Day: November 15, 2016

Pest control: Wicked weeds may be agricultural angels

Read the full story from Cornell University.

Farmers looking to reduce reliance on pesticides, herbicides and other pest management tools may want to heed the advice of Cornell agricultural scientists: Let nature be nature – to a degree.

“Managing crop pests without fully understanding the impacts of tactics – related to resistance and nontarget plants or insects – costs producers money,” said Antonio DiTommaso, professor of soil and crop science and lead author of a new study, “Integrating Insect, Resistance and Floral Resource Management in Weed Control Decision-Making,” in the journal Weed Science (October-December 2016).

Can a Surprise Lawsuit in Oregon Save American Climate Policy?

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

A group of young Americans is suing the government for inaction on climate change. As of yesterday, the suit cleared a major hurdle, and, at COP22 in Marrakech, a lot of people are celebrating.

Stunningly good news for the planet: Carbon emissions were flat for the third straight year

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

A world greatly concerned about how the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president could stall global climate policy received a major dose of welcome news Sunday, when scientists published a projection suggesting that for the third straight year, global carbon dioxide emissions did not increase much in 2016.

The news comes from the Global Carbon Project, a group of scientists who measure how much carbon dioxide humans emit each year, as well as how much is subsequently absorbed by plants, land surfaces and oceans. The difference between the two determines the amount of carbon dioxide that remains in the atmosphere and drives global warming.

Fracking Data

From the About page:

This blog is a direct result of my frustrations in locating and utilizing web sources covering  the acquisition, conversion, blending, and subsequent analysis of hydro-fracturing, a.k.a. “fracking” data.

As I’ve not yet found any comprehensive websites covering:

in one place, I decided to create one of my own.

Essentially, I’ve tried to build a “one-stop-shop” of data sources useful to anyone wishing to analyze fracking data.

Hopefully, in a small way, I’ve succeeded.

This site will grow, especially in the domain of “blended” data, for example, the blending of fracking chemical disclosure data with each chemical’s recognized or suspected toxicity.  It is my intent to evolve the various fracking datasets into spatially-oriented datasets and blend them with earthquake as well as chemical toxicity data.  One day, if a source of fracking-related non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or a “list of the harmed” is published, I’ll try to blend those into the datasets as well.

BioSharing: curated and crowd-sourced metadata standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences

Download the open access article.

BioSharing (http://www.biosharing.org) is a manually curated, searchable portal of three linked registries. These resources cover standards (terminologies, formats and models, and reporting guidelines), databases, and data policies in the life sciences, broadly encompassing the biological, environmental and biomedical sciences. Launched in 2011 and built by the same core team as the successful MIBBI portal, BioSharing harnesses community curation to collate and cross-reference resources across the life sciences from around the world. BioSharing makes these resources findable and accessible (the core of the FAIR principle). Every record is designed to be interlinked, providing a detailed description not only on the resource itself, but also on its relations with other life science infrastructures. Serving a variety of stakeholders, BioSharing cultivates a growing community, to which it offers diverse benefits. It is a resource for funding bodies and journal publishers to navigate the metadata landscape of the biological sciences; an educational resource for librarians and information advisors; a publicising platform for standard and database developers/curators; and a research tool for bench and computer scientists to plan their work. BioSharing is working with an increasing number of journals and other registries, for example linking standards and databases to training material and tools. Driven by an international Advisory Board, the BioSharing user-base has grown by over 40% (by unique IP address), in the last year thanks to successful engagement with researchers, publishers, librarians, developers and other stakeholders via several routes, including a joint RDA/Force11 working group and a collaboration with the International Society for Biocuration. In this article, we describe BioSharing, with a particular focus on community-led curation.

 

Managing Change in Environmental Reporting and Compliance

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Compliance with a vast variety of environmental regulations is the reality for companies. Many of these regulations require the tracking and reporting of air emissions as well as solid waste and water pollution amounts. Companies must be able to effectively track environmental data. They also have to make estimates and perform calculations using this data.

Of course, once a company has figured out how to do all of this, things change. Regulations evolve, new calculations emerge, employees transition into and out of jobs. And sometimes previously reported environmental results must be re-reported because of mistakes in how data was collected or the way results were calculated.

Dealing with this flux ends up being extremely challenging for the environmental managers and professionals responsible for environmental reporting and compliance. Here are smart strategies for managing these major changes.

Shoppers must use their purchasing power to lead green products revolution

Read the full story in The Guardian.

It’s easy to imagine the battle for greener chemistry as a titanic struggle between goliath industries and sprawling governments, with consumers watching from the sidelines as their lives and health hang in the balance. But this perspective – and most stories about toxic chemicals – ignore a key part of the equation: consumer demand. For all the much-discussed push of government policies and industry innovations, it’s the pull of consumers and the market that ultimately fuels the biggest changes.

Climate change already dramatically disrupting all elements of nature

Read the full story from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Global changes in temperature due to human-induced climate change have already impacted every aspect of life on Earth from genes to entire ecosystems, with increasingly unpredictable consequences for humans, according to a new study.

How Aviation’s Carbon Market Could Undercut the Paris Agreement

Read the full story from Pacific Standard.

Is the aviation industry’s new emissions plan a game changer, or merely a political statement? We consider all the possibilities.

Can the World Meet Paris Climate Goals Without the United States?

Read the full story from Pacific Standard.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected election to the presidency, climate experts are scrambling to recalculate whether the world has any chance of reaching the goals of the Paris climate accord if the president-elect makes good on his threat to withdraw from the deal.

One thing is for certain: The complex pact to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius will live on. Even if the United States pulls out, enough other countries have ratified the agreement to trigger its entry into force. And many experts say they don’t expect the rest of the world to slack off on aggressive climate action simply because of the U.S. election.

If the U.S. rededicates its energy mix to fossil fuels, some other countries would look to step into the breach to try and take advantage of the growing worldwide demand for clean energy.

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