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Energy, environment expert says there'' s reason for optimism– in spite of Trump

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ AP President Donald Trump speaks about the United States function in the Paris environment modification accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White Home in Washington.

contact) Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017|2 a.m. As an environmental engineer and a specialist in energy policy, Samantha Gross is no fan of climate-change deniers who see no factor

to decrease greenhouse gases. But Gross, a Brookings Organization fellow in foreign policy, likewise disagrees with far-left activists who tout solar and wind energy as a simple answer to international warming.

The response to climate change and energy is complicated, Gross said, and lies somewhere deep in between those extremes. One size does not fit all, as renewable energy works better in some locations than others and all sources have some negative impact on the environment.

“No one wishes to deal with the complicated middle where we’re going to need to find ways to change the huge energy system to make it run differently,” she said.

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BROOKINGS ORGANIZATION Samantha Gross, a Brookings Institution fellow in foreign policy, energy security and climate effort, will present a lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, at UNLV.

Tonight at UNLV, Gross will go over the intricacies of worldwide climate policy and the results of the Trump administration’s rollbacks of President Barack Obama’s efforts to suppress global warming. Her hourlong lecture, entitled “Paris Arrangement 101,” is arranged for 6 p.m. at Greenspun Hall and is open to the general public.

Gross, a former U.S. Department of Energy administrator, took a seat Tuesday with the Sun to preview her discussion and talk about topical issues on climate change, renewable resource and more. Edited excerpts of the discussion follow:

Let’s start with the news last week that President Donald Trump prepared to rescind the Clean Power Strategy. What do you view as the implications of that?

It was clearly going to take place, based on campaign guarantees and based upon the kind of folks in EPA. But the thing that’s interesting about rescinding the Clean Power Plan is the EPA is (lawfully) needed to control greenhouse gases and CO2. So in this process of rescinding or drawing back the Clean Power Strategy, they haven’t recommended anything to change it. So you have 20-odd states who are suing versus the Clean Power Plan. The other 20-odd states are now going to sue due to the fact that the Clean Power Plan was drawn back. So this is going to end up being a little bit of a legal food battle.

And what’s going to be intriguing to see is what the administration does next. They have to do something, however will they propose something quite weak? Will they slow stroll?

As far as the emissions ramifications of it, it’s going to make a difference state by state. Some states have state policies (to minimize CO2) or don’t have a lot of coal anyway, so they weren’t going to be that constrained by the Clean Power Strategy, whereas in others it will probably make a difference.

So it depends on the sort of electrical power generation mix that states started with what does it cost? of a distinction it will make that it’s not there.

In a recent editorial, the New york city Times argued that deserting the Clean Power Plan was ridiculous not just ecologically but financially. Do you agree?

I do typically agree with that. I believe the arguments that rescinding the Clean Power Strategy will be an advantage for the economy are not truthful. You’re definitely seeing declines in expenses of renewable energy– in solar and wind. You’re seeing solar and wind technology improve such that there are other ways to offer a few of the grid services that huge power plants supply– things like keeping voltage constant.

I say this all over I go: The EPA had practically absolutely nothing to do with eliminating coal. Two things have actually killed coal and coal jobs. One is really inexpensive natural gas– the shale gas revolution has actually resulted in gas prices that are way lower than anyone expected a few years earlier. And the important things that’s truly killed coal jobs is mechanization. You can mine a lot more coal per employee than you utilized to. So even if coal need were to increase, you would not necessarily bring all those tasks back.

That’s a really frustrating part of this. You look at the Trump administration and its promises to coal miners, and I get that individuals– particularly in Appalachia– are hurting. However I do not think guaranteeing to bring coal back is a sincere way to help those people, due to the fact that I don’t think it can be done.

When Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris arrangement, you described it as a “actually sad day.” Why?

There was truly no need for us to withdraw from Paris. It was sort of a meaningless exercise.

