Recent Submissions

  • Satellite data reveals the start of Canada's wildfire season

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Ziv, Kristin; Elvidge, Christopher; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-05-16)
    Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how as of May 14, 2024, there are 143 active wildfires in Canada, and 39 are out of control, according to Canadian experts and officials. The Earth Observation Group has calculated the temperatures and spatial extent of active burning across Canada with their Nightfire algorithm applied to data collected by NOAA's Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer Suite (VIIRS).
  • Navigating commercial advisory in the VCM

    Andreatta, Jared; Handler, Bradley P.; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-05-16)
    School of Mines Mineral and Energy Economics Masters candidate Jared Andreatta and Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler write an explainer of the various types of commercial advisory services firms that participate in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). These advisory firms primarily help buyers find, evaluate and transact carbon offset credits, but offer distinct approaches.
  • Satellite data captures power outages in Sudan's civil war

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Ziv, Kristin; Elvidge, Christopher; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-05-19)
    Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how a horrible full-scale civil war in Sudan is creating chaos, anarchy, mass starvation, and the world's largest population of internal refugees – approximately nine million.  The researchers have created a temporal profile of nighttime lights for Khartoum where seasonal variations in lights within a year can be seen, but the interannual radiance was stable until the conflict started in April 2023.
  • Reconstructing high-resolution 2D data from low-resolution inputs using a super-resolution conditional generative adversarial network

    Alnabbat, Mohammed; Bernstein, Brett; Zhang, Mengli
    Super-resolution is an image processing technique that takes a low-resolution image and makes it high-resolution (Nasrollahi and Moeslund, 2014). Recent studies in image processing and medical imaging use Super-Resolution Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (SRCGANs) to achieve super-resolution, successfully generating high-resolution images that are perceptually indistinguishable from real images (Nasser et al., 2022). We apply the concept of super-resolution to gridded gravity anomalies and train an SRCGAN to learn their complex signal structures and generate high-resolution data from coarsely-sampled grids. Typical generative adversarial networks (GANs) consist of two neural networks, a generator G and discriminator D, which learn and improve by competing with each other. G generates an image and D attempts to determine if it is a real or generated image. G then updates to make the generated output more realistic, and D updates to better distinguish between real and generated images. We adapt the SRCGAN architecture from Ledig et al. (2017) for use with gridded gravity data. Our generator G takes a low-resolution grid X, coarsely-sampled from a full data set Y, as input, and outputs an up-sampled, high resolution grid ˆY . Our network is trained and tested using gridded, regional gravity data from Australia (GeoscienceAustralia, 2023). These fully-sampled data Y are resized to a common shape of 128x128 and down-sampled by a factor of 4 to shape 32x32 to obtain the network inputs X. A total of 3546 pairs of fully-sampled and coarsely-sampled grids are used for training, 799 pairs are used for validation during training, and 88 pairs are reserved to test the network after training. The trained generator is tested with one of the reserved data pairs. Figure 1 shows the fully-sampled grid Y, coarse grid X, and the high-resolution grid ˆY generated from X. We are interested in how well the generator can reconstruct high-resolution signal from just the low-resolution input, so we quantify the increase in information by comparing the differences Y −X and Y −ˆY , histograms of which are in figure 1, their mean absolute error (MAE), and their root mean square error (RMSE). These metrics are summarized in table 1. The difference between the fully-sampled data and the coarse data Y −X produces a high MAE and RMSE and is characterized by a noticeably-broad spectrum of differences. The comparison between Y and ˆY yields lower metrics and a sharpening of the histogram. The improved metrics from the generated high-resolution data show that our trained SRCGAN generator can reconstruct missing signal structure from coarsely-sampled, gridded gravity data. The generated grid is upscaled in size by a factor of 4 in both directions while maintaining the integrity of the input signal. From the histogram of differences, we understand that the generated high-resolution data closely resembles the full data, discrepancies in which are due to the SRCGAN not completely reconstructing the high-frequency content. This may be improved through further adjusting and tuning of the network and the network training process. These results are a promising look into what may be a robust and versatile data reconstruction method.
  • LEEDing power back to communities through green building codes: advice for policymakers considering LEED certification

    Li, Nathan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-05-10)
    Payne Institute Student Researcher Nathan Li compares goals of original, local green building codes and their potential for projects to use LEED certification as a path of compliance. By using his professional experience in LEED certification to analyze these codes' language and priorities, he provides guidance on the applicability of LEED to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals set by jurisdictions.  Nathan then makes suggestions to policymakers not to rely on the widespread acceptance of LEED to communicate a sustainability commitment, but instead use locally specific codes that require needed changes in their communities.
  • Mapping of dimmed nighttime lights in Ukraine during the war

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-03-27)
    Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin writes about how the impact of the war in Ukraine on nighttime light intensity using satellite data. Nighttime light observations from Suomi NPP satellite (2012-2024) covering Ukraine and surrounding areas were analyzed.
  • New method for tracking down methane emissions on oil and gas sites

    Daniels, William; Hammerling, Dorit; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-03-27)
    Payne Institute Student Researcher William Daniels, Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how reducing methane emissions is a key component of short-term climate action. Empirical data and transparent models are key pillars of emission reduction efforts. Payne Institute researchers William Daniels, Meng Jia, and Dorit Hammerling have developed a completely open-source analytical framework for detecting single-source methane emissions, determining the source location, and estimating an emission rate using data from continuous monitoring systems (CMS).
  • Exploring policy choices for addressing forever chemicals

    Ziv, Kristin; Guajardo Retamales, Isabel; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-03-25)
    Payne Institute Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Student Researcher Isabel Guajardo Retamales and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how on March 20, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) convened a pivotal hearing titled "Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances."  The session focused on the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic chemicals found in various industrial and consumer products.
  • VIIRS sensors show breadth of Texas wildfires

