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  • richardmitnick 12:40 pm on February 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What Uncertainties Remain in Climate Science?", Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , The Earth Institute,   

    From The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory In The Earth Institute At Columbia University: “What Uncertainties Remain in Climate Science?” 

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    From The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

    In

    The Earth Institute

    At

    Columbia U bloc

    Columbia University

    1.12.23 [Just today in social media.]
    Renee Cho

    Climate scientists are still uncertain about a number of phenomena that could affect our future. What are the reasons for this uncertainty?

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    Aerosols over the globe. How will they affect climate change? Photo: NASA.

    The favored refrain of climate deniers and those who oppose climate policies is that “the science is not settled.” To some degree, this is true. Climate scientists are still uncertain about a number of phenomena. But it is the nature of science to never be settled — science is always a work in progress, constantly refining its ideas as new information arrives.

    Certain evidence, however, is clear: global temperatures are rising, and humans are playing a role in it. And just because scientists are uncertain about some other areas, does not negate what they are sure about.

    What’s certain and what’s not

    Reputable climate scientists around the world are in almost unanimous agreement that human influences have warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land and that the speed of the changing climate exceeds what can be attributed to natural variability. They are also virtually certain that this warming has been driven by the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels. Climate scientists are highly confident about these things because of fundamental principles of physics, chemistry, and biology; millions of observations over the last 150 years; studies of ice cores, fossil corals, ocean sediments, and tree rings that reveal the natural influences on climate; and climate models.

    Despite this evidence, “In the climate change field, with its countless socioecological factors and interdependent systems, its known unknowns and unknown unknowns, deep uncertainty abounds,” said the World Resources Institute. The uncertainties are due to an incomplete understanding of Earth’s systems and their interactions; natural variability in the climate system; the limitations of climate models; bias; and measurement errors from imprecise observational instruments. In addition, there is great uncertainty about how the climate will be affected by humans and the demographic, economic, technical, and political developments of the future.

    Ben Cook, a climate scientist at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies drought and interactions between land and the climate system, said, “There are a few different sources of uncertainty and depending on the source, there are different kinds of difficulties. On one level, there are the process uncertainties that we have an incomplete understanding of because we don’t have the full spectrum of observations that we would want, and/or we’re limited in the ability to represent those processes within our climate models. There are other uncertainties related to things outside the physical climate system. A good example is the scenario uncertainty. We want to understand what the climate is going to look like at the end of 21st century. That depends on the physics of the climate system. But it also depends upon how many greenhouse gases we ultimately wind up emitting over the next century.”

    The rate at which our climate will warm also depends upon the interplay of emissions and interactions between various processes that either lessen or exacerbate disruptions to the climate system, some of which scientists are still uncertain about: cloud formation, water vapor and aerosols, unpredictable natural phenomena like volcanoes, tipping points, and human behavior. What are the reasons behind this uncertainty?

    Cloud formation

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    Cirrus clouds warm the Earth. Photo: Oatsy40.

    Clouds play an important role in determining the planet’s energy balance. As the planet warms, cloud patterns everywhere will change: Certain types of clouds will increase in some places and decrease in others. And depending on the type of clouds and the landscape below them, clouds can have a cooling or a warming effect on the planet. Low clouds have a cooling effect because they reflect solar radiation back to space.

    High cirrus clouds, on the other hand, warm Earth because they trap heat. Climate models have generally suggested that the warming and cooling effects of clouds will balance each other out over time, but some new studies suggest that global warming could cause more clouds to thin or burn off, leaving Earth increasingly exposed to the sun and warming.

    “Cloud feedbacks tend to be very uncertain because observations are a bit limited,” said Cook. “They are kind of restricted to the satellite era, over only the last 40 years. And it’s difficult to understand some of the causality. We want to understand how clouds cause the climate system to change. But at the same time, clouds respond to the climate system.”

    In addition, climate models have difficulty incorporating certain information about clouds. Most climate models map features over areas of 100 kilometers by 100 kilometers, though some cloud models may have grids of five kilometers by five kilometers; but even within five kilometers there is a lot of variation in cloud cover. Allegra LeGrande, adjunct associate research scientist at Columbia Climate School’s Center for Climate Systems Research, said, “Sometimes there are processes that are just too small, too complicated, too hard to measure. And you just can’t explicitly include them in the climate models. These tend to be processes like the ephemeral, little wispiness of the clouds. How are you going to translate these tiny ephemeral cloud bits into a climate model of the whole world?”

    And yet, “Clouds can make a huge contrast in what kind of climate you simulate for an area,” said LeGrande, who works with climate models to better understand climate more extreme than that of the past. “A cloudy field versus an uncloudy field can make a huge impact on everything—the temperature, the precipitation, the evaporation, the surface energy balance, everything.”

    Water vapor and aerosols

    Water vapor, the most abundant greenhouse gas, amplifies the warming resulting from other greenhouse gases. Rising temperatures caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide and methane result in more evaporation, which increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. For every added degree Celsius of warming, water vapor in the atmosphere can increase by about 7 percent. Scientists estimate this effect more than doubles the warming that would result from rising carbon dioxide levels alone.

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    Will we clean up air pollution? Photo: Mark McNestry.

    On the other hand, the cars, incinerators, smelters, and power plants that emit climate-warming greenhouse gases also release aerosols—liquid or solid particles in the atmosphere that block sunlight and have a cooling effect on the planet. Natural aerosols like sulfate aerosols produced after volcanic eruptions also cool Earth. But clouds can also form around aerosols, using them as nuclei, so their overall effect is uncertain.

    There is also uncertainty about aerosols because no one knows how society will change over time. Will we eventually ban their fossil fuel–burning sources? Will cleaning up air pollution make climate change worse?

    Because of these uncertainties, scientists don’t know how water vapor and aerosols will ultimately balance each other out.

    Natural variability

    There are natural changes in the climate that occur due to different high- and low-pressure areas and air circulation that affect temperature and rainfall. These are particularly important for making projections over smaller regions and shorter time frames.

    “On shorter time periods, for example, the next year out to maybe 30 or 40 years, the internal random variability in the climate system is really important,” said Cook. “At regional scales, that kind of time period can be a bit more difficult to predict because you can have just the internal natural variations in the climate system amplifying the effects of climate change, or in some cases, diminishing the effects of climate change.”

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    The aerosols from the eruption of Pinatubo cooled the climate. Photo: Dave Harlow, USGS.

    There is also natural variability that results from phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña, which produce cyclical natural global temperature variations. And there is natural variability that stems from unpredictable changes in solar intensity and volcanic eruptions. Volcanic gases condense in the stratosphere to form sulfate aerosols which cool the planet. Scientists have concluded, however, that natural factors contributed far less than humans to the global warming of recent decades.

    Tipping Points

    There is uncertainty about how close the Earth is to tipping points — when small changes accumulate to cause a larger change that can be abrupt, irreversible, and lead to cascading effects. Because the limits of computing power make it impossible to exactly represent the climate system’s tipping points or their interactions, there is significant uncertainty about these major potential tipping points.

    Ocean circulation changes

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a major source of uncertainty when it comes to predicting future climate. The AMOC is the ocean circulation system that carries heat from the Tropics and the Southern Hemisphere north until it loses it in the North Atlantic, Nordic, and Labrador Seas, where the now cooler waters sink deep. The overall circulation depends upon these cold dense waters that sink into the deep oceans in the high latitudes.

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    The northern part of AMOC. Photo: R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Global warming, however, can affect this circulation by warming surface waters and melting ice, adding fresh water to the system; these factors make the water less saline and dense, preventing it from sinking. Because of this effect, AMOC’s circulation has slowed between 15 and 20 percent in the 20th century, an anomaly unprecedented over the last millennium. Climate models suggest that the AMOC will continue to slow as the climate warms, but how much and what its effects will be are uncertain.

    Climate models suggest that if AMOC’s decline is great, Europe will warm slightly, but wind patterns in Europe and precipitation patterns in the Tropics will change significantly. If AMOC slows less, the Northern Hemisphere will get much warmer, wet regions will get wetter, and dry regions will get dryer. While some scientists fear the AMOC could pass a tipping point and collapse altogether, most are fairly confident that this could not happen before 2100.

    Thawing permafrost

    Permafrost, ground that remains frozen for two or more consecutive years, covers about 24 percent of the exposed landmass of the Northern Hemisphere. Some permafrost, which stores the carbon-based remains of plants and animals that froze before they could decompose, has been frozen for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds 1,500 billion tons of carbon, almost double the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere.

    As temperatures rise, permafrost begins to thaw, releasing its carbon as both carbon dioxide and methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas. There is a great uncertainty about how much carbon thawing permafrost could release as global warming proceeds, and how much will be CO2 versus methane. Climate models suggest that for every degree Celsius the planet warms, 3 to 41 billion metric tons of CO2 could be released. Some scientists feared that permafrost could pass a tipping point where the released carbon drastically speeds up warming, but recent models suggest the runaway scenario is unlikely. Nevertheless, the IPCC has projected that thawing permafrost would increase warming “enough to be important.”

    Ice sheet collapse and sea level rise

    Scientists understand how much warming oceans will eventually contribute to sea level rise, and it’s a relatively small amount, perhaps a meter, said LeGrande. They do not know, however, how much melting ice sheets could potentially add to sea level rise. The ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland present the greatest uncertainty. Ice loss from these ice sheets were most responsible for the sea level rise of the last few decades and will potentially make the largest future contributions to sea level rise.

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    Meltwater on Greenland ice sheet. Photo: NASA.

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    Photo: Neil Palmer/CIAT.

    The uncertainty about the ice sheets stems from scant observations of the full range of ice sheet behaviors, incomplete understanding of their processes, and limitations in defining conditions for models. This is because ice sheets are remote and the harsh environments make research difficult. Although scientists have little empirical evidence of big ice sheets melting away and collapsing, they do have ideas about how it happened in the past to help with projections for the future. “A lot of those ideas require us knowing what exactly is going on in the ice sheet and around it, and some of those things are hard to measure,” said LeGrande. “Visualizing what’s going on underneath is tricky. And it’s really important because if it’s slippery, then the ice sheet can flow into the sea pretty fast. But if it’s sticking on the bottom, then the ice sheet can actually hold itself in place rather well.”As the reflective white glaciers and ice sheets melt, the area they cover shrinks, exposing darker land or water, which absorb more solar energy and warm the atmosphere further. Some research suggests the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets could pass a tipping point if temperatures warm more than 1.5°C, but because of their enormity, this collapse would likely take thousands of years. As a result of the uncertainty about ice sheets, projections about the rate and amount of sea level rise vary widely. The IPCC calculates that it’s possible that in a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise could approach two meters by 2100 and five meters by 2150. Another potential tipping point is the Amazon rainforest, one of the planet’s largest natural carbon sinks. Because of deforestation and climate change, some parts of the Amazon have already begun to emit more carbon than they store. As temperatures rise, the Amazon will likely become drier, more prone to wildfires and stress, and could cross a tipping point if the rainforest turns into grassy savannas. The Amazon could turn into savannas. In addition to losing the trees that store carbon, the rainforest-turned-savanna would absorb much less carbon and provide habitat for fewer species. According to some research, it’s possible that the Amazon could suffer significant dieback by 2100. This would have dire consequences for biodiversity and climate change, as it could result in 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide added into the atmosphere. Modeling limitations: Scientists use climate models to try to understand how all these various processes, which are represented by mathematical equations, have affected past climate and how they will affect future climate. Because the climate system is so complex and computing power has limits, however, it’s difficult for a model to calculate all the processes for the whole planet. Consequently, a climate model must divide Earth up into grid cells; it then calculates the climate system in each cell incorporating factors such as temperature, air pressure, humidity, and wind speed, the amount of solar energy, CO2 and methane, and aerosols.

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    Photo: NOAA.

    Climate models can help analyze why climate changed in the past and how it could change in the future. But models are not perfect and they have limitations. Moreover, climate models can differ in their level of simplification, grid size, and in how they represent physical phenomena such as clouds, surface atmosphere exchanges, or vegetation cover. Climate modelers must make compromises and settle on one possible variant of the many possible variants, each of which could result in different outcomes. To deal with these limitations, sets of climate models are often run with different variables to generate a range of possible outcomes.

    The human factor

    The state of our planet in the future depends on how much greenhouse gas is emitted into the atmosphere. Perhaps the biggest uncertainty of all is how much carbon, other greenhouse gases, and aerosols humans will emit in the years to come. This will depend on population and consumption growth, economic development, technological progress, land use changes, and international agreements, as well as all their interactions. Changes in societal preferences and priorities, and political trends will also be critical factors. All these elements will influence how societies and countries take action to fight climate change—how robust and effective their policies are, how much money is put into mitigation and adaptation efforts, and how much synergy results from international cooperation.

    Working to reduce uncertainty

    Researchers at the Columbia Climate School are constantly working to reduce the gaps in scientists’ understanding, and improve their models, predicated on their observations.

    LeGrande is working on paleoclimate simulations using a special sampling approach that requires less computer processing and constrains the simulations against satellite measurements, as well as against paleoclimate archives. In addition, she said, “There are lots and lots of observational campaigns, trained on our ice sheets, trying to understand the surface processes. There are increasingly moves to try to visualize that area underneath the ice sheet. They do drilling missions, and they have plenty of [techniques for] remote sensing at the surface where they’re trying to visualize that interface between the bottom of the ice sheet and the bed. Then, with more powerful computers, they’re able to plug in these empirical observations into ice sheet models.”

    “There’s also a lot of work with machine learning now,” said Cook. “Machine learning and AI are very good at finding patterns [and relationships]. Within the climate model community, a lot of people who build these big computer simulations of the climate system are exploring machine learning to identify parameters that give us a much better match to reality. The idea is to reduce some of the process uncertainty and improve the fidelity of our models. The challenge is interpreting those patterns and relationships, and making sure they’re meaningful in a physical or scientific sense, but it [machine learning] can be really valuable for the exploratory process and identifying the sorts of things that might be important.”

    Even as the science advances, however, it is critical to recognize and deal with the existing uncertainties in climate science in order to make sound decisions about adapting to climate change. Ignoring uncertainties could increase risks. “Only in understanding the range of plausible possibilities can you really inform adaptation, and policy and planning,” said Cook.

    Strategies for adapting to climate change should consider multiple potential outcomes, leave many options open, and identify a variety of solutions. The solutions need to be robust and able to withstand different pressures—for example, farmers diversifying their livelihoods in case of extreme weather, or the expanded use of microgrids to protect communities against power outages. Adaptation measures need to be flexible, able to work under a range of possible future scenarios, and be able to be reassessed or adjusted as the science advances.

    The uncertainties in climate science that remain are not a justification for not acting to slow climate change, because uncertainty can work both ways: Climate change could prove to be less severe than current projections, but it could also be much worse.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory is the scientific research center of the Columbia Climate School, and a unit of The Earth Institute at Columbia University.

    It focuses on climate and earth sciences and is located on a 189-acre (64 ha) campus in Palisades, New York, 18 miles (29 km) north of Manhattan on the Hudson River.

    The Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory was established in 1949 as the Lamont Geological Observatory on the weekend estate of Thomas W. and Florence Haskell Corliss Lamont, which was donated to the university for that purpose. The Observatory’s founder and first director was Maurice “Doc” Ewing, a seismologist who is credited with advancing efforts to study the solid Earth, particularly in areas related to using sound waves to image rock and sediments beneath the ocean floor. He was also the first to collect sediment core samples from the bottom of the ocean, a common practice today that helps scientists study changes in the planet’s climate and the ocean’s thermohaline circulation.

    In 1969, the Observatory was renamed Lamont–Doherty in honor of a major gift from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation; in 1993, it was renamed the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory in recognition of its expertise in the broad range of Earth sciences. Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory is Columbia University’s Earth sciences research center and is a core component of the Earth Institute, a collection of academic and research units within the university that together address complex environmental issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with particular focus on advancing scientific research to support sustainable development and the needs of the world’s poor.

    The Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University is one of the world’s leading research centers developing fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 300 research scientists and students study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humankind in the planet’s stewardship.

    To support its research and the work of the broader scientific community, Lamont–Doherty operates the 235-foot (72 m) research vessel, the R/V Marcus Langseth, which is equipped to undertake a wide range of geological, seismological, oceanographic and biological studies.

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    The Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory R/V Marcus Langseth.

    Lamont–Doherty also houses the world’s largest collection of deep-sea and ocean-sediment cores as well as many specialized research laboratories.

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on February 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate change may cut US forest inventory by a fifth this century", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , ,   

    From The North Carolina State University Via “phys.org” : “Climate change may cut US forest inventory by a fifth this century” 

    NC State bloc

    From The North Carolina State University

    Via

    “phys.org”

    1.31.23

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    Mountain forests. Credit: Alek Kalinowski on Unsplash.

    A study led by a North Carolina State University researcher found that under more severe climate warming scenarios, the inventory of trees used for timber in the continental United States could decline by as much as 23% by 2100. The largest inventory losses would occur in two of the leading timber regions in the U.S., which are both in the South.

    Researchers say their findings show modest impacts on forest product prices through the end of the century, but suggest bigger impacts in terms of storing carbon in U.S. forests. Two-thirds of U.S. forests are classified as timberlands.

    “We already see some inventory decline at baseline in our analysis, but relative to that, you could lose, additionally, as much as 23% of the U.S. forest inventory,” said the study’s lead author Justin Baker, associate professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University. “That’s a pretty dramatic change in standing forests.”

    In the study, which is published in Forest Policy and Economics [below], researchers used computer modeling to project how 94 individual tree species in the continental United States will grow under six climate warming scenarios through 2100. They also considered the impact of two different economic scenarios on demand growth for forestry products. The researchers compared their outcomes for forest inventory, harvest, prices and carbon sequestration to scenarios with no climate change. Researchers said their methods could provide a more nuanced picture of the future forest sector under high-impact climate change scenarios compared to other models.

    “Many past studies show a pretty optimistic picture for forests under climate change because they see a big boost in forest growth from additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Baker said. “The effect that carbon dioxide has on photosynthesis in some of those models tends to outweigh the losses you see from precipitation and temperature induced changes in forest productivity and tree mortality. We have a model that is specific to individual tree species, and that allows us to better understand how climate factors influence growth rates and mortality.”

    Researchers found that in certain regions trees would grow more slowly in higher temperatures, and die faster. Combined with increasing harvest levels and greater development pressures, that led to declines in the total tree inventory. They projected the largest losses would be in the Southeast and South-Central regions, which are two of the three most productive timber supply regions in the U.S. Those regions could see tree inventories shrink by as much as 40% by 2095 compared to one of their baseline scenarios. Due to declines in pine products, the researchers projected softwood lumber prices could increase as much as 32% by 2050.

    “We found pretty high levels of sensitivity to warming and precipitation changes for productive pine species in the South, especially when climate change is combined with high forest product demand growth,” Baker said.

    However, the researchers projected gains in tree supplies in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Southwest regions, driven by higher rates of death of certain trees that lead to larger harvests initially, followed by the growth of more heat-tolerant species.

    “These are regions losing a lot of inventory right now due to pests and fire disturbance,” Baker said. “What you’re seeing is a higher level of replacement with climate adaptive species like juniper, which are more tolerant to future growing conditions.”

    Combining the effects from all the regions, researchers projected total losses of U.S. tree inventory of 3 to 23% compared to baseline. They projected losses in carbon sequestration in most scenarios, and estimated the value of lost carbon stored in U.S. forests up to $5.5 billion per year.

    They found the economic impact of climate change on the overall U.S. forest products industry value could range from a loss of as much as $2.6 billion per year—representing 2.5% of the value of the industry—or a gain in value of more than $200 million per year.

    “We saw that the markets could be more resilient than the forests themselves,” Baker said. “Your market effects may seem modest in terms of the effect it has on the consumers and producers, but those impacts are small compared to the carbon sequestration value that forests provide on an annual basis.”

    Researchers say more studies are needed to bring the future of U.S. forestry into sharper focus.

    “We don’t know a lot about how disturbance-related mortality or loss in tree productivity is going to bear out across the landscape as temperatures get warmer,” Baker said. “We did our best to address a couple pieces of the puzzle with temperature and precipitation changes, and interactions between climate and market demand, but a lot more work needs to be done to get a good handle on climate change and forestry.”

    Forest Policy and Economics

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NC State campus

    The North Carolina State University was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we’re a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, the humanities and social sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine.

    North Carolina State University students, faculty and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government and nonprofit partners to solve them. Our 34,000-plus high-performing students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education.

    North Carolina State University is a public land-grant research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1887 and part of the University of North Carolina system, it is the largest university in the Carolinas. The university forms one of the corners of the “Research Triangle” together with Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    The North Carolina General Assembly established the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now North Carolina State University, on March 7, 1887, originally as a land-grant college. The college underwent several name changes and officially became North Carolina State University at Raleigh in 1965, and by longstanding convention, the “at Raleigh” portion was omitted. Today, North Carolina State University has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, making it among the largest in the country. North Carolina State University has historical strengths in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles, and design and offers bachelor’s degrees in 106 fields of study. The graduate school offers master’s degrees in 104 fields, doctoral degrees in 61 fields, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

    North Carolina State University athletic teams are known as the Wolfpack. The name was adopted in 1922 when a disgruntled fan described the behavior of the student body at athletic events as being “like a wolf pack.” They compete in NCAA Division I and have won eight national championships: two NCAA championships, two AIAW championships, and four titles under other sanctioning bodies.

    The North Carolina General Assembly founded North Carolina State University on March 7, 1887 as a land-grant college under the name “North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts,” or “North Carolina A&M” for short. In the segregated system, it was open only to white students. As a land-grant college, North Carolina A&M would provide a liberal and practical education while focusing on military tactics, agriculture, and the mechanical arts without excluding classical studies. Since its founding, the university has maintained these objectives while building on them. After opening in 1889, North Carolina A&M saw its enrollment fluctuate and its mandate expand. In 1917, it changed its name to “North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering”—or “North Carolina State” for short. During the Great Depression, the North Carolina state government, under Governor O. Max Gardner, administratively combined the University of North Carolina, the Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina-Greensboro), and North Carolina State University. This conglomeration became the University of North Carolina in 1931. In 1937 Blake R Van Leer joined as Dean and started the graduate program for engineering. Following World War II, the university grew and developed. The G.I. Bill enabled thousands of veterans to attend college, and enrollment shot past the 5,000 mark in 1947.

    State College created new academic programs, including the School of Architecture and Landscape Design in 1947 (renamed as the School of Design in 1948), the School of Education in 1948, and the School of Forestry in 1950. In the summer of 1956, following the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregated public education was unconstitutional, North Carolina State College enrolled its first African-American undergraduates, Ed Carson, Manuel Crockett, Irwin Holmes, and Walter Holmes.

    In 1962, State College officials desired to change the institution’s name to North Carolina State University. Consolidated university administrators approved a change to the University of North Carolina at Raleigh, frustrating many students and alumni who protested the change with letter writing campaigns. In 1963, State College officially became North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina. Students, faculty, and alumni continued to express dissatisfaction with this name, however, and after two additional years of protest, the name was changed to the current North Carolina State University at Raleigh. However, by longstanding convention, the “at Raleigh” portion is omitted, and the shorter names “North Carolina State University” and “NC State University” are accepted on first reference in news stories. Indeed, school officials discourage using “at Raleigh” except when absolutely necessary, as the full name implies that there is another branch of the university elsewhere in the state.

    In 1966, single-year enrollment reached 10,000. In the 1970s enrollment surpassed 19,000 and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was added.

    Celebrating its centennial in 1987, North Carolina State University reorganized its internal structure, renaming all its schools to colleges (e.g. School of Engineering to the College of Engineering). Also in this year, it gained 700 acres (2.8 km^2) of land that was developed as Centennial Campus. Since then, North Carolina State University has focused on developing its new Centennial Campus. It has invested more than $620 million in facilities and infrastructure at the new campus, with 62 acres (0.3 km^2) of space being constructed. Sixty-one private and government agency partners are located on Centennial Campus.

    North Carolina State University has almost 8,000 employees, nearly 35,000 students, a $1.495 billion annual budget, and a $1.4 billion endowment. It is the largest university in the state and one of the anchors of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, together with Duke University and the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

    In 2009, North Carolina State University canceled a planned appearance by the Dalai Lama to speak on its Raleigh campus, citing concerns about a Chinese backlash and a shortage of time and resources.

    North Carolina State University Libraries Special Collections Research Center, located in D.H. Hill Library, maintains a website devoted to NC State history entitled Historical State.

    North Carolina State University is one of 17 institutions that constitute the University of North Carolina system. Each campus has a high degree of independence, but each submits to the policies of the UNC system Board of Governors. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the North Carolina General Assembly for four-year terms. President Thomas W. Ross heads the system.

    The Board of Trustees of North Carolina State University has thirteen members and sets all policies for the university. The UNC system Board of Governors elects eight of the trustees and the Governor of North Carolina appoints four. The student body president serves on the Board of Trustees as a voting member. The UNC system also elects the Chancellor of North Carolina State University.

    The Board of Trustees administers North Carolina State University’s eleven academic colleges. Each college grants its own degrees with the exception of the First Year College which provides incoming freshmen the opportunity to experience several disciplines before selecting a major. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the only college to offer associate’s degrees and the College of Veterinary Medicine does not grant undergraduate degrees. Each college is composed of numerous departments that focus on a particular discipline or degree program, for example Food Science, Civil Engineering, Genetics or Accounting. There are a total of 66 departments administered by all eleven NC State colleges.

    In total, North Carolina State University offers nine associate’s degrees in agriculture, bachelor’s degrees in 102 areas of study, master’s degrees in 108 areas and doctorate degrees in 60 areas. North Carolina State University is known for its programs in agriculture, engineering, textiles, and design. The textile and paper engineering programs are notable, given the uniqueness of the subject area.

    As of the 2018-2019 school year, North Carolina State University has the following colleges and academic departments:

    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
    College of Design
    College of Education
    College of Engineering
    College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    College of Natural Resources
    Poole College of Management
    College of Sciences
    Wilson College of Textiles
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    The Graduate School
    University College

    In 2014 – 2015 North Carolina State University became part of only fifty-four institutions in the U.S. to have earned the “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University” designation by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

    For 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranks North Carolina State University tied for 84th out of all national universities and tied for 34th out of public universities in the U.S., tied at 31st for “most innovative” and 69th for “best value” schools.

    North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering was tied for 24th by U.S. News & World Report, with many of its programs ranking in the top 30 nationally. North Carolina State University’s Nuclear Engineering program is considered to be one of the best in the world and in 2020, was ranked 3rd in the country (behind The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ). The biological and agricultural engineering programs are also widely recognized and were ranked 4th nationally. In 2019 North Carolina State University’s manufacturing and industrial engineering program was ranking 13th in the nation, and material science at 15th. Other notable programs included civil engineering at 20th, environmental engineering tied at 21st, chemical engineering tied for 22nd, computer engineering at 28th, and biomedical engineering ranking 28th nationally in 2019. In 2019, the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked NC State’s electrical engineering program 9th internationally and chemical engineering 20th. In 2020, The Princeton Review ranked NC State 36th for game design.

    North Carolina State University is also home to the only college dedicated to textiles in the country, the Wilson College of Textiles, which is a partner of the National Council of Textile Organizations and is widely regarded as one of the best textiles programs in the world. In 2020 the textile engineering program was ranked 1st nationally by College Factual. In 2017, Business of Fashion Magazine ranked the college’s fashion and apparel design program 8th in the country and 30th in the world. In 2018, Fashion Schools ranked the college’s fashion and textile management program 11th in the nation.

    North Carolina State University’s Masters program in Data Analytics was the first in the United States. Launched in 2007, it is part of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and was created as a university-wide multidisciplinary initiative to meet the rapidly growing demand in the labor market for analytics professionals. In 2012, Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil highlighted the MSA program in Harvard Business Review as one of only a few sources of talent with proven strengths in data science.

    North Carolina State University is known for its College of Veterinary Medicine and in 2020 it was ranked 4th nationally, by U.S. News & World Report, 25th internationally by NTU Ranking and 36th internationally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

    In 2020, North Carolina State University’s College of Design was ranked 25th by College Factual. In 2018, the Animation Career Review ranked North Carolina State University’s Graphic Design program 4th in the country and best among public universities.

    In 2020, the College of Education tied for 45th in the U.S. and the Poole College of Management is tied for 52nd among business schools. North Carolina State University’s Entrepreneurship program is ranked 10th internationally among undergraduate programs by The Princeton Review in 2020. For 2010 the Wall Street Journal surveyed recruiters and ranked NC State number 19 among the top 25 recruiter picks. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Department of Statistics 16th (tied) in the nation.

    In fiscal year 2019, North Carolina State University received 95 awards and $29,381,782 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funds for Research. For fiscal year 2017, NC State was ranked 45th in total research expenditure by the National Science Foundation.

    Kiplinger’s Personal Finance placed North Carolina State University 9th in its 2018 ranking of best value public colleges in the United States.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:05 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researching and learning and adapting", A thick belt of tiny particles, also known as aerosols - a notorious air pollutant- formed in the atmosphere above this otherwise virtually unspoiled region., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth cooling it down., Emissions that affect the climate fall into two groups: greenhouse gases and aerosols. Greenhouse gases heat up the planet while aerosols counteract this effect mainly through cloud formation., In autumn 2014 Iceland’s Holuhraun volcano erupted spewing daily about 120000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the air at its peak., People: Yu Wang, Since aerosols can promote the formation of cloud droplets they are an important factor in projecting climate change but we still know very little about it., , , Wang admits that this was just a pilot study and that a single volcanic eruption is not an adequate foundation., What the scientists did was to apply a machine learning method that can tell them what the clouds are like under certain weather conditions., When Iceland had its volcanic eruption climate researchers jumped at the chance to study the effects of the aerosols released during this event.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) : “Researching and learning and adapting” People: Yu Wang 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    1.31.23
    Barbara Vonarburg

    One of the greatest unknowns in climate change is the question of how particulate matter affects clouds. Yu Wang is using machine learning and satellite data to investigate the surprising role of these tiny particles in the atmosphere.

    1
    “Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth, cooling it down.” Yu Wang investigates how precisely aerosols and the cooling effect of clouds work. (Photograph: Nicola Pitaro/ETH Zürich.

    In autumn 2014 Iceland’s Holuhraun volcano erupted, spewing daily about 120,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the air at its peak.

    2
    Lava fountains of the fissure eruption in Holuhraun, northeast of Bárðarbunga (Iceland). The fountains on the photo are of the fissure’s main crater and were about 70-90 meters high at the time of the photo. Credit: Joschenbacher

    A thick belt of tiny particles, also known as aerosols – a notorious air pollutant- formed in the atmosphere above this otherwise virtually unspoiled region. This volcanic eruption served as a very good natural experiment that allowed climate researchers to study how the sudden upwelling of particulate matter affected clouds. “Since aerosols can promote the formation of cloud droplets, they are an important factor in projecting climate change but we still know very little about it,” Wang explains. Since September 2021, the 30-​year-old environmental scientist has been an ETH Zürich Fellow at the university’s Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, working as a member of the group run by Ulrike Lohmann, Professor of Atmospheric Physics.

    Wang talks enthusiastically about a study – published recently in Nature Geoscience [below]– that she, her husband Ying Chen and Ulrike Lohmann co-​authored along with other researchers from the British Met office, the Universities of Exeter, Cambridge, Leeds (UK), and Munich and NASA. She laughs warmly from time to time, clearly delighted by the interest being shown in her results. “I’m really excited about my work,” she says. “Emissions that affect the climate essentially fall into two groups: greenhouse gases and aerosols.” Greenhouse gases heat up the planet, while aerosols counteract this effect mainly through cloud formation.

    “Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth cooling it down,” Wang says, spreading her arms wide to illustrate her point. But the problem, she adds, is that we are unable to quantify with precision how aerosols and the cooling effect of clouds work. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), aerosols are the primary source of uncertainty when it comes to understanding how humanity has impacted the current climate.

    So when Iceland had its volcanic eruption climate researchers jumped at the chance to study the effects of the aerosols released during this event: they compared the clouds over the North Atlantic in autumn 2014 with the situation in the years before and after. But this comparison proved inconclusive because cloud formation also depends largely on the weather, which was different during the eruption from that in the other years.

    Machine-​made meteorologists

    “We also used the volcanic eruption in our work,” Wang says. “But what we did was to apply a machine learning method that can tell us what the clouds are like under certain weather conditions.” This makes it possible to use data from the “clean” years to determine what the cloud situation would have been in 2014 had there been no eruption. “It’s like having a weather forecast,” Wang says. By comparing the machine learning forecast for the cloud situation minus the Holuhraun eruption with data of clouds in the same months in years before and after the eruption, it’s possible to say that the difference is due entirely to the aerosols.

    The result of this study surprised the researchers because it contradicts previous notions. “It’s also important to know,” Wang says, “that interactions between aerosols and clouds produce two different effects.” An increase in emissions results in a higher number of cloud droplets, but these are smaller. This makes the clouds brighter, which means they reflect more sunlight away from the Earth. A higher number of smaller droplets also means that the clouds can retain more water before it rains, meaning the clouds last longer. “People used to think that it was cloud brightness that dominated the cooling effect, but we discovered that a cloud’s lifespan or the formation of new clouds is more important,” Wang says. Overall, the aerosols released by the volcanic eruption increased cloud cover by around 10 percent.

    Wang became interested in particulates long before she became a climate researcher. “I was born near Beijing, where the air is very polluted,” she says. “I wanted to know why the air quality in my hometown was so much worse than in Europe or the United States.” She studied environmental sciences in Changchun and Beijing and decided to use her Master’s thesis to find out why the pollutant concentration responsible for Beijing’s air pollution is so high. “During my field observations, I noticed that the situation in the real atmosphere was so complex that gaining a better understanding would mean working in the lab,” Wang says.

    From China to the United Kingdom

    For her doctoral studies, Wang was accepted at the University of Manchester; she moved from China to the UK in 2017. “A massive step,” she notes with a sigh, before beaming again and adding: “I’m always excited to discover new things.” In Manchester she worked with an experiment chamber, into which she pumped gas to observe the formation of aerosols. “It was then that I realized that, in addition to being air pollutants, aerosols encourage cloud formation and thus influence the climate,” she says. “That was the moment I started doing climate research.”

    Wang points out that her recently published study on interactions between aerosols and clouds was a departure from her previous work because it was based on machine learning methods rather than on climate models. As input, the research team used satellite observations of cloud cover. They fed the machine with data collected by instruments on board two NASA satellites over a period of more than 20 years. NASA handled both data processing and analysis. “To use machine learning, we require a massive dataset,” Wang says. “The observations made between 2000 and 2020 make us very confident that our method works.”

    The team’s next step will be to try to channel their new findings into existing climate models. “We want to encourage the entire research community to adapt their models to accommodate our observations,” Wang says. She hopes that this will yield better climate models capable of providing more reliable forecasts.

    But Wang admits that this was just a pilot study and that a single volcanic eruption is not an adequate foundation. Therefore, the researchers are also working on other events that triggered an increase or decrease in aerosol emissions, such as observations made before and during the coronavirus pandemic. “We hope our efforts will provide more evidence in near future and make the findings more precise,” Wang says.

    Mentioning the coronavirus has a sobering effect on Wang. Before the pandemic, her parents and friends could visit her in the UK, and she would travel to China during the holidays. “It’s now been three years since we’ve seen each other,” she says. “I find that tough.” She is happy to plan the trip to meet them again soon now that China has eased the restrictions. But for the time being, she and her husband – a climate researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute – feel at home in Europe.

    Drawing inspiration on the move

    To get new inspiration, Wang likes to go hiking or take trips with her husband. It was on a trip to the seaside of Teignmouth near Exeter that they came up with the idea of using machine learning as part of this exciting climate research.

    As a cloud specialist, people often ask Wang if it would be possible to slow global warming by artificially creating clouds. “This falls under geoengineering,” she says, and names two proposals currently being discussed: the first is to inject aerosols into the stratosphere; the second involves pumping sea salt particles into clouds over the oceans. “But these would be more like giving the world a painkiller rather than an actual cure.” What’s more, the Earth is such a complex system that these interventions could prove very dangerous. “That’s why all geoengineering projects have been shelved,” she says.

    But Wang remains optimistic and believes that almost every situation has its silver lining – even the extreme floods, droughts and heatwaves that are becoming more and more frequent. “Even global warming sceptics are now starting to see how important this issue is,” she says, adding that her motto is “we research, we learn and we adapt”.

    Nature Geoscience

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:17 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Stanford study finds Earth is likely to cross critical climate thresholds even if emissions decline", Artificial Intelligence predicts global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees by the 2030s., Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, Many countries have net-zero goals between 2050 and 2070 including China; the European Union; India and the United States as do many non-state actors like Stanford University., , The AI predicted a one-in-two chance of reaching 2 C by 2054 in this scenario with a roughly two-in-three chance of crossing the threshold between 2044 and 2065., The AI predicts the world would likely reach 2 C even in a scenario in which emissions decline in the coming decades., The scientists used a type of Artificial Intelligence known as a neural network which they trained on the vast archive of outputs from widely used global climate model simulations., There has already been enough warming that 2 C is likely to be exceeded if reaching net-zero emissions takes another half century.   

    From Stanford University: “Stanford study finds Earth is likely to cross critical climate thresholds even if emissions decline” 

    Stanford University Name

    From Stanford University

    Artificial Intelligence predicts global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees by the 2030s.

    Artificial Intelligence provides new evidence our planet will cross the global warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius within 10 to 15 years. Even with low emissions, we could see 2 C of warming. But a future with less warming remains within reach.

    1
    Already, the world is 1.1 degrees Celsius hotter on average than it was before fossil fuel combustion took off in the 1800s. More extreme rainfall and flooding are among the litany of impacts from that warming. (Image credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Stringer/Getty Images)

    A new study has found that emission goals designed to achieve the world’s most ambitious climate target – 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – may in fact be required to avoid more extreme climate change of 2 degrees Celsius.

    The study, published Jan. 30 in PNAS [below], provides new evidence that global warming is on track to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in the early 2030s, regardless of how much greenhouse gas emissions rise or fall in the coming decade.

    Fig. 1.
    2
    Time to global warming thresholds in global climate model ensembles. (A) Global temperature change relative to the preindustrial baseline (1850 to 1899) for 10-member global climate model ensembles in the High (SSP3-7.0), Intermediate (SSP2-4.5) and Low (SSP1-2.6) climate forcing scenarios. Gray lines show individual realizations; colors show the mean of the respective 10 realizations for each global climate model. See SI Appendix, Table S1 for list of climate models used in each climate forcing scenario. (B) Maps of temperature anomalies for the “threshold year” (i.e., the year in which the ensemble-mean global warming reaches 1.5 °C) for the global climate models with the earliest and latest threshold years in SSP3-7.0. Anomalies are shown relative to the 1951 to 1980 baseline to match the baseline period of the temperature observations (see Materials and Methods). (C) Comparison of training, validation, and testing of the artificial neural network (ANN) trained on maps of annual temperature and a global warming threshold of 1.5 °C in SSP3-7.0. Left panel shows the predicted number of years until the 1.5 °C threshold for each annual temperature map in each global climate model. Right panel shows the comparison of training, validation, and testing for the predicted versus true number of years until the 1.5 °C threshold across the full global climate model ensemble (SI Appendix, Table S1). See SI Appendix, Figs. S1–S3 for additional temperature thresholds and scenarios. [all external references are to the science paper.]

    Fig. 2.
    3
    Time to the current level of global warming predicted from observed maps of annual temperature anomalies. (A) Maps of observed annual temperature anomalies for selected individual years, including the first year of our observations-based prediction (1980), the year following the Pinatubo volcanic eruption (1992), the year with the highest global-mean temperature (2016), and the most recent year for which annual data are available (2021). (B) The time to 1.1 °C of global warming predicted from the observed map of annual temperature anomalies, using the artificial neural network (ANN) trained on a global warming threshold of 1.1 °C in the High climate forcing scenario (SSP3-7.0). Left panel shows the median prediction (and ±1σ range) for the observed map of annual temperature anomalies in each year from 1970 to 2021. The slope quantifies the rate of change of predicted time to 1.1 °C (with a perfect prediction exhibiting a slope of −1 y per year). The Right panel shows the distribution of predicted years in which 1.1 °C will be reached based on the observed map of annual temperature anomalies in 2021. Note that no historical temperature observations are used in training, validating, or testing the ANN.

    The new “time to threshold” estimate results from an analysis that employs artificial intelligence to predict climate change using recent temperature observations from around the world.

    “Using an entirely new approach that relies on the current state of the climate system to make predictions about the future, we confirm that the world is on the cusp of crossing the 1.5 C threshold,” said the study’s lead author, Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh.

    If emissions remain high over the next few decades, the AI predicts a one-in-two chance that Earth will become 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) hotter on average compared to pre-industrial times by the middle of this century, and a more than four-in-five chance of reaching that threshold by 2060.

    According to the analysis, which Diffenbaugh co-authored with Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes, the AI predicts the world would likely reach 2 C even in a scenario in which emissions decline in the coming decades. “Our AI model is quite convinced that there has already been enough warming that 2 C is likely to be exceeded if reaching net-zero emissions takes another half century,” said Diffenbaugh, who is the Kara J Foundation Professor and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

    This finding may be controversial among scientists and policymakers, Diffenbaugh said, because other authoritative assessments, including the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have concluded that the 2-degree mark is unlikely to be reached if emissions decline to net zero before 2080.

    Why does half a degree matter?

    Crossing the 1.5 C and 2 C thresholds would mean failing to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which countries pledged to keep global warming to “well below” 2 C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing the more ambitious goal of limiting warming to 1.5 C.

    Already, the world is 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 Fahrenheit) hotter on average than it was before fossil fuel combustion took off in the 1800s, and the litany of impacts from that warming includes more frequent wildfires, more extreme rainfall and flooding, and longer, more intense heat waves.

    Because these impacts are already emerging, every fraction of a degree of global warming is predicted to intensify the consequences for people and ecosystems. As average temperatures climb, it becomes more likely that the world will reach thresholds – sometimes called tipping points – that cause new consequences, such as melting of large polar ice sheets or massive forest die-offs. As a result, scientists expect impacts to be far more severe and widespread beyond 2 C.

    In working on the new study, Diffenbaugh said he was surprised to find the AI predicted the world would still be very likely to reach the 2 C threshold even in a scenario where emissions rapidly decline to net zero by 2076. The AI predicted a one-in-two chance of reaching 2 C by 2054 in this scenario with a roughly two-in-three chance of crossing the threshold between 2044 and 2065.

    It remains possible, however, to bend the odds away from more extreme climate change by quickly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere. In the years since the Paris climate pact, many nations have pledged to reach net-zero emissions more quickly than is reflected in the low-emissions scenario used in the new study. In particular, Diffenbaugh points out that many countries have net-zero goals between 2050 and 2070, including China, the European Union, India, and the United States, as do many non-state actors, including Stanford University.

    “Those net-zero pledges are often framed around achieving the Paris Agreement 1.5 C goal,” said Diffenbaugh. “Our results suggest that those ambitious pledges might be needed to avoid 2 C.”

    AI trained to learn from past warming

    Previous assessments have used global climate models to simulate future warming trajectories; statistical techniques to extrapolate recent warming rates; and carbon budgets to calculate how quickly emissions will need to decline to stay below the Paris Agreement targets.

    For the new estimates, Diffenbaugh and Barnes used a type of artificial intelligence known as a neural network, which they trained on the vast archive of outputs from widely used global climate model simulations.

    Once the neural network had learned patterns from these simulations, the researchers asked the AI to predict the number of years until a given temperature threshold will be reached when given maps of actual annual temperature anomalies as input – that is, observations of how much warmer or cooler a place was in a given year compared to the average for that same place during a reference period, 1951-1980.

    To test for accuracy, the researchers challenged the model to predict the current level of global warming, 1.1 C, based on temperature anomaly data for each year from 1980 to 2021. The AI correctly predicted that the current level of warming would be reached in 2022, with a most likely range of 2017 to 2027. The model also correctly predicted the pace of decline in the number of years until 1.1 C that has occurred over the recent decades.

    “This was really the ‘acid test’ to see if the AI could predict the timing that we know has occurred,” Diffenbaugh said. “We were pretty skeptical that this method would work until we saw that result. The fact that the AI has such high accuracy increases my confidence in its predictions of future warming.”

    PNAS

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University campus

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded Stanford University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members.

    Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in Stanford, California. Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford is consistently ranked as among the most prestigious and top universities in the world by major education publications. It is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Leland Stanford was a U.S. senator and former governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. The school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.

    The university is organized around seven schools: three schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate level as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. All schools are on the same campus. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 126 NCAA team championships, and Stanford has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals.

    As of October 2020, 84 Nobel laureates, 28 Turing Award laureates, and eight Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, roughly equivalent to the 7th largest economy in the world (as of 2020). Stanford is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Herbert Hoover), 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

    Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford’s previous Palo Alto farm.

    Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically Cornell University. Stanford opened being called the “Cornell of the West” in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates (either professors, alumni, or both) including its first president, David Starr Jordan, and second president, John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible, nonsectarian, and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.

    Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I. The Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (originally named the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), established in 1962, performs research in particle physics.

    Land

    Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km^2) campus, one of the largest in the United States. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.

    Stanford’s main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land (such as the Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Research Park) is within the city limits of Palo Alto. The campus also includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County (including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve), as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park (Stanford Hills neighborhood), Woodside, and Portola Valley.

    Non-central campus

    Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.

    On the founding grant:

    Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy. It contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles (3.2 km) on 426 acres (172 ha) of land. Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university also has its own golf course and a seasonal lake (Lake Lagunita, actually an irrigation reservoir), both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander. As of 2012 Lake Lagunita was often dry and the university had no plans to artificially fill it.

    Off the founding grant:

    Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892., in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892.
    Study abroad locations: unlike typical study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a “mini-Stanford”.

    Redwood City campus for many of the university’s administrative offices located in Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.

    The Bass Center in Washington, DC provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.

    China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with Beijing University [北京大学](CN) (Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University(CN) (KIAA-PKU).

    Administration and organization

    Stanford is a private, non-profit university that is administered as a corporate trust governed by a privately appointed board of trustees with a maximum membership of 38. Trustees serve five-year terms (not more than two consecutive terms) and meet five times annually.[83] A new trustee is chosen by the current trustees by ballot. The Stanford trustees also oversee the Stanford Research Park, the Stanford Shopping Center, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University Medical Center, and many associated medical facilities (including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital).

    The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report. Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.

    As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of Humanities and Sciences (27 departments), Engineering (nine departments), and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of Law, Medicine, Education and Business have graduate programs only. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators, but most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 55 elected representatives of the faculty.

    The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a ticket by the entire student body.

    Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.

    Endowment and donations

    The university’s endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $27.7 billion as of August 31, 2019. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21.8% of university expenses in the 2019 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only Harvard University, the University of Texas System, and Yale University had larger endowments than Stanford.

    In 2006, President John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised a total of $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in “Seeking Solutions” to global problems, $1.61 billion for “Educating Leaders” by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for “Foundation of Excellence” aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; a new art museum; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Research centers and institutes

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Stanford Research Institute, a center of innovation to support economic development in the region.
    Hoover Institution, a conservative American public policy institution and research institution that promotes personal and economic liberty, free enterprise, and limited government.
    Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, a multidisciplinary design school in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute of University of Potsdam [Universität Potsdam](DE) that integrates product design, engineering, and business management education).
    Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project.
    John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists
    Center for Ocean Solutions
    Together with UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, Stanford is part of the Biohub, a new medical science research center founded in 2016 by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

    Discoveries and innovation

    Natural sciences

    Biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – Arthur Kornberg synthesized DNA material and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for his work at Stanford.
    First Transgenic organism – Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer were the first scientists to transplant genes from one living organism to another, a fundamental discovery for genetic engineering. Thousands of products have been developed on the basis of their work, including human growth hormone and hepatitis B vaccine.
    Laser – Arthur Leonard Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for his work on lasers.
    Nuclear magnetic resonance – Felix Bloch developed new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements, which are the underlying principles of the MRI.

    Computer and applied sciences

    ARPANETStanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes.

    Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken. Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.

    Frequency modulation synthesis – John Chowning of the Music department invented the FM music synthesis algorithm in 1967, and Stanford later licensed it to Yamaha Corporation.

    Google – Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford. They were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). The SDLP’s goal was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library” and it was funded through the National Science Foundation, among other federal agencies.

    Klystron tube – invented by the brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian at Stanford. Their prototype was completed and demonstrated successfully on August 30, 1937. Upon publication in 1939, news of the klystron immediately influenced the work of U.S. and UK researchers working on radar equipment.

    RISCARPA funded VLSI project of microprocessor design. Stanford and University of California- Berkeley are most associated with the popularization of this concept. The Stanford MIPS would go on to be commercialized as the successful MIPS architecture, while Berkeley RISC gave its name to the entire concept, commercialized as the SPARC. Another success from this era were IBM’s efforts that eventually led to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture, PowerPC, and Power ISA. As these projects matured, a wide variety of similar designs flourished in the late 1980s and especially the early 1990s, representing a major force in the Unix workstation market as well as embedded processors in laser printers, routers and similar products.
    SUN workstation – Andy Bechtolsheim designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation, which led to Sun Microsystems.

    Businesses and entrepreneurship

    Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies; it is often held up as a model for technology transfer. Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.

    The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.

    Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world.

    Some companies closely associated with Stanford and their connections include:

    Hewlett-Packard, 1939, co-founders William R. Hewlett (B.S, PhD) and David Packard (M.S).
    Silicon Graphics, 1981, co-founders James H. Clark (Associate Professor) and several of his grad students.
    Sun Microsystems, 1982, co-founders Vinod Khosla (M.B.A), Andy Bechtolsheim (PhD) and Scott McNealy (M.B.A).
    Cisco, 1984, founders Leonard Bosack (M.S) and Sandy Lerner (M.S) who were in charge of Stanford Computer Science and Graduate School of Business computer operations groups respectively when the hardware was developed.[163]
    Yahoo!, 1994, co-founders Jerry Yang (B.S, M.S) and David Filo (M.S).
    Google, 1998, co-founders Larry Page (M.S) and Sergey Brin (M.S).
    LinkedIn, 2002, co-founders Reid Hoffman (B.S), Konstantin Guericke (B.S, M.S), Eric Lee (B.S), and Alan Liu (B.S).
    Instagram, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom (B.S) and Mike Krieger (B.S).
    Snapchat, 2011, co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy (B.S).
    Coursera, 2012, co-founders Andrew Ng (Associate Professor) and Daphne Koller (Professor, PhD).

    Student body

    Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women comprised 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.

    Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master’s degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university’s coterminal degree (or “coterm”) program, which allows students to earn a master’s degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.

    As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.

    Athletics

    As of 2016 Stanford had 16 male varsity sports and 20 female varsity sports, 19 club sports and about 27 intramural sports. In 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot “Indian.” The Indian symbol and name were dropped by President Richard Lyman in 1972, after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate. The sports teams are now officially referred to as the “Stanford Cardinal,” referring to the deep red color, not the cardinal bird. Stanford is a member of the Pac-12 Conference in most sports, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in several other sports, and the America East Conference in field hockey with the participation in the inter-collegiate NCAA’s Division I FBS.

    Its traditional sports rival is the University of California, Berkeley, the neighbor to the north in the East Bay. The winner of the annual “Big Game” between the Cal and Cardinal football teams gains custody of the Stanford Axe.

    Stanford has had at least one NCAA team champion every year since the 1976–77 school year and has earned 126 NCAA national team titles since its establishment, the most among universities, and Stanford has won 522 individual national championships, the most by any university. Stanford has won the award for the top-ranked Division 1 athletic program—the NACDA Directors’ Cup, formerly known as the Sears Cup—annually for the past twenty-four straight years. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1912, winning 270 Olympic medals total, 139 of them gold. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 2016 Summer Olympics, Stanford won more Olympic medals than any other university in the United States. Stanford athletes won 16 medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics (12 gold, two silver and two bronze), and 27 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    Traditions

    The unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is Die Luft der Freiheit weht. Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, “The wind of freedom blows.” The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official.
    Hail, Stanford, Hail! is the Stanford Hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various University singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in Economics and later became associate professor of Sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
    “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman”: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the degree of “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman” was created to recognize individuals who give rare and extraordinary service to the University. Technically, this degree is awarded by the Stanford Associates, a voluntary group that is part of the university’s alumni association. As Stanford’s highest honor, it is not conferred at prescribed intervals, but only when appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include Herbert Hoover, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Lucile Packard, and John Gardner.
    Big Game events: The events in the week leading up to the Big Game vs. UC Berkeley, including Gaieties (a musical written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society).
    “Viennese Ball”: a formal ball with waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed Stanford in Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
    “Full Moon on the Quad”: An annual event at Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the Junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
    “Band Run”: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at Main Quad.
    “Mausoleum Party”: An annual Halloween Party at the Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the “Mausoleum Party” was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
    Former campus traditions include the “Big Game bonfire” on Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered salamanders in the lake bed.

    Award laureates and scholars

    Stanford’s current community of scholars includes:

    19 Nobel Prize laureates (as of October 2020, 85 affiliates in total)
    171 members of the National Academy of Sciences
    109 members of National Academy of Engineering
    76 members of National Academy of Medicine
    288 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    19 recipients of the National Medal of Science
    1 recipient of the National Medal of Technology
    4 recipients of the National Humanities Medal
    49 members of American Philosophical Society
    56 fellows of the American Physics Society (since 1995)
    4 Pulitzer Prize winners
    31 MacArthur Fellows
    4 Wolf Foundation Prize winners
    2 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award winners
    14 AAAI fellows
    2 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 7:59 pm on January 21, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Report says CO2 removal is essential along with emissions cuts to limit global warming", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology,   

    From The University of Oxford (UK) Via “phys.org” : “Report says CO2 removal is essential along with emissions cuts to limit global warming” 

    U Oxford bloc

    From The University of Oxford (UK)

    Via

    “phys.org”

    1.19.23

    1
    Many new methods are emerging with potential. Rather than focusing on one or two options we should encourage a portfolio, so that we get to net zero quickly without over-relying on any one method. Credit: Shutterstock.

    Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) from the atmosphere is crucial to limit global warming, in addition to rapid cuts to emissions—that is the stark conclusion of today’s first Oxford-led “State of Carbon Dioxide Removal” report.

    More than 20 global CDR experts, led by Dr. Steve Smith, from Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, came together to deliver the blunt findings. In the comprehensive 120-page report, they warn there is a large gap between how much CDR is needed to meet international temperature targets and how much governments are aiming to deliver. But, while the authors found a shortfall in policies to support CDR spread, they report research, innovation and public awareness around CDR are all rising fast

    Dr. Smith, Executive Director of Oxford Net Zero and CO2RE, the national hub for greenhouse gas removal, and a lead author of the report, maintains, “To limit warming to 2°C or lower, we need to accelerate emissions reductions…the findings of this report are clear: we also need to increase carbon removal, by restoring and enhancing ecosystems and rapidly scaling up new CDR methods.”

    He adds, “Many new methods are emerging with potential. Rather than focusing on one or two options we should encourage a portfolio, so that we get to net zero quickly without over-relying on any one method.”

    Meanwhile, Dr. Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, explains, “CDR is not something we could do, but something we absolutely have to do to reach the Paris Agreement temperature goal.”

    At present, most current CDR comes from conventional removal methods on land—primarily via planting trees and managing soils. The report says countries will need to maintain and expand this going forward. But this is nowhere near enough, according to the experts.

    According to Dr. Geden, “More than 120 national governments have a net-zero emissions target, which implies using CDR, but few governments have actionable plans for developing it. This presents a major shortfall.”

    Virtually all pathways to limiting temperature rise require new CDR technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), biochar, enhanced rock weathering and direct air capture with carbon capture and storage (DACCS). Currently, these make up only a tiny fraction of current CDR, approximately 0.1%. But, if the CDR gap is to be closed, there needs to be rapid growth of these new CDR technologies—by a factor of 1,300 on average by 2050, according to the report.

    Nevertheless, the report insists, CDR is not a silver bullet and does not lessen the need for deep cuts to emissions. Our dependence on CDR can be limited by reducing emissions fast and using energy more efficiently, say the report authors.

    But, says co-author Professor Gregory Nemet, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs, “Innovation in CDR has expanded dramatically in the past two years…given the orders of magnitude the CDR industry needs to grow by mid-century to limit warming, there is an urgent need for comprehensive policy support to spur growth.”

    In conclusion, Dr. Jan Minx, from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin, maintains, “The state of CDR research, development and policy lags behind—similar to renewables 25 years ago. Good decisions and accelerated progress in the field of CDR require adequate data. This report will help improve this situation step-by-step with the wider CDR community.”

    Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is not a substitute for emissions reductions, although it needs to be scaled up to achieve net zero. According to Oxford research published yesterday in the journal Frontiers in Climate [below], more funding and support is needed if CDR is to achieve its potential.

    The paper, from a team of Oxford climate experts, reviews CDR policy mechanisms globally and focused on their prices and scale. According to the paper, many techniques are in the early stages of development and “may require more immediate types of support.” For instance, the researchers argue, there could be a progression from subsidies to results-based mechanisms.

    But, it warns, “The majority of mechanisms currently in operation are under-resourced and pay too little to enable a portfolio of [removal methods] that could support achievement of net zero.”

    The research paper, by Oxford Net Zero’s Dr. Conor Hickey, Professor Sam Fankhauser, Dr. Steve Smith and Professor Myles Allen, maintains focusing on near-time climate action with clear plans will be fundamental. “The plan should prioritize emissions reductions and define a clear role for CDR in a net zero target.”

    Frontiers in Climate

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Oxford campus

    The University of Oxford

    1
    Universitas Oxoniensis

    The University of Oxford [a.k.a. The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford] is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the The University of Cambridge (UK). The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

    The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Oxford operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

    Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

    The University of Oxford’s foundation date is unknown. It is known that teaching at Oxford existed in some form as early as 1096, but it is unclear when a university came into being.

    It grew quickly from 1167 when English students returned from The University of Paris-Sorbonne [Université de Paris-Sorbonne](FR). The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188, and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, and the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231. The university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III.

    The students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two ‘nations’, representing the North (northerners or Boreales, who included the English people from north of the River Trent and the Scots) and the South (southerners or Australes, who included English people from south of the Trent, the Irish and the Welsh). In later centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students’ affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. In addition, members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence and maintained houses or halls for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities. Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, and John Balliol, father of a future King of Scots; Balliol College bears his name. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a Lord Chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life. Merton College thereby became the model for such establishments at Oxford, as well as at the University of Cambridge. Thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses.

    In 1333–1334, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, Lincolnshire, was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III. Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England, even in London; thus, Oxford and Cambridge had a duopoly, which was unusual in large western European countries.

    The new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar.

    With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling especially at the University of Douai. The method of teaching at Oxford was transformed from the medieval scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered losses of land and revenues. As a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxford’s reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment; enrollments fell and teaching was neglected.

    In 1636, William Laud, the chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university’s statutes. These, to a large extent, remained its governing regulations until the mid-19th century. Laud was also responsible for the granting of a charter securing privileges for The University Press, and he made significant contributions to the Bodleian Library, the main library of the university. From the beginnings of the Church of England as the established church until 1866, membership of the church was a requirement to receive the BA degree from the university and “dissenters” were only permitted to receive the MA in 1871.

    The university was a centre of the Royalist party during the English Civil War (1642–1649), while the town favoured the opposing Parliamentarian cause. From the mid-18th century onwards, however, the university took little part in political conflicts.

    Wadham College, founded in 1610, was the undergraduate college of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren was part of a brilliant group of experimental scientists at Oxford in the 1650s, the Oxford Philosophical Club, which included Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. This group held regular meetings at Wadham under the guidance of the college’s Warden, John Wilkins, and the group formed the nucleus that went on to found the Royal Society.

    Before reforms in the early 19th century, the curriculum at Oxford was notoriously narrow and impractical. Sir Spencer Walpole, a historian of contemporary Britain and a senior government official, had not attended any university. He said, “Few medical men, few solicitors, few persons intended for commerce or trade, ever dreamed of passing through a university career.” He quoted the Oxford University Commissioners in 1852 stating: “The education imparted at Oxford was not such as to conduce to the advancement in life of many persons, except those intended for the ministry.” Nevertheless, Walpole argued:

    “Among the many deficiencies attending a university education there was, however, one good thing about it, and that was the education which the undergraduates gave themselves. It was impossible to collect some thousand or twelve hundred of the best young men in England, to give them the opportunity of making acquaintance with one another, and full liberty to live their lives in their own way, without evolving in the best among them, some admirable qualities of loyalty, independence, and self-control. If the average undergraduate carried from university little or no learning, which was of any service to him, he carried from it a knowledge of men and respect for his fellows and himself, a reverence for the past, a code of honour for the present, which could not but be serviceable. He had enjoyed opportunities… of intercourse with men, some of whom were certain to rise to the highest places in the Senate, in the Church, or at the Bar. He might have mixed with them in his sports, in his studies, and perhaps in his debating society; and any associations which he had this formed had been useful to him at the time, and might be a source of satisfaction to him in after life.”

    Out of the students who matriculated in 1840, 65% were sons of professionals (34% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (59% as Anglican clergy). Out of the students who matriculated in 1870, 59% were sons of professionals (25% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (42% as Anglican clergy).

    M. C. Curthoys and H. S. Jones argue that the rise of organised sport was one of the most remarkable and distinctive features of the history of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was carried over from the athleticism prevalent at the public schools such as Eton, Winchester, Shrewsbury, and Harrow.

    All students, regardless of their chosen area of study, were required to spend (at least) their first year preparing for a first-year examination that was heavily focused on classical languages. Science students found this particularly burdensome and supported a separate science degree with Greek language study removed from their required courses. This concept of a Bachelor of Science had been adopted at other European universities (The University of London (UK) had implemented it in 1860) but an 1880 proposal at Oxford to replace the classical requirement with a modern language (like German or French) was unsuccessful. After considerable internal wrangling over the structure of the arts curriculum, in 1886 the “natural science preliminary” was recognized as a qualifying part of the first-year examination.

    At the start of 1914, the university housed about 3,000 undergraduates and about 100 postgraduate students. During the First World War, many undergraduates and fellows joined the armed forces. By 1918 virtually all fellows were in uniform, and the student population in residence was reduced to 12 per cent of the pre-war total. The University Roll of Service records that, in total, 14,792 members of the university served in the war, with 2,716 (18.36%) killed. Not all the members of the university who served in the Great War were on the Allied side; there is a remarkable memorial to members of New College who served in the German armed forces, bearing the inscription, ‘In memory of the men of this college who coming from a foreign land entered into the inheritance of this place and returning fought and died for their country in the war 1914–1918’. During the war years the university buildings became hospitals, cadet schools and military training camps.

    Reforms

    Two parliamentary commissions in 1852 issued recommendations for Oxford and Cambridge. Archibald Campbell Tait, former headmaster of Rugby School, was a key member of the Oxford Commission; he wanted Oxford to follow the German and Scottish model in which the professorship was paramount. The commission’s report envisioned a centralised university run predominantly by professors and faculties, with a much stronger emphasis on research. The professional staff should be strengthened and better paid. For students, restrictions on entry should be dropped, and more opportunities given to poorer families. It called for an enlargement of the curriculum, with honours to be awarded in many new fields. Undergraduate scholarships should be open to all Britons. Graduate fellowships should be opened up to all members of the university. It recommended that fellows be released from an obligation for ordination. Students were to be allowed to save money by boarding in the city, instead of in a college.

    The system of separate honour schools for different subjects began in 1802, with Mathematics and Literae Humaniores. Schools of “Natural Sciences” and “Law, and Modern History” were added in 1853. By 1872, the last of these had split into “Jurisprudence” and “Modern History”. Theology became the sixth honour school. In addition to these B.A. Honours degrees, the postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) was, and still is, offered.

    The mid-19th century saw the impact of the Oxford Movement (1833–1845), led among others by the future Cardinal John Henry Newman. The influence of the reformed model of German universities reached Oxford via key scholars such as Edward Bouverie Pusey, Benjamin Jowett and Max Müller.

    Administrative reforms during the 19th century included the replacement of oral examinations with written entrance tests, greater tolerance for religious dissent, and the establishment of four women’s colleges. Privy Council decisions in the 20th century (e.g. the abolition of compulsory daily worship, dissociation of the Regius Professorship of Hebrew from clerical status, diversion of colleges’ theological bequests to other purposes) loosened the link with traditional belief and practice. Furthermore, although the university’s emphasis had historically been on classical knowledge, its curriculum expanded during the 19th century to include scientific and medical studies. Knowledge of Ancient Greek was required for admission until 1920, and Latin until 1960.

    The University of Oxford began to award doctorates for research in the first third of the 20th century. The first Oxford D.Phil. in mathematics was awarded in 1921.

    The mid-20th century saw many distinguished continental scholars, displaced by Nazism and communism, relocating to Oxford.

    The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel laureates and more than 50 world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

    To be a member of the university, all students, and most academic staff, must also be a member of a college or hall. There are thirty-nine colleges of the University of Oxford (including Reuben College, planned to admit students in 2021) and six permanent private halls (PPHs), each controlling its membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Not all colleges offer all courses, but they generally cover a broad range of subjects.

    The colleges are:

    All-Souls College
    Balliol College
    Brasenose College
    Christ Church College
    Corpus-Christi College
    Exeter College
    Green-Templeton College
    Harris-Manchester College
    Hertford College
    Jesus College
    Keble College
    Kellogg College
    Lady-Margaret-Hall
    Linacre College
    Lincoln College
    Magdalen College
    Mansfield College
    Merton College
    New College
    Nuffield College
    Oriel College
    Pembroke College
    Queens College
    Reuben College
    St-Anne’s College
    St-Antony’s College
    St-Catherines College
    St-Cross College
    St-Edmund-Hall College
    St-Hilda’s College
    St-Hughs College
    St-John’s College
    St-Peters College
    Somerville College
    Trinity College
    University College
    Wadham College
    Wolfson College
    Worcester College

    The permanent private halls were founded by different Christian denominations. One difference between a college and a PPH is that whereas colleges are governed by the fellows of the college, the governance of a PPH resides, at least in part, with the corresponding Christian denomination. The six current PPHs are:

    Blackfriars
    Campion Hall
    Regent’s Park College
    St Benet’s Hall
    St-Stephen’s Hall
    Wycliffe Hall

    The PPHs and colleges join as the Conference of Colleges, which represents the common concerns of the several colleges of the university, to discuss matters of shared interest and to act collectively when necessary, such as in dealings with the central university. The Conference of Colleges was established as a recommendation of the Franks Commission in 1965.

    Teaching members of the colleges (i.e. fellows and tutors) are collectively and familiarly known as dons, although the term is rarely used by the university itself. In addition to residential and dining facilities, the colleges provide social, cultural, and recreational activities for their members. Colleges have responsibility for admitting undergraduates and organizing their tuition; for graduates, this responsibility falls upon the departments. There is no common title for the heads of colleges: the titles used include Warden, Provost, Principal, President, Rector, Master and Dean.

    Oxford is regularly ranked within the top 5 universities in the world and is currently ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as well as the Forbes’s World University Rankings. It held the number one position in The Times Good University Guide for eleven consecutive years, and the medical school has also maintained first place in the “Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health” table of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the past seven consecutive years. In 2021, it ranked sixth among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. The Times Higher Education has also recognised Oxford as one of the world’s “six super brands” on its World Reputation Rankings, along with The University of California-Berkeley, The University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. The university is fifth worldwide on the US News ranking. Its Saïd Business School came 13th in the world in The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.
    Oxford was ranked ninth in the world in 2015 by The Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals. It is ranked fifth best university worldwide and first in Britain for forming CEOs according to The Professional Ranking World Universities, and first in the UK for the quality of its graduates as chosen by the recruiters of the UK’s major companies.

    In the 2018 Complete University Guide, all 38 subjects offered by Oxford rank within the top 10 nationally meaning Oxford was one of only two multi-faculty universities (along with Cambridge) in the UK to have 100% of their subjects in the top 10. Computer Science, Medicine, Philosophy, Politics and Psychology were ranked first in the UK by the guide.

    According to The QS World University Rankings by Subject, the University of Oxford also ranks as number one in the world for four Humanities disciplines: English Language and Literature, Modern Languages, Geography, and History. It also ranks second globally for Anthropology, Archaeology, Law, Medicine, Politics & International Studies, and Psychology.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:07 am on January 21, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Biochar": charcoal made in an environmentally friendly way., "It's not all tree-planting - How CO2 removal could help ramp up industry in Australia", , Biochar: can stimulate agricultural productivity; can increase nutrient and water holding capacity; releases a combustible gas which could potentially be used as a fuel., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, Currently Australia does not have an explicit policy discussion underway to scale up CDR., , Leading climate experts are urging world governments to prioritize carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in a new report. Australia is in a position to take advantage of the benefits new technologies can offer, , The most well-known CDR method is reforestation and tree-planting., There is an urgent need to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to buy us time and allow us to meet our Paris Agreements., When you build soil organic matter you enhance productivity., When you put biochar into the soil it's very stable and lasts for decades to centuries.   

    From The Australian Science Media Centre (AU) : “It’s not all tree-planting – How CO2 removal could help ramp up industry in Australia” 

    From The Australian Science Media Centre (AU)

    1.20.23
    Olivia Henry

    1

    Leading climate experts are urging world governments to ramp up and prioritize carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in a new report and Australia is in a good position to take advantage of the benefits these new technologies can offer.

    With climate change already impacting every corner of the globe, there is an urgent need to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to buy us time and allow us to meet our Paris Agreements.

    The first edition of the State of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Report, released this week, suggests CDR represents a world of untapped potential to meet these crucial climate targets.

    But what is CDR? Dr Annette Cowie, co-author of the report and Senior Principal Research Scientist within the NSW Department of Primary Industries told the AusSMC that CDR involves taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and storing it durably.

    “And when we say durably, we mean for decades to millennia, and this could be on land or in the ocean, or in geological formations or in products.”

    Perhaps the most well-known CDR method is reforestation and tree-planting, but the report highlights a series of other overlooked methods that could potentially be great for the environment and for industry, such as changing agricultural practices to store more carbon in the soil.

