Day: February 11, 2020

Nature will publish peer review reports as a trial

Read the full story in Nature.

Research involves deep discussions between authors and reviewers. Starting this week, readers of some Nature Research journals will be able to see this up close.

‘They literally take food off their table’

Read the full story at Politico.

Trump’s Department of Agriculture seeks to cut programs without knowing how many people will be hurt.

New environmental engineering major coming to Central Michigan University in Fall 2020

Read the full story at Central Michigan Life.

Environmental engineers use a combination of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to come up with solutions to environmental concerns. The curriculum for the program includes chemistry, physics, calculus, biology, pollution prevention and engineering classes. The program’s mission is to create graduates who can succeed in the job market or advanced studies.

Truth decay: when uncertainty is weaponized

Read the full book review in Nature.

From tobacco to food and fuels, industries use denial, deceit and doubt to corrupt. Review of The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception by David Michaels Oxford Univ. Press (2020).

Stormwater management and green infrastructure provide benefits that urban residents are willing to work for, study shows

Read the full story from the University of Illinois College of ACES.

Urban areas face increasing problems with stormwater management. Impervious surfaces on roads and buildings cause flooding, which impacts the water quality of streams, rivers and lakes. Green infrastructure, including features such as rain barrels, green roofs, rain gardens, and on-site water treatment, can provide affordable and environmentally sound ways to manage precipitation.

However, green infrastructure is challenging to maintain, because it is decentralized across a city and requires constant maintenance and upkeep. One way city management can address those challenges is to rely on volunteers to help maintain such features.

A new study from the University of Illinois and Reed College aims to estimate the value people place on improved water quality and storm management, and how much time and money they are willing to contribute to enjoy those benefits.

The Rocks and Stones Themselves

Read the full post from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.

“Toxic Wastes and Race” and “Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards” helped prepare us for the times of war and economic hardship that we face today. Environmental justice made it clear that from the oil beneath the Middle East to the grape orchards of Northern California, mastery over nature is inextricably tied to mastery over people. The environmental justice movement showed once and for all that justice means not fragmentation but connection, not individualism but community, not smokestacks but ecosystems.

Benzene Emissions on the Perimeters of Ten Refineries Exceed EPA Limits

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

The refineries, six of which are in Texas, are required under an EPA rule to find and fix leaks of the known carcinogen to protect nearby communities.

Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal

Read the full post at The Conversation.

Human society is literally built on soil. It feeds the world and produces vital fuel and fiber. But most people rarely give soil a second thought.

Recently, though, soil has been getting some well-deserved attention from environmental organizations, policymakers and industry leaders. It has been covered in news articles, argued over in policy debates and has even received an international day of recognition.

Why all this attention? Because the world urgently needs ways to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, and to build food security for a rapidly growing global population. Soil can do both.

However, current efforts to promote carbon storage in soil miss a key point: Not all soil carbon is the same. As scientists focusing on soil ecology and sustainability, we believe that managing soil carbon effectively requires taking its differences into account.

Georgetown to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Read the full story from Inside Higher Ed.

Georgetown University is the latest institution to commit to divesting from fossil fuels. Its Board of Directors on Thursday approved a policy saying the university would divest from public securities of fossil fuel companies within the next five years and from existing private investments over 10 years. Georgetown will continue to make investments in renewable energy and immediately freeze new endowment investments in companies or funds whose primary business relates to fossil fuel exploration or extraction.

How Thawing Permafrost Is Beginning to Transform the Arctic

Read the full story at e360.

The frozen layer of soil that has underlain the Arctic tundra for millennia is now starting to thaw. This thawing, which could release vast amounts of greenhouse gases, is already changing the Arctic landscape by causing landslides, draining lakes, and altering vegetation.

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