These carbon and greenhouse gas variables were examined for major terrestrial ecosystems (forests, grasslands/shrublands, agricultural lands, and wetlands) and aquatic ecosystems (rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters) in the Eastern United States in two time periods: baseline (from 2001 through 2005) and future (projections from the end of the baseline through 2050). The Great Lakes were not included in this assessment due to a lack of input data.
The assessment was based on measured and observed data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey and many other agencies and organizations and used remote sensing, statistical methods, and simulation models.
Rivers move large amounts of carbon downstream to the oceans. Developing a better understanding of the factors that control the transport of carbon in rivers is an important component of global carbon cycling research. The study is a product of the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesisand the USGS Land Carbon program.
Different downstream patterns were found between the two river systems. The amount of carbon steadily increased down the Missouri River from headwaters to its confluence with the Mississippi River, but decreased in the lower Colorado River. The differences were attributed to less precipitation, greater evaporation, and the diversion of water for human activities on the Colorado River. For upstream/headwater sites on both rivers, carbon fluxes varied along with seasonal precipitation and temperature changes.
The study presents estimates of changes in the amount of carbon moving down the Colorado and Missouri Rivers and provides new insights into aquatic carbon cycling in arid and semi-arid regions of the central and western U.S, where freshwater carbon cycling studies have been less common. This work is part of an ongoing effort to directly address the importance of freshwater ecosystems in the context of the broader carbon cycle. In the future, changing hydrology and warming temperatures will increase the importance of reservoirs in carbon cycling, and may lead to an increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions that contribute to global warming, but may also increase the amount of carbon buried in sediments. (Source: USGS, 16 June, 2014) Contact: U.S. Geological Survey, (650) 329-4006, www.usgs.gov
Tags U.S. Geological Survey news, Carbon news, Carbon Emissions news,
The project aims to resolve disagreements between the computer models, and actual forest CO2 measurements by developing new knowledge and deeper understanding of seasonal climate, photosynthesis, and water relationships in Amazon tropical forests, through the use of advanced remote-sensing techniques and field observations.
The project focuses on existing tropical forest study sites near Manaus and Santarem, Brazil. Scientists will measure physiological properties of leaves and trees, and water flow, and use innovative remote-sensing instruments to monitor the light-reflecting properties of the forest and the effects of clouds and smoke on solar radiation. Scientists will also model the three-dimensional variation in photosynthesis in various forest structures and light levels.
The project is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, GOAmazon campaign. (Source: US DOE, USGS, 10 Mar., 2014) Contact:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing, Leslie Gordon, (650) 329-4006, www.usgs.gov
Tags U.S. Geological Survey news, Carbon Emissions news, Climate Change news,
Widespread lake shrinkage in discontinuous regions of permafrost has been linked to global warming, climate change and shallow permafrost thaw. Counter-intuitively, USGS scientists have observed newly forming permafrost around Twelvemile Lake in interior Alaska, where lake water level has dropped by several meters over the past three decades.
Permafrost typically forms in colder climates when average annual temperatures remain close to or below freezing. Permafrost soils accumulate ice and plant material and can impede groundwater flow. During periods of thaw, water, methane and other gases are released from their frozen pockets of ice.
By understanding permafrost thaw, its degradation in a warming climate, and its impacts on ecosystems and society, managers will be able to plan for rising global temperatures, and climate change. New permafrost formation should also be considered as a possibility in some systems.
This study considered ecological succession, the pattern of vegetation regrowth, within the receded lake margin as the driver of new permafrost through alterations in ground shading and water infiltration. This hypothesis was tested by modeling variably saturated groundwater flow and heat transport under freeze-thaw conditions.
The simulations supported new permafrost development under current climatic conditions, when the net changes effects of woody vegetation are considered, thus pointing to the role of ecological succession.
(Source: USGS, Mar. 10, 2014) Contact:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S., Geological Survey, (703) 648-4406, www.usgs.gov
Tags Global Warming news, Climate Change news,
Encompassing 7,660 forested acres in Northern California, the Yurok's Improved Forest Management project has been selling carbon offsets in the California Cap-and-Trade system . The project has avoided more than 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 2012 to 2013, marking the first forestry offset credits from a native compliance project.
