Population declines of mammals and birds linked to rapid warming of climate

Read the full story from University College London.

The rate at which our planet is warming has been found to be a critical factor in explaining the decline of bird and mammal species, reveals new research by UCL and ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Dutch publishing giant cuts off researchers in Germany and Sweden

Read the full story from Nature.

Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement.

The move comes just two weeks after researchers in Sweden lost access to the most recent Elsevier research papers, when negotiations on its contract broke down over the same issue.

Biomass research is heating up

Read the full post in the ISTC Blog.

On July 18th, ISTC researchers B.K Sharma and Sriraam Chandrasekaran held an open house to demonstrate a biomass system they’ve developed with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The project’s goal is to create a renewable, carbon-neutral heating system. The demonstration was organized to raise community awareness about biomass, as well as ISTC’s renewable energy research.

World Energy Investment 2018

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The IEA’s World Energy Investment provides a wealth of data and analysis for decision making by governments, the energy industry and financial institutions to set policy frameworks, implement business strategies, finance new projects and develop new technologies. It highlights the ways in which investment decisions taken today are determining how energy supply and demand will unfold tomorrow.

This year’s edition points to another year of falling investment in 2017, and that energy investment is failing to keep up with energy security and sustainability goals.

Urbanization and changes to climate could pack a one-two punch for watersheds in the future, study finds

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Watersheds channel water from streams to oceans, and more than $450 billion in food, manufactured goods and other economic factors depend on them, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Watersheds also are crucial to the health of surrounding ecosystems and communities. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found that climatic changes and urban development, when working in tandem, could have profound effects on watersheds by midcentury.

Agricultural nutrients targeted in Clean Lake 2020 bill and Kasich executive order

Read the full story in Ohio’s Country Journal.

Recent actions by the Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich will affect the management of agricultural nutrients in Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly has passed “Clean Lake 2020” legislation that will provide funding for reducing phosphorous in Lake Erie. Governor Kasich signed the Clean Lake 2020 bill on July 10, in tandem with issuing Executive Order 2018—09K, “Taking Steps to Protect Lake Erie.” The two actions aim to address the impact of agricultural nutrients on water quality in Lake Erie.

Neste to Use Waste Plastic as a Raw Material for Fuels and Plastics

Read the full story at Waste360.

Neste, a producer of renewable diesel, is exploring ways to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material for fossil refining. The aim of the development project is to proceed to industrial scale trial during 2019. The company’s target is to process annually more than one million tons of waste plastic by 2030.

To combat sourcing risk, industry groups evaluate 37 material supply chains

Read the full story in SupplyChainDive.

Material Change, a new report commissioned by a coalition of automaker and supplier associations, evaluates 37 different commodities on a variety of risk categories to enable comparisons across materials and industries.

The report creates a heatmap of various minerals’ association with environmental, social and governance “issues” that could be problematic for companies. It finds, for example, Tantalum is a high risk mineral on nearly all categories but is more a concern for electronics supply chains than automotive ones.

“One of the biggest obstacles to setting and implementing strategies for responsible sourcing is getting access to reliable current data and analysis on the environmental and social dimensions of material production and processing,” The Dragonfly Initiative wrote in its announcement of the report.

Soil Solutions: Carbon-Smart Farming in the Show Me State

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In our new report, we analyze the extent to which use of conservation farming practices — ones that are well known, but not always widely applied — can reduce carbon pollution and yield carbon savings in Missouri. We examine the potential benefits of various individual conservation farming practices for Missouri’s nearly 10 million harvested acres of field crops, and we also look at total potential savings county-by-county if practices were to be adopted statewide.

Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections.