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  • richardmitnick 8:57 am on May 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate Change Has Been Killing Rainforest Trees For Longer Than We Realized", , Atmospheric water stress driven by global warming is to blame for the increase in tropical tree mortality., , , Earth's natural systems have responded to shifts in temperature and atmosphere for longer than we might have realized., Ecology, Forests are significant carbon sinks., , More studies are urgently required to better understand the strain that the natural world is under., Other research suggests that a similar increased rate of tree death is happening in the Amazon rainforests., , The signs of the increased death rates go back to the 1980s., The study authors compared the stress that rainforests have experienced to what's been happening to the Great Barrier Reef., , Tree lifespans have halved in the last 35 years. The consequences for the planet could be devastating., Tropical forests may soon become carbon sources.   

    From The University of Oxford (UK) via Science Alert : “Climate Change Has Been Killing Rainforest Trees For Longer Than We Realized” 

    U Oxford bloc

    From The University of Oxford (UK)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert

    21 MAY 2022
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    Northeast Australia’s relict tropical rainforests. (Alexander Schenkin)

    Scientists have documented a worrying trend in the rainforests of Australia: Tree lifespans have halved in the last 35 years, and it appears to be due to the effects of climate change on the ecosystems.

    With these forests acting as significant carbon sinks, the consequences for the planet could be devastating, creating a feedback loop that’s both caused by global warming and which then contributes to it.

    The signs of the increased death rate go back to the 1980s, suggesting that Earth’s natural systems have responded to shifts in temperature and atmosphere for longer than we might have realized.

    “It was a shock to detect such a marked increase in tree mortality, let alone a trend consistent across the diversity of species and sites we studied,” says ecologist and lead author David Bauman from the University of Oxford in the UK.

    “A sustained doubling of mortality risk would imply the carbon stored in trees returns twice as fast to the atmosphere.”

    Researchers collected more than 70,000 data points from existing records to put together the study, with 24 different forest plots included. The earliest information goes back to 1971, enabling the team to track tree deaths over an extended period.

    Atmospheric water stress driven by global warming is to blame for the increase in tropical tree mortality, the researchers think: The warmer air dries out trees more quickly.

    The study authors compared the stress that rainforests have experienced to what’s been happening to the Great Barrier Reef, another delicately balanced ecosystem that is struggling with higher temperatures.

    “The likely driving factor we identify, the increasing drying power of the atmosphere caused by global warming, suggests similar increases in tree death rates may be occurring across the world’s tropical forests,” says ecologist Yadvinder Malhi from the University of Oxford.

    “If that is the case, tropical forests may soon become carbon sources, and the challenge of limiting global warming well below 2°C becomes both more urgent and more difficult.”

    Other research [Nature]suggests that a similar increased rate of tree death is happening in the Amazon rainforests, too, reducing the amount of carbon that the region is able to pull out of the atmosphere and store. The worry is that these forests will start contributing carbon to the atmosphere rather than taking it out.

    The new study is particularly valuable because it uses a large pool of data gathered over many years – enabling scientists to cut through the noise of such busy and active ecosystems to spot these long-term trends.

    As difficult as it is to put together research projects that last decades, more studies across a similar sort of timescale are urgently required to better understand the strain that the natural world is under.

    “Long-term datasets like this one are very rare and very important for studying forest changes in response to climate change,” says ecologist Susan Laurance from James Cook University in Australia.

    “This is because rainforest trees can have such long lives and also that tree death is not always immediate.”

    The research has been published in Nature.

    See the full article here.

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    U Oxford campus

    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 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 he 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.[43]

    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 organising 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 (US), The University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University (US), The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and Stanford University (US). 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 8:11 am on May 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "There Could Be a Surprising Benefit to Non-Deadly Parasites in The World's Ecosystems", , “Trophic cascade”: an ecological domino effect triggered by changes to one part of the food chain that end up having much broader ramifications., , By reducing ruminant herbivory common infections may contribute to a greener world., Carbon sources and carbon sinks, Climate Change; Global warming, Ecology, Experimental fieldwork will be needed to establish the accuracy of the modeling and reveal the true scale of the trophic cascade impacts., Infections that put ungulates off their food have a wider benefit for the ecosystem., Most living things have non-lethal infections of all sorts of parasites; but how these ecological black holes impact wider ecology is not well understood., Parasites are estimated to compose up to half of all living species., Parasites can have a stabilizing effect on the plant-herbivore cycle., ,   

    From Washington University in St. Louis via Science Alert : “There Could Be a Surprising Benefit to Non-Deadly Parasites in The World’s Ecosystems” 

    Wash U Bloc

    From Washington University in St. Louis

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert

    22 MAY 2022
    TESSA KOUMOUNDOUROS

    1
    Parasitic worms and their eggs in a poop sample. (jarun011/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

    When something’s messing with your insides and you feel like you’re going to hurl, the last thing you probably want to do is eat.

    Deer, caribou, and other ungulates (hoofed animals) experience a similar problem when infected by non-deadly parasites. It utterly sucks for them, but it turns out infections that put them off their food have a wider benefit for the ecosystem.

    “Parasites are well known for their negative impacts on the physiology and behavior of individual hosts and host populations, but these effects are rarely considered within the context of the broader ecosystems they inhabit,” says Washington University biologist Amanda Koltz.

    Koltz and colleagues analyzed data from the well-studied plant, caribou and helminth (parasitic worm) system, using computer modeling and a global meta-analysis. They found that the non-lethal effects of some parasites, such as reduced feeding in hosts, had a more significant impact than lethal effects because they occur more commonly.

    As these parasites and their impacts are so widespread, it all can add up to big consequences globally.

    Obviously, when lethal parasites wipe out populations it can have knock-on impacts on the surrounding environment, similar to predators taking their prey out of the picture. Removing either can completely alter an ecosystem’s dynamics.

    For example, in the 19th century the rinderpest virus killed up to 90 percent of all domestic and wild cattle in sub-Saharan Africa, but a population increase after a successful vaccination campaign saw a decline in fire frequency – thanks to less undergrowth which the cattle ate – which in turn allowed more trees to grow.

    This is an example of a trophic cascade – an ecological domino effect triggered by changes to one part of the food chain that end up having much broader ramifications. In this case, the change in the trophic cascade shifted the sub-Saharan region from being an overall carbon source to a carbon sink, thanks to its increase in tree density.

    Most living things have non-lethal infections of all sorts of parasites, but how these ecological black holes impact wider ecology is not well understood.

    We know that on an individual level parasites can have a huge impact on our bodies, from influencing the way we think to being unexpectedly helpful. What’s more, parasites are estimated to compose up to half of all living species.

    Yet there’s so much we still don’t know about these often unpleasant creatures, which could potentially be quite problematic when, as with most other areas of life, we’re driving many parasitic species to extinction.

    In the almost 60 studies the researchers analyzed, the helminth infections consistently put the caribou off their food, reducing their feeding rates (awesome for the plants they eat). In turn, this impacted the mammals’ body condition and body mass, but on average did not impact their breeding or survival.

    What’s more, the team’s modeling suggests that when the helminth impacted a caribou’s survival or feeding rate, it had a stabilizing effect on the plant-herbivore cycle, but if the parasitic worm impacted the herbivore’s ability to breed, it was more likely to destabilize the system.

    “Given that helminth parasites are ubiquitous within free-living populations of ruminants, our findings suggest that global herbivory rates by ruminants are lower than they otherwise would be due to pervasive helminth infections,” explains Koltz. “By reducing ruminant herbivory these common infections may contribute to a greener world.”

    “In short, diseases of herbivores matter to plants,” concluded Washington University disease ecologist Rachel Penczykowski.

    Of course, this is just a single example in one system, and experimental fieldwork will be needed to establish the accuracy of the modeling and reveal the true scale of the trophic cascade impacts.

    But as our world topples towards an ever more unstable climate, understanding these interactions can better inform predictive modeling and mitigation strategies.

    “Our work highlights how the little things that can be unseen, like herbivore parasites, can shape large-scale processes like plant biomass across landscapes,” says Classen.

    “As our climate warms and ecosystems become more stressed, these unseen interactions will become even more important.”

    Their research was published in PNAS.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Wash U campus

    Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in Greater St. Louis with its main campus (Danforth) mostly in unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri, and Clayton, Missouri. It also has a West Campus in Clayton, North Campus in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, and Medical Campus in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri.

    Founded in 1853 and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. Washington University is composed of seven graduate and undergraduate schools that encompass a broad range of academic fields. To prevent confusion over its location, the Board of Trustees added the phrase “in St. Louis” in 1976. Washington University is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    As of 2020, 25 Nobel laureates in economics, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics have been affiliated with Washington University, ten having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university. In 2019, Clarivate Analytics ranked Washington University 7th in the world for most cited researchers. The university also received the 4th highest amount of National Institutes of Health medical research grants among medical schools in 2019.

    Washington University was conceived by 17 St. Louis business, political, and religious leaders concerned by the lack of institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and Unitarian minister William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the poet T.S. Eliot, led the effort.

    The university’s first chancellor was Joseph Gibson Hoyt. Crow secured the university charter from the Missouri General Assembly in 1853, and Eliot was named President of the Board of Trustees. Early on, Eliot solicited support from members of the local business community, including John O’Fallon, but Eliot failed to secure a permanent endowment. Washington University is unusual among major American universities in not having had a prior financial endowment. The institution had no backing of a religious organization, single wealthy patron, or earmarked government support.

    During the three years following its inception, the university bore three different names. The board first approved “Eliot Seminary,” but William Eliot was uncomfortable with naming a university after himself and objected to the establishment of a seminary, which would implicitly be charged with teaching a religious faith. He favored a nonsectarian university. In 1854, the Board of Trustees changed the name to “Washington Institute” in honor of George Washington, and because the charter was coincidentally passed on Washington’s birthday, February 22. Naming the university after the nation’s first president, only seven years before the American Civil War and during a time of bitter national division, was no coincidence. During this time of conflict, Americans universally admired George Washington as the father of the United States and a symbol of national unity. The Board of Trustees believed that the university should be a force of unity in a strongly divided Missouri. In 1856, the university amended its name to “Washington University.” The university amended its name once more in 1976, when the Board of Trustees voted to add the suffix “in St. Louis” to distinguish the university from the over two dozen other universities bearing Washington’s name.

    Although chartered as a university, for many years Washington University functioned primarily as a night school located on 17th Street and Washington Avenue in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Owing to limited financial resources, Washington University initially used public buildings. Classes began on October 22, 1854, at the Benton School building. At first the university paid for the evening classes, but as their popularity grew, their funding was transferred to the St. Louis Public Schools. Eventually the board secured funds for the construction of Academic Hall and a half dozen other buildings. Later the university divided into three departments: the Manual Training School, Smith Academy, and the Mary Institute.

    In 1867, the university opened the first private nonsectarian law school west of the Mississippi River. By 1882, Washington University had expanded to numerous departments, which were housed in various buildings across St. Louis. Medical classes were first held at Washington University in 1891 after the St. Louis Medical College decided to affiliate with the university, establishing the School of Medicine. During the 1890s, Robert Sommers Brookings, the president of the Board of Trustees, undertook the tasks of reorganizing the university’s finances, putting them onto a sound foundation, and buying land for a new campus.

    In 1896, Holmes Smith, professor of Drawing and History of Art, designed what would become the basis for the modern-day university seal. The seal is made up of elements from the Washington family coat of arms, and the symbol of Louis IX, whom the city is named after.

    Washington University spent its first half century in downtown St. Louis bounded by Washington Ave., Lucas Place, and Locust Street. By the 1890s, owing to the dramatic expansion of the Medical School and a new benefactor in Robert Brookings, the university began to move west. The university board of directors began a process to find suitable ground and hired the landscape architecture firm Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot of Boston. A committee of Robert S. Brookings, Henry Ware Eliot, and William Huse found a site of 103 acres (41.7 ha) just beyond Forest Park, located west of the city limits in St. Louis County. The elevation of the land was thought to resemble the Acropolis and inspired the nickname of “Hilltop” campus, renamed the Danforth campus in 2006 to honor former chancellor William H. Danforth.

    In 1899, the university opened a national design contest for the new campus. The renowned Philadelphia firm Cope & Stewardson (same architects who designed a large part of The University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University) won unanimously with its plan for a row of Collegiate Gothic quadrangles inspired by The University of Oxford (UK) and The University of Cambridge (UK). The cornerstone of the first building, Busch Hall, was laid on October 20, 1900. The construction of Brookings Hall, Ridgley, and Cupples began shortly thereafter. The school delayed occupying these buildings until 1905 to accommodate the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympics. The delay allowed the university to construct ten buildings instead of the seven originally planned. This original cluster of buildings set a precedent for the development of the Danforth Campus; Cope & Stewardson’s original plan and its choice of building materials have, with few exceptions, guided the construction and expansion of the Danforth Campus to the present day.

    By 1915, construction of a new medical complex was completed on Kingshighway in what is now St. Louis’s Central West End. Three years later, Washington University admitted its first women medical students.

    In 1922, a young physics professor, Arthur Holly Compton, conducted a series of experiments in the basement of Eads Hall that demonstrated the “particle” concept of electromagnetic radiation. Compton’s discovery, known as the “Compton Effect,” earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1927.

    During World War II, as part of the Manhattan Project, a cyclotron at Washington University was used to produce small quantities of the newly discovered element plutonium via neutron bombardment of uranium nitrate hexahydrate. The plutonium produced there in 1942 was shipped to the Metallurgical Laboratory Compton had established at The University of Chicago where Glenn Seaborg’s team used it for extraction, purification, and characterization studies of the exotic substance.

