation. It does so by considering local and personal benefits arising from climate change policies. The Contingent Valuation Method is used to elicit the WTP for ancillary and global benefits of climate mitigation policies in the Basque Country, Spain. Results show that WTP estimates are 53–73% higher when ancillary benefits are considered.

by Alberto Longo, David Hoyos and Anil Markandya
Environmental and Resource Economics via SpringerLink www.SpringerLink.com
Volume 51, Number 1; December, 2011; pages 119-140

Do Regulators Overestimate the Costs of Regulation?

Abstract: It has occasionally been asserted that regulators typically overestimate the costs of the regulations they impose. A number of arguments have been proposed for why this might be the case, with the most widely credited one being that regulators fail sufficiently to appreciate the effects of innovation in reducing regulatory compliance costs. Most existing studies have found that regulators are more likely to over- than to underestimate costs. Moreover, the ratio of ex ante estimates of compliance costs to ex post estimates of the same costs is generally greater than one. In this paper I argue that neither piece of evidence necessarily demonstrates that ex ante estimates are biased. There are several reasons to suppose that the distribution of compliance costs would be skewed, so that the median of the distribution would lie below the mean. It is not surprising, then, that most estimates would prove to be too high. Moreover, we would expect from a simple application of Jensen’s inequality that the expected ratio of ex ante to ex post compliance costs would be greater than one. In this paper I propose a regression-based test of the bias of ex ante compliance cost estimates, and cannot reject the hypothesis that estimates are unbiased. Despite the existence of a number of papers reporting ex ante and ex post compliance cost estimates, it is surprisingly difficult to get a large sample of such comparisons. My most salient finding does not concern the bias of ex ante cost estimates so much as their inaccuracy and the continuing paucity of careful studies.
A very thorough comparison of ex ante to ex post estimates of costs was conducted in 2000 by Winston Harrington, Richard Morgenstern, and Peter Nelson. The researchers considered 28 regulations written by EPA, OSHA, and a handful of other regional and international regulators. A number of different industries were covered. Ex ante cost estimates were considered “accurate” if they were within ± 25% of ex post values, and either too high or too low if they fell outside this range. By this standard total costs of regulation were overestimated in 15 instances, underestimated in only three, and deemed reasonably accurate in the remaining 11.
The next major retrospective study of the costs of regulation was completed in 2005 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB 2005). OMB reviewed 47 regulations initiated between 1976 and 1995. EPA issued 18 of the regulations in the OMB sample, the most of any of the five federal agencies included in the study (the others were the National Occupational Safety and Health Administration (13 regulations included), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (8), the Department of Energy (6) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2)). As is generally the case with estimates of regulatory costs, the sample was determined by the availability of data, not by any attempt to generate a random cross-section of regulatory activity. The results of the OMB study are less striking than those of some other researchers. Of 40 regulations for which comparable ex ante and ex post data are available, 16 ex ante projections overestimated cost, 12 underestimated them, and 12 were approximately accurate. The OMB study was not completely independent of earlier work, however: for instance, nine of the studies in its sample were adopted from Harrington, et al. 2000.

At least three studies have been conducted of the accuracy of ex ante cost measures in other countries (in addition, Harrington et al. 2000 includes three examples drawn from Singapore, Norway, and Canada among their 28 case studies). While such inquiries obviously consider costs generated under different legal and regulatory structures than prevail in the U. S., they may still be useful in interpreting general approaches to regulatory cost estimation. It might also be noted in passing that international standards for the analysis of regulatory impacts have become more similar over time, with the United Kingdom (MacLeod, et al., 2006) and the European Union adopting such requirements.5 A study conducted by the Stockholm Environmental Institute considered the cost estimates presented by industry in regulatory negotiations, and found them to be consistently higher than ex post realizations of actual costs (Bailey, et al., 2002).

American Carbon Registry Initiates Approval of ... Carbon Offset Methodology for Deltaic Wetland Restoration ... to unlock carbon finance potential for wetland restoration activities

American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, announces an open public comment period for a ... carbon offset methodology that will both quantify how wetland restoration work can combat climate change and provide a way to help pay for rebuilding the Gulf of Mexico’s disappearing coastal wetland. The methodology, Restoration of Degraded Deltaic Wetlands of the Mississippi Delta, was funded by Entergy Corporation and developed by Dr. Sarah K. Mack of New Orleans-based Tierra Resources LLC, with contributions from Dr. Robert R. Lane, Dr. John W. Day and Tiffany M. Potter.

The new wetland offset methodology is unique not only because it is the first carbon offset methodology to target deltaic wetland restoration, but also because it uses a modular format, which provides flexibility for numerous types of wetland restoration techniques and facilitates methodology expansion. Another key innovation of the methodology is the incorporation of hydrologic management of nutrient-rich waters as a restoration technique, including options for diversion of river water into wetland, introduction of nonpoint source runoff into wetlands and discharge of treated municipal effluent into wetlands. Avoided loss and afforestation are also included wetland restoration techniques.

The primary hurdle to implement Mississippi Delta restoration is the price tag, estimated between $10 billion for near-term restoration to $150 billion for broader restoration and protection measures. Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast recently estimated that between $20 billion and $50 billion will realistically be available for funding over the next 50 years, but acknowledged a budget up to five times that size could be needed. Under the new methodology, carbon credits created by restoring wetlands can be registered and sold to help finance additional wetland restoration, Dr. Mack said.
A ... study .. published [September 14, 2011] by Restore America’s Estuaries, “Jobs & Dollars: Big Returns from Coastal Habitat Restoration,” [and available at http://www.estuaries.org/images/81103-RAE_17_FINAL_web.pdf] confirms that investments in coastal habitat restoration produce jobs at a higher rate than many other sectors -- including oil & gas, road infrastructure and green building retrofit projects. This study coincides with further efforts by Entergy to explore solutions to the environmental and economic impacts facing coastal wetland. In an open dialog to address mitigation of coastal stressors such as hurricanes, coastal erosion and rising sea levels, Entergy’s 2010 study “Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast,” produced in cooperation with America’s Energy Coast and America’s Wetland Foundation, presents a picture of what the Gulf coast will look like environmentally as well as economically by the year 2030 if no mitigation or remediation activity is undertaken.

