On Thursday, YouTube updated its ads and monetization policies to prohibit the monetization of climate denialism content. The policy covers content that claims climate change is a hoax or a scam. Creators will also be unable to monetize content that denies that the global climate is warming or that humans contribute to climate change.
Advertisements for this type of content are now also prohibited on YouTube.
Water Survey researchers are exploring ways to simulate the interactions between groundwater and surface water by combining existing modeling technology, including investigating how groundwater elevations change in response to storm events and subsequent river rises. Groundwaters and surface waters are intimately connected and impacts on one will affect the other (e.g., contaminated groundwater seeping into river flow). Understanding these interactions will enable the Water Survey to better support management of the state’s natural water resources.
“There are some areas that bear close monitoring, including areas where irrigation is increasing over confined aquifers, including the Green River lowlands and the eastern part of the Mahomet aquifer in East Central Illinois,” said Allan Jones, an ISWS hydrogeologist.
The ISWS groundwater team is collaborating with the Imperial Valley Water Authority and local communities to help them better understand their water usage and the demands on the local aquifer.
“In particular, irrigation pumpage in Mason County is extensive, peaking at nearly 1 billion gallons per day during the summer irrigation season,” said Jones.
However, long-term aquifer records indicate that such extensive pumping does not leave a permanent impact on the groundwater (e.g., a gradual loss of water volume over time). The current explanation for the lack of persistent influence from irrigation is that the shallow Mahomet aquifer is rapidly recharged during annual rain events.
“Our current research suggests that water may also be entering the Mahomet aquifer from the Illinois River, especially during regional precipitation events when river water levels are elevated,” said Jones. “These contributions of water from the Illinois River may act to buffer the Mahomet aquifer’s water storage against the regular irrigation demands.”
However, Jones notes that these contributions to groundwater from the Illinois River introduce new challenges.
“The water from the Illinois River can cause a flow inversion in the groundwater that causes groundwater to stagnate or flow back into the aquifer rather than toward the river as usual in this system,” said Jones. “Furthermore, this can impact the transport of nutrients and influence chemical reactions to occur that may not normally occur through the groundwater and may induce a lag time before flow into the rivers.”
The ISWS groundwater team is working to improve groundwater models of near-stream dynamics of environmental contaminants. ISWS researchers are working to speed up groundwater flow models by streamlining model architectures to couple them with dynamic river stage models. In addition, combining watershed-scale models and groundwater flow models will help to better capture the simulation of broadly distributed contaminants, such as nitrate.
The Water Survey also helps communicate research to the public to better identify water supply planning priorities. ISWS researchers regularly meet with water users, managers, and planners at the state, regional, and local levels.
“Our efforts continue to evaluate community risk for regional growth scenarios and improve understanding of how water users influence supply risk and uncertainty,” said Jones.
Berkeley-based startup Perfect Day has underscored its sustainability credentials with the release of an expanded lifecycle assessment suggesting its ‘non-animal’ whey protein – produced by microbes, not cows – has a dramatically lower environmental footprint than animal-derived whey protein.
The NC Department of Agriculture funds research and development of second-generation bioenergy crops through the NC Bioenergy Initiative. While biomass crops like corn, sugarcane, and grasses offer NC growers an attractive renewable energy option, agricultural and environmental concerns suggest that biomass crop production could cannibalize commodity crop acreage or environmentally sensitive forests and wetlands. Biomass crops are typically designated for ‘marginal’ agricultural land, but there has been no explicit agreement on the term’s definition.
In the first stage of an ongoing bioenergy research project, NC State Professor of Soil Physics and Hydrology, Josh Heitman, and his research team sought to establish practical criteria to identify marginal agricultural land in North Carolina.
Restaurant Brands International (RBI), one of the largest quick service restaurant companies in the world, with brands including Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes, announced today new sustainability commitments, including targets to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, as part of its ‘Restaurant Brands for Good’ strategy.
According to more than a dozen of the country’s largest utilities, branches and trees falling on power lines are a leading source of power outages. Some utilities say that because of factors related to climate change, trees are dying faster than they can reach them on their normal trimming cycles.
Natural disasters such as floods, drought, hurricanes, winter storms, and earthquakes can interrupt access to clean drinking water. To improve their resilience, communities, and the utilities that provide drinking water to these communities, are building their capacity to return to service as quickly as possible, planning for and understanding any potential vulnerabilities in their system, and practicing response to adverse events in real-time as they happen.
To help communities and their drinking water utilities, researchers from EPA and Sandia National Laboratories developed the Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR), a comprehensive scientific software package to help assess a drinking water systems’ resilience to natural disasters. The software improves upon already available capabilities by fully integrating hydraulic and water quality simulation, damage estimates and response actions, and resilience metrics into a single platform. The software is available as an open-source software package and can be applied to a wide range of disruptive incidents and repair strategies.