|From||Malte Meinshausen <email@example.com>|
|Date||Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:22:09 +1100|
The project will focus on the transport choices of individuals in order to encourage behaviour that considers and improves urban climate. It will develop mobility-as-a-service mechanisms that incentivize mobility behaviour reducing traffic emissions, and active mobility choices along routes of less unhealthy environmental parameters. Integral part are a consideration of predicted emissions for modes and routes, and economic models of incentivization. This is a joint PhD project with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, a global leader in intelligent transportation. The candidate will spent one year of the project in Karlsruhe. In Melbourne it is linked to the vibrant Climate and Energy College, and integrated in the future cities agenda of the university.
There is a massive floodplain restoration effort underway across the Murray-Darling Basin involving the delivery of environmental water onto floodplains to restore their natural ecosystem function and biodiversity. However little consideration has been made of the effectiveness of this program under conditions of climate change and the potential contribution of the program to carbon sequestration. In this project, novel water quality and sediment monitoring systems developed by the KIT (Karlsruhe institute of Technology) supervisors will be deployed in a floodplain wetland on the Murray River. The project will examine how weather conditions (wind and solar radiation) interact with water regime to influence carbon cycling within the floodplain. The project will evaluate potential effects of climate change on wetland processes and the potential for carbon sequestration that might be achieved through floodplain restoration.
This is a joint PhD project with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany.
The contribution of the built environment (buildings and infrastructure, in particular) to global energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions is significant (over 40%). Energy efficiency policy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation efforts and building regulations focus predominately on operational performance and improvements. Considerable gains have been made globally in reducing the energy demand and GHG emissions associated with building operation. Solutions typically focus on passive design, high performance materials, and renewable energy systems and terms such as zero-energy and Passive House are becoming increasingly common.
Recent research shows that energy and GHG emissions associated with (embodied in) production and transportation of materials, and the construction process itself are even more significant than in-use energy demands and emissions. However, this aspect is inherently more difficult to address as it involves the broader supply chain (miners, manufacturers, logistics etc.). The aim of this project will be to explore international examples of policy, regulations and strategies for addressing these embodied energy demands and related GHG emissions associated with construction projects. This will be used to inform optimal strategies for improving existing policy and regulations to optimise embodied energy and GHG emissions within the built environment.
While there are major discussions about transitioning towards a low-carbon electricity system, less attention has been given to the need to decarbonise the whole Australian energy system. This requires addressing the critical role of other energy sectors such as heating/cooling and transport, as well as interactions with the gas sector and other potential energy vectors such as hydrogen.
The aim of this project is thus to develop a “multi-energy systems” view of Australia, supported by a techno-economic operational model that can also support whole-system planning. Different technologies and opportunities across different sectors will be considered, including, in particular, the possibility of providing different forms of energy storage coming from different sectors. These include the role of buildings and industrial processes to provide virtual storage from thermal inertia, the possibility of using the gas network as long-term store of hydrogen coming from renewables-based electrolysis, decarbonisation of transport through electric and hydrogen vehicles that could represent a further form of energy storage, and so forth. Both operational and infrastructure technical and economic aspects will be taken into account, so that a full cost-benefit analysis of different options to decarbonise the whole energy system could finally be carried out.
In order to meet the COP21 Paris target we may need to consider either removing CO2 from the atmosphere or focus more attention on Short Lived Climate Pollutants. As methane only lasts in the atmosphere for around 12 years, but has a relatively high global warming potential during this period, there are increasing calls for reduced consumption of livestock products. However, having a choice in your diet is limited to around 10 to 14% of the affluent few in the world. However, at the same time we have a rising world middle class estimated to be 4.9B by 2030, with a clear trends towards more animal-based protein in their diet. Livestock in the developing world are more than just a source of food, being a essential source of power for planting crops, integral in religious observance and a symbol of wealth. This study will compare the theoretical against the likely the true potential of reduced livestock consumption to address global warming, including the competing factors, alternative uses of livestock in society and recommending the future place of livestock in a warming and more populated world.
There is still a gap between our bottom-up accounting of methane emissions and top-down measurement of methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all methane emissions estimated through data inventories and models, the estimate of global methane concentrations is larger than the growth in methane concentrations. Isotope signatures suggest that the majority of the recent increase in atmospheric methane might be of biogenic origin. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions and further research on the fate of methane in the atmosphere. The project will look at methane sources and sinks, at agricultural and wetland emissions, as well as fugitive emissions from fossil fuel infrastructure, including the breakdown of methane in the biosphere, to refine our understanding of the global methane budget.
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