    “When you build soil organic matter you enhance productivity. So we have a win-win there,” Dr Cowie said.

    Another, relatively new CDR method Dr Cowie described was the process of making biochar, which is essentially charcoal made in a more environmentally-friendly way.

    “When you put [biochar] into the soil it’s very stable and lasts for decades to centuries,” Dr Cowie said.

    “It has co-benefits as well: it can stimulate agricultural productivity, on average, 10 to 40% increases in yield, and it can also increase nutrient and water holding capacity so it’s really good for climate change adaption as well.”

    The process of creating biochar also releases a combustible gas, Dr Cowie added, which could potentially be used as a fuel and reduce our need for fossil fuels.

    While these technologies seem to be win-win for industry and the environment, some newer technologies are currently costly and will take time to establish.

    But this won’t be a problem forever, according to report co-author, Professor Gregory Nemet from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, who pointed out that renewable energy was a niche sector not too long ago.

    “We think that CDR is about where renewables were 25 years ago,” he said.

    So what about Australia? Currently Australia does not have an explicit policy discussion underway to scale up CDR.

    “We’re not really where we want to be,” PhD Scholar and lecturer in Climate Policy at ANU, Aaron Tang, told the AusSMC.

    “There is a silver lining,” Mr Tang added, saying that Australia recently introduced a climate change bill with a 2050 Net Zero target.

    Mr Tang said that while the word ‘net’ implies the use of carbon dioxide removal, there is nothing explicit in the bill which says how much CDR we are doing and in what time frame.

    Mr Tang says that in Australia, we have natural advantages thanks to our vast land and renewables potential, however, these do come with caveats. While we have experience in forestry management and large land availability, we may be limited by the fact that not all of our land is usable, he said. And while we have lots of renewables potential, we still experience problems with our grid system.

    For now, Mr Tang recommends that Australia build a portfolio, trying all the CDR options to see what works best on our home playing field.

    “I really want to hammer home that point: It has to be a portfolio. We have to be trying everything, because you don’t necessarily know which [CDR methods] are going to work, or which ones are even going to play well, best to our natural advantages.”

    You can watch the full AusSMC briefing here

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC)(AU) works to enhance the media’s coverage of science, for the benefit of all Australians. We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines and administer the breaking science news portal for Australia and New Zealand – http://www.Scimex.org. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, financial support is crucial to ensure this important work can continue. For a full list of current supporters visit our website.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:41 am on December 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , ,   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH): “Heatwaves thawing Arctic permafrost” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    7.28.22 [Retrieved from 2022 year-end wrap-up.]
    Marianne Lucien

    Satellite data affords ETH Zürich researchers a new method for quantifying carbon mobilization in Arctic permafrost. Their findings also reveal how summer heatwaves accelerate the rate of Arctic landslides in thawing permafrost.

    1
    Retrogressive thaw slump, Mackenzie River Delta, Canada. (Image: ETH Zürich / Simon Zwieback)

    In the northernmost region of the earth the arctic permafrost is melting at an accelerated rate. For more than a decade, an international team of researchers from ETH Zürich, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the German Aerospace Center have observed topographical pock marks – large depressions referred to as, “retrogressive thaw slumps”. The slumps occur when permanently frozen layers of soil (ice-​rich permafrost) melt leaving arctic hillslopes vulnerable to landslides. The landslides signal a risk for the potential release of carbon that has been stored in the permafrost for tens of thousands of years.

    Risk for release of organic carbon

    Their findings, recently published in the European Geosciences Union journal, The Cryosphere [below], reveal substantial changes to the topography of Siberia’s Taymyr peninsula, in northern Russia. The study’s results reveal a strong, 43-​fold increase in retrogressive thaw slump activity and a 28-​fold increase in carbon mobilization. The increase also happens to coincide with an extreme heatwave that occurred in northern Siberia in 2020 in which temperatures reportedly reached 38 degrees Celsius (more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit) – record-​breaking temperatures for the Arctic region.

    “The strong increase in thaw slump activity due to the Siberian heatwave shows that carbon mobilization from permafrost soils can respond sharply and non-​linearly to increasing temperatures,” asserts the paper’s lead author, Philipp Bernhard, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich.

    Measuring changes to Arctic permafrost

    Using satellite data, the research team has been able to develop a new method to quantify carbon mobilization in permafrost soil. Currently no other large-​scale method exists that measures, to such a high level of spatial and vertical resolution, the changes in permafrost regions. This method allows researchers to provide a more accurate estimate of the state of the carbon cycle to the global carbon budget.

    Building on an earlier field and airborne flight study conducted in Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta, the researchers collected pre-​study data that they later used to compare and analyze with satellite acquired data over the same region. Since 2010, the German Aerospace Center has been operating an innovative satellite mission using single-​pass synthetic aperture radar, the TanDEM-​X mission, to collect 3-​dimensional elevation data over the earth surface. In addition to the radar data, from 2015, researchers analyzed data obtained from the optical Sentinel-​2 satellites deployed as part of the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation mission, Copernicus Programme with the focus on the arctic landscape.

    3
    TanDEM-​X radar elevation comparison between 2010 – 2017 of Mackenzie River Delta, Canada. (Image: ETH Zürich )

    Neglected part of Arctic carbon cycle

    Siberia’s Taymyr peninsula, like many areas of the arctic, is a remote and nearly inaccessible region making scientific field studies a challenging, if not impossible, operation. The findings of this study indicate; however, that summer heatwaves and warming arctic regions pose a significant environmental risk that are worth monitoring.

    The Arctic permafrost reportedly encases approximately 1.5 trillion metric tons of organic carbon, about twice as much as currently contained in the atmosphere. Bernhard agrees that the potential risks associated with this type of carbon mobilization is “a major, but largely neglected component of the Arctic carbon cycle”. The research team anticipates that satellite remote sensing will be an indispensable tool for continuous monitoring of carbon mobilization resulting from melting permafrost across the Arctic.

    Science paper:
    The Cryosphere
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on December 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate Change and Wars and Insatiable Data Dredgers", , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , From the Holocene to the Anthropocene, , Thirty years ago US political scientist Francis Fukuyama formulated his theory of the end of history. The prophesied golden age of freedom and a free market economy didn’t work out so well.   

    From The University of Zürich (Universität Zürich) (CH): “Climate Change and Wars and Insatiable Data Dredgers” 

    From The University of Zürich (Universität Zürich) (CH)

    12.21.22

    The challenges facing the global community today are complex and manifold: climate crisis, war, poverty, inequality, digitalization, a new political world order. The new issue of the UZH Magazin analyzes some of the problems and points to possible solutions.

    1
    The UZH Magazin addresses global challenges such as climate change. Picture: Worker on a rose farm in Abu Dhabi. (Photographer: Meinrad Schade)

    Thirty years ago US political scientist Francis Fukuyama formulated his theory of the end of history. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he predicted the final victory for democracy and liberalism. As we now know, the prophesied golden age of freedom and a free market economy didn’t work out so well. Instead, we today face major existential challenges on an unprecedented scale. Problems such as climate change, poverty and inequality, digitization and its consequences for society and the economy, attacks on democracy, and the aggressive neo-imperialism of totalitarian states like Russia and China will only be overcome if the global community comes together and cooperates.

    Successful children

    UZH economists have identified five major tasks for the future: designing a sustainable economic system, fighting poverty and inequality, managing the digital revolution, developing effective policies, and overcoming the crises of globalization. The Department of Economics’ to-do list served as inspiration for the theme of this UZH Magazin. We talked to Zurich researchers about the challenges and asked what might be done.

    For example: what makes children in Africa or in Switzerland more successful in school? How can we regain sovereignty over our personal data and be adequately compensated for its use? How do we invest sustainably? Are people willing to pay a fair price for fair products? How can we prevent structural change from pushing whole sections of the population into poverty? How can we save democracy and keep China’s power in check?

    From the Holocene to the Anthropocene

    An in-depth interview in the current magazine also deals with climate change and its consequences. Are we living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene? The Anthropocene differs from the preceding Holocene in that humans have become a decisive factor in permanently changing their environment. The question is, what does this mean for us and for the Earth? Other topics include a profile of Kerstin Noëlle Vokinger, a young professor of law, medicine and technology who is working to improve patients’ access to new medical treatments and products. Psychologist Birgit Kleim tells us about her research into what makes people resistant to stress. And we also look at the legal side of climate change with legal scholars Helen Keller and Carolin Heri. They explain why climate lawsuits are on the rise at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and analyze judges’ rulings in such cases.

    The UZH Magazin is available now in printed form in German. A selection of articles from the current issue will be published in English on UZH News over the coming weeks.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Zürich (Universität Zürich) (CH), located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 26,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy.

    Currently, the university has seven faculties: Philosophy, Human Medicine, Economic Sciences, Law, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Theology and Veterinary Medicine. The university offers the widest range of subjects and courses of any Swiss higher education institutions.

    As a member of the League of European Research Universities (EU) (LERU) and Universitas 21 (U21) network, a global network of 27 research universities from around the world, promoting research collaboration and exchange of knowledge.

    Numerous distinctions highlight the University’s international renown in the fields of medicine, immunology, genetics, neuroscience and structural biology as well as in economics. To date, the Nobel Prize has been conferred on twelve UZH scholars.

    Sharing Knowledge

    The academic excellence of the University of Zürich brings benefits to both the public and the private sectors not only in the Canton of Zürich, but throughout Switzerland. Knowledge is shared in a variety of ways: in addition to granting the general public access to its twelve museums and many of its libraries, the University makes findings from cutting-edge research available to the public in accessible and engaging lecture series and panel discussions.

    1. Identity of the University of Zürich

    Scholarship

    The University of Zürich (UZH) is an institution with a strong commitment to the free and open pursuit of scholarship.

    Scholarship is the acquisition, the advancement and the dissemination of knowledge in a methodological and critical manner.

    Academic freedom and responsibility

    To flourish, scholarship must be free from external influences, constraints and ideological pressures. The University of Zürich is committed to unrestricted freedom in research and teaching.

    Academic freedom calls for a high degree of responsibility, including reflection on the ethical implications of research activities for humans, animals and the environment.

    Universitas

    Work in all disciplines at the University is based on a scholarly inquiry into the realities of our world

    As Switzerland’s largest university, the University of Zürich promotes wide diversity in both scholarship and in the fields of study offered. The University fosters free dialogue, respects the individual characteristics of the disciplines, and advances interdisciplinary work.

    2. The University of Zurich’s goals and responsibilities

    Basic principles

    UZH pursues scholarly research and teaching, and provides services for the benefit of the public.

    UZH has successfully positioned itself among the world’s foremost universities. The University attracts the best researchers and students, and promotes junior scholars at all levels of their academic career.

    UZH sets priorities in research and teaching by considering academic requirements and the needs of society. These priorities presuppose basic research and interdisciplinary methods.

    UZH strives to uphold the highest quality in all its activities.
    To secure and improve quality, the University regularly monitors and evaluates its performance.

    Research

    UZH contributes to the increase of knowledge through the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

    UZH is primarily a research institution. As such, it enables and expects its members to conduct research, and supports them in doing so.

    While basic research is the core focus at UZH, the University also pursues applied research.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:06 pm on December 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Novel Chemical Reaction Supports Carbon-Neutral Industrial Processes", , , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , The reaction yields useful products from waste methane and carbon dioxide-both greenhouse gases-and may open up a path to transforming sustainable carbon chemistry.   

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory: “Novel Chemical Reaction Supports Carbon-Neutral Industrial Processes” 

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory

    12.13.22
    Written by Laura Mgrdichian-West

    Peter Genzer
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174  

    The reaction yields useful products from waste methane and carbon dioxide-both greenhouse gases-and may open up a path to transforming sustainable carbon chemistry.

    1
    The Brookhaven co-authors of the study, from left: Ping Liu, Hong Zhang, Juan Jiménez, José Rodriguez, and Sanjaya Senanayake. Credit: BNL.

