Day: February 8, 2018

Can the World Find Solutions to the Nitrogen Pollution Crisis?

Read the full story at e360.

More and more nitrogen keeps pouring into waterways, unleashing algal blooms and creating dead zones. To prevent the problem from worsening, scientists warn, the world must drastically cut back on synthetic fertilizers and double the efficiency of the nitrogen used on farms.

How much would cutting fossil-fuel subsidies really limit global warming?

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

It seems like common sense: If countries stopped offering tax breaks and other financial help to oil, coal, and gas companies, oil prices would go up, people would use less of these fossil fuels, and the volume of climate-warming greenhouse gases humanity emitted would go down. Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace commonly call for an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. But how well does cutting subsidies really work? It depends on who does the cutting, a new study finds.

Climate Change Field Guide for Northern Minnesota Forests: Site-level considerations and adaptation

Download the document.

This field guide is designed to put useful climate change and adaptation information into the hands of natural resource professionals as they walk through the woods. This field guide provides summary information about the effects of climate change on northern Minnesota’s forests, helps professionals identify existing site conditions that could increase or reduce risk from climate change, and helps natural resource professionals start discussions about climate change with co-workers, partners, and clients. This guide contains condensed information drawn from larger scientific documents and reports.

Data-driven shale dialogue: water quality concerns

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Research examines a dialogue about shale drilling between concerned citizens, watershed groups, government regulators and personnel from large energy companies by focusing on publicly available water quality data.

How (and why) scientists are mining manure for phosphorus

Watch the video from Chemical & Engineering News.

Agricultural resource. Environmental scourge. Phosphorus gold mine. Chicken manure is all these things at once.

2019 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science

The Franklin Institute seeks nominations for the 2019 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of individuals who have made significant contributions to green and sustainable chemistry—chemistry focused on the technological design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Objectives of green and sustainable chemistry include: minimizing the use of chemical raw materials, reducing waste, lowering the toxicity of utilized chemicals, and improving lifecycle through the use of more sustainable or renewable raw materials to produce fuels or chemicals, thereby minimizing the environmental impact of chemical processes.

Nominations are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following subtopics:

  • New chemical processes with reduced hazardous byproducts
  • Applications of supercritical fluids in chemical processes as environmentally benign solvents for chemical reactions, extractions, and chemical analyses
  • Utilization of ionic liquids as environmentally friendly alternatives to volatile and flammable solvents in chemical processes
  • Use of catalysts that make chemical processes more selective, less energy intensive, or more economical in their use of feedstock

Nominations should clearly indicate the scientific impact—innovative, technical, and/or conceptual—and, when applicable, the societal impact of the nominee’s work.

  • Prize: $250,000 USD
  • Nominations are due by May 31, 2018.

How VW Paid $25 Billion for Dieselgate — And Got Off Easy

Read the full story from ProPublica.

Volkswagen paid huge government penalties in the U.S., but virtually nothing in Europe. Two things now seem clear: Some very senior officials knew of the wrongdoing — and they’re not likely to face meaningful prison time.

Under Rauner, penalties sought against Illinois polluters have plummeted

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Well before the Trump administration began shifting responsibility for enforcing environmental laws to the states, Illinois already had slowed down the policing of air and water pollution under Gov. Bruce Rauner.

A Tribune analysis of enforcement data shows that since the Republican businessman took office in 2015, penalties sought from Illinois polluters have dropped to $6.1 million — about two-thirds less than the inflation-adjusted amount demanded during the first three years under Rauner’s two predecessors, Democrats Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich.

Feeding America Teams with DoorDash to Combat Food Waste

Read the full story at Waste360.

Two U.S.-based companies are looking to combine their expertise in delivering meals and identifying those who need them to help combat both hunger and the food waste issues across the country.

Illinois researchers contribute to publicly accessible agronomy database

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Data from the USDA-funded Sustainable Corn Coordinated Agricultural Project, which includes contributions from University of Illinois scientists, are now publicly available at https://datateam.agron.iastate.edu/cscap/. Comprising data from five years and 30 field research sites in the Midwest, it has been called one of the most comprehensive agricultural datasets ever to be published.

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