Publications

Permafrost’s turn of the microbes

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

As the Arctic warms, tons of carbon locked away in Arctic tundra will be transformed into the powerful greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, but scientists know little about how that transition takes place. Now, scientists looking at microbes in different types of Arctic soil have a new picture of life in permafrost that reveals entirely new species and hints that subzero microbes might be active.

Such information is key to prepare for the release of gigatons of methane, which could set the Earth on a path to irreversible global warming. Appearing in today’s issue of Nature, the study will help researchers better understand when and how frozen carbon might get converted into methane…

Reference: Jenni Hultman, Mark P. Waldrop, Rachel Mackelprang, Maude M. David, Jack McFarland, Steven J. Blazewicz, Jennifer Harden, Merritt R. Turetsky, A. David McGuire, Manesh B. Shah, Nathan C. VerBerkmoes, Lang Ho Lee, Kostas Mavrommatis, Janet K. Jansson. Multi-omics of permafrost, active layer and thermokarst bog soil microbiomes, Nature, March 4, 2015, DOI:10.1038/nature14238.

Big box stores could ditch the grid, use natural gas fuel cells instead

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.pnnl fuel cells

Large facilities like big box stores or hospitals could keep the lights on by using a fuel cell that runs off the natural gas that already flows in pipelines below most city streets.
Instead of drawing electricity from the power grid, facilities could use natural gas-powered solid oxide fuel cells to lower their electric costs, increase power reliability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and maybe even offset costs by selling excess fuel cell-generated power back to the power grid. Such an energy future could be possible — assuming fuel cell lifespans are improved and enough systems are produced to reach economies of scale — according to a cost-benefit analysis published in the journal Fuel Cells.

NMSU researcher’s patented tech could significantly cut CO2 emissions

Read the full story from New Mexico State University.

A new provisionally patented technology from a New Mexico State University researcher could revolutionize carbon dioxide capture and have a significant impact on reducing pollution worldwide.

The Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center is working to protect and commercialize the technology, which was developed by chemical and materials engineering doctoral candidate Nasser Khazeni.

With support from NMSU faculty members Abbas Ghassemi, Reza Foudazi and Jalal Rastegary, Khazeni has developed a special material that can capture carbon dioxide with greater capacity than any technology currently in widespread use for that purpose.

Water in smog may reveal pollution sources

Read the full story from the University of Utah.

The chemical signature of water vapor emitted by combustion sources such as vehicles and furnaces has been found in the smoggy winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City. The discovery may give researchers a new tool to track down the sources of pollutants and climate-changing carbon dioxide gas.

University of Utah scientists measured ratios of rare and common isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water, and estimated that water vapor from burning fossil fuels makes up as much as 13 percent of the water vapor in smog during Salt Lake’s winter inversions, with the percentage starting smaller and increasing as the inversion persists.

“Probably the two largest sources are cars and home heating,” says geochemist Gabe Bowen, senior author of the study published online in this week’s issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Green Infrastructure Opportunities that Arise During Municipal Operations

This new resource provides approaches that small to midsize communities can use to incorporate green infrastructure components into work they are doing in public spaces. The document presents examples and case studies of how integrating green infrastructure methods can enhance retrofits and maintenance projects and provide other multiple community benefits.

Federal Highway Administration and Georgetown Climate Center announce climate change adaptation and resilience case studies series

The Federal Highway Administration will be highlighting climate change adaptation and resilience work in the transportation sector through a new series developed by the Georgetown Climate Center under a cooperative agreement.  The first of these new resources is now available online with over 100 additional case studies to be added in the coming months. These resources will also be available through the Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Clearinghouse.