Study: Southeast’s peat bogs have carbon storage superpowers
Rewetting drained coastal evergreen shrub bogs in the Southeast that were once used for farming could make a small but significant contribution to reducing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, according to a recent study. The bogs, known as pocosins, can absorb and hold extraordinary amounts of CO2 because they contain antimicrobial compounds called phenolics that prevent the waterlogged peat from decaying rapidly, even during times of drought.
Judge orders Iowa agency to release list of landowners in pipeline path
An Iowa District Court judge ruled Monday that the Iowa Utilities Board must make the list of landowners likely to be affected by the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline available to the public within 14 days.
Carbon pipelines face continued resistance in Iowa
A group of farmers and climate change activists attended the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) meeting in Des Moines last week and demanded the board vote against using eminent domain to acquire land for several proposed carbon pipeline projects.
Are Iowa’s proposed CO2 pipelines a legitimate climate mitigation tool?
Iowa environmentalists say the plan to build three pipelines to move liquified carbon dioxide — collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries — to North Dakota and Illinois, where the carbon would be pumped underground, will simply prop up the fossil fuel industry and shower their agribusiness investors with tax credits.
Highest carbon dioxide level in human history
The pandemic put the global economy in lockdown last year but it did not prevent a rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, scientists said on Monday. Measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii averaged 419 parts per million (ppm) during May, the highest concentration of the …
Study: U.S. commodity farmers imperil biodiversity for ever-lower yields
In less than a decade, U.S. corn, soybean and wheat fields wiped out an expanse of native grasslands and other ecosystems larger than the state of Maryland, according to a new analysis, destroying crucial wildlife habitat and spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The new fields produced lower crop yields than existing farmland.(No paywall)
Study: How manure is applied to fields can affect greenhouse gases
The method that farmers use to apply manure to their fields can affect emissions of greenhouse gases during the winter, say researchers from the University of Vermont. Their study, published in the Soil Science of America Journal, is one of the first to look at greenhouse gas emissions from Vermont farmland and highlights the consequences of different manure-spreading methods.
Climate change puts more than a billion people at risk of iron deficiency
Rising levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce the amount of nutrients in staple crops such as rice and wheat, say researchers at Harvard's public health school. As a consequence, more than 1 billion women and children would lose a large amount of their dietary iron intake and be at larger risk of anemia and other diseases.
Inspector general to review Pruitt meeting with mining execs
The inspector general’s office at the EPA will investigate an April meeting between EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and the National Mining Association, said The Hill newspaper.
Trump nominates climate-change denier as top White House environmental adviser
President Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a current senior policy adviser at the free-market think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, to serve as the White House’s senior environmental policy adviser. Hartnett has argued that calling carbon dioxide a pollutant is “absurd,” and that C02 should instead be considered the gas of life.
2016 temperatures, sea and CO2 levels highest on record
With temperatures approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit hotter than the average temperature from 1981 to 2010, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to a report published by the American Meteorological Society. Last year was the third year in a row for record heat in the U.S.
Ocean acidification to reduce Dungeness crab numbers
Researchers say fossil-fuel emissions will make the oceans more acidic in coming decades and drive down the population of the Dungeness crab, native to the north Pacific coast, by 30 percent, reports the Seattle Times. Federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study, said the research points to "a moderate decline in a species that is really economically important."
Methane-producing microbes found in California rocks
For the first time, scientists have found methane-producing microbes living near the earth's surface, rather than in volcanic vents in the ocean floor, says the American Geophysical Union. The study "also shows the newly-discovered microbes are likely capable of using carbon dioxide to produce methane — a finding that could have implications for future carbon sequestration projects."
Three times as much lawn as any irrigated U.S. crop
Researchers say there are 63,000 square miles of lawn in the United States, "an area three times larger than any irrigated crop" and about the size of Texas, according to a piece in Fusion.
Drought’s impact on trees lasts two to four years
A worldwide study found that trees need two to four years to recover from drought and resume normal growth rates, which means forests would not store as much carbon as climate models have assumed, says the University of Utah.
GM unit buys 40,000 tons of carbon credits from ranch lands
The Chevrolet division of General Motors purchased credits for a 40,000 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from ranchland in the "prairie pothole" region of North Dakota.
Divergent ag views of EPA plan on power plant emissions
The two largest U.S. farm groups hold widely divergent views on the EPA proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent in coming years.
Study casts doubt on corn stover as biofuel feedstock
Using corn residues - stalks, husks and cobs - to make biofuels appears to create more carbon dioxide over their life cycle than the target set by federal standards, says research at the University of Nebraska.