    After working for many years at the University of Chicago, Arthur Holly Compton returned to St. Louis in 1946 to serve as Washington University’s ninth chancellor. Compton reestablished the Washington University football team, making the declaration that athletics were to be henceforth played on a “strictly amateur” basis with no athletic scholarships. Under Compton’s leadership, enrollment at the university grew dramatically, fueled primarily by World War II veterans’ use of their GI Bill benefits.

    In 1947, Gerty Cori, a professor at the School of Medicine, became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center(US) at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    Professors Carl and Gerty Cori became Washington University’s fifth and sixth Nobel laureates for their discovery of how glycogen is broken down and resynthesized in the body.

    The process of desegregation at Washington University began in 1947 with the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work. During the mid and late 1940s, the university was the target of critical editorials in the local African American press, letter-writing campaigns by churches and the local Urban League, and legal briefs by the NAACP intended to strip its tax-exempt status. In spring 1949, a Washington University student group, the Student Committee for the Admission of Negroes (SCAN), began campaigning for full racial integration. In May 1952, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution desegregating the school’s undergraduate divisions.

    During the latter half of the 20th century, Washington University transitioned from a strong regional university to a national research institution. In 1957, planning began for the construction of the “South 40,” a complex of modern residential halls which primarily house Freshmen and some Sophomore students. With the additional on-campus housing, Washington University, which had been predominantly a “streetcar college” of commuter students, began to attract a more national pool of applicants. By 1964, over two-thirds of incoming students came from outside the St. Louis area.

    In 1971, the Board of Trustees appointed Chancellor William Henry Danforth, who guided the university through the social and financial crises of the 1970s and strengthened the university’s often strained relationship with the St. Louis community. During his 24-year chancellorship, Danforth significantly improved the School of Medicine, established 70 new faculty chairs, secured a $1.72 billion endowment, and tripled the amount of student scholarships.

    In 1995, Mark S. Wrighton, former Provost at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was elected the university’s 14th chancellor. During Chancellor Wrighton’s tenure undergraduate applications to Washington University more than doubled. Since 1995, the university has added more than 190 endowed professorships, revamped its Arts & Sciences curriculum, and completed more than 30 new buildings.

    The growth of Washington University’s reputation coincided with a series of record-breaking fund-raising efforts during the last three decades. From 1983 to 1987, the Alliance for Washington University campaign raised $630.5 million, which was then the most successful fund-raising effort in national history. From 1998 to 2004, the Campaign for Washington University raised $1.55 billion, which was applied to additional scholarships, professorships, and research initiatives.

    In 2002, Washington University co-founded the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis’s Midtown neighborhood. Cortex is the largest innovation hub in the midwest, home to offices of Square, Microsoft, Aon, Boeing, and Centene. The innovation hub has generated more than 3,800 tech jobs in 14 years.

    In 2005, Washington University founded the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, an international network of premier research universities, with an initial endowment gift of $10 million from John F. McDonnell. The academy, which selects scholars from 35 partner universities around the world, was created with the intent to develop a cohort of future leaders, strengthen ties with top foreign universities, and promote global awareness and social responsibility.

    In 2019, Washington University unveiled a $360 million campus transformation project known as the East End Transformation. The transformation project, built on the original 1895 campus plan by Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot, encompassed 18 acres of the Danforth Campus, adding five new buildings, expanding the university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, relocating hundreds of surface parking spaces underground, and creating an expansive new park.

    In June 2019, Andrew D. Martin, former dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at The University of Michigan, was elected the university’s 15th chancellor. On the day of his inauguration, Chancellor Martin announced the WashU Pledge, a financial aid program allowing full-time Missouri and southern Illinois students who are Pell Grant-eligible or from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less to attend the university cost-free.

    Washington University’s undergraduate program is ranked 14th in the nation in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking, and 11th by The Wall Street Journal in their 2018 rankings. The university is ranked 22nd in the world for 2019 by The Academic Ranking of World Universities. Undergraduate admission to Washington University is characterized by The Carnegie Foundation and U.S. News & World Report as “most selective”. The Princeton Review, in its 2020 edition, gave the university an admissions selectivity rating of 99 out of 99. The acceptance rate for the class of 2024 (those entering in the fall of 2020) was 12.8%, with students selected from more than 27,900 applications. Of students admitted, 92 percent were in the top 10 percent of their class.

    The Princeton Review ranked Washington University 1st for Best College Dorms and 3rd for Best College Food, Best-Run Colleges, and Best Financial Aid in its 2020 edition. Niche listed the university as the best college for architecture and the second-best college campus and college dorms in the United States in 2020. The Washington University School of Medicine was ranked 6th for research by U.S. News & World Report in 2020 and has been listed among the top ten medical schools since the rankings were first published in 1987. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s genetics and physical therapy as tied for first place. QS World University Rankings ranked Washington University 6th in the world for anatomy and physiology in 2020. In January 2020, Olin Business School was named The Poets & Quants MBA Program of 2019. Washington University has also been recognized as the 12th best university employer in the country by Forbes.

    Washington University was named one of the “25 New Ivies” by Newsweek in 2006 and has also been called a “Hidden Ivy”.

    A 2014 study ranked Washington University #1 in the country for income inequality, when measured as the ratio of number of students from the top 1% of the income scale to number of students from the bottom 60% of the income scale. About 22% of Washington University’s students came from the top 1%, while only about 6% came from the bottom 60%. In 2015, university administration announced plans to increase the number of Pell-eligible recipients on campus from 6% to 13% by 2020, and in 2019 15% of the university’s student body was eligible for Pell Grants. In October 2019, then newly inaugurated Chancellor Andrew D. Martin announced the WashU Pledge, a financial aid program that provides a free undergraduate education to all full-time Missouri and Southern Illinois students who are Pell Grant-eligible or from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less. The university’s refusal to divest from the fossil fuel industry has drawn controversy in recent years.

    Research

    Virtually all faculty members at Washington University engage in academic research, offering opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students across the university’s seven schools. Known for its interdisciplinary and departmental collaboration, many of Washington University’s research centers and institutes are collaborative efforts between many areas on campus. More than 60% of undergraduates are involved in faculty research across all areas; it is an institutional priority for undergraduates to be allowed to participate in advanced research. According to the Center for Measuring University Performance, it is considered to be one of the top 10 private research universities in the nation. A dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research is located on the Danforth Campus and serves as a resource to post research opportunities, advise students in finding appropriate positions matching their interests, publish undergraduate research journals, and award research grants to make it financially possible to perform research.

    According to the National Science Foundation, Washington University spent $816 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 27th in the nation. The university has over 150 National Institutes of Health funded inventions, with many of them licensed to private companies. Governmental agencies and non-profit foundations such as the NIH, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and National Aeronautics Space Agency provide the majority of research grant funding, with Washington University being one of the top recipients in NIH grants from year-to-year. Nearly 80% of NIH grants to institutions in the state of Missouri went to Washington University alone in 2007. Washington University and its Medical School play a large part in the Human Genome Project, where it contributes approximately 25% of the finished sequence. The Genome Sequencing Center has decoded the genome of many animals, plants, and cellular organisms, including the platypus, chimpanzee, cat, and corn.