If you look at the way the Paris accord was structured, the goals that the various countries set and brought to Paris are not binding. We didn’t absolutely, die-hard promise we ‘d do those things; that was simply what we said we were going to aim to do. So it just didn’t need to take place.

Among the other things that I discovered actually unfortunate, especially in the talk that President Trump gave in the Rose Garden, is that he resumed a great deal of concerns that were truly bothersome in past environment arrangements and that Paris was structured to get around.

He stated several times, China doesn’t need to do anything, and China can run coal plants and we can’t, those sorts of declarations. And that reopened a few of the old developed vs. developing world, developed nations vs. lower developed nations. And that was really what made Kyoto problematic and replacing Kyoto problematic.

I’ll speak about this Wednesday night, but both sides had affordable arguments. No one was wrong, it’s simply that the Earth doesn’t care. It does not matter who’s right, we simply have something we have to do.

So there had been movement toward the middle.

There was. And what occurred at Paris, which is exactly what truly changed the thinking and the underlying structure of international environment arrangements, is that rather of it being top-down, they said each nation will bring exactly what it can do. They established exactly what were called Nationally Figured out Contributions. They were all structured differently. Some of them were just, “We’ll reduce our emissions’ intensity,” a few of them were, “We’ll definitely lower our emissions by this much.” They all came in different tastes, but they included them together and that became the Paris agreement. So it was BYOG (bring your own objectives.)

So a mix of that and the reality they were nonbinding made it possible for 195 nations to sign on, which is impressive.

But the mix of those things– inform us exactly what you can do, and we’re going to hold you to keeping track of and reporting what you’re doing, however we’re not going to hold you to your goals– that made for something everyone could sign. And it was totally different from exactly what the world had done before.

At the National Clean Energy Top last week here in Las Vegas, Al Gore revealed optimism that the U.S. would satisfy its Paris objectives in spite of Trump’s action. Are you as positive?

I believe the objectives are going to be challenging. The Clean Power Strategy was among the signature policies to allow us to satisfy those goals, and having us draw back is going to be a problem.

Some states will fulfill the goals and go even more, and some will not without pushing.

The wild card would be expense of renewables and whether it will continue to come down.

Which is the factor he mentioned, largely.

If that continues to take place, and if you can create economical grid-scale storage, then whatever changes. That gets rid of a few of the intermittency (in power supply). The issue now is you need to have fossil fuel plants in reserve to cover when it’s dark or when it’s not windy.

But you have actually raised a caution flag concerning those who suggest that by 2050 we can relatively quickly or inexpensively switch over to totally wind and solar energy. Why do you believe that’s improbable?

The idea of restricting yourself to a little number of technologies– we’re only going to do wind, solar and water– why would you do that? Exactly what we’re doing today is dealing with a lot of innovations and how far we can push them and exactly what we can do most inexpensively. Different innovations are going to work much better in different places. Therefore restricting yourself to wind and solar, I kind of have to roll my eyes to that.

Affordable storage is the grail. If somebody fractures that nut quicker rather than later, you can get the rollout quicker.

Right now, it’s just costly. You consider what does it cost? battery you require for a phone versus how much you need for an automobile, and it begins getting costly at the vehicle scale. Then you scale that approximately grid-scale storage, and you’re yapping of batteries and it gets really expensive.

What other type of innovations should we be exploring more?

In the U.S., we remain in a little bit of a bad put on nuclear advancement.

However there’s a great deal of effort going into advancement here and all over the world on smaller sized, more modular reactors, and that has some capacity. Not everyone loves nuclear power, however as a consistent, carbon-free source of electrical energy I do not believe we must count it out.

That’s a tough sell in Nevada, since of Yucca Mountain.

The waste is a real bear.

You understand, obviously, if there was a totally free lunch on all this, we ‘d be consuming it. I imply, what do we do with hazardous waste versus can we handle the carbon?

Well, take lithium mining for batteries. That has an impact, too, in water use and prospective ecological damage, right?

Right. And if you look at a focused solar plant, you need to cool that, and that’s substantial water use.

I feel like on this problem, the more you know the more questioning you end up being and the more you realize you do not know.

I see a lot of young activists out there, and I enjoy them and like their energy, however on the other hand there’s this thought of “This is so simple, and why do not you just do this?” And I wish that were the case– actually I do.

It’s a fascinating problem, since I see two sides of things and I have significant problems with both. On the one side, you see environment deniers, consisting of a lot of individuals in our administration. This isn’t a genuine problem, it’s going to kill our economy, it’s not something we must be handling. But then on the far other side you hear, this is simple, why don’t we simply speak about wind and solar, and only reason we’re not doing this is the nonrenewable fuel source lobby. And those individuals are harmful, too. They’re not assisting the argument, either, when the solution is in the middle.

And I feel that far-lefty argument sort of takes the individual duty out of it. If it’s ExxonMobile’s fault, then it’s not mine. I don’t like that, since it’s all of our fault. I indicate, I flew here, and I rented a vehicle because it’s the most convenient way to get around.

Nobody wishes to deal with the complex middle that we’re going to need to find ways to change the huge energy system to make it run differently, to make our activities go differently.

So understanding exactly what you know– or maybe understanding what you have no idea– how positive are you?

I’ll address your question in 2 different directions.

The one direction exists will not be a U.S. hole. There are all these things going on in the U.S. that aren’t occurring at the federal level. They’re not our main agents to the Paris procedure, but they’re out there. They’re cooperating with their counterparts in other countries and within the U.S., which is fantastic.

So it’s not like all activity in the United States stopped.

My other avenue of optimism is that the Paris contract’s in location, and we have actually had the world agree on directionally what we ought to do. It doesn’t get us all the method to where we have to be, however it’s something– which’s huge. We’ve set aside the old, nasty fight of developing vs. industrialized world for the a lot of part. And exactly what you’re seeing now is the development of smaller sized groups who are really dealing with particular problems. Which’s where development is going to take place. The U.N. isn’t going to mandate some sort of renewable resource target. But smaller groups of individuals can do experiments and actually discover how things work.

What will be a few of the key points in your discussion?

One of the things I haven’t discussed, which I believe I’ll open the talk with, is why is climate change so hard?

I deal with an international company called the Hartwell Group, and one of the men at the head of that group explains this as a “wicked” issue. And I truly like that description. Since if you were to sit down and design a public policy problem, you could not make one that was much worse.

It strikes at the very heart of the contemporary economy. It’s whatever we do. So you have to make strong actions now that have clear costs but have unpredictable advantages in the future. The expenses are here and now, the advantages are diffuse and later.

And after that you have the issue that environment modification does not fit well into the political cycle. We have 2-, four- and six-year cycles here in the U.S., and it doesn’t fit together well in the time frames where political leaders are elected. Which makes it really hard. They can state, “We’re going to make this improvement for our kids and our grandkids,” however politicians do not get elected for people’s kids and grandkids, they’re elected to fix bread-and-butter problems now.

Then you include this war of the worlds thing with the established vs. developing world. The establishing world states, “You produced the problem,” which is true, and the developed world states, “Well, you’re the future of the problem,” which is also true.

So no easy answers tonight?

I think it’s important to examine why the circumstance is so complicated. You know, there are solar panels on this building (Greenspun Hall)– so individuals who come here may say, “Why doesn’t everybody do that, and we’ll be done?”

Well, there are specific sectors that are more difficult. When we go deeper and deeper, it’s going to get harder and harder.

I’ll likewise talk a little about why am I more and less distressed about the Trump administration’s choice to pull out of Paris. I’m even more troubled on the global front than the domestic front. I think it’s horrible for our track record abroad. You look at other deals we might wish to do– trade deals, maybe, or North Korea. We do not look like a reliable partner. Would you do a deal with us? We’re reneging on all type of offers.