(Source: Yurok Tribe, SGS Global, TurlockJournal.com, 14 Feb., 2014) Contact: SGS Global, Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Exec. VP, www.scsglobalservices.com
Tags SGS Global news, California Carbon Market news, Cap-and-Trade news,
In response to the DoI's Powering Our Future initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has begun investigating how to assess the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife at a national scale. In additional to the turbines and blades, habitat impacts include the turbine pads, service roads, transmission lines, substations, meteorological towers, and other structures associated with wind energy siting, generation, and transmission. Knowing the location of individual turbines, as well as information such as the make, model, height, area of the turbine blades, and capacity creates new opportunities for research, and important information for land and resource management. For example, turbine-level data will improve scientists' ability to study wildlife collisions, the wakes causes by wind turbines, the interaction between wind turbines and ground based radar, and how wind energy facilities overlap with migratory flyways.
In addition to the value this powerful tool has to Federal and State land managers, non-governmental organizations, the energy industry, scientists, and the public, it will be a useful component in the methodology that the USGS is developing for assessing wind energy impacts. Once developed, the methodology will be externally peer-reviewed and tested with pilot-level data projects. Once peer reviewed, the revised methodology will be published for others to understand and use.
During periods of thaw, soil, rocks, small plants, and gases -- CO2, nitrogen and methane -- are released from the permafrost into the atmosphere. In the next 50 years, as arctic systems warm, the release of carbon and nitrogen in permafrost could greatly exacerbate the warming phenomenon, according to USGS scientists and their collaborators.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contributes to several science networks dedicated to detecting and understanding permafrost, its degradation in a warming climate, and its impacts on ecosystems and society. Time series of observations are the focus of several networks such as the Real-Time Permafrost and Climate Monitoring Network in Arctic Alaska, Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM), borehole temperature monitoring, and ecosystem assessments. Meanwhile, spatial surveys are used to develop an understanding of complex processes involved in permafrost formation and degradation, and permafrost cores are used to understand the timing of permafrost formation and degradation on longer timescales. Ultimately and in tandem with computer modeling, the measurements of ice, water, carbon, and biology fundamentally improve our assessments of arctic change.
Permafrost is primarily found where average annual air temperatures remain below freezing: Scandinavia, Siberia, Tibet, Alaska, and Canada as well as in Patagonia in Chile and the Southern Alps in New Zealand.
Periods of warming in the Arctic cause permafrost to degrade. As permafrost thaws, large amounts of carbon and nitrogen are subjected to decomposer organisms in the warming soil. Potentially huge amounts of carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere, and these gases in turn exacerbate the warming climate because of their greenhouse effect in the upper atmosphere.
The USGS uses carbon comparisons between past climate cycles and recent warming trends; between wildfires and unburned landscapes; between wetter and drier conditions; and younger to older thaw histories,
to help build a picture of how ecosystems and the atmosphere are likely to respond in a permafrost-free future. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey, 13 Jan., 2014) Contact: U.S. Geological Survey, www.usgs.gov
Tags USGS news, Climate Change news, Soil Carbon news, Carbon news,
In addition to furniture and building products, SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certification can now be earned for carpeting that meets its IAQ standards for low-emitting materials. Indoor Advantage Gold, along with FloorScore certification, also verifies compliance with established standards for low volatile organic compound (VOC) content in wet-applied products such as adhesives, paints, coatings, caulks and sealants. SCS verifications minimize the risk of VOC chemical hazards and off-gassing by interior building products, both of which may present health and safety issues for occupants.
Products certified by SCS meet the standards for good indoor air quality (IAQ) as specified by CDPH Standard Method v1.1-2010 (aka CA 01350) and ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and X7.1.
(Source: SCS Global Services, 9 Dec., 2013) Contact: SCS Global Services,
Lawrence Nussbaum, (510) 452-6821, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sgsglobalservices.com
Tags LEED Certification news, SCS Global Services news,
To achieve their goal, Fruit of the Loom is investing in biomass electricity generation for use in its Honduran operations. The company has also committed to purchase electricity from a new hydroelectric power generation facility that is being constructed in Honduras.
