Editor's picks: Hurricane season is here
Plus, G7 climate ministers pledge to halt government support for coal-fired power plants and the pope get an EV.
Pope Francis is getting an electric vehicle. The pontiff, who has spoken out on environmental issues, is getting the first electric popemobile from Fisker (FSR) in late 2022. The company plans to equip its Ocean SUV with a retractable glass cupola and sustainable interior materials. Pope Francis already has a Mirai fuel-cell vehicle from Toyota. Image: Fisker.
Hurricane season 2021: 13 to 20 named storms
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected. NOAA said it provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through Nov. 30. “Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
G7 environment ministers promise to end support for coal
Environment ministers from seven leading industrialized nations agreed Friday to accelerate efforts to slow global warming, including a commitment to end government support for new coal-fired power plants by the end of this year. the Associated Press reports. The pledges were part of a wide-ranging communique issued by Group of Seven environment ministers after a two-day virtual meeting hosted by the U.K. The ministers also promised to combat deforestation and overfishing, to promote biodiversity and to tackle the scourge of ocean plastic, while seeking to prevent future outbreaks of diseases like COVID-19 that spread from animals to humans, according to the AP.
We’re washing energy down the drain
Denver is building what could be the biggest sewer heat-recovery project in North America, according to Enwave, a Canadian energy company set to operate the system. NPR reports that a $1 billion remodel will convert a 250-acre parcel into a center for art, education and agriculture known as the National Western Center. It will include about a million square feet of indoor space to be heated and cooled with energy from the sewer pipes below. The report notes the U.S. Department of Energy estimates Americans wash enough energy down the drain every year to power about 30 million homes.