Turning methane into carbon dioxide could help us fight climate change

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Discussions on how to address climate change have focused, very appropriately, on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those of carbon dioxide, the major contributor to climate change and a long-lived greenhouse gas. Reducing emissions should remain the paramount climate goal.

However, greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing now for two centuries. Damage to the atmosphere is already profound enough that reducing emissions alone won’t be enough to avoid effects like extreme weather and changing weather patterns.

In a paper published today in Nature Sustainability, we propose a new technique to clean the atmosphere of the second most powerful greenhouse gas people produce: methane. The technique could restore the concentration of methane to levels found before the Industrial Revolution, and in doing so, reduce global warming by one-sixth.

Our new technique sounds paradoxical at first: turning methane into carbon dioxide. It’s a concept at this stage, and won’t be cheap, but it would add to the tool kit needed to tackle climate change.

Middle America’s Low-Hanging Carbon: The Search for Greenhouse Gas Cuts from the Grid, Agriculture and Transportation

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Reporters in 14 newsrooms across the Midwest teamed up with InsideClimate News to explore local solutions to climate change.

Open Science Framework (OSF)

OSF is a free and open source project management repository that supports researchers across their entire project lifecycle.

As a collaboration tool, OSF helps researchers work on projects privately with a limited number of collaborators and make parts of their projects public, or make all the project publicly accessible for broader dissemination with citable, discoverable DOIs. As a workflow system, OSF enables connections to the many products researchers already use to streamline their process and increase efficiency.

  • Structured projects: Manage files, data, code, and protocols in one centralized location and easily build custom organization for your project – No more trawling emails to find files or scrambling to recover from lost data
  • Controlled access: Control which parts of a project are public or private, making it easy to collaborate and share with the community or just your team
  • Enhanced workflow: Automate version control, get persistent identifiers for projects and materials, preregister your research, generate preprints, and connect your favorite third-party services directly to OSF
  • Dependable Repository: OSF’s Preservation Fund preserves and maintains read access to any hosted data on OSF. This fund is sufficient for 50+ years of read access hosting at present costs.

Plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help produce the oxygen we breathe

Read the full story from Macquarie University.

Ten percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a new study.

Politics & Climate Change

Download the document.

Drawing on a nationally representative survey (N = 1,291; including 1,097 registered voters), this report describes how Democratic, Independent, and Republican registered voters view global  warming, climate and energy policies, and personal and collective action.

How Trees Can Save Lakes From Algae Blooms

Read the full story from JSTOR.

In addition to cleaning air pollution, trees absorb excess nutrients from soil, preventing algae blooms in waterways.

Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Offshore oil and gas drilling has been a contentious issue in California for 50 years, ever since a rig ruptured and spilled 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off Santa Barbara in 1969. Today it’s spurring a new debate: whether to completely dismantle 27 oil and gas platforms scattered along the southern California coast as they end their working lives, or convert the underwater sections into permanent artificial reefs for marine life.

We know that here and elsewhere, many thousands of fishes and millions of invertebrates use offshore rigs as marine habitat. Working with state fisheries agencies, energy companies have converted decommissioned oil and gas platforms into manmade reefs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brunei and Malaysia.

Californians prize their spectacular coastline, and there are disagreements over the rigs-to-reefs concept. Some conservation groups assert that abandoned oil rigs could release toxic chemicals into the waterand create underwater hazards. In contrast, supporters say the submerged sections have become productive reefs that should be left in place.

We are a former research scientist for the U.S. Department of the Interior and a scholar focusing on the fishes of the Pacific coast. In a recent study, we reviewed the history of rigs-to-reefs conversions and decades of published scientific research monitoring the effects of these projects. Based on this record, we conclude that reefing the habitat under decommissioned oil and gas platforms is a viable option for California. It also could serve as a model for decommissioning some of the 7,500 other offshore platforms operating around the world.

Climate change is helping spread a fungus that attacks bananas

Read the full story at CNN.

A fungal plant disease from Asia has been spreading across banana-growing areas of Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s. New research suggests that climate change is aiding the spread of this highly destructive plant infection.

Black sigatoka, commonly known as “black leaf streak,” can reduce the fruit produced by infected plants by up to 80%, according to a study published Monday in the biology journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Bureau Of Land Management Scrubs Stewardship Language From News Releases

Read the full story in HuffPost.

The Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees more than 245 million acres of public land, has stripped its conservation-focused mission statement from agency news releases.

Fifty Years After, A Daunting Cleanup of Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy

Read the full story in e360.

From 1962 to 1971, the American military sprayed vast areas of Vietnam with Agent Orange, leaving dioxin contamination that has severely affected the health of three generations of Vietnamese. Now, the U.S. and Vietnamese governments have joined together in a massive cleanup project.