Louisiana boasts 40 percent of the country’s coastal wetland - more than 4 million acres. Of total U.S. coastal wetland loss, 80 percent has occurred in the Mississippi Delta. An estimated 90 percent of current loss occurs in Louisiana -- the equivalent of losing one football field of wetlands every hour. The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands has major national environmental and economic implications. Not only is the Mississippi Delta one of the world’s most unique and diverse ecosystems, but its wetlands and waterways contribute tens of billions of dollars to the national economy every year and support millions of jobs. Much of the U.S. depends on sustaining the navigation, flood control, energy production, and seafood production functions of the Mississippi Delta and river system. Each of those functions is currently at severe risk due to coastal wetland loss.

As a first step toward achieving the massive global GHG mitigation potential from wetland restoration, the methodology is expected to be expanded in the future for wetland restoration in other regions and other wetland restoration practices. The ACR approval process for the methodology, which includes public comment and scientific peer review, is targeted to be complete this spring.
The “Jobs & Dollars: Big Returns from Coastal Habitat Restoration,” report (at http://www.estuaries.org/images/81103-RAE_17_FINAL_web.pdf) found:
  • Restoring our coasts can create more than 30 jobs for each million dollars invested. That’s more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas and road construction industries combined.
  • During 2010, restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, and Everglades contributed $427 million in economic output and supported more than 3,200 jobs.
  • The $72-million Central Wetlands Unit restoration project in New Orleans is on track to create 280 direct jobs and 400 indirect and induced jobs, for a total of 680 jobs over the project’s life.
  • The restoration of Florida’s Everglades is a 4:1 return on investment.
Restoration improves coastal habitats and helps local economies by creating three different types of jobs: direct, indirect, and induced.
  • Direct Jobs: People using their skills to restore damaged wetlands, shellfish beds, coral reefs and fish passages.
  • Indirect Jobs: Jobs in industries that supply materials for restoration projects, such as lumber, concrete and nursery plants.
  • Induced Jobs: Jobs in businesses that provide local goods and services, such as clothing and food, to people working on restoration projects.

American Carbon Registry www.AmericanCarbonRegistry.or
Press Release dated Jan. 18, 2012
Hap Tip/See also http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/calculating-the-carbon-value-of-a-swamp/?src=recg

China Gets Rolling on Carbon Trading

China's prime minister confirmed the country will increase the amount of non-fossil fuel energy it uses to 11.4% by 2015, and will "vigorously" develop renewable energy as part of its 5-Year Plan. 8.4% of China's electricity came from non-fossil fuel sources in 2010....
China's five year plan also calls for reducing carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product (carbon intensity) 17% by 2015.

To achieve that, China's planning agency, The National Development and Reform Commission, informed seven provinces and cities they need to set emissions caps to prepare for the country's pilot carbon trading program.  They must submit proposals explaining how they will allocate emission permits to achieve the caps, establish a dedicated fund to support the carbon market, and develop a detailed implementation plan, according to Reuters.  Beyond the seven official pilots, 100 other regions and cities want to start carbon exchanges.  Guangdong province has already received approval for its plan....

China is also seriously considering a carbon tax.

For now, China's massive use of coal continues to outstrip its growing use of renewable energy. Coal still provides 70% of electricity, almost half of that burned on our planet. If current use continues, it's on track to consume five billion tons of coal a year by 2020, up from 3.2 billion tons in 2010, reports The Guardian.

Alarmed by the rapid increase, the National Energy Administration is calling for a cap on energy consumption - below 4.1 billion tons of coal equivalent a year by 2015.

In related news, China approved a $913 billion, 300 megawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of its northern Hebei province, to be online before the end of 2015.  China could soon issue a second RFP for 2 GW of offshore wind. The plan is to have 5 GW by 2015, amounting to 5% of total wind capacity.

Here are details of China's 5-Year Plan: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/22006

January 17, 2012

How has Oregon's land use planning system affected property values?

Abstract: Oregon's landmark land use planning system has been criticized for imposing large negative effects on landowners’ property values, although evidence to support these claims has been lacking. This paper examines longitudinal data for undeveloped parcels since before adoption of the planning system. The sample includes parcels under different land use regulations, and it compares Oregon to Washington. The results indicate generally that property values have increased at similar rates both inside and outside urban growth boundaries, and across parcels zoned for different uses and across state lines. The results are consistent both with theory and with other studies indicating land use regulations can have positive, neutral or negative effects.
► The effects of land use regulations on property values in Oregon are evaluated.
► “Before-and-after” data covering 35 years are examined in Oregon and Washington.
► Results find property values have risen at similar rates inside and outside urban growth boundaries. ► Results find property values have risen similarly across zoning types and state lines.
Many states in the USA attempt to manage urban growth so that development is directed to urban areas equipped to accommodate development, and rural lands are preserved for resource and other non-urban uses. The state of Oregon is entering its third decade of what many commentators describe as the nation's most aggressive urban growth management programme administered statewide. This article reports a recent evaluation of the effectiveness of the state urban growth management policies as they are implemented by the metropolitan Portland area. The metropolitan Portland area contains the largest population, employment and land base within a single urban growth boundary in the USA. Using primary data collection and analysis, the effectiveness of the urban growth management and resource land preservation effort is assessed. Nearly all regional development has been directed to the urban growth boundary and away from resource lands. Many problems with administration are found, however. Policy implications are suggested.
In Lane County Oregon data show a large difference between real per-acre property values inside and outside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). By 2002, this difference was $24,894 per acre. [This implies] that the UGB, by limiting development opportunities, has greatly reduced the value of parcels outside the boundary.  However, this conclusion is not necessarily warranted. While the current average value of land inside the UGB is higher than that outside, the same was true in 1965. The differences in values in 1965 cannot be due to the UGB, as it had not been designated at that time. They likely were due to locational advantages, particularly proximity to the city center. The average distance to the Eugene city center for our sample of parcels outside the UGB is more than twice that for those inside the UGB.
Location relative to the UGB is a relatively coarse filter. High-density residential development is not necessarily permitted on all parcels within the UGB. Thus, we also evaluated the effects of different zoning classes. For the parcels in our sample, the highest density residential zoning category (a maximum of 14 single-family housing units per acre) was low-density residential zoning (R-1). Residential housing development is allowed on parcels zoned rural residential (RR), but at lower densities (in our sample, either 5- or 10-acre minimum lot size). Finally, exclusive farm use (E) and forest lands (F) zoning are very restrictive in terms of housing development.  For example, dwellings may be constructed on EFU land only if they are directly related to the agricultural enterprise.
Land with R-1 zoning has the highest average value in 2002, in large part because of its proximity to the city center. This is followed by land with RR zoning, E zoning, and F zoning. This suggests that zoning restrictions have not greatly reduced property values. Land that eventually was zoned R-1 already had the highest average per-acre value in 1965: $1266 per acre, compared to $389 per acre (RR), $504 per acre (E), and $210 per acre (F). Like parcels located inside the UGB, R-1 land tended to have locational advantages such as proximity to the Eugene city center.

