In recent years, more states have crafted environmental justice policies to help communities of color plagued by polluted air and water, poor health outcomes and limited access to green space.
But now they fear that work could be upended by a pair of pending U.S. Supreme Court cases examining affirmative action admissions policies at universities. If the court strikes down affirmative action, many state lawmakers believe, the ruling could open legal challenges to “race-conscious” laws that seek to help marginalized communities.
The European Commission has released its proposals for EU-wide rules on packaging to ‘tackle this constantly growing source of waste and of consumer frustration’. But what will this mean for the beverage industry? We break down the key points of the proposals – and hear from industry representatives on what this will mean for each sector.
The aluminum panel is dull, corroded and covered in a patina of scratches from tumbling around the Pacific Ocean, likely for decades, before washing up on the small atoll of Nikumaroro. Parallel rivet lines puncture the panel, similar to the ones that dotted the Lockheed Electra Amelia Earhart flew on her ill-fated round-the-world trip in 1937, but they’re not a precise match. It is possible that the panel was a retrofit — a patch to replace a rear window — but with only 85-year-old photos to compare, the theory is difficult to investigate beyond reference measurements.
But it’s not impossible, especially with neutron radiography. The non-destructive imaging technique can peer beyond the veneer of age and damage to spy the tiniest of clues. It can also ferret out mere hints of contaminants, including pervasive pollutants.
For decades, 1960s research for the American Petroleum Institute warning of the risks of burning fossil fuels had been forgotten. But two papers discovered in libraries are now playing a key role in lawsuits aimed at holding oil companies accountable for climate change.
A paper published in Environmental Pollution authored by Saint Louis University (SLU) scientists shows that human proximity is the best indicator of microplastics being found in the Meramec River in Missouri.
The Navy is ramping up plans to inject a state-of-the-art powdered charcoal product into PFAS-contaminated groundwater at Alameda Point according to an October 13, 2022, cleanup document posted on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control website. The project will take place at a small area where Navy firefighters trained with PFAS-containing fire suppression foam next to the Oakland Estuary. The goal is to prevent the migration of PFAS into the Oakland Estuary.
The new 123,000-square-foot bakery will more than triple Bobo’s current production capacity to churn out a million bars, bites and toaster pastries per day, according to the news release. “We no longer need to pass up on growth opportunities due to production constraints,” Bobo’s CEO TJ McIntyre said in a statement.
Bobo’s plans to complete the installation of all new equipment in the facility by the end of January, having “stood up more than a 100% increase in piece/day throughput,” thanks to its larger size, more than double the 55,000-square-feet previously shared between three locations, McIntyre told Manufacturing Dive in an email.
Many people are familiar with flash floods – torrents that develop quickly after heavy rainfall. But there’s also such a thing as a flash drought, and these sudden, extreme dry spells are becoming a big concern for farmers and water utilities.
Flash droughts start and intensify quickly, over periods of weeks to months, compared to years or decades for conventional droughts. Still, they can cause substantial economic damage, since communities have less time to prepare for the impacts of a rapidly evolving drought. In 2017, a flash drought in Montana and the Dakotas damaged crops and grasses that served as forage for cattle, causing US$2.6 billion in agricultural losses.
Flash droughts typically result from a combination of lower-then-normal precipitation and higher temperatures. Together, these factors reduce overall land surface moisture.
Water constantly cycles between land and the atmosphere. Under normal conditions, moisture from rainfall or snowfall accumulates in the soil during wet seasons. Plants draw water up through their roots and release water vapor into the air through their leaves, a process called transpiration. Some moisture also evaporates directly from the soil into the air.
Scientists refer to the amount of water that could be transferred from the land to the atmosphere as evaporative demand – a measure of how “thirsty” the atmosphere is. Higher temperatures increase evaporative demand, which makes water evaporate faster. When soil contains enough moisture, it can meet this demand.
But if soil moisture is depleted – for example, if precipitation drops below normal levels for months – then evaporation from the land surface can’t provide all the moisture that a thirsty atmosphere demands. Reduced moisture at the surface increases surface air temperatures, drying out the soil further. These processes amplify each other, making the area increasingly hot and dry.
Moist regions can have flash droughts
Flash droughts started receiving more attention in the U.S. after notable events in 2012, 2016 and 2017 that reduced crop yields and increased wildfire risks. In 2012, areas in the Midwest that had had near-normal precipitation conditions through May fell into severe drought conditions in June and July, causing more than $30 billion in damages.
And climate patterns can shift from year to year, adding to the challenge. For example, Boston had a very wet summer in 2021 before its very dry summer in 2022.
Scientists expect climate change to make precipitation even more variable, especially in wetter regions like the U.S. Northeast. This will make it more difficult to forecast and prepare for flash droughts well in advance.
But new monitoring tools that measure evaporative demand can provide early warnings for regions experiencing abnormal conditions. Information from these systems can give farmers and utilities sufficient lead time to adjust their operations and minimize their risks.