    A team of researchers led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has discovered the mechanisms behind a very effective catalyst for methane dry reforming, a chemical reaction in which two greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide, are simultaneously converted into a mixture of hydrogen molecules and carbon monoxide. This mixture is generally called synthesis gas or “syngas” because it is used for the preparation of high-value chemicals and fuels.

    Methane and carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere by several sources, including landfills and natural gas processing plants (methane is a key component of natural gas). Therefore, methane dry reforming offers a pathway for generating valuable chemicals from syngas while reducing the emission of two potent carbon-based greenhouse gases. This necessitates the use of industrially relevant catalysts that can assist with more than one reaction and, at the molecular level, have active sites that can enable complex chemistries.

    The catalyst studied here is one such example. It is composed of palladium (Pd), cerium (Ce), and oxygen (O), where the Ce and O take the form of cerium oxide, CeO2. CeO2 has a molecular structure that easily incorporates clusters of palladium atoms; this interaction between the CeO2 and the palladium, which is driven by a mechanical process called “ball milling,” is essential to the catalyst’s success.

    2
    The ACS Catalysis cover, featuring a graphic of the group’s work.

    Ball milling, also called mechano-chemical synthesis, is a dry approach to making highly active and selective catalyst powders. It eliminates the drawbacks of standard wet chemistry methods, such as solvent separation, which is expensive and energy-intensive. This key advantage has sparked a renewed interest in ball milling, which could be used to make a host of unique and highly active catalysts.

    “Wet chemistry materials synthesis is often more energy-intensive from start to finish. For example, you might have to boil off water or solvent at the end, which requires a lot of energy. Ball milling completely avoids this,” said the study’s lead author, Brookhaven chemist Juan Jiménez, who received Brookhaven’s Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship in 2021 to pursue innovative ways to utilize methane to produce valuable chemicals.

    “One major advantage of mechano-chemical synthesis is its potential to be scaled up and expanded to the industrial level,” added Brookhaven chemist Sanjaya Senanayake, who led the study. “As researchers at a DOE national laboratory, we are interested in work that can help improve our country’s energy infrastructure. This reaction is one way of doing that: the conversion of greenhouse gases into useful chemicals and materials to avoid emission into the atmosphere is a major focus for carbon-negative strategies, such as DOE’s “Carbon Negative Shot”.

    The “Carbon-Negative Shot” is one of the six thrusts of the DOE Energy Earthshots Initiative, a broad program to address climate change by accelerating breakthroughs in sustainable clean-energy solutions.

    Jiménez and his colleagues think the ball milling catalyst synthesis approach could be applied much more broadly in industry. It may even significantly change the field of “green” chemistry, which aims to design chemicals and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.

    “This may be the beginning of a shift in how we think of sustainable chemistry,” he said.

    The group’s work is published in the October 7, 2022, online edition of ACS Catalysis [below] and is also featured on the journal’s cover [above].

    Watching the catalyst at work

    The group studied the catalyst using several state-of-the-art experimental approaches, including x-ray studies at two DOE Office of Science User Facilities: Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source II [below], using the Quick X-ray Absorption and Scattering (QAS) beamline, and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source.

    Both synchrotron facilities produce beams of highly focused x-rays for studying the molecular-level behaviors and structures of a huge variety of materials.

    The synchrotron x-ray techniques—performed “in situ,” meaning in the reaction environment and in real time—allowed the researchers to study the changing atomic structure of the catalyst as it interacted with the reacting gases. To do this, they used a device called a flow cell, which holds the catalyst sample while the methane/carbon dioxide mixture is passed over it. They then heated the cell to temperatures as high as 700 degrees Celsius (about 1300 degrees Fahrenheit), which is near the experimental limits of the in situ technique.

    The results showed that the primary player in the catalysis process is the palladium, although the cerium oxide component provides a critical supporting role. The palladium atoms, clustered into nanoparticles, deposit themselves on the CeO2 surface and bind to oxygen atoms. This allows the Pd nanoparticles to be more strongly anchored to and disperse more evenly on the CeO2 surface. When the methane (CH4) interacts with the nanoparticles, it dissociates into hydrogen molecules (H2) and carbon (C). This results in a hydrogen-rich environment. Each carbon atom can then pick up an oxygen atom (becoming oxidized), turning into carbon monoxide (CO). This can happen in one of two ways. The first is by taking oxygen from the nearby CeO2. The second way is critical because it starts the dry reforming reaction: The carbon is oxidized by way of the CO2 gas, which dissociates into carbon monoxide and oxygen when it passes over the catalyst.

    These findings were experimentally observed with unprecedented clarity using in situ infrared spectroscopy to follow each individual reactant molecule in action.

    The researchers also found that the reaction has an unexpected intermediate product, CO bound to Pd atoms, which results from the direct oxidation of the methane. Its presence could be a benchmark that helps indicate the effectiveness of other mechano-chemical catalytic reactions. The group is exploring how to use this study as a model for re-examining the catalysis of other chemical systems and finding innovative ways to utilize the unique chemistry of mechano-chemical catalysts for more challenging reaction systems.

    This international, multi-institutional collaboration includes scientists from the University of Udine (IT), Stony Brook University, The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, and the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (ES). The experimental efforts at Udine were led by Maila Danielis, one of the three recipients of the inaugural 2021 Joanna Fowler Award in the Chemical and Biological Sciences.

    3
    The study’s collaborators from the University of Udine (Italy), from left: Sara Colussi, Maila Danielis, and Alessandro Trovarelli.

    These results were supported and confirmed by other research techniques, including electron microscopy imaging, theoretical calculations led by Brookhaven chemist Ping Liu and her student Hong Zhang, and laboratory-based x-ray studies in Brookhaven’s Chemistry Department.

    Science paper:
    ACS Catalysis
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Brookhaven Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the The DOE Office of Science, The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to have a facility near Boston, Massachusetts. Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Yale University.

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966.

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II. [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source.

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider (CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, it was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility [Jlab] as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC) in the United States.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY.

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Large Hadron Collider(LHC).

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China .


    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II.

    BNL NSLS II.

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.


     
  • richardmitnick 11:40 am on December 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "EU awards €5 million prize to research team for harnessing the sun to make fuel from water", , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology,   

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine : “EU awards €5 million prize to research team for harnessing the sun to make fuel from water” 

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine

    12.13.22
    Alex Whiting

    1
    Although sunlight is abundant and free, many of the methods for converting it into fuel are too expensive – or too difficult to scale up – to compete with fossil fuels. Image credit: CHUTTERSNAP via Unsplash.

    A research team led by the University of Tokyo won a €5 million European Union prize this month for coming up with a novel way to make abundant and cheap fuel from sunlight.

    In the scramble to find alternatives to fossil fuels, the EU competition aimed to accelerate development of one of the most promising new technologies – artificial photosynthesis – in a spirit of fostering international collaboration over the most promising clean-energy paths.

    Big potential

    The technology mimics natural photosynthesis in which plants use rays from the sun to transform water into oxygen and carbon dioxide into chemical energy in the form of glucose.

    Artificial photosynthesis uses sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere and hydrogen can be used as fuel.

    ‘Artificial photosynthesis has the potential to provide a huge amount of green fuel,’ Professor Kazunari Domen, the winning team’s coordinator, said in an interview after the European Commission announced the award on 5 December in Brussels.

    Composed of scientists from the University of Tokyo and Japanese energy company INPEX, the team was among 22 applicants for the Fuel from the Sun prize and made it on to a shortlist of three finalists before emerging victorious. The two runners-up were from France and Britain.

    The contest took place in the framework of a global initiative called Mission Innovation, which brings together 24 countries and is spurring research activities and investments in a bid to make clean energy universally accessible and affordable. 

    ‘The prize was awarded to the winning team for the high degree of professional engineering and integration,’ said the Commission.

    If artificial photosynthesis can be done cheaply enough, it could replace oil, natural gas and coal for all sorts of vehicles, machines and industries including chemicals that cannot be powered by renewable electricity alone.

    Although sunlight is abundant and free, many of the methods for converting it into fuel are too expensive – or too difficult to scale up – to compete with fossil fuels.

    Engine test

    The winners’ prototype has the potential to be both cheap and easily scalable.

    Contestants had to develop a device that used artificial photosynthesis to create enough fuel to power a small engine. The devices were run outdoors and tested for the amount of fuel they produced, its composition and its ability to power the engine.

    The winning system used photocatalysts in contact with pure water.

    Photocatalysts are ultrafine particles that absorb the sun’s energy and trigger the water to split. The resulting hydrogen was then combined with carbon dioxide to produce methane, which was used to run the engine.  

    2
    A solar fuel (methane) production system constructed at Ispra, Italy for the EIC Horizon Prize ‘Fuel from the Sun: Artificial Photosynthesis’. © Kazunari Domen and Taro Yamada.

    Because photocatalysts are a simple way to convert sunlight into chemical energy, they hold out the hope of making low-cost green hydrogen, said Prof Domen, a professor at the University of Tokyo and Shinshu University.

    Green hydrogen

    The challenge of the contest was to build a fully functional prototype of an artificial photosynthesis-based system that can produce a useable synthetic fuel.

    ‘Our project has so far targeted the production of hydrogen, but thanks to this competition we gained important insights into the synthesis of green fuels like methane that are more favourable for storage and transport,’ Prof Domen said.

    The hydrogen produced in the winning system can be deemed green, he said. 

    Today green hydrogen, made with renewable energy including solar and wind, accounts for less than 1% of total hydrogen produced, according to the International Energy Agency.

    The current cost of producing green hydrogen is so high that the activity is unprofitable without government support, according to Prof Domen.

    His team’s priority now is to find a more effective photocatalyst.

    The winning device achieved about 0.6% efficiency – meaning that around 99% of the energy was lost. To make such a fuel commercially viable, the catalyst will need to deliver at least 5% efficiency, said Prof Domen.

    ‘We have already found several candidate materials which can deliver efficiency of 5% or even 10%,’ he said. ‘So I believe that we can do that in the near future.’

    Market hurdles

    If successful, the team should be able to overcome the remaining barriers to commercialisation within years – rather than decades – in collaboration with industry partners, he said.

    One hurdle that Prof Domen is confident of clearing is regulatory.

    While the combination of hydrogen and oxygen is ‘explosive’, he said, ‘we know how to handle the mixture safely.’

    Another obstacle is developing cheap reactors and improving the separation of the hydrogen from the mix.

    If successful, the final production plants will comprise very thin containers of water and photocatalysts, which are exposed to sunlight.

    About 10 000 plants, each covering 25 square kilometres, would need to be built by 2050 to meet one third of the world’s energy needs, according to Prof Domen.

    Profit prospect

    ‘Many industry people told me that if they can make money, then 10 000 plants is not impossible,’ he said. ‘It really depends on whether they can make money or not.’

    Meanwhile, as his team races to find a more effective photocatalyst, Prof Domen says the Fuel from the Sun prize will help turn sceptics of the method into proponents of it.

    ‘Most people don’t believe photocatalysts would work,’ he said.
    __________________________________________________________________
    Fuel from the Sun finalists

    The two runners-up for the “Fuel from the Sun” prize were the France-based Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission, also known as CEA, and the University of Cambridge in the UK.

    Following are comments made by representatives of two contestants at the 5 December award ceremony:

    CEA

    ‘We are very happy to have been a part of this very exciting project related to the environmental crisis.’

    ‘I would like to congratulate the other contestants and, of course, the winner of the prize. We are really impatient to discover more about the technology you developed and we are, of course, open for collaboration. And we have young researchers that are open to opportunities too in these topics.’

    University of Cambridge

    ‘It really pushed us to develop these technologies much faster than we would have done otherwise.’

    ‘Many congratulations to the Japanese team, a very well-deserved winner. We have all been following their work for many, many years – it’s very impressive. But also the French team many congratulations. We are very pleased to have been in the boat with you and battle for the prize.’

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition
    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

     
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