On the domestic front, we’re OKAY. A lot of individuals care, and things are happening. And we have among the very best research and development sectors on the planet, which is not always thinking on a four-year cycle. So that things all continues.

Exactly what didn’t I ask that I should have?

The one thing I stress over with the administration, and which I aim to tell every audience I talk to everywhere, is early research study and development. If you take a look at what the federal government is well-suited to do, early research study and development. That’s an extremely natural, main federal government function, from a financial and technical viewpoint. You think about innovative business, they’ll take technology and run with it. However that actually early stage, it’s too risky for business to do and it’s also really challenging if they make a significant science breakthrough to catch all the value from it. So private market’s simply bad at that. Universities do it. Things like the nationwide laboratories do it. And a lot of the money for those projects is federal.

Ernest Moniz (former Energy secretary) mentioned the very same concern recently at the National Top of Clean Energy.

Ernie’s one of the most intelligent people I have actually ever met. I’m in One Hundred Percent agreement. If I take a look at what I want to ensure the administration continues, that basic R&D, we have to continue doing that. It would be a horrendous embarassment, not simply for the environment but for our economy if we stopped doing that.

It’s what we’re good at.

Where are we on that funding?

I saw some bad signs at the beginning, but I do not believe they’re always going to happen. Like, you look at the slim budget that came out months back, and it was horrifying. They took a great deal of things out of the budget plan, especially for the Department of Energy. They did some defunding for various nationwide laboratories; they totally defunding ARPA-E (Advanced Research Study Projects Agency-Energy), which is an early stage energy financing mechanism based on DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Firm), which created the web. So that’s crazy. But I don’t believe Congress desires that to take place, and I do not believe it will.

But assistance for that early stage science, we have to keep doing that.

When industrial capacity from this early phase science ends up being clear, someone will get it and run with it. Google didn’t create the internet; DARPA did. But once it ended up being clear that loan can be made from it, people will be all over it.

Where There’s Smoke

When scientists look for to figure out a single or main cause for a human illness, they know they’re battling uphill. Our environments are complicated, diverse, and penetrated by a seemingly unlimited number of factors that could form us. Uncommon is the situation that is so perfect, at least from a researcher’s perspective, that a person can sift through the noise and emerge with a conclusive root of a problem.

That is, naturally, unless nature is on your side– as was the case for UNLV economics professor Shawn McCoy and his University of Pittsburgh economics colleague Xiaoxi Zhao.

It’s difficult to envision anything positive coming out of wildfires. They have actually ended up being six times most likely to occur and 4 times as large because the 1980s, McCoy said, due to environment and population changes. But for his research study, which demonstrates that proximity to smoke pollution causes lower baby birthweight, wildfires showed to be a sort of equalizer.

“Wildfires are a meaningful subject to research in and of themselves, however they likewise assist fix this causality issue that is difficult in our research studies of contamination,” McCoy said. “Two features make fire pollution various from that of, say, an industrial plant: the random timing of fires and their random place, because wind patterns on any offered day own the direction and concentration of smoke. This establishes a quasi-experimental research study design wherein a fire takes place arbitrarily and by opportunity and randomly and naturally appoints treatment and control groups, due to the fact that just a particular segment of the population will be exposed to the smoke.”

A number of research studies have actually established correlations in between contamination sources and negative public health outcomes, McCoy said. However, previous research study has actually faced problems showing a direct causal relationship. One factor for this, according to McCoy, is the number of aspects that could be involved in previous research situations.

“Suppose we construct an industrial plant,” McCoy said. “Once that plant is developed, we have to think about the economics of that issue, which is that people do not prefer to live next to plants. Waiting else continuous, house costs will drop in the surrounding area since of that, which might cause geographical sorting, wherein homes with lower earnings might move into the areas surrounding the plant and homes with higher incomes may leave. When that occurs, it becomes harder to identify if changes in health results happened because of plant contamination, geographical sorting characteristics, or even something else.”

