Key to Carbon-Free Cars? Look to the Stars

In a decade-long quest, scientists at Berkeley Lab, the University of Hawaii, and Florida International University uncover new clues to the origins of the universe – and land new chemistry for cleaner combustion engines

To intervene or not to intervene? That is the future climate question

Nine of the hottest years in human history have occurred in the past decade. Without a major shift in this climate trajectory, the future of life on Earth is in question, which poses a new question: Should humans, whose fossil fueled society is driving climate change, use technology to put the brakes on global warming?

Michigan State University community ecologist Phoebe Zarnetske is co-lead of the Climate Intervention Biology Working Group, a team of internationally recognized experts in climate science and ecology that is bringing science to bear on the question and consequences of geoengineering a cooler Earth.

Under climate stress, human innovation set stage for population surge

Instead of a collapse amid dry conditions, development of agriculture and increasingly complex human social structures set the stage for a dramatic increase in human population in central plains of China around 3,900 to 3,500 years ago.

Humans’ construction ‘footprint’ on ocean quantified for first time

In a world-first, the extent of human development in oceans has been mapped. An area totalling approximately 30,000 square kilometres – the equivalent of 0.008 percent of the ocean – has been modified by human construction, a study led by Dr Ana Bugnot from the University of Sydney School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science has found.

OU Receives $20 Million Grant to Lead Inaugural National Science Foundation Artificial Intelligence Institute

NSF recently announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish five AI Institutes to support research and education hubs nationwide. Amy McGovern, an OU professor with dual appointments in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering and in the School of Meteorology in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, will lead the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, which received $20 million of the NSF funding.

FAU Awarded $2.2 Million to Monitor Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Okeechobee

Researchers are developing a comprehensive sensing and information visualization package that will augment Florida’s existing monitoring programs for Lake Okeechobee, the second largest lake within the contiguous U.S. It will expand water, sediment, and biological measurements using innovative harmful algal bloom detection and environmental characterization technologies to allow pinpointing problem areas prior to or early on when harmful algal blooms are emerging in Lake Okeechobee. These harmful blooms are annual occurrences due to favorable environmental conditions.

Supercomputers Simulate Environmental Changes in Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) researchers used supercomputer simulations to examine impacts of both regional and global changes affecting the Chesapeake Bay. They discovered that historical increases in fertilizers and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have forced the bay to behave increasingly like a small sea on a continental shelf rather than a traditional estuary.

Harmful Microbes Found on Sewer Pipe Walls

Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new Rutgers study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, examined the microbe-laden “biofilms” that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.

CUR’s First Virtual Posters on the Hill Showcases Undergraduate Research to Policymakers, Scholars, and the Public

On April 21, students will participate in the 2020 Posters on the Hill event. This year, because of COVID-19 challenges, undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors from institutions such as Butler University, California State University–Fullerton, and University of Chicago will share their research online.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Doomsday Clock and Nuclear and Climate Threats

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 23, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Alan Robock, an expert on nuclear winter, climate change and geoengineering, is available to discuss the Doomsday Clock moving to within 100 seconds of midnight today. “Humanity continues to face two…

Rising global temperatures turn northern permafrost region into significant carbon source

A new study that incorporates datasets gathered from more than 100 sites by institutions including the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, suggests that decomposition of organic matter in permafrost soil is substantially larger than previously thought, demonstrating the significant impact that emissions from the permafrost soil could have on the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Poisoned by Plastic

Too many of the plastic cups, chip bags, cigarette butts and take-out containers you see littering California’s beaches don’t stay on the sand. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic make their way into the world’s oceans annually, the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute—and 80 percent of that comes directly from littering on land.

Scientists hit pay dirt with new microbial research technique

A better method for studying microbes in the soil will help scientists understand large-scale environmental cycles Long ago, during the European Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci wrote that we humans “know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the…