    NASA hosts its Planetary Data System Geosciences Node on the campus of Washington University. Professors, students, and researchers have been heavily involved with many unmanned missions to Mars. Professor Raymond Arvidson has been deputy principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover mission and co-investigator of the Phoenix lander robotic arm.

    Washington University professor Joseph Lowenstein, with the assistance of several undergraduate students, has been involved in editing, annotating, making a digital archive of the first publication of poet Edmund Spenser’s collective works in 100 years. A large grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities has been given to support this ambitious project centralized at Washington University with support from other colleges in the United States.

    In 2019, Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for performing molecular dynamics simulations of protein dynamics, was moved to Washington University School of Medicine from Stanford University. The project, currently led by Dr. Greg Bowman, uses the idle CPU time of personal computers owned by volunteers to conduct protein folding research. Folding@home’s research is primarily focused on biomedical problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, Coronavirus disease 2019, and Ebola virus disease. In April 2020, Folding@home became the world’s first exaFLOP computing system with a peak performance of 1.5 exaflops, making it more than seven times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer, Summit, and more powerful than the top 100 supercomputers in the world, combined.

    ORNL OLCF IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, was No.1 on the TOP500..

     
  • richardmitnick 4:02 pm on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "For Wetland Plants Sea-Level Rise Stamps Out Benefits of Higher CO2", , Beneficial Effects of Rising CO2 for Plants Disappear Under Flooding 33-Year Field Experiment Reveals, , , Conserving wetlands is critical both to fight climate change and adapt to it., Ecology, Plants are aerobic oxygen-breathing organisms and that includes their roots., Plants need oxygen as well as CO2—and wetland plants evolved to get most of their oxygen from air rather than water., , Wetlands across the globe are in danger of drowning from rising seas.   

    From smithsonian.com : “For Wetland Plants Sea-Level Rise Stamps Out Benefits of Higher CO2” 

    smithsonian

    From smithsonian.com

    May 18, 2022

    Media Only
    Kristen Goodhue
    (443) 482-2325
    GoodhueK@si.edu

    Beneficial Effects of Rising CO2 for Plants Disappear Under Flooding 33-Year Field Experiment Reveals

    1
    Adam Langley, an ecologist at Villanova University, takes soil elevation measurements at the Global Change Research Wetland. Credit: Mikayla Manyin.

    Wetlands across the globe are in danger of drowning from rising seas. But for decades, scientists held out hope that another aspect of climate change—rising carbon dioxide (CO2)—could trigger extra plant growth, enabling coastal wetlands to grow fast enough to outpace sea-level rise. That helpful side effect is disappearing, they discovered in a new study published May 18.

    “Too much water is a stress, an environmental stress, for plant response to high CO2,” said Chunwu Zhu, lead author of the report in Science Advances. Zhu, a biologist with The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN), conducted the study while on a fellowship with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).

    Conserving wetlands is critical both to fight climate change and adapt to it. Besides providing habitat, wetlands sequester massive amounts of carbon and protect people from some of climate change’s more extreme effects, such as hurricanes and typhoons.

    “Although they occupy just a fraction of the Earth’s surface, they provide outsized ecosystem services, which are basically benefits to people,” said corresponding author Pat Megonigal, a biogeochemist with SERC. “And we value them partly because, by protecting a relatively small part of the Earth, we can have big positive impacts on the environment.”

    Carbon Dioxide’s Diminishing Returns

    The study took place at SERC’s Global Change Research Wetland, a research site Megonigal runs on the western shore of Maryland. The wetland is home to several futuristic experiments, where scientists simulate the climate of 2100. For this study, the researchers relied on an experiment that started in 1987—currently the world’s longest-running field experiment on how rising CO2 impacts plants. Inside 15 open-top chambers, scientists have been raising CO2 concentrations by an additional 340 parts per million, roughly doubling atmospheric CO2 levels of 1987. Another 15 chambers serve as controls, with no added CO2. The team focused on the 10 chambers with “C3” plants—a group of plants known to respond vigorously to high CO2 that includes roughly 85% of plant species on Earth.

    For about the first two decades of the experiment, plant growth in the higher CO2 chambers flourished. Above ground, plants in the high-CO2 chambers grew on average 25% more than plants in the untreated chambers. The effect was even more powerful underground: High CO2 triggered about 35% more root growth. Root growth is especially critical for wetland survival, as roots help wetlands build soil and keep the foundations growing upward even as seas continue to rise.

    “Even though elevated CO2 contributes to sea-level rise, it also enhanced the marsh’s ability to accrete vertically during the early years of the experiment,” said Don Cahoon, a coauthor and research ecologist, emeritus, with the U.S. Geological Survey.

    But after 2005, the effect declined and vanished. For the past 14 years of data in the study, there was no average difference in plant growth between the high-CO2 and normal chambers.

    “The CO2 effect has always been one of the silver linings of climate change,” said coauthor Adam Langley, an ecologist with Villanova University. “Well, at least plants are going to grow more. But we see here that they didn’t. So the silver lining to me just got a little cloudier.”

    The team examined several possible explanations for the drop-off: precipitation, temperature, the saltiness of the water during growing season or the presence of critical soil nutrients, like nitrogen. Only sea-level rise showed any link to plant growth. Once sea levels at the wetland rose 15 centimeters above where they began in 1987, the benefits of higher CO2 disappeared.

    “In some ways, this is a race,” said Lewis Ziska, a coauthor and plant physiologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “A race between what CO2 can do and what sea level can do.”

    Escaping the Flood

    Sea-level rise can shut down extra growth for a very simple reason. As waters rise, wetlands flood more frequently. Plants need oxygen as well as CO2—and wetland plants evolved to get most of their oxygen from air rather than water.

    “Plants are aerobic, oxygen-breathing organisms,” Megonigal said. “And that includes their roots. And so they’re fundamentally faced with this problem of having their root system in an environment that doesn’t have any oxygen in it.”

    Some wetlands may yet be able to escape drowning. If wetlands cannot rise higher by building soil, migrating inland is another possibility. However, that can only happen if they have enough space. For many communities, allowing room for wetlands to move in would require a shift in how they use and value the land.

    In the meantime, Earth’s climate accountants will need to rethink the planet’s carbon budget. Now that scientists know extra CO2 does not always stimulate wetland growth as much as they thought, how much carbon wetlands can absorb in the coming decades remains even more uncertain.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Smithsonian magazine and smithsonian.com place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution — science, history, art, popular culture and innovation — and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.
    The Smithsonian Institution (US) is a trust instrumentality of the United States composed as a group of museums and research centers. It was founded on August 10, 1846, “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. It was originally organized as the “United States National Museum”, but that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.