We compared the growth in land values for each zoning designation relative to values prior to implementation of land use regulations. For each subsample, we took the 1965–1972 average value as the base and computed the increase in value in each period relative to that base. The highest rates of  appreciation were realized on land with F zoning. By 2002, the value of this land had grown about 200 percent more than land with the least restrictive zoning (R-1). A high growth rate was also seen on land with RR zoning. The lowest growth rate was on the developable lands (R-1 zoning).
In Jackson County as expected, parcels with the least restrictions on residential housing construction have the highest average values in 2005. However, the growth in average land values over the 1965–2005 period was greatest for parcels with OSR and WR zoning. The average value of parcels with OSR and WR zoning relative to their 1965 value was 1,160 percent and 1,602 percent, respectively.

For RR and EFU parcels, the 2005 value was about 530 percent of the 1965 value. Thus, properties with OSR and WR zoning appreciated more by 2005 than properties with RR and EFU zoning. A similar result was found in Lane County.

by William K. Jaeger 1, Andrew J. Plantinga 1, and Cyrus Grout 2
1. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, United States; 213 Ballard Extension Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, United States. Tel.: +1 541 737 1419.
2. INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), France
Land Use Policy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 29, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 62–72

Also see: http://arec.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/faculty/plantinga/jaeger_plantinga_grout_2011_land_use_policy.pdf
Keywords: Land use regulations; Property values; Urban growth boundaries; Land use planning

As Price of Oil Soars, Users Shiver and Cross Their Fingers

When David Harris built his 2,000-square-foot hilltop home nine years ago, he wanted to put in natural gas, but the utility wouldn’t run a line to his house. Like many people here, he was stuck using heating oil.

Mr. Harris added a wood stove to help cut costs and now uses only about one-third of the oil the house would otherwise need. But that did not stop a deliveryman for Crowley Fuel from handing him a $471.21 bill earlier this month for a refill that should get him to April.
While natural gas prices have plummeted to 10-year lows, heating oil prices have been steadily rising for years and are expected to reach record levels this winter, precipitated by higher costs for crude oil and the shutdown of several crucial refineries in the Northeast and in Europe. The Energy Department projects a price of $3.79 a gallon over the next few months, more than a dollar above the winter average for the last five years. Analysts do not expect much relief in the longer term, either, because global oil prices are expected to stay high amid political instability in the Middle East and rising demand from developing countries.

With electricity prices also down, utilities are trumpeting that bills will drop this season for customers using gas and electric heat. Con Edison announced this week that residential gas heating bills in New York were expected to drop 11.5 percent this winter, and in New Jersey, PSE&G said that it would cut February bills for residential gas customers by an average of $30.

“The people who have been unable to switch off of heating oil will be increasingly penalized in the coming years,” said Jay Hakes, a former administrator of the Energy Information Administration and now the director of the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum....

Nationwide, the average household using oil spent $2,298 on heat last year, compared with $724 spent by gas users and $957 spent by electricity users, according to the Energy Department.

This year, heating oil users are expected to spend 3.7 percent more than last year, while natural gas customers are expected to spend 7.3 percent less and electricity users will spend 2.4 percent less, according to the department.

Cheap natural gas was part of the appeal for Gus Kontoudakis, who spent about $3,000 to switch from oil at the home he rents out in Plainfield, Conn. The boiler was due for replacement anyway, he said.
But many oil users — living in places like Alaska, Maine and even affluent parts of Manhattan — do not have that option. Some are simply too far from a pipeline. For others, converting to natural gas is unaffordable, with costs that can run to tens of thousands of dollars for each home. As a result, they are trapped in a cycle of spending more and more for heat while those who use natural gas and electricity are generally spending less and less.

That dynamic is at work in households across the economic spectrum, but the cost gap looms as a crisis for the poor, experts warn, since the federal government has cut financing for energy assistance programs.
The use of heating oil, which rose after World War II as a replacement for coal, has been on a long decline. As the use of virtually every other fuel has increased, the number of households that use heating oil has dropped from about 20 percent in 1975 to roughly 7 percent today, spurred by new home construction and population shifts to the West and South, closer to natural gas fields and pipelines. Government incentives for installing insulation also cut consumption of heating oil.

For decades, the prices of oil and gas moved virtually in tandem, but in recent years, vast increases in American gas supplies have made gas decisively cheaper.