The random timing and area of wildfires alleviate these characteristics, making it perfect for McCoy and Zhao’s research. Wildfire smoke is similar to other sources of ambient air pollution; its particulate matter can be so little that it goes through the heart and lungs, interferes with fetal nutrition, and slows fetal growth. Within this structure, birthweight ends up being a helpful metric to track since of its connect to short-term results, such as one-year mortality rates, along with long-lasting results such as educational attainment and profits, McCoy said.

McCoy and Zhao leveraged geographic details systems (mapping software) to determine ignition sources and smoke courses and plotted the home addresses of infants born during a time that would put them in the smoke’s course while in utero. They then compared the birthweight of those babies to a control group outside of the smoke’s path.

The scientists’ outcomes show that wildfire smoke results in a 4 to 6 percent reduction in birthweight, and these effects are most pronounced among moms exposed to smoke during the second or the third trimesters of pregnancy. They also found that these impacts attenuate (or reduce) with respect to range to a wildfire, becoming useless three miles and further from the burn source. On the other hand, the researchers discovered that even if infants had actually been close to a wildfire while in utero, there was no statistically significant result on their birthweight if they were outside the smoke’s course.

“One truly cool aspect of this research is that I can do more than tell you exactly what the impact of being exposed to the smoke is or not,” McCoy said. “I can inform you how that effect varies based upon where an infant is relative to the source of contamination. Beyond that, we now have the proof that reinforces earlier findings on the effects of ambient pollution at big and can state that these results are likely genuine, not just loosely correlated or consolidated other economic issues like family migration dynamics.”

McCoy’s hope is that this research study will help notify policymakers of the prospective economic and health effects of wildfires, the magnitude of this kind of catastrophe, and the system behind wildfires– all which make it possible for people to better target the problem.

“There’s a great deal of evidence to suggest that homeowners don’t fully acknowledge the threats associated with natural disasters– in specific, the dangers connected with wildfire,” McCoy said. “One method to resolve this problem is to notify the general public of risks through information-based guideline, such as posting signboards of individuals standing on vehicles during floods to prevent them from attempting to own through flooded locations in the future. The concept is, if you give people this details, it can affect how they evaluate catastrophe dangers, and it will likely have a spillover impact in terms of how they handle those threats.” That being stated, McCoy noted that a one-time exposure to this kind of information likely will not be enough to have a lasting impact, so regulators must share this type of messaging typically.

McCoy and Zhao’s research study findings have actually been detailed in their post “Wildfire and Baby Health: A Geo-Spatial Technique to Approximating the Health Impacts of Ambient Air Pollution and In-Utero Tension,” presently under review by a top market journal.

Sleep Elusive? New Research study Shows There’s a Factor for That

It seems to be one of the excellent disasters of human life. As we grow older, the less sleep we require.

It ends up there might be a reason for our aging sleeping issues that exceed our conventional understanding, and what some call insomnia may really be an olden survival mechanism.

Scientists from UNLV, Duke University, and the University of Toronto, Mississauga, have actually found that mismatched sleep schedules and agitated nights may be an evolutionary leftover from a time many, several years back, when a lion hiding in the shadows might attempt to eat you at 2 a.m.

. A research study released Tuesday of contemporary hunter-gatherers in Tanzania discovered that, for people who live in groups, differences in sleep patterns frequently connected with age aid make sure that at least one person is awake at all times. The findings were reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“The idea that there’s a benefit to coping with grandparents has been around for a while, however this study extends that concept to alertness throughout nighttime sleep,” said David Samson, assistant teacher of sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

The Hadza individuals of northern Tanzania live by hunting and gathering their food, following the rhythms of day and night just as people did for numerous thousands of years prior to people started growing crops and herding livestock.