    Termed “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items, the Institution’s 19 museums, 21 libraries, nine research centers, and zoo include historical and architectural landmarks, mostly located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Maryland, New York, and Virginia. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates.

    The Institution’s 30 million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion, with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution’s endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, and earned retail, concession, and licensing revenue. Institution publications include Smithsonian and Air & Space magazines.

    Research centers and programs

    The following is a list of Smithsonian research centers, with their affiliated museum in parentheses:

    Archives of American Art
    California State Railroad Museum
    Carrie Bow Marine Field Station (Natural History Museum)
    Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (Air and Space Museum)
    Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
    Marine Station at Fort Pierce (Natural History Museum)
    Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (National Zoo)
    Museum Conservation Institute
    Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the associated Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (National Zoo)
    Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    Smithsonian Institution Archives
    Smithsonian Libraries
    Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
    Smithsonian Latino Center
    Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI)
    Smithsonian Science Education Center
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panamá)
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

    Also of note is the Smithsonian Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Silver Hill, Maryland (Suitland), which is the principal off-site conservation and collections facility for multiple Smithsonian museums, primarily the National Museum of Natural History. The MSC was dedicated in May 1983. The MSC covers 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) of land, with over 500,000 square feet (46,000 m^2) of space, making it one of the largest set of structures in the Smithsonian. It has over 12 miles (19 km) of cabinets, and more than 31 million objects.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:43 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Berkeley Lab Researchers to Provide Leadership and Expertise in Net Zero World Action Center", , DOE’s national labs and partners from other U.S. government agencies offer numerous existing tools; methods and best practices that will inform the approach in each NZW country., Ecology, Global decarbonization, Net zero energy systems, Net Zero World Action Center, Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI),   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Berkeley Lab Researchers to Provide Leadership and Expertise in Net Zero World Action Center” 

    May 19, 2022
    Kiran Julin

    1
    The Net Zero World Action Center will support design and implementation of integrated energy system measures that help transition to net zero energy systems across sectors. (Credit: iStock/Galeanu Mihai)

    Experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will play leading managerial and technical roles in the recently established Net Zero World Action Center to bolster DOE’s Net Zero World Initiative (NZWI). The NZW Action Center brings together 10 DOE national laboratories, nine U.S. government agencies, and philanthropy organizations to promote net zero emission energy systems around the world that are inclusive, equitable, and resilient.

    The NZW Initiative is a cornerstone of the U.S. commitment to accelerate the pace of global decarbonization. Launched in 2021 by DOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, the initiative contributes to the Build Back Better World Partnership. The NZW Action Center will focus on transitioning to net zero energy systems across multiple sectors, including transportation, industry, buildings, carbon capture and geologic storage, energy storage, and the power grid.

    Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area (ETA) has a long history of working on energy technology research and development that has real world impact on decarbonization across sectors. ETA’s experts will take on key roles in the NZW Action Center and bring a wealth of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas mitigation research experience.

    ETA’s Building Technology & Urban Systems (BTUS) division director Mary Ann Piette serves as Lab Lead for NZWI, senior scientist Nan Zhou serves as Technical Program Manager, and BTUS program manager Carolyn Szum serves as Investment Program Deputy Manager to the NZW Action Center. In addition, Berkeley Lab program managers Reshma Singh and Stephane de la Rue deCan serve as the India Country Co-Coordinator and the South Africa Country Coordinator respectively.

    From developing methods and tools to support countries in NZW on investment plans and analyzing infrastructure investment decisions to providing access to existing equitable clean energy transition tools, the NZW Action Center will provide technical strategies, and operational and communication resources.

    “The international decarbonization agenda is critical and urgent,” said Piette. “Berkeley Lab researchers are eager to engage, collaborate with governments and the private sector, and support this broad multi-sector, multi-country program.”

    As BTUS division director and lead of the new California Load Flexibility Research and Deployment Hub, Piette brings extensive research and leadership experience to the NZW Action Center. She oversees Berkeley Lab’s building technology research activities for DOE, which covers appliance standards, technology analysis and tools to accelerate deployment, new building technologies, modeling and analysis, commercial and residential building systems integration, grid interactive communications, and integration with EVs, storage and PVs.

    “As Deputy for Investment Services of the Net Zero World Initiative, I will be working in partnership with U.S. federal agencies, businesses, and other partners to mobilize $10 billion in clean energy finance by 2024 to accelerate energy system decarbonization in partner countries,” said Szum, who brings substantial experience working on energy efficiency market transformation initiatives, with a specialized focus on buildings and climate finance, for ICF (Inner City Fund) and U.S. Agency for International Development.

    DOE’s national labs and partners from other U.S. government agencies offer numerous existing tools, methods, and best practices that will inform the approach in each NZW country. The tools span numerous applications, including mapping tools that can assist with energy justice and decarbonization, climate vulnerability tools such as Berkeley Lab’s heat vulnerability index that identifies populations vulnerable to extreme heat, and economic tools such as Berkeley Lab’s solar impacts on energy burden that analyzes how solar could reduce energy burden on low-income households.

    “I am excited to work on the best-in-class tools, services, and technologies offered by DOE’s national labs, their partners, and across U.S. government agencies to help NZW countries achieve carbon neutrality and equitable clean energy transition,” said Zhou, who will lead world class experts from 10 national labs covering eight sectors, including system-wide, industry, building, transport, power and storage, cross-cutting technologies, nuclear, agriculture, and energy justice. The team will work to deploy technical solutions to the NZW countries, including Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

    In addition to Berkeley Lab, DOE’s national labs working on NZW include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, National Energy Technology Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    NZW is a public-private partnership with funding from DOE as well as other government and philanthropic organizations.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the University of California- Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded Fermi National Accelerator Laborator.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    LBNL/ALS

    DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source .
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry [above] is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:18 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ecology, , , , , , , "Deep ocean warming as climate changes"   

    From University of Exeter (UK) : “Deep ocean warming as climate changes” 

    From University of Exeter (UK)

    1
    The subtropical North Atlantic. Credit Marie-Jose Messias.

    Much of the “excess heat” stored in the subtropical North Atlantic is in the deep ocean (below 700m), new research suggests.

    Oceans have absorbed about 90% of warming caused by humans. The study found that in the subtropical North Atlantic (25°N), 62% of the warming from 1850-2018 is held in the deep ocean.

    The researchers – from the University of Exeter and the University of Brest – estimate that the deep ocean will warm by a further 0.2°C in the next 50 years.

    Ocean warming can have a range of consequences including sea-level rise, changing ecosystems, currents and chemistry, and deoxygenation.

    “As our planet warms, it’s vital to understand how the excess heat taken up by the ocean is redistributed in the ocean interior all the way from the surface to the bottom, and it is important to take into account the deep ocean to assess the growth of Earth’s ‘energy imbalance’,” said Dr Marie-José Messias, from the University of Exeter.

    “As well as finding that the deep ocean is holding much of this excess heat, our research shows how ocean currents redistribute heat to different regions.

