Washington State University is leading a new project that aims to advance soil-biodegradable mulches and develop innovative methods for recycling the plastic. The projects is funded by a $8 million, four-year Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
In the days after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida, firefighters near Naples put out six blazes in electric vehicles that had been submerged in seawater.
It was a first. The North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District had never before dealt with an EV fire. The hurricane’s storm surge flooded thousands of vehicles with salt water, and the surprising fires added a challenge to a fire department that was already overwhelmed by search and rescue operations in the wake of the deadly storm.
The fires also put a political target on electric vehicles.
The first commercial-scale solution for sand battery energy storage has been built as part of Vatajankoski Oy’s district heating network. It is touted by Fingrid as the world’s first sand battery built for commercial use, and is involved in the Finnish TSO’s balancing power market.
Does the secret to cleaner energy lie in a common household cleaner?
With its unmistakable smell and astringent nature, ammonia is used to combat household grime, from greasy stovetops to soap-scummed bathroom tiles. Now, a Johns Hopkins chemical and materials engineer thinks it may also hold the key to cleaner, more sustainable energy.
The three-year, $4.2 million project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and is part of its $540 million overall initiative aimed at supporting research and developing new technology to reduce carbon emissions and advance clean energy. Ammonia has potential as a liquid storage medium as it does not produce carbon dioxide when burned.
The revised version replaces one used by hundreds of thousands of educators and students internationally every year since 2000. So why the new water cycle? This depiction brings humans into the picture, showing the water cycle as a complex interplay of small, interconnected cycles that people interact with and influence, rather than one big circle.
“So much about the water cycle is influenced by our actions, and it’s important that we clearly see the role that each of us can play in sustainable water use amid a changing climate,” said Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “The water crisis is one of the most important challenges we face today, and it is time we recognize the bigger picture of water availability.”
USGS experts consulted with more than 100 educators and more than 30 hydrologic experts to develop the new diagram. The vast amounts of water data that USGS has collected in recent decades has informed a nuanced perspective of the water cycle, demonstrating how both its human and natural components are interconnected. Where the existing water cycle diagram depicted only the natural aspects of the cycle, the new version depicts how Earth’s water moves and is stored, both naturally and because of human actions.
Not only does the new diagram illustrate a more comprehensive view of the water cycle, it draws on principles of information design to focus attention on the water as it moves through the natural and built environment. It shows how multiple ecosystems – including a coastal plain, dry basin, wet basin and agricultural basin – are connected across watersheds and at continental scales.
The new diagram will initially be available in both English and Spanish, with the expectation it will be translated into many other languages by end users, as was the previous version.
A new sustainable road paving initiative that will keep nearly 200,000 plastic bottles out of the landfill is becoming a reality thanks to a new partnership involving the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) is leading the project to combine recycled plastics with an asphalt mix to form a sustainable road paving material. Over the next 18 months, UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering is one of the institutions that will evaluate the performance of the plastic modified asphalt and the potential of the material to release microplastics into its surroundings.
Researchers have released a study quantifying cropland phosphorus budgets around the world, which will help in identifying nutrient management gaps in different regions in food production and consumption systems. This new database will help countries and regions to evaluate their performances in addressing phosphorus pollution and scarcity challenges, and guide actions towards a more sustainable future.