The climate change alarm bells are ringing for researchers as mounting evidence reveals the extent of humanity’s impact on the Earth and the growing risks of inaction on carbon pollution. Emissions are rising at 1-2% per year, which sets the world further back from stabilizing the climate at internationally agreed upon temperature targets, like the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC goal. An aggressive, clear-eyed response is required to address climate change — first and foremost by decarbonizing the global energy system. This response should be similar to pandemic and wartime mobilizations in both scale and urgency.

In his talk held on February 17, 2021, Professor Ahmed Abdulla discussed energy system design in this radically new context, presenting results from his recent research with colleagues on the role of technologies that have yet to be deployed at scale, like direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). He concluded his talk by discussing how his research group at Carleton is working to develop a new generation of energy system models that integrate real-world challenges to energy deployment.