The Hadza live and oversleep groups of 20 to 30 individuals. Throughout the day they go their separate ways to forage for tubers, berries, honey and meat in the savanna woodlands near Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi and surrounding areas. Then each night they reunite in the very same location, where young and old alike sleep outside beside their hearth, or together in huts made from woven yard and branches.

“They are as modern-day as you and me. However they do inform a fundamental part of the human evolutionary story since they live a way of life that is the most much like our searching and event past,” said co-author Alyssa Crittenden, assistant teacher of sociology at UNLV. “They sleep on the ground, and have no artificial lighting or managed environment– qualities that identified the ancestral sleeping environment for early people.”

As part of the research study, 33 healthy males and females aged 20 to 60 consented to use a little watch-like device on their wrists for 20 days, that recorded their nighttime motions from one minute to the next.

Hadza sleep patterns were hardly ever in sync, the researchers found. Typically, the individuals went to bed soon after 10 p.m. and awakened around 7 a.m. However some tended to retire as early as 8:00 p.m. and awaken by 6 a.m., while others kept up previous 11 p.m. and snoozed until after 8 a.m.

. Between, they stired from rest numerous times during the night, tossing and turning or getting up to smoke, have the tendency to a sobbing baby, or alleviate themselves before nodding off once again.

As a result, minutes when everybody was out cold at once were rare. From more than 220 total hours of observation, the scientists were surprised to find only 18 minutes when all grownups were sound asleep all at once. Usually, more than a 3rd of the group looked out, or dozing extremely lightly, at any offered time.

“And that’s simply out of the healthy grownups,” Samson said. “It does not include kids, or individuals who were hurt or ill.” Yet the individuals didn’t suffer sleep issues, he stated.

Previous studies have actually discovered similar patterns in birds, mice and other animals, however this is the very first time the phenomenon has actually been checked in people.

“A great deal of older individuals go to doctors grumbling that they get up early and cannot return to sleep, but possibly there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them,” said co-author Charlie Nunn, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke. “Maybe some of the medical issues we have today could be described not as disorders, however as an antique of an evolutionary past in which they were useful.”

The researchers discovered that the misaligned sleep schedules were a byproduct of altering sleep patterns common with age. Older participants in their 50s and 60s typically went to bed previously, and awakened earlier than those in their 20s and 30s. The scientists called their theory the “badly sleeping grandparent hypothesis.”

CITATION:”Chronotype Variation Drives Nighttime Sentinel-Like Behaviour in Hunter-Gatherers,” David Samson, Alyssa Crittenden, Ibrahim Mabulla, Audax Mabulla and Charles Nunn. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, July 11, 2017.

Will there be fallout from Bigelow’s views on ‘ET presence’ in the world?

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L.E. Baskow Robert Bigelow, revealed speaking throughout Bigelow Aerospace’s intro of its Bigelow Expandable Activity Module in 2015, informed “60 Minutes” on Might 28, 2017, that he thinks there is an extraterrestrial existence on Earth.

Eyebrow-raising statements by billionaire aerospace magnate Robert Bigelow on “60 Minutes” on May 28 might “make financiers anxious,” an aerospace analyst stated.

Bigelow informed CBS News press reporter Lara Logan that he is confident that aliens not only exist, however have strolled amongst human beings on Earth.

” There has actually been and is an existing existence, an ET existence,” Bigelow stated. “I spent millions and millions– I probably invested more as an individual than any person else in the United States has actually ever spent on this subject.”

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When asked if it was risky for him to express such views publicly, Bigelow responded, “I do not provide a damn. I do not care. I do not care. It’s not going to make a difference. It’s not gon na alter reality, of exactly what I know.”

Bigelow owns North Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, which has a partnership with NASA to create an expandable space environment set up to be sent to the International Space Station. Bigelow Aerospace got an $18 million agreement from NASA for the project.