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Elvidge, Christopher; Ziv, Kristin; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-02-29)
    The Earth Observation Group (EOG) at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, has calculated the temperatures and spatial extent of active burning in the Texas Panhandle with their Nightfire algorithm applied to data collected by NOAA's Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer Suite (VIIRS).  The VIIRS data reveal the locations of both flaming and non-flaming combustion, a capability unique to the nightfire data product.
  • Steel rising: harnessing Nigeria's potential for global competitiveness in the steel industry

    Udofia, Edikan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-02-29)
    Payne Institute student researcher Edikan Udofia writes about Nigeria is endowed with more than 2 billion metric tons of iron ore reserves and is striving to position itself as a key player in the worldwide steel sector. Despite encountering challenges in the past regarding enhancing its steel manufacturing capabilities, Nigeria is currently well-placed to harness its abundant mineral wealth and enhance its steel production capacity.
  • Solar surge puts pressure on silver supply (but look for the silver lining)

    Ziv, Kristin; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-02-14)
    As the global demand for solar panels soars, so does the demand for silver – a key component in the manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar installations are breaking records worldwide in both volume and low price, according to BloombergNEF.
  • Payne Institute's EOG measures Chilean wildfires

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Elvidge, Christopher; Ziv, Kristin; Bazilian, Morgan; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-02-09)
    The Chilean wildfires could be the deadliest on record in that country, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.  Chilean authorities say the fire has killed at least 131 people and hundreds more are missing.
  • Transparency through technology: the vital link between monitoring and public perception in CCS initiatives

    Littlefield, Anna; Losche, Charlie; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2024-02-09)
    Payne Institute CCUS Program Manager Anna Littlefield and Project Canary's Charlie Losche write about how the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has catalyzed significant growth in CCS, with projections indicating a substantial increase in capture capacity by 2035.  With this expansion comes challenges, notably in securing Class VI permits for CO₂ injection, and most pressingly in maintaining public trust.
  • Decarbonization of ethanol: pathways to monetization series. Part one, Stacking 45Q with voluntary carbon markets: importance of policy incentives in economic frameworks for CCS projects

    Littlefield, Anna; Cheng Siew, Chiang; Matson, Mike; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2023-12-11)
    Payne Institute CCUS Program Manager Anna Littlefield and Fellows Siew Chiang and Mike Matson write about how CCS has been at the forefront of decarbonization commitments in public and private sectors, with the development of CCS projects rapidly accelerating in the U.S. following the signing of federal incentives of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  They explore the economic pathways for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, beginning with "credit stacking" voluntary carbon market credits and Section 45Q tax credits, with additional pieces on both the California-based Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Section 45Z tax credit.
  • Experimental investigation of cylindrical shock wave interactions

    Eliasson, Veronica; Rabinowitz, Grace I.
    Raw data from the shock interaction study using the exploding wire experiment. Schlieren images and pressure data are included. The supplemental zip file, EWS - schlieren.zip, was provided on December 4, 2023. Updated data files in the zip folder. Exploding Wire Data.zip, was provided on January 28, 2024.
  • Magnetic tunability in tetragonal Mn--Rh--Ir--Sn inverse Heusler compounds

    Mozur, Eve; Seshadri, Ram
    Gaining control over magnetic structure has been an ongoing challenge in materials that form complex, nanoscale, non-collinear magnetic configurations. Recently, it was predicted that tuning the ratio of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction to the uniaxial magnetic anisotropy in tetragonal inverse Heuslers through changes in composition could allow a range of interesting magnetic states to be accessed, from simple ferrimagnetism, to helical and antiskyrmionic phases. Here, we show tunability of the magnetic phase behavior in the Mn--Rh--Sn system through Ir substitution on the Rh substructure. Iridium substitution correlates to an increase in the strength of ferromagnetic exchange couplings, at the expense of antiferromagnetic exchange couplings. However, we do not observe the complex non-collinear magnetic phases proposed previously, likely due to the extremely narrow composition window where these phases are predicted to form in a bulk sample. This work highlights the sensitivity of complex magnetic structures to stoichiometry, which makes them difficult to discover empirically.
  • Prolonged dimming of Ukrainian urban illumination: a measure of conflict's impact

    Zhizhin, Mikhail; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2023-11-15)
    Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researcher Mikhail Zhizhin writes about how natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes or pandemics trigger a short-term dimming of city lights, followed by a rapid recovery. The war in Ukraine, however, has induced a novel pattern of city lights changes: an abrupt and sustained decline in illumination from the outset of the conflict, persisting for two years with partial recovery observed in some cities.
  • Empowering or repressive: navigating the complexities of renewable portfolio standards in the US

    Kulkarni, Siddhant; Littlefield, Anna; Colorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado School of Mines. Payne Institute for Public Policy, 2023-11-13)
    Payne Institute Student Researcher Siddhant Kulkarni and Program Manager Anna Littlefield write about how Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) represent a strategic push by governments to usher in an era of clean, renewable energy. While RPS are not the only policy-mechanisms that incentivize renewable energy, they have been in place for decades across the world. Data from the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) shows that worldwide installed renewable energy capacity has almost doubled in the last decade, thanks in part to the RPS policies implemented. In the US these regulations are particular to individual states and aim to combat increasing greenhouse gas emissions and by extension, climate change.
  • Supporting open science on a small budget: the role of the Mines Repository

    Kraus, Joseph; Colorado School of Mines
    The Mines Repository is a piece of the puzzle to support open science initiatives at the the Colorado School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library. Even as a small Carnegie R1 institution, the librarians provide a wide variety of open science services to Mines students and faculty.

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