Meanwhile, heating oil could grow more scarce in the Northeast this winter, the Energy Department warned last month. Companies have been closing refineries that produce heating oil because of declining profit margins. Sunoco and ConocoPhillips recently announced the idling of two major refineries in Pennsylvania, and a third refinery owned by Sunoco may close next summer.

Encouraged by the low prices for natural gas and government and utility incentives, more oil customers have been looking to make the switch.

Thomas Dziki of Richmond Hill, Queens, said it was a $750 bill to fill up his 150-gallon oil tank last winter that prompted him to call National Grid to convert. He spent about $8,500 to switch his three-story home to gas. Now, his monthly bills are in the $30 to $50 range ...

For larger buildings in New York City, there is increased pressure to switch because of a new pollution regulation that will phase out the use of the heavier heating oils.

But conversion costs can be prohibitive, in part because Con Edison, the local utility, has to rip up the street to run pipes larger than those used for cooking gas.

Nancy T. Schmitt, an energy-sector investment adviser whose Upper East Side co-op burns the densest form of oil.... But by one estimate, she said, it would cost $2 million to connect her complex to the existing lines. Con Ed has been working to help organize buildings into clusters for conversion, to lower costs and diminish the inconvenience.
By Diane Cardwell and Clifford Krauss
The New York Times
January 21, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Benefit-cost analysis of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) control: Incorporating market and non-market values

Abstract: This study employs a benefit-cost analysis framework to estimate market and non-market benefits and costs of controlling future spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreaks on Crown forest lands in New Brunswick, Canada. We used: (i) an advanced timber supply model to project potential timber volume saved, timber value benefits, and costs of pest control efforts; and (ii) a recent contingent valuation method analysis that evaluated non-market benefits (i.e., changes in recreation opportunities and existence values) of controlling future spruce budworm outbreaks in the Province. A total of six alternative scenarios were evaluated, including two uncontrolled future budworm outbreak severities (moderate vs. severe) and, for each severity, three control program levels (protecting 10%, 20%, or 40% of the susceptible Crown land forest area). The economic criteria used to evaluate each scenario included benefit-cost ratios and net present values. Under severe outbreak conditions, results indicated that the highest benefit-cost ratio (4.04) occurred when protecting 10% (284,000 ha) of the susceptible area, and the highest net present value ($111 M) occurred when protecting 20% (568,000 ha) of the susceptible area. Under moderate outbreak conditions, the highest benefit-cost ratio (3.24) and net present value ($58.7 M) occurred when protecting 10% (284,000 ha) of the susceptible area. Inclusion of non-market values generally increased the benefit-cost ratios and net present values of the control programs, and in some cases, led to higher levels of control being supported. Results of this study highlight the importance of including non-market values into the decision making process of forest pest management.

► We assess the benefits and costs of controlling spruce budworm outbreaks.
► A contingent valuation method and a wood supply model are used in the analysis.
► A number of outbreak severities and control program scenarios are considered.
► Net present values are highest when protecting 10–20% of the affected land base.
► Including non-market values can help justify larger control programs.

by Wei-Yew Chang, Van A. Lantz, Chris R. Hennigar, David A. MacLean; all of Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A3; Tel.: +1 506 458 7775; fax: +1 506 453 3538.
Journal of Environmental Management via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com;
Volume 93, Issue 1; January, 2012; Pages 104–112

Keywords: Contingent valuation; Timber supply model; Natural disturbances; Forest pest management; Forest protection; Benefit-cost ratio; Net present value; New Brunswick

With Incentives Cut, is Going Solar in Arizona Still Worth it?

When it comes to sheer number of solar installations, Arizona comes in third among states, following California and New Jersey.

Until last December, Arizona’s incentive programs were among the best in the nation, with public utilities offering generous per-watt rebates in addition to a state rebate.
In December, however, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the state’s regulatory board, agreed to allow utilities to decrease rebate amounts.

Public utilities are mandated by law to invest in renewable energy, and since 2006, electric utilities in Arizona have been partially meeting that mandate by offering customers who install residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems rebates, based on the system’s size.

Some rebate programs were as high at $3 per watt. Those rebates, when combined with the federal tax credit incentive program and the state’s $1,000 rebate program, made going solar in Arizona highly affordable.

Beginning in 2010, however, utilities began to pressure the Commission to approve reductions in rebates for residential and commercial installations. Utilities like the Tucson Electric Power Company, who recently received financing for the construction of a 6.1-megawatt solar energy plant, are seeking to meet renewable energy mandates through large-scale solar farms.

In December of 2011, the Commission responded by agreeing to allow utilities to decrease rebates and to continue to decrease them as more residential solar systems are installed....

Is Solar Still Worth it? Answer: Yes

... In sunny Arizona, an average size for a home solar system would be about 3 kilowatts and cost about $25,000, before rebates. The federal incentive program would cut up to 30 percent of that cost. The state rebate would shave off another $1,000, leaving a total of $16,500.

Most of the Arizona utilities are currently paying $.75 per-watt rebates, reducing the cost further to $14,250.

Residents could expect to recover the installation costs in around six to nine years through savings on their monthly energy bills. After that payback period, homeowners with home solar systems can enjoy years and years of free electricity, knowing that each kilowatt hour generated by their systems helps reduce the nation’s reliance on gas-emitting fossil fuel generation.

To take full advantage of the existing incentive programs, however, Arizona residents need to act soon. The new tiered system for the utility rebates allows the per-watt rebate to be reduced to $.10 per watt.

In addition, funds are limited for the current year, and it is likely that cuts will continue to the program next year....