    “We found that this redistribution was a key driver of warming in the North Atlantic.”

    The researchers studied the system of currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

    AMOC works like a conveyer belt, carrying warm water from the tropics north – where colder, dense water sinks into the deep ocean and spreads slowly south.

    The findings highlight the importance of warming transferring by AMOC from one region to another.

    Dr Messias said excess heat from the Southern Hemisphere oceans is becoming important in the North Atlantic – now accounting for about a quarter of excess heat.

    The study used temperature records and chemical “tracers” – compounds whose make-up can be used to discover past changes in the ocean.

    The paper is published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Exeter (UK) is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. It was founded and received its royal charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke’s College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively. In post-nominals, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis), and is the suffix given to honorary and academic degrees from the university.

    The university has four campuses: Streatham and St Luke’s (both of which are in Exeter); and Truro and Penryn (both of which are in Cornwall). The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university’s administrative buildings. The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University (UK) under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.

    Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and is also a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association (EU), and and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

     
  • richardmitnick 8:14 am on May 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ecology, , , , , , "Q&A-Giovanni Maggi describes new research on international climate agreements", EGC: European Green Capital   

    From Yale University: “Q&A-Giovanni Maggi describes new research on international climate agreements” 

    From Yale University

    May 17, 2022
    Clare Kemmerer

    1
    Brussels, Belgium. 21st February 2019. High school and university students stage a protest against the climate policies of the Belgian government. Photo by Alexandros Michailidis, Shuttterstock.

    2
    Photo by Ink Drop, Shutterstock.

    The EGC affiliate and his coauthor examine what international cooperation can achieve in a world where today’s climate policies affect future generations and climate catastrophes are possible.

    A theoretical model explores the catastrophic impacts of climate change and why international agreements struggle to slow it.

    World leaders have engaged in a series of international agreements to slow climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and most recently in November 2021, the Glasgow Climate Pact. Yet scientists and citizens – as well as those world leaders themselves – largely agree that these contracts have not gone far enough to prevent the catastrophic effects of a changing climate. What, precisely, is keeping the negotiating parties from making an agreement that rises to the occasion? Can we expect an 11th hour solution?

    These questions are the focus of a new working paper by Giovanni Maggi, Howard H. Leach Professor of Economics & International Affairs and an EGC affiliate, and co-author Robert W. Staiger of Dartmouth College. The authors create a theoretical model, casting climate change as potentially catastrophic and emphasizing that policies addressing it have inter-generational and international externalities – meaning, they impact future generations as well as other countries.

    In an EGC interview, Maggi described the implications of this theoretical model and what it predicts concerning the future of climate change responses. The conversation has been condensed for clarity.

    In your paper, you identify lack of engagement with future generations as one of the limitations of international climate agreements. Can you explain that?

    One of the main points of the paper is to call attention to a limitation of international agreements that have not been highlighted by previous academic research: the simple fact that they are contracts between countries within a generation. By necessity, future generations are excluded from these contracts. This limitation may be mitigated by inter-generational altruism – the fact that we care about our kids and our grand kids. But the issue is still there, that these future generations are simply not around to participate in the agreement today. This is the first attempt at a theoretical model to understand the ramifications of this issue.

    It helps to think about the different types of negative externalities from carbon emissions that these deals can or can’t address. International agreements are able to address what we call horizontal externalities, that is, externalities across countries within a generation. But they’re simply not able to fully address the externalities that our policies have on future generations.

    One of the more subtle aspects of these externalities is that international agreements are not only vertical in the sense of the impact of American policy today, but on future generations in the US. We also have diagonal externalities, which means the impact of the US policy today on future generations in other regions of the world, such as India or Africa. International agreements can only address horizontal externalities, but not vertical or diagonal ones. That is a limitation that we explore in the paper.

    Given these limitations, how can international climate agreements be useful?

    Our paper explores two kinds of scenarios. These are two conceptual extremes, and the real world is somewhere in between. One we call the “Common Brink” scenario. Here, the whole world faces a common brink of catastrophe. All countries stand or fall together. The other one is a scenario where there are more and less vulnerable countries. They differ in their risk and vulnerability, so some would collapse before others if the climate keeps warming.

    In the Common Brink scenario, we find that in the absence of an agreement, the world will run up to the brink of catastrophe, but at that point, there will be an 11th hour solution. Countries realize that catastrophe is just around the corner, and they restrain their carbon emissions. The world gets saved at the last moment, so to speak. The world doesn’t collapse, but the generation that is alive when the world gets to the brink will have to make these big sacrifices to avoid catastrophe.

    What can an international agreement do, if anything, to improve on this? Well, in addressing these horizontal externalities, it can slow down the warming of the climate, delaying or avoiding altogether this brink of catastrophe. That’s the value of an international agreement in this kind of world.

    And in the scenario in which different countries face climate change with varied vulnerability?

    What we find in that case is something more dramatic, in the sense that in the absence of an international agreement, it’s very likely that there will be a range of more vulnerable countries that would actually collapse. This process will stop at some point, but there will be some countries according to the model that we can expect to succumb, and some to just go on.

    What can an international agreement accomplish? We show that even in spite of limitations, an agreement that doesn’t take into account future generations is still likely to save at least some of these countries from collapse. It will save some countries, but likely not others. The situation will still be drastic, even under a well-functioning international agreement.

    One of your academic specialties is the study of trade. Can you explain how trade comes into your conclusions as a potential positive influence on international climate agreements?

    Suppose you add the possibility of a trade agreement in the picture. The more trade cooperation among countries, the larger the gains from trade that get lost if one country collapses. Other countries are going to be sorry not only because of the influx of climate refugees, but because they lose all these gains from trade that they created. Trade increases the incentives of other countries to help out and be proactive to save the more vulnerable nations. In this respect, global trade, which is often understood as exacerbating climate change, might in the end play a positive role in mitigating the catastrophic consequences of global warming.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:55 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Using Bacteria to Accelerate CO2 Capture in Oceans", , , , Ecology, , Gene manipulation, Removing CO2 from the oceans will enable them to continue to do their job of absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere., , The oceans have been acting as an important carbon sink for our planet., The path to capturing excess CO2 lays in being able to engineer a microbe.   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Using Bacteria to Accelerate CO2 Capture in Oceans” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    May 16, 2022
    Julie Chao

    1
    Berkeley Lab researcher Peter Agbo was awarded a grant for a carbon capture project under the Lab’s Carbon Negative Initiative. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

    You may be familiar with direct air capture, or DAC, in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere in an effort to slow the effects of climate change. Now a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has proposed a scheme for direct ocean capture. Removing CO2 from the oceans will enable them to continue to do their job of absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Experts mostly agree that combating climate change will take more than halting emissions of climate-warming gases. We must also remove the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that have already been emitted, to the tune of gigatons of CO2 removed each year by 2050 in order to achieve net zero emissions. The oceans contain significantly more CO2 than the atmosphere and have been acting as an important carbon sink for our planet.

