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Agriculture and climate

first_imgFarmers can’t control when drought, a late freeze or violent crop-wrenching storms will affect their fields, but they can be prepared when those disasters come knocking. That’s where newly minted University of Georgia agricultural climatologist Pam Knox comes in. Knox, who has been studying climate at UGA for 11 years, started her new position as Extension agricultural climatologist July 1. She’ll be working with a team of researchers in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who are studying changes in Georgia’s climate and helping farmers find ways to adapt to those changes. Knox will also serve as a clearinghouse for information about current and historical weather patterns and offer some analysis of how those conditions may affect Georgia’s largest industry — agriculture. “If Extension agents are helping someone with a crop insurance claim, then I can provide them with the data that they’ll need to process that, or if a researcher in the college needs data for a crop model that they are running — I can provide that,” Knox said. “It’s my goal to really be a resource for Extension agents and the college in that way.” Another part of this new job includes keeping abreast of research concerning the relationship between agriculture, climate change and climate trends and relaying that information to Extension agents in Georgia’s counties. Knox is one of a handful of researchers working under a USDA grant program to try to find ways to help livestock and poultry producers adapt to new weather patterns that might emerge because of climate change. “In the Southeast, we are more interested in how our animals will respond higher temperatures as well as changes in water management with more extreme droughts and floods,” said Mark Risse, a UGA agricultural systems researcher who his leading UGA’s agricultural climate team. “As a region, the South is predominately poultry, so we will look heavily at the poultry industry and how climate changes will impact that industry. Then we will focus on how to best equip producers with management practices to adapt to these changes.” Risse, Knox and their team are working with the Southeast Climate Consortium to develop climate projections that may affect animal agriculture. The consortium — made up of researchers in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina — is predicting more weather similar to the droughts and violent flooding Georgia has seen over the past few years. The Southeast Climate Consortium currently maintains the agroclimate.org website as a source of climate information for farmers, and Knox envisions having a Georgia-based website built especially to meet the needs of Georgia farmers.last_img read more

‘Just the Beginning’ as Australia Flips Switch on World’s Largest Electric-Grid Battery

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Tesla Inc switched on the world’s biggest lithium ion battery on Friday in time to feed Australia’s shaky power grid for the first day of summer, meeting a promise by Elon Musk to build it in 100 days or give it free.“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy,” state Premier Jay Weatherill said at the official launch at the Hornsdale wind farm, owned by private French firm Neoen.Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129-megawatt hour battery for South Australia, which expanded in wind power far quicker than the rest of the country, but has suffered a string of blackouts over the past 18 months.In a politically charged debate, opponents of the state’s renewables push have argued that the battery is a “Hollywood solution” in a country that still relies on fossil fuels, mainly coal, for two-thirds of its electricity.Supporters, however, say it will help stabilize the grid in a state that now gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy, but needs help when the wind dies down.“Storage can respond within a fraction of a second. It can address those stability issues very quickly without needing to resort to using large power plants,” said Praveen Kathpal, vice president of AES Energy, a losing bidder to build the battery.Highlighting industry hopes for the take-up of battery storage, Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited the site some 225 kms (141 miles) north of the state capital Adelaide in July, hailing the battery as “just the beginning.”Weatherill came under fire last year after the entire state went black following a major storm, and raced to shore up the state’s grid with a A$510 million ($385 million) plan, including ordering the big battery and installing diesel-fueled turbines.AES’s Kathpal, who is also chairman of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, said South Australia’s commitment to turn to energy storage was an important step for the rest of the industry.More: Tesla switches on giant battery to shore up Australia’s grid ‘Just the Beginning’ as Australia Flips Switch on World’s Largest Electric-Grid Batterylast_img read more

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