Calfinder http://solar.calfinder.com Nationwide Home Solar Power Contractors and Information
posted by Brittany
via/hat tip Cleantechies blog http://blog.cleantechies.com

Process analysis and economics of drinking water production from coastal aquifers containing chromophoric dissolved organic matter and bromide using nanofiltration and ozonation

Abstract: In regions characterized by water scarcity, such as coastal Southern California, groundwater containing chromophoric dissolved organic matter is a viable source of water supply. In the coastal aquifer of Orange County in California, seawater intrusion driven by coastal groundwater pumping increased the concentration of bromide in extracted groundwater from 0.4 mg l−1 in 2000 to over 0.8 mg l−1 in 2004. Bromide, a precursor to bromate formation is regulated by USEPA and the California Department of Health as a potential carcinogen and therefore must be reduced to a level below 10 μg l−1. This paper compares two processes for treatment of highly coloured groundwater: nanofiltration and ozone injection coupled with biologically activated carbon. The requirement for bromate removal decreased the water production in the ozonation process to compensate for increased maintenance requirements, and required the adoption of catalytic carbon with associated increase in capital and operating costs per unit volume. However, due to the absence of oxidant addition in nanofiltration processes, this process is not affected by bromide. We performed a process analysis and a comparative economic analysis of capital and operating costs for both technologies. Our results show that for the case studied in coastal Southern California, nanofiltration has higher throughput and lower specific capital and operating cost, when compared to ozone injection with biologically activate carbon. Ozone injection with biologically activated carbon, compared to nanofiltration, has 14% higher capital cost and 12% higher operating costs per unit water produced while operating at the initial throughput. Due to reduced ozone concentration required to accommodate for bromate reduction, the ozonation process throughput is reduced and the actual cost increase (per unit water produced) is 68% higher for capital cost and 30% higher for operations.

► Southern California’s coastal aquifer has Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter.
► We analysed two processes for CDOM removal, nanofiltration and ozonation.
► The ozonation process must be amended to reduce bromate by-products.
► The effect of bromate formation is an increased cost for ozonation.
► Overall, nanofiltration has lower operating cost, for the case studied.

by R. Sobhani 1, R. McVicker 2, C. Spangenberg 3 and D. Rosso 4
1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2175, USA
2. Mesa Consolidated Water District, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
3. Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine, CA 92618, USA
4. Urban Water Research Center, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2175, USA
Journal of Environmental Management via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 93, Issue 1; January, 2012; Pages 209–217

Keywords: Chromophoric dissolved organic matter; Nanofiltration; Ozonation; Economic analysis; Seawater intrusion; Bromate

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act

Under authority granted by the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is developing performance standards for existing stationary sources, such as power plants and industrial facilities. Coal-fired electricity generators represent an important part of this regulatory effort as they account for about one-third of annual U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. New research from RFF’s Josh Linn, Erin Mastrangelo, and Dallas Burtraw confirms that there are important, low-cost opportunities to reduce emissions at existing coal-fired facilities in the short run.

The novelty and potential of the electricity sector standards raise three questions:
  1. What are the available abatement opportunities from existing coal-fired power plants?
  2. What are the costs of reducing emissions?
  3. What is the increase in utilization at plants after they become more efficient?
The authors analyze the actual operating efficiency of the entire fleet of coal units in the United States, finding that fleetwide, emissions rate reductions of up to 5 percent may be technically feasible without changing the amount of electricity generated with coal.

Using the response of units to previous changes in fuel prices for the years 1985–2009, they estimate the costs of efficiency improvements to be as low as or perhaps somewhat lower than the engineering estimates currently used by EPA. They also find that efficiency improvements would lead to increased utilization of plants, which would erode up to 15 percent of the emissions reductions achievable by efficiency improvements.

The research provides the first empirical information about the actual magnitude and cost of these potential efficiency improvements across the fleet of existing generating units. Substantial long-term reductions in GHG emissions from the power sector will require greater use of nonemitting sources (renewables, nuclear), lower-emitting sources (natural gas), or postcombustion control of carbon. However, this analysis provides evidence that there exist important opportunities to reduce emissions in the short run.

Abstract: The Clean Air Act has assumed the central role in U.S. climate policy, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to develop regulations governing the emissions of greenhouse gases from existing coal-fired power plants. The cost and environmental effectiveness of policy options depend on abatement costs, the magnitude of emissions reduction opportunities, and the sensitivity of plant utilization. This paper examines the operation of electricity-generating units over 25 years to estimate the marginal costs and potential magnitude of emissions reductions that could result from improvements in their operating efficiency. We find that a 10 percent increase in coal prices causes a 0.3 to 0.9 percent heat rate reduction, broadly consistent with engineering assessments of abatement costs and opportunities. We also find that coal prices have a significant effect on utilization, but that will vary depending on the policy design. The results are used to compare cost-effectiveness of alternative policies.

Resources For the Future (RFF) www.RFF.org
January 10, 2012

Taxpayer and Environmental Groups: Corps of Engineers Uses New Recipe to Cook the Books – Again – To Push Wasteful Delaware River Deepening Project - Report Released on Updated Economic Analysis

Responding to renewed economic claims for Deepening the Delaware River, a coalition of taxpayer, community, and environmental organizations issued a new independent analysis they say proves once again that the deepening project is an economic loser. The groups issued the analysis and an accompanying report titled “Army Corps Cooks the Books Again,” in response to a May 2011 analysis issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Army Corps once again tried to mislead Congress and the public about the deepening project – a renewed analysis by Dr. Bob Stearns clearly demonstrates how the Army Corps manipulated their calculations so as to present a false picture for the project,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. “The inappropriate calculation was not hard to find. The Corps’ own report provides the analysis and numbers. Without deepening, shippers will use the feeder port approach which is far cheaper than trucking, and when all matters are considered, is also cheaper than deepening. The Corps’ assessment pretends that without deepening, shippers would use the far more expensive trucking option to get goods to the Philadelphia area markets. But the Corps’ own practices and procedures make clear that the shipping alternative is the best alternative and the one that would be selected, thereby supporting and encouraging port jobs without the need for a nearly $300 million, environmentally devastating deepening project.”

