The 14th Carbon Mitigation Initiative Annual Meeting

Holly P. Welles ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) held its 14th annual meeting at Princeton University on April 14 and 15, 2015. More than 100 participants gathered to discuss CMI’s most recent initiatives in the areas of science, technology, and integration and outreach.  Attendees included Princeton faculty and students and colleagues from BP, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 9 national and international universities, and several environmental non-profit organizations and policy think-tanks.

CMI Annual Meeting 2015

At the meeting, CMI lead investigators reported on recent research advances in terrestrial and ocean carbon science, carbon capture and sequestration, climate science, and carbon targets. Topics included:

“The Land Sink, Extreme Events” (Stephen Pacala)

“The Southern Ocean” (Jorge Sarmiento)

“Ocean Acidification” (François Morel)

“A Link between the Hiatus in Global Warming and North American Drought” (Thomas Delworth)

“Low-Carbon Technology; Carbon Budgets and Committed Emissions” (Robert Socolow)

“Understanding Greenhouse-Gas Impacts of CO2 and CH4” (Steve Pacala)

CMI Annual Meeting 2015
Graduate student Yao Lai, mechanical and aerospace engineering, describing her research on fluid-driven fractures during the CMI annual meeting poster session.

There were two “deep dives”: one on current research about methane leakage, the other on the timing of peaking global emissions from U.S., China, and global perspectives.

Felipe Bayon, senior vice president, BP America, reported on BP’s latest Energy Outlook and Paul Jefferiss, head of policy at BP shared information about recent developments in climate policy and speculated about the year ahead.

Several visitors provided valuable perspectives:

Chris Smith, assistant secretary for fossil fuels at DOE, spoke about the government role in developing a carbon capture and sequestration industry.

Chris Greig, University of Queensland, reported on the key role of the private sector in the development of large demonstration projects and the critical complementary roles of governments.

Ellen Williams, director of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPE-E), described activities currently underway at ARPE-E to foster innovation in energy technologies.

Ottmar Edenhofer, Technical University of Berlin, summarized his experience as the head of Working Group Three of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Zheng Li, Tsinghua University, illuminated the prospects for China to realize dramatic departures from current trends in its energy system.

Steve Hamburg, Environmental Defense Fund, shared results from recent research on leakages from natural gas production and distribution.

Also participating were CMI advisory council members Dallas Burtraw, Resources for the Future; David Hawkins, Natural Resources Defense Council; and Michael Levi, Council on Foreign Relations.

CMI Annual Meeting 2015
Felipe Bayon (right), senior vice president of BP America presenting the 2015 CMI Best Paper Award to postdoctoral research fellow Zheng Zheng.

During an evening reception, Bayon awarded the 2015 CMI Best Paper Award to Princeton postdoctoral research fellow Zhong Zheng. Zheng, a researcher in Howard Stone’s lab, was selected for his paper “Flow Regimes for Fluid Injection into a Confined Porous Medium” in recognition of its original contributions to the understanding of multiphase flow in porous media. The paper was published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 2015.

Based at Princeton University and administered by Princeton Environmental Institute, CMI is a university-industry partnership sponsored by BP that began in 2000. Both parties are committed to rigorous research to address the ever-increasing challenges associated with the climate problem. This past November, BP renewed CMI’s contract for an additional 5 years, carrying the program forward through 2020.

Led by CMI Co-Directors Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, the group has grown to include over 70 researchers who have published over 700 peer-reviewed articles.

CMI Annual Meeting 2015
(Photos by Frank Wojciechowski)


For additional information about CMI’s current research, see the newly released CMI 2014 Annual Report and the 14th CMI annual meeting presentations and posters.