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Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI)

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Ongoing projects on:
TYPE: Research organization, associated with Princeton University

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

CITY: Princeton

REGION: North America

ACTIVE SINCE: 1994

URL: http://www.princeton.edu/pei/

RESEARCH FIELDS: Impacts, Adaptation, Renewable energy & Energy efficiency, Policy & Institutions, Water

OVERVIEW:
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) is the interdisciplinary center of environmental research, education, and outreach at Princeton University. PEI's mission is to advance knowledge and to develop the next generation of leadership by providing outstanding academic programs and opportunities for advanced scholarship, research, and civic engagement. PEI draws its strength from 90 members of the Princeton faculty, representing more than 25 academic disciplines, whose research and teaching focuses on the scientific, technical, policy, and human dimensions of environmental issues. PEI functions as a central resource for faculty, post docs, students, alumni, and others with interests in environmental topics. PEI's research interests are distinguishable from other environmentally focused research activities at Princeton as endeavors involving faculty and research affiliates work across disciplinary lines. PEI's principal research centers address complex issues surrounding global change; energy and climate; biogeochemical cycles; molecular geochemistry; biodiversity; conservation; environmental science and policy; infectious disease and global health; and sustainable development in impoverished and resource-challenged regions of the world.
CURRENT PROJECTS:
Impacts of ocean acidification and deoxygenation on fish gill function (ongoing )
Field(s) of activity: Ecosystems, Pollution, Marine environments
Changes in ocean biogeochemistry in response to climate change may also impact fish directly through changes in gill function. A model that simulates gas exchange along a lamella in the gill of a teleost fish was developed, incorporating physics, blood physiology, and gill morphology and can be adapted for different fish species. In the next year, the development of the model will continue to determine the sensitivity of oxygen uptake in fish gills to variations in temperature, O2, and CO2 in the environment. Potential adaptation will also be examined by manipulating physiological and morphological parameters in the model.
Website: http://cmi.princeton.edu/annual_reports/2011/carbon_science/studies.php#deoxygenation
Re-engineering the nuclear future (ongoing )
Field(s) of activity: Energy intensity & efficiency, Low-carbon technologies (CCS / CSP / Hydrogen / Nuclear 4th gen), Emission mitigation & "Green" policies
This project has been exploring how nuclear power would fit into a modern lowcarbon energy system that may be more decentralized than today's system and emphasize flexibility, energy efficiency, and small-scale solutions. As the first step, the project team has started working with the Global Change Assessment Model, an Integrated Assessment Model that is widely used to project energy futures and associated greenhouse gas emissions, in order to improve the characterization of nuclear power in this model. Further analysis will explore the sensitivity of modeling results to the assumptions made about different types of nuclear technologies.
Website: http://cmi.princeton.edu/annual_reports/2011/carbon_integration/mitigation.php
Optimizing Energy Storage for Renewable Energy Systems (ongoing )
Field(s) of activity: Energy intensity & efficiency, Renewable resources (Biomass energy / Hydropower / Wind power)
Researchers have been studying the amount of energy stored in commercially available batteries in response to variable rates of charge and discharge. The group has initiated a set of experiments to determine the effect of variable wind turbine input on the lifespan of four different battery chemistries. The results of this aging experiment will allow for improved design of battery storage systems for small-scale wind energy storage and offer insight into the effects of variability on battery degradation.
Website: http://cmi.princeton.edu/annual_reports/2011/carbon_capture/renewable_energy.php
Policy-relevant information on sea level rise (ongoing )
Field(s) of activity: Sea level rise, Risk management, Emission mitigation & "Green" policies
Effective policy decisions demand a more complete and transparent accounting of sources of sea level change. However, weak observational constraints on the century-timescale ice sheet response, and the lack of a comprehensive model, have led to difficulties in quantifying the sea level rise contribution of Antarctica and Greenland. This group is focused on presenting ice sheet projections in a form that is amenable to climate-related decision-making and improving the comprehensiveness and robustness of ice sheet models.
Website: http://cmi.princeton.edu/annual_reports/2011/carbon_integration/communicating.php#policy
Open source climate economics models (ongoing )
Field(s) of activity: Energy prices, demand & supply, Renewable resources (Biomass energy / Hydropower / Wind power), Low-carbon technologies (CCS / CSP / Hydrogen / Nuclear 4th gen)
This project aims to bring energy-economics and climate economics-models into the open source domain. Open source versions of some Integrated Assessment Models like DICE and RICE have been developed. The group's next goal is to develop energy-economics models for India. The models can serve both as research and educational tools and the open access design can facilitate the contribution of other experts in this field. A dedicated website will be setup for the project shortly.
Website: http://cmi.princeton.edu/annual_reports/2011/carbon_integration/wedges.php#models
Other initiatives

 

PEI's principle established interdisciplinary research centers include:

  • The Carbon Mitigation Initiative
    A 15-yearlong partnership among Princeton University and BP with the goal of finding solutions to the carbon and climate problem. The program involves over seventy faculty, research associates and graduate students from the sciences, engineering and policy fields. CMI's research groups are aligned around projects in climate science, energy technology and carbon capture, carbon storage, and integration and policy... »
  • The Center for BioComplexity
    It is home to two complementary DARPA projects that involve researchers at a number of institutions in the United States and around the world, and disciplines from basic topology to dynamical systems, from cell biology to ecosystem science. Its focus is the development of new mathematical approaches to complexity in biology, looking for both unification and uniqueness across levels of organization... »
  • The Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS)
    CICS is a collaboration between Princeton University and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) to carry out basic research in the climate sciences. CICS provides expertise and performs research in the climate sciences including climate change and variability, and biogeochemical cycles... »
  • Energy Systems Analysis Group
    Research activities of PEI's Energy Systems Analysis Group focus on identifying technologies and policies that could facilitate long-term solutions for major energy-related societal problems -- including global climate change, urban air pollution, energy-import dependence, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, and poverty in developing countries... »
  • Grand Challenges
    Managed by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), the Grand Challenges Initiative is an integrated research and teaching program designed to promote student involvement and faculty research on complex global environmental issues with scientific, technical, public policy, and human dimensions... »
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Centro Euro-Mediterraneo
CONTACT US
International Center for Climate Governance
Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, 8
30124, Venice, Italy
Email: info@thinktankmap.org
Phone: +39 041 2700411
Fax: +39 041 2700413

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