According to the new Cooked the Books report, correction of the shipping vs trucking error alone reduces the benefit-cost ratio for the project to, at best 1.1 (or to below 1 to 1, depending on a shipping diversion assumption) -- far below the 1.64 claimed by the Army Corps’ May 2011 report. Supplemental information in the report provided by the coalition of organizations identifies a number of additional errors they say, when included in the calculation, revive the GAO finding that deepening would provide less than a dollar of benefit for every $1 of cost paid for by the taxpayers.

“The Corps’ economic analysis deserves to be on a Chinese menu under twice-cooked pork. The errors were too obvious and too basic to be a mistake” says Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “But more importantly, the new report is being used to justify renewed funding for a project that doesn’t meet the Federal Government’s basic criteria for ensuring tax dollars are invested only in those projects that will generate clear economic value for the country.”

“This new economic analysis makes it clear that the Delaware River Deepening project is an economic looser, which poses substantial environmental risks. The Army Corps needs to take a hard look at its project review practices if projects like this, that don’t meet the Corps’ own basic economic standards, are getting the green light,” asserts George Sorvalis, Coordinator with the Water Protection Network.

In a report issued in April, 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its third challenge to the reliability and accuracy of the Army Corps economic claims for deepening (the first GAO report being issued in 2002, the second challenge in the form of Congressional testimony given in 2006).

The Army Corps 2011 report was issued in apparent response to the less than glowing, GAO 2010 report. The May 2011 Army Corps analysis was its 8th economic analysis of the deepening. “But no one ever learned of this report or got an opportunity to review it until we secured the report through a Freedom of Information Act request,” says van Rossum. “As soon as we received a copy we pursued an independent review of its claims. We think our findings clearly demonstrate why the Army Corps felt the need to keep this newest analysis an apparent secret – because it’s clear that once again they cooked the books, a practice far too common with the Army Corps and one that demeans the entire federal government.”

Competition to Reduce Energy Use Results In Savings for Six Brooklyn Neighborhoods - NYSERDA Sponsored Energy Competition Saves Residents Money While Changing Their Habits

Residents in six Brooklyn neighborhoods participating in “Reduce the Use in District 39” have demonstrated how awareness, education and competition can lead to money-saving energy reductions.

The program was a year-long energy savings competition sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison and the office of New York City Councilman Brad Lander.

A total of 158 households in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Borough Park took the challenge. On average, they cut their electricity usage by 4 percent over the course of the competition, compared to the previous year. Their overall savings was $2,542 and 12,108 kilowatt hours (kWh), the equivalent of the amount of electricity needed to power approximately two average-sized homes for a year.

“The competition made the participants look at their energy use in a new and different way – in comparison to their neighbors, friends, and other social connections,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “It shows that this type of program can make a difference in the way people use energy. Competition coupled with awareness is a strong motivation to reduce consumption.”

Innovative initiatives, such as this contest, are becoming more common nationwide, as using behavioral economics to lower energy consumption can be a way of impacting many homes that otherwise would be difficult to reach. Participants were provided with monthly reports on how much energy they used, how much they had reduced from last year, and how their numbers compared to their neighbors’ results. They also received energy-saving tips to help them reduce their electricity consumption and ideas to improve the energy performance of their homes.
Two Park Slope residents won special awards – one for the household with the “Smallest Footprint” (lowest total electrical usage), and the other for “Biggest Reduction” (the greatest reduction from last year).

The “Smallest Footprint” award went to Lloyd Hicks, whose household used only 213.7 kWh per person during the competition.... The “Biggest Reduction” winner was Katherine Degn who reduced her household’s energy use by 49 percent compared to the previous year. “The competition and its monthly updates made me constantly aware of my energy consumption, more so than my monthly electric bills,” she said. “And I liked seeing my usage relative to Councilmember Brad Lander’s, so that gave me some sort of comparison.”

Residents achieved reductions by turning off lights, shutting off multiple appliances at once with advanced power strips, reducing the number of computers in use, cooking in microwaves and toaster ovens rather than full-sized ovens, using Con Edison’s free programmable thermostat initiative for central AC, and pulling down shades and closing windows during the summer days.

In addition to the Park Slope winners, Sarah Goodman of Windsor Terrace was a co-winner in each category, as she installed photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on her home in 2010 and reduced her electric bills to nearly zero. PV systems convert sunlight into electricity and generally offset 70 to 80 percent of a home’s electricity needs.

“Reduce the Use in District 39” was NYSERDA’s second pilot neighborhood energy-savings competition in Brooklyn. For more information about how you can be a part of future NYSERDA-sponsored energy competitions, contact competition@nyserda.org.  For more information on NYSERDA’s residential energy efficiency programs, visit  nyserda.ny.gov/residential. For more information on Con Edison's energy efficiency programs, visit www.conEd.com/greenteam Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.  or call 1-800-870-6118.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) www.NYSERDA.org
Press Release dated November 21, 2011

An Energy Supergrid for Europe Faces Big Obstacles

Advocates of renewable energy say an electricity supergrid could enhance the clean-power industry by connecting power sources like wind farms in Scotland and solar arrays in Spain or North Africa to the population centers of Europe.

The technical arguments for a significantly expanded and upgraded power network in Europe are clear, they say. Yet the political, regulatory and economic obstacles are formidable.

... Doug Parr, chief scientist at the British arm of Greenpeace [noted]... “it’s not garnering political weight and support”...

With its windy weather, Britain could be a big beneficiary of better international power connections....

Britain is working ... to negotiate the North Sea Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, a planned network of underwater cables that would connect offshore wind farms and other power sources to nearby countries.

The project, likely to take decades, is seen as a potential building block for a broader European grid....

Some cross-border power connections exist, but many European countries still produce and supply most of their own electricity.... Experts say a richer cross-border network will reduce power prices for consumers and make supplies more secure by promoting competition and distributing surplus production more efficiently.