    Peter Agbo is a Berkeley Lab staff scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division, with a secondary appointment in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. He was awarded a grant through Berkeley Lab’s Carbon Negative Initiative, which is aiming to develop breakthrough negative emissions technologies, for his ocean capture proposal. His co-investigators on this project are Steven Singer at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Ruchira Chatterjee, a scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division of Berkeley Lab.

    Q. Can you explain how you envision your technology to work?

    What I’m essentially trying to do is convert CO2 to limestone, and one way to do this is to use seawater. The reason you can do this is because limestone is composed of magnesium, or what’s called magnesium and calcium carbonates. There’s a lot of magnesium and calcium naturally resident in seawater. So if you have free CO2 floating around in seawater, along with that magnesium and calcium, it will naturally form limestone to a certain extent, but the process is very slow – borderline geologic time scales.

    It turns out that the bottleneck in the conversion of CO2 to these magnesium and calcium carbonates in seawater is a process that is naturally catalyzed by an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase. It’s not important to know the enzyme name; it’s just important to know that when you add carbonic anhydrase to this seawater mixture, you can basically accelerate the conversion of CO2 to these limestones under suitable conditions.

    And so the idea is to scale this up – drawing CO2 out of the atmosphere into the ocean and ultimately into some limestone product that you could sequester.

    Q. Fascinating. So you want to turn carbon dioxide into rock using a process that occurs naturally in seawater, but accelerating it. This sounds almost like science fiction. What are the challenges in getting this to work?

    To absorb CO2 from the air quick enough for the technology to work, you have to solve the problem of how to provide enough of this enzyme that you could deploy this process at a meaningful scale. If we were to simply try to supply the enzyme as a pure product, you couldn’t do it in an economically viable way. So the question I’m trying to answer here is, how would you do this? You also have to find ways of stabilizing the pH and mixing in enough air to raise and maintain your CO2 concentration in water.

    The solution that occurred to me was, okay, given that we know carbonic anhydrase is a protein, and proteins are naturally synthesized by biochemical systems, such as bacteria, which we can manipulate, then we could take bacteria and then engineer them to make carbonic anhydrase for us. And you can just keep growing these bacteria as long as you feed them. One problem, though, is that now you’ve shifted the cost burden onto supplying enough food to produce enough bacteria to produce enough enzyme.

    One way around this issue would be to use bacteria that can grow using energy and nutrients that are readily available in the natural environment. So this pointed towards photosynthetic bacteria. They can use sunlight as their energy source, and they can also use CO2 as their carbon source to feed on. And certain photosynthetic bacteria can also use the minerals that naturally occur in seawater essentially as vitamins.

    Q. Interesting. So the path to capturing excess CO2 lays in being able to engineer a microbe?

    Potentially one way, yes. What I’ve been working on in this project is to develop a genetically modified bacterium that is photosynthetic and is engineered to produce a lot of carbon anhydrase on its surface. Then, if you were to put it in seawater, where you have a lot of magnesium and calcium, and also CO2 present, you would see a rapid formation of limestone. That’s the basic idea.

    It’s a small project for now, so I decided to focus on getting the engineered organism. Right now, I’m simply trying to develop the primary catalyst system, which are the enzyme-modified bacteria to drive the mineralization. The other non-trivial pieces of this approach – how to appropriately design the reactor to stabilize CO2 concentrations and pH needed for this scheme to work – are future challenges. But I’ve been using simulations to inform my approaches to those problems.

    It’s a fun project because on any given day my co-PIs and I could be doing either physical electrochemistry or gene manipulation in the lab.

    Q. How would this look once it’s scaled up? And how much carbon would it be able to sequester?

    What I have envisioned is, the bacterium would be grown in a plant-scaled bioreactor. You basically flow seawater into this bioreactor while actively mixing in air, and it processes the seawater, converting it to limestone. Ideally, you probably have some type of downstream centrifugation process to extract the solids, which maybe could be driven by the flow of water itself, which then helps to pull out the limestone carbonates before you then eject the depleted seawater. An alternative that could possibly resolve the pH constraints of mineralization would be to implement this instead as a reversible process, where you also use the enzyme to reconvert the carbon you’ve captured in seawater back to a more concentrated CO2 stream (carbonic anhydrase behavior is reversible).

    What I’ve calculated for this system, assuming that the protein carbonic anhydrase behaves on the bacterial surface, more or less, the way it does in free solution, would suggest that you would need a plant that has only about a 1-million-liter volume, which is actually quite small. One of those could get you to roughly 1 megaton of CO2 captured per year. A lot of assumptions are built into that sort of estimate though, and it’s likely to change as work advances.

    Erecting 1,000 such facilities globally, which is a small number compared to the 14,000 water treatment facilities in the United States alone, would permit the annual, gigaton-scale capture of atmospheric CO2.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the University of California- Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded Fermi National Accelerator Laborator.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    LBNL/ALS

    DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source .
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry [above] is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:00 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Wildfires Drought and Insects Threaten Forests in the United States", , , , , Ecology, , Western forest managers face a catch-22: They can keep carbon sequestered in trees by reducing controlled burns but that creates denser forests at greater risk of going up in uncontrolled flames.   

    From Eos: “Wildfires Drought and Insects Threaten Forests in the United States” 

    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    AT

    AGU

    12 May 2022
    Rishika Pardikar

    Western forest managers face a catch-22: They can keep carbon sequestered in trees by reducing controlled burns, but that creates denser forests at greater risk of going up in uncontrolled flames.

    1
    Wildfires like the Monument Fire, which burned in Trinity, Calif., in August 2021, may be hastened by forest management practices. Credit: CalTrans.

    Wildfire risk to forests across the United States is set to increase by a factor of 4, and tree mortality caused by other climate-induced factors like drought, heat, disease, and insects is set to at least double, new research shows.

    “Forests in the western half of the U.S. have the highest vulnerability to each of these risks,” said William Anderegg, an associate professor at the University of Utah and lead author of the paper, which was published in Ecology Letters.

    But risks are not confined to the West. There are wildfire risks in Florida and Georgia, as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas, and insect and drought risks in the northern Great Lakes states.

    Anderegg explained that researchers modeled burned areas depicted by satellite imagery and used forest inventory data to ascertain other climate risks like drought, heat, disease, and insect-driven tree mortality.

    The paper provides insights for improving forest conservation practices and underscores an urgent need to reduce emissions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, Anderegg said. More specifically, it highlights design and assessment flaws in climate policies like forest carbon offsets. Anderegg and the other authors question the integrity of offset projects and call for “rigorous forest climate risk assessment” for policies and programs that rely on the potential of forests to store carbon.

    Reworking Forest Offset Designs

    The way that forest offset protocols account for risks like wildfire is buffer pools—unharvested woodlands set aside to compensate for carbon losses. But, Anderegg said, such buffer pools do not account for geographical heterogeneity, like wildfire risks in California being significantly higher than those in Maine, or the fact that risks like wildfire are likely set to increase owing to climate change.