With Bigelow revealing views that some may find improbable, a set of industry experts had various views on how it may affect future federal government contracts.

“When you express severe views for which there is no real scientific proof, it has the tendency to make financiers uneasy,” said Loren B. Thompson, aerospace analyst at the Lexington Institute.

Thompson doesn’t completely disagree with Bigelow’s views, however he draws the line at the possibility of extraterrestrial life on Earth.

“There is really high likelihood that intelligent aliens exist outside of our planetary system, however there is virtually no possibility that there are any inside of our planetary system,” he said. “There’s a 100 billion stars in the Galaxy galaxy and there’s a 100 billion galaxies, so it would genuinely be remarkable if there were not aliens on other planets somewhere else in deep space.”

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at Teal Group, said he thinks the claim is unwarranted due to the fact that of the absence of clinical proof, however that it’s not that huge of a deal.

“I do not think there’s a system for the government to not give them work,” Aboulafia stated. “If they bid for agreements, or if there’s technology-development opportunities, I can’t envision this having an effect.”

Bigelow’s views might be thought about controversial, but not objectionable, Aboulafia said.

“This is a reasonably inoffensive view, which may not be supported with any accurate basis whatsoever, however it’s not like it stinks,” he stated.

A spokesman stated the business has no talk about Bigelow’s appearance on “60 Minutes.”

There she is: The brand-new Miss America hails from …

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Mel Evans/ AP

Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson is praised as she proceeds throughout the 2016 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

Released Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015|8:28 p.m.

Updated 1 hour, 42 minutes ago

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Vanessa Williams, the 1984 Miss America Pageant winner, carries out during the 2016 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

SPOILER ALERT: The 2016 Miss America Pageant airs tape postponed on the West Coast. If you do not wish to know the results, examine back after 11 p.m. PT.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.– The brand-new Miss America has actually been crowned.

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was named the 2016 Miss America Pageant winner on Sunday night.

Cantrell rode an opera efficiency to the title in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, besting 51 other rivals in the nationally telecasted pageant on ABC.

Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin was 4th runner-up, Miss Louisiana April Nelson third runner-up, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson 2nd runner-up and Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts very first runner-up.

The pageant likewise marked the return of 1984 Miss America Vanessa Williams, who was back for the very first time after resigning the crown following a nude photo scandal. Pageant Executive Chairman Sam Haskell said sorry to Williams on behalf of the pageant.

“I should excuse anything that was stated or done,” Haskell informed Williams as they stood onstage. “Vanessa: Invite back!”

For Williams, who went on to fame in tv, film and on Broadway, it was a victorious go back to the Miss America phase.

“I did the very best I might in my reign as Miss America,” she stated throughout Sunday’s pageant, where she likewise performed.

Williams opened the show with an efficiency of “Oh How the Years Pass.” Williams signed up with hosts Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet, music curator Nick Jonas and judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.

Cantrell sang an opera number for her talent efficiency.

She won a preliminary competitors throughout in the week, also with an opera efficiency.

Miss Georgia’s win ended New York’s dominance at the Miss America Pageant. In 2013’s Miss America, Kira Kazantsev, was the third successive Miss New York to win the title.

“I can’t think it’s been a year considering that I was backstage preparing to contend, just as the candidates correct now,” Kazantsev said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Boardwalk Hall.

Preliminary competition in skill, interviews, night wear and swimwear competition ran through Thursday.

On Saturday, the Miss America entrants hit the Atlantic City Boardwalk for the annual “Program Us Your Shoes” parade.

The majority of the shoes had designs specific to the contestant’s house states. New Jersey, for instance, had dice and Monopoly cash on her shoes in a nod to the pageant’s Atlantic City history. Miss Idaho had a potato.

Contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were contending for the crown. The U.S. Virgin Islands, which competed in 2013, might not field the required minimum number of entrants this year, pageant officials stated. It is qualified for future competitions.