Renewable power advocates say improved connections are essential for making sources like wind and solar practical on a large scale. Potential energy-producing areas, like the windy coasts of Scotland and Ireland and the deserts of North Africa, are often far from larger cities with their power-hungry consumers.

Broad networks could also help ease one of renewable energy’s biggest problems: intermittency. When the wind drops in Britain, it may still be strong in Germany, or the sun may be shining in Tunisia....

The Energy and Climate Change Committee of Britain’s main parliamentary chamber, the House of Commons, said in a report in September that a drastically improved grid would be crucial for the viability of the country’s plans for significant investment in offshore wind power.
But the report listed several caveats about the development of a Europe-wide grid, saying the cost would probably be high and the challenge of coordinating national energy regulations would be daunting.
The decades-long time frame for investing in energy infrastructure inevitably contrasted with the shorter-term focus of politicians.

Because energy is a heavily regulated sector, one of the biggest obstacles to building a supergrid is the long negotiations required to bridge differences among individual countries’ rules.

Budget woes, too, may limit the availability of investment from Brussels and national capitals.

Still, some advocates said poor economic conditions could actually make it easier to raise private financing.

“There are pension funds and many investors looking for safe returns,” Julian Scola, spokesman for the European Wind Energy Association in Brussels, said by phone. “Electricity infrastructure, which is a regulated business with regulated returns, ought to and does provide very safe and very attractive investment.”
The estimated price tag varies widely; James Cox of Poyry, a Finnish engineering and management consulting firm, said a wide-reaching grid could cost 100 billion euros, or about $127 billion.  A study by Poyry in March said that better regional interconnections would only partially solve the intermittency problem because weather patterns could extend over large areas.... Over all, he said, more links made economic sense. But winning permission for transmission projects can be difficult....

The European Union wants to create a unified electricity market, and Brussels is debating a bill that would streamline permit-granting for power transmission and provide more than 9.1 billion euros.
New linkups are therefore likely to happen piecemeal.... Mr. Parr of Greenpeace U.K. said. “It could get very expensive if it’s not done right.”

By Beth Gardiner
The New York Times www.NYTimes.com
January 16, 2012

Swedes go green in India

... The Swedish embassy unveiled a ... solar panel system which will generate approximately 10 percent of its total energy consumption.
The 288 panels presently generates 17.487 KW of power with a total capacity of 75KW per hour on a clear day.  The panel has generated 2998 KW since it started a month ago. The system has, so far, avoided 1499 kg of CO2 emissions.

Per-Erik Ekman, who manages the Embassy property, said that the only labor required was to clean the panels once a week. The panel cost about $420,000 and the embassy will save approximately $14,000 on its annual electric bill.
The Swedish embassy in India plans to generate one-third of its power needs from renewable energy sources in 2012. The Swedes have set a worldwide target of a 26 percent reduction of total energy consumption in Swedish properties around the globe.

... Officials here say that water harvesting today amounts to 5,000 cubic meters annually, which prevents depletion of groundwater level in the area. The target is to reach a positive water-balance (consume less than what is collected and recharged) by 2013.

By Betwa Sharma
Smarter Planet www.smartplanet.com
January 12, 2012

... Selecting criteria for new green product development project: ... Taiwan consumer electronics products as an example

Abstract: With changes in the environment and a rise of consciousness concerning environmental protection, industry has begun to devote research and develop into products which reflect the needs for environmental preservation as well as allow them to maintain their market share and competitive advantage. This study summarizes the impact of 24 elements of the R&D of new products in Taiwan’s consumer electronics industry through factor analysis of a practical survey given to those in this industry. Factor analysis extracted four separate factors that speak to the potential for new product development. These factors are as follows: the potential for new product development, identifying the favorable internal and external factors to bolster competitiveness, the capability for R&D mastery and consumer acceptance preferences. This study calculates the corresponding weights of each factor and then proceeds with fuzzy multiple attribute decision making (FMADM) directed at green product development projects possessing the four factors stated in relation to their corresponding weights and finally compares these results with the product development project prescribed by application of the checklist evaluation model. The results prove that FMADM not only reaches the same conclusions as the policy-making checklist but also takes fuzzy uncertainty into account, giving a reflection of the real-world situation.

by Chang-Chun Tsai; Department of Business Administration, TransWorld University, No. 1221, Zhennan Rd., Douliu, Yunlin 640, Taiwan, ROC
Journal of Cleaner Production via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 25; April, 2012; Pages 106–115
Keywords: New product; Green product; Factor analysis; Fuzzy multiple attribute decision making

In Bat Deaths, a Catastrophe in the Making?

A “biodiversity crisis”: that’s how some conservationists describe new numbers released this week by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service on so-called white-nose syndrome. According to the agency, 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have died from the fungal ailment in eastern North America since an epidemic first broke out in upstate New York in 2006.

The new numbers are striking, and far higher than the previous bat mortality estimate of one million released in 2009, yet it is hard to put the number into perspective because researchers lack baseline data for many bat species populations from before the disease started demolishing colonies.
What is known is that when the fungus gets into a cave or mine where bats are hibernating, 70 to 90 percent of the bats die. In some cases, the mortality rate is 100 percent.

Over the past three years, the disease has spread from 88 sites in nine states in 2009 to at least 200 sites in 16 states today....  There are 45 species of bats in North America, 26 of which are hibernating species potentially susceptible to the fungus. While the disease has infected only six species so far, some researchers worry that it could wipe out as many as 20 bat species in the next few years.

Researchers have estimated that bats save farmers at least $3.7 billion a year by keeping down crop pests (see http://www.envirovaluation.org/2011/05/bats-worth-billions-to-agriculture-pest.html).