    Another technique the scientific community often suggests is controlled burning. But there’s a problem: Many of the forests, especially those in the West, are part of forest offset projects in California’s cap-and-trade program. What this means, in essence, is that owners and managers of these forests are incentivized not to burn because carbon credits are dependent on the amount of carbon these forests can hold.

    Bodie Cabiyo, a graduate research fellow in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California-Berkeley, noted that some of these forests have grown very dense and now have a lot of carbon in them. Cabiyo was not involved in the new research.

    “What worries me about the offset protocols is that they incentivize dense forests, which are at higher risk of disturbance,” he said. Although management techniques like thinning can protect against future disturbances, the protocols effectively penalize such actions because they reduce carbon stocks. “So not only are these protocols underestimating disturbance risk, but they’re potentially making that risk greater,” Cabiyo added.

    Expressing similar concerns, Barbara Haya, director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, said the protocols are creating “a perverse incentive” for forest managers to not decrease carbon stock even when it is beneficial to do so. “The offset protocols are in direct contradiction with some work that’s being done in California to manage forests more sustainably to reduce fire risk,” she added.

    Anderegg suggested that an investment framework that allowed for management like prescribed burns would work better for both forest conservation and carbon sequestration.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:32 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Prioritizing environmental justice while capturing carbon from the air", , , , , Ecology, ,   

    From Penn Today and The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science: “Prioritizing environmental justice while capturing carbon from the air” 

    From Penn Today

    and

    The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    May 16, 2022
    Melissa Pappas

    Reaching carbon emission goals requires efforts on all fronts of carbon management: decreasing carbon emissions, capturing carbon, and storing carbon. Traditionally, cost and resource availability are leading factors that determine how and where these efforts are made, leaving environmental and societal impacts as afterthoughts.

    Penn Engineers in the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s Clean Energy Conversions Laboratory are changing this by prioritizing environmental justice throughout the entire life cycle of carbon management.

    The Clean Energy Conversions Lab is currently led by Peter Psarras, research assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering (CBE), while Jennifer Wilcox, Presidential Distinguished Professor in Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy in CBE, serves in the Department of Energy for the Biden Administration. The lab’s mission is to minimize the environmental and climate impacts of the world’s dependence on fossil fuels through carbon management.

    1
    Peter Psarras and his students study the fundamentals of storing captured carbon in rock waste, conducting experiments at the Pennovation Center. (Image: Penn Engineering Today)

    The group’s research focuses on three main questions: How can we limit atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide; what can we do with the carbon dioxide once it is captured; and how will those solutions scale to meet our needs?

    One particular technology Psarras and fellow researchers in the Clean Energy Conversions Lab examine is direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide. DAC is technology which extracts carbon dioxide from the air through a series of chemical reactions, returning the “cleaned” air back into the environment. Plants do this through photosynthesis, while DAC does this through an engineered, mechanical system, which requires a fraction of the time and physical space of their biological counterparts.

    Psarras’ work in carbon management modeling has also been a key part in helping the state of Nevada reach net zero by 2050. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Psarras and his team have provided multiple cases which include various degrees of capturing, reducing, and storing carbon to reach this goal.

    Psarras and his students are planning a follow-up study in Nevada where they will sample the mines as potential carbon storage areas, as well as conduct interviews with community members to understand what they want and how they will respond to future policies.

    “Our work is constantly weighing harms against each other because there is no solution that will have zero negative impact,” says Psarras. “And this is the reason we cannot have knee-jerk reactions to any solutions offered to reach these goals. Our goal as a lab is to inform through science-based dialog, and we’re beginning to understand the importance of doing that beyond a purely academic audience.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science is an undergraduate and graduate school of The University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

    Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. SEAS also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on May 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dramatic loss of globe’s wetlands", , , Ecology, James Cook University (AU)   

    From James Cook University (AU): “Dramatic loss of globe’s wetlands” 

    From James Cook University (AU)

    13 May 2022

    Dr Nicholas Murray
    nicholas.murray@jcu.edu.au

    1
    Wetland in China. Image: Nicholas Murray.

    2
    Extensive coastal development along the East Asia coastline has led to rapid declines of tidal flat ecosystems, which are the principal coastal ecosystems protecting coastal populations in China Credit: Nicholas Murray.

    Researchers analysing more than one-million satellite images have discovered 4,000 square kilometres of tidal wetlands have been lost globally over twenty years – but ecosystem restoration and natural processes are playing a part in reducing total losses.

    Dr Nicholas Murray, Senior Lecturer and head of James Cook University’s Global Ecology Lab, led the study. He said global change and human actions are driving rapid changes of tidal wetlands —tidal marshes, mangroves and tidal flats — worldwide.

    “But efforts to estimate their current and future status at the global scale remain highly unclear due to uncertainty about how tidal wetlands respond to drivers of change.

    “We wanted to address that, so we developed a machine-learning analysis of vast archives of historical satellite images to detect the extent, timing and type of change across the world’s tidal wetlands between 1999 and 2019,” said Dr Murray.

    He said that globally, 13,700 square kilometres of tidal wetlands were lost, offset by gains of 9,700 square kilometres, leading to a net loss of 4000 square kilometres over the two-decade period.

    “We found 27 per cent of losses and gains were associated with direct human activities, such as conversion to agriculture and restoration of lost wetlands. All other changes were attributed to indirect drivers such as human impacts to river catchments, extensive development in the coastal zone, coastal subsidence, natural coastal processes and climate change,” said Dr Murray.

    He said about three-quarters of the net global tidal wetland decrease happened in Asia, with almost 70 per cent of that total concentrated in Indonesia, China and Myanmar.

    “Asia is the global centre of tidal wetland loss from direct human activities. These activities had a lesser role in the losses of tidal wetlands in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Oceania, where coastal wetland dynamics were driven by indirect factors such as wetland migration, coastal modifications and catchment change,” said Dr Murray.

    The scientists found that almost three-quarters of tidal wetland loss globally has been offset by the establishment of new tidal wetlands in areas where they formerly did not occur – with notable expansion in the Ganges and Amazon deltas.

    “Most new areas of tidal wetlands were the result of indirect drivers, highlighting the prominent role that broad-scale coastal processes have in maintaining tidal wetland extent and facilitating natural regeneration. This result indicates that we need to allow for the movement and migration of coastal wetlands to account for rapid global change,” said Dr Murray.

    He said over one billion people now live in low-elevation coastal areas globally.

    “Tidal wetlands are of immense importance to humanity, providing benefits such as carbon storage and sequestration, coastal protection, and fisheries enhancement.

    “Global-scale monitoring is now essential if we are going to manage changes in coastal environments effectively,” said Dr Murray.

    Science paper:
    Science

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    James Cook University ( AU) is a public university in North Queensland, Australia. The second oldest university in Queensland, JCU is a teaching and research institution. The University’s main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. JCU also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care, tourism and engineering.

     
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