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Environment

3 Questions: The Climate Project at MIT

MIT is preparing a major campus-wide effort to develop technological, behavioral, and policy solutions to some of the toughest problems now impeding an effective global climate response. The Climate Project at MIT, as the new enterprise is known, includes new arrangements for promoting cross-Institute collaborations and new mechanisms for engaging with outside partners to speed […]

Peatland formation

Satellite-based method measures carbon in peat bogs

Peat bogs in the tropics store vast amounts of carbon, but logging, plantations, road building, and other activities have destroyed large swaths of these ecosystems in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. Peat formations are essentially permanently flooded forestland, where dead leaves and branches accumulate because the water table prevents their decomposition. The pileup of organic […]

The City Science Network empowers local communities to collaborate globally

The City Science group at the MIT Media Lab, directed by Principal Research Scientist Kent Larson, launched the City Science Network nine years ago to create sister labs around the world that could share data, code, design ideas, and systems for analysis, simulation, and community engagement. Today, 10 affiliated City Science labs are operating in […]

How to tackle the global deforestation crisis

Imagine if France, Germany, and Spain were completely blanketed in forests — and then all those trees were quickly chopped down. That’s nearly the amount of deforestation that occurred globally between 2001 and 2020, with profound consequences. Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, producing between 6 and 17 percent of global greenhouse gas […]

Bringing sustainable and affordable electricity to all

When MIT electrical engineer Reja Amatya PhD ’12 arrived in Rwanda in 2015, she was whisked off to a village. She saw that diesel generators provided power to the local health center, bank, and shops, but like most of rural Rwanda, Karambi’s 200 homes did not have electricity. Amatya knew the hilly terrain would make […]

Preparing Colombia’s cities for life amid changing forests

It was an uncharacteristically sunny morning as Marcela Angel MCP ’18, flanked by a drone pilot from the Boston engineering firm AirWorks and a data collection team from the Colombian regional environmental agency Corpoamazonia, climbed a hill in the Andes Mountains of southwest Colombia. The area’s usual mountain cloud cover — one of the major […]

People arriving to the MIT Energy Conference 2023

MIT Energy Conference grapples with geopolitics

As Russia’s war in Ukraine rages on, this year’s MIT Energy Conference spotlighted the role of geopolitics in the world’s efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Each year, the student-run conference, which its organizers say is the largest of its kind, brings together leaders from around the […]

Study finds natural sources of air pollution exceed air quality guidelines in many regions

Alongside climate change, air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health. Tiny particles known as particulate matter or PM2.5 (named for their diameter of just 2.5 micrometers or less) are a particularly hazardous type of pollutant. These particles are produced from a variety of sources, including wildfires and the burning of […]