CMI Integration & Outreach


CMI Integration introduces new conceptual frameworks that are useful to governments and citizen groups considering climate change policies. One current effort seeks to make the emerging statistical analyses of extreme events, such as urban heat waves, more accessible. Another initiative involves the study of renewable energy intermittency, lulls in windpower in particular, and examines potential implications for power management. 

Research Highlights – At a Glance

Michael Oppenheimer: Heat waves (HWs) are among the most damaging climate extremes to human society. For urban residents, the urban heat island (UHI) effect further exacerbates the heat stress resulting from HWs, and these risks are even greater if HWs interact synergistically with UHIs. Combining climate model simulations and a new analytical framework, the Oppenheimer group has investigated the synergistic effects, sometimes positive and sometimes negative, between UHIs and HWs at a large scale under climate change. The study also uncovered the physical mechanisms underpinning these synergistic effects.

Robert Socolow: Intermittency—variability in output—bedevils wind and solar energy. Presented here is a fresh approach to intermittency that focuses on the statistics of lulls (periods of low output), especially the longest lulls. Long lulls are extreme events and should be at the center of attention in grid management. The longest lulls are unlikely to elicit the same strategies as shorter lulls. In particular, batteries (and other storage strategies that have costs roughly proportional to the energy they store) will be ill-suited to compensate for the rare, longest lulls.

Current Research Projects