Category: Publications

Parts of the Amazon go from absorbing carbon dioxide to emitting it

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A new study analyzing hundreds of aerial readings of emissions above the forest canopy found that forest regions in the southeast were most affected.

Are current river flux assessments overestimated and what does this mean?

Read the full story at AzoCleanTech.

An imbalance in the amount of plastic floating on the surface of the ocean and the volume leaking into the ocean by rivers led scientists to believe an unidentified sink was removing the river-sourced plastics quickly from the ocean surface.

However, several miscalculations mean the mass fluxes or flows have been overestimated by two to three orders of magnitude. This increased the average residence time of microplastics at the ocean surface from a matter of days to several years and implies they exist for longer periods and take more time to degrade than previously thought, negating the need for a missing sink.

Chicago exploring organics and textile recycling, commercial waste zones through new strategy

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Chicago officials on Wednesday released a formal waste strategy for the city, which is thought to have one of the lowest recycling rates among major U.S. cities at around 9%. There are dozens of near- and long-term recommendations regarding policy, operations, community efforts and more.

Unlike some cities, Chicago is not setting a specific waste diversion target at this time. “We did not set a goal because I think for us this is a roadmap to move to a better direction,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar. “I think it would be a big leap to go from the current rates that we have here in the city of Chicago and then to jump all the way to zero waste without talking about the interim steps in order for us to get there.”

According to documents, another next step in the strategy is to research “potential for implementing waste hauling zones for commercial waste,” an approach New York City and Los Angeles have taken. Other ideas include bolstering organics collection by adding food scrap collection to yard waste routes, and establishing a revenue-sharing partnership with a textile recycling company for collecting clothes, shoes, and other textiles.

Renewable electricity generation is growing — but it’s not enough to meet rising demand, IEA says

Read the full story at CNBC.

The planet’s demand for electricity is set for a strong rebound this year and next after dropping by approximately 1% in 2020, according to a new publication from the International Energy Agency.

Released Thursday, the IEA’s Electricity Market Report forecasts that global electricity demand will jump by nearly 5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 as economies around the world look to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Researchers strengthen soil using environmentally-friendly bacterial ‘glue’

Read the full story in the Daily Evergreen.

Slimy layers of bacteria called biofilms can act as an environmentally-friendly glue to improve the strength of soil, according to a WSU study published in the journal Biofilm. 

Future perspectives on the role of extended producer responsibility within a circular economy: A Delphi study using the case of the Netherlands

Campbell-Johnston, K., de Munck, M., Vermeulen, W. J. V., & Backes, C. (2021). “Future perspectives on the role of extended producer responsibility within a circular economy: A Delphi study using the case of the Netherlands”. Business Strategy and the Environment, 1– 14. [open access]

Abstract: Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a proposed policy approach to promoting the circular economy (CE) within the European Union. This research used a policy Delphi to explore perspectives on improving EPR policies to further contribute to the CE goals of the Netherlands. Both the potential improvement and critical reflections discussed by CE and EPR experts and practitioners from this study contribute to a more detailed understanding of the future governance of CE practices. We present various activities to improve EPR and insights from Delphi participants that emerged from the study. This paper shows that whilst actors agree, in essence, that there is a need for modifying EPR, what the specific changes to the form are and to

Decarbonisation Road Map for the European Food and drink Manufacturing Sector: A Report for FoodDrinkEurope

Download the document.

This roadmap has been developed by Ricardo Energy & Environment on behalf of FoodDrinkEurope. It assesses the climate impact of the European food and drink manufacturing sector, and sets out some of the available pathways for decarbonisation to net zero by 2050. The roadmap highlights the many opportunities that are available to the sector, whilst also discussing the numerous challenges and barriers that will need to be overcome.

Salmon going nuts at a fish farm possibly high on cocaine, officials say

Read the full story at Motherboard.

Salmon frantically jumping around on a fish farm in Germany may have been on cocaine, according to a report released by German environmental officials. 

Officials from the State Environmental Agency of North Rhine-Westphalia (also known as Lanuv) noticed the strange and erratic behavior from the Atlantic Salmon in June of 2020 while overseeing a species conservation project. 

Electric delivery vehicles: When, where, how they’re charged has big impact on greenhouse gas emissions

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and a lot of attention has been devoted to electric passenger vehicles and their potential to help reduce those emissions.

But with the rise of online shopping and just-in-time shipping, electric delivery fleets have emerged as another opportunity to reduce the transportation sector’s environmental impact.

Though EVs represent a small fraction of delivery vehicles today, the number is growing. In 2019, Amazon announced plans to obtain 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. UPS has ordered 10,000 of them and FedEx plans to be fully electric by 2040.

Now, a study from University of Michigan researchers shows that when, where and how those fleet vehicles are charged can greatly impact their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Let crop residues rot in the field — it’s a climate win

Read the full story from the University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Science.

Plant material that lies to rot in soil isn’t just valuable as compost. In fact, agricultural crop residue plays a crucial role in sequestering carbon, which is vital for reducing global CO2 emissions.

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