Ann Froschauer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emphasized that each bat species fulfills a specific ecological purpose.... “Different species eat different things, hunt in different locations and fit into the ecological puzzle in a unique way,” she said. “Losing one bat species would be huge — losing 20 would be catastrophic.”
by Joanna M. Foster
The New York Times Green Blog http://green.blogs.nytimes.com
January 19, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Simultaneously Mitigating Near-Term Climate Change and Improving Human Health and Food Security

A new study led by [Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City], highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production.

The research ... finds that focusing on these measures could slow mean global warming 0.9 ºF (0.5ºC) by 2050, increase global crop yields by up to 135 million metric tons per season and prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year. While all regions of the world would benefit, countries in Asia and the Middle East would see the biggest health and agricultural gains from emissions reductions.
Shindell and an international team considered about 400 control measures based on technologies evaluated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. The new study focused on 14 measures with the greatest climate benefit. All 14 would curb the release of either black carbon or methane, pollutants that exacerbate climate change and damage human or plant health either directly or by leading to ozone formation.

Shindell and his team concluded that these control measures would provide the greatest protection against global warming to Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, countries with large areas of snow or ice cover. Iran, Pakistan and Jordan would experience the most improvement in agricultural production. Southern Asia and the Sahel region of Africa would see the most beneficial changes to precipitation patterns.

The south Asian countries of India, Bangladesh and Nepal would see the biggest reductions in premature deaths. The study estimates that globally between 700,000 and 4.7 million premature deaths could be prevented each year.

Black carbon and methane have many sources. Reducing emissions would require that societies make multiple infrastructure upgrades. For methane, the key strategies the scientists considered were capturing gas escaping from coal mines and oil and natural gas facilities, as well as reducing leakage from long-distance pipelines, preventing emissions from city landfills, updating wastewater treatment plants, aerating rice paddies more, and limiting emissions from manure on farms.

For black carbon, the strategies analyzed include installing filters in diesel vehicles, keeping high-emitting vehicles off the road, upgrading cooking stoves and boilers to cleaner burning types, installing more efficient kilns for brick production, upgrading coke ovens and banning agricultural burning.

The scientists used computer models developed at GISS and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, to model the impact of emissions reductions. The models showed widespread benefits from the methane reduction because it is evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere. Black carbon falls out of the atmosphere after a few days so the benefits are stronger in certain regions, especially ones with large amounts of snow and ice.

... The new study builds on a United Nations Environment Program/World Meteorological Organization report, also led by Shindell, published last year.
Abstract: Tropospheric ozone and black carbon (BC) contribute to both degraded air quality and global warming. We considered ~400 emission control measures to reduce these pollutants by using current technology and experience. We identified 14 measures targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050. This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at $700 to $5,000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than $250). The selected controls target different sources and influence climate on shorter time scales than those of carbon dioxide–reduction measures. Implementing both substantially reduces the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold.
A 2007 Stanford University study calculated that carbon dioxide was the No. 1 cause of man-made global warming, accounting for 48 percent of the problem. Soot was second with 16 percent of the warming and methane was right behind at 14 percent.  But over a 20-year period, a molecule of methane or soot causes substantially more warming then a carbon dioxide molecule.

The new research won wide praise from outside scientists, including a conservative researcher who held a top post in the George W. Bush administration.

"So rather than focusing only on carbon dioxide emissions, where we have to make a tradeoff with energy prices, this strategy focuses on 'win-win-win' pathways that have benefits to human health, agriculture and stabilizing the Earth's climate," said University of Minnesota ecology professor Jonathan Foley, who wasn't part of the study. "That's brilliant."

John D. Graham, who oversaw regulations at the Office of Management and Budget in the Bush administration and is now dean of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University, said: "This is an important study that deserves serious consideration by policy makers as well as scientists."

The study even does a cost-benefit analysis to see if these pollution control methods are too expensive to be anything but fantasy. They actually pay off with benefits that are as much as ten times the value of the costs, Shindell said. The paper calculates that as of 2030, the pollution reduction methods would bring about $6.5 trillion in annual benefits from fewer people dying from air pollution, less global warming and increased crop production.

In the United States, Shindell calculates the measures would prevent about 14,000 air pollution deaths in people older than 30 by the year 2030. About 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit of projected warming in the U.S. would be prevented by 2050.

But health benefits would be far bigger in China and India where soot is more of a problem.

The study comes a day after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the most detailed data yet on American greenhouse gas emissions. Of the emissions reported to the government, nearly three-quarters came from power plants. But with methane, it's different. Nineteen of the top 20 methane emitters were landfills.

Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, who is a leader in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but wasn't part of this study, praised the study but said he worried that officials would delay cutting back on the more prevalent carbon dioxide. Focusing solely on methane and soot and ignoring carbon dioxide "tends to exacerbate climate change," he said.

Also see:

by Drew Shindell 1,*, Johan C. I. Kuylenstierna 2, Elisabetta Vignati 3, Rita van Dingenen 3, Markus Amann 4, Zbigniew Klimont 4, Susan C. Anenberg 5, Nicholas Muller 6, Greet Janssens-Maenhout 3,  Frank Raes 3, Joel Schwartz 7, Greg Faluvegi 1, Luca Pozzoli 3,†, Kaarle Kupiainen 4, Lena Höglund-Isaksson 4, Lisa Emberson 2, David Streets 8, V. Ramanathan 9, Kevin Hicks 2, N. T. Kim Oanh 10, George Milly 1, Martin Williams 11, Volodymyr Demkine 12 and David Fowler 13
1. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA.
2. Stockholm Environment Institute, Environment Department, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK.
3. Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra 21027, Italy.
4. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg A-2361, Austria.
5. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA.
6. Department of Economics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA.
7. Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
8. Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA.
9. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
10. Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
11. Environmental Research Group, King’s College London, London SE1 9NH, UK.
12. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi 00100, Kenya.
13. Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Midlothian EH26 0QB, UK.
† Present address: Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34469, Turkey.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: drew.t.shindell@nasa.gov
Science www.sciencemag.org
Volume 335, Number 6065; January 13, 2012: pages 183-189