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SPOTLIGHT

1. RENEWABLE ENERGY

Smog and the lack of a business model make China's urban solar energy outlook murky

With a goal to demonstrate the use of renewable energy, Greenpeace was giving some serious thought to installing solar panels on their building's rooftop when the environmental group rented a training center two years ago in Beijing .A Chinese solar panel producer was eager to help with the system installation. Government officials and utility executives also tried their best to smooth the grid connection. But when the rooftop solar system went online in 2013, problems quickly emerged.

2. RESEARCH

Scientists pinpoint drivers behind extreme weather in new study

In the messy, chaotic atmosphere of our planet meanders the jet stream, a wiggly belt of air circling the mid-latitudes. As the belt moves south, it pulls cool air from the Arctic toward the tropics. Then it switches direction, pulling warm air from the tropics toward the poles. Sometimes, in response to natural climate patterns, the jet stream becomes abnormally wavy. Such amplified waves have coincided with heat and cold waves, droughts and flooding across the world, according to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

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