SCS Global Services independently verified Fruit of the Loom's carbon footprint against the ISO 14064-3 and ISO 14065 standards as well as the World Resource Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The total 2012 footprint included emissions from stationary combustion of fossil fuels, refrigerant and chemical consumption, transportation, and purchased electricity.
(Source: SCS Global Services, 22 Oct., 2013) Contact: SGS Global, Elsie Hunter, (510) 452-6820, email@example.com, Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, SCS Executive Vice President www.scsglobalservices.com; Fruit of the Loom, Rick Medlin, President and CEO, www.fruit.com
Tags SCS Global Services news, Carbon Footprint news, Greenhouse Gas news,
The USGS approach is geologically based, as the rock layers included in the assessment were limited to those determined to have sufficient natural seals to prevent CO2 from escaping.
The USGS released its first national assessment of technically accessible geologic CO2 storage potential in June of 2013. According to that assessment, the U.S. has the potential to store a mean of 3,000 metric gigatons of CO2 in geologic basins throughout the country. This national assessment complements the regional estimates that the Department of Energy includes in their periodically updated Atlas. (Source: USGS, 20 Sept., 2013) Contact: USGS, U.S. DOI, Peter Warwick, (703) 648-6469, http://energy.usgs.gov; IEA. +33 1 40 57 6500, www.iea.org
Tags International Energy Agency news, Carbon Storage news, USGS news,
The registry is intended to improve planning as governments embark on climate change mitigation efforts to protect species, habitats and water infrastructure. (Source: USGS, E2Wire BLOG, Aug. 20, 2013) . Contact: USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, Laura Thompson, www.usgs.gov
Tags Climate Change news,
The DHL GoGreen Carbon Neutral service allows customers to eliminate their carbon footprint generated during the consignment of each international document and parcel by reinvesting in internationally certified environmental protection projects. In 2012, DHL delivered over 2.4 billion GoGreen shipments, offsetting approximately 180,000 tons of CO2 -- 30 percent more than 2011.
(Source: DHL GoGreen, China Post, 7 August, 2013)
Contact: DHL, www.dhl.com; Standard Chartered Bank, Taiwan, www.standardchartered.com.tw/en
Tags Carbon Neutral news,
Unfortunately there are a couple of problems. Firstly, submitting data for the project is voluntary. As the CSI points out in its press release the data set comprises 55 percent of cement production outside of China. A rough calculation based on global cement production capacity suggests that this could only account for about one third of cement made. So how much carbon does the other two-thirds of cement made emit?
Secondly, although CO2 emissions per tonne of cement have gone down by a sixth since 1990, global cement production more than tripled in the same time period. USGS data placed world production at 1.40Bt in 1990. It estimated 3.59Bt in 2011. In terms of net CO2 released into the atmosphere, in 1990 this was 1058Bt. In 2011 it was 2260Bt.
The CSI data shows that the cement industry has made an effort to reduce CO2 emissions since 1990, but this has been counteracted by a rise in cement production. To compensate for the rise in production between 1990 and 2011 the specific net CO2 emissions-per-tonne of cementitious product would have had to have fallen to below 300kg/t, a drop of 60 percent.
As the CSI has demonstrated, emissions and production are gradually separating in the cement industry. From 2010 to 2011 specific net CO2 emissions per tonne of cementitious product fell from 638kg/t to 629kg/t. If this trend continues -- and if it is representative for the cement producers the CSI doesn't cover -- then the industry may be getting a handle on its emissions. We may be about to hit peak emissions for the cement industry sooner rather than later. (Source: Global Cement, July 17, 2013)
Tags Cement news, Carbon Emissions news,
Based on present-day geologic and hydrologic knowledge of the subsurface and current engineering practices, this assessment looked at the potential for CO2 storage in 36 basins in the U.S.. The largest potential is in the Coastal Plains region, which accounts for 2,000 metric gigatons, or 65 percent, of the storage potential. Alaska and the Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains region also have significant storage capacity. Technically accessible storage resources are those that can be accessed using today's technology and pressurization and injection techniques. The most common method of geologic carbon storage involves pressurizing CO2 gas into a liquid, and then injecting it into subsurface rock layers for long-term storage.
The assessment is the first geologically based and probabilistic assessment, estimating a range of 2,400 to 3,700 metric gigatons of CO2 storage potential across the U.S . For comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2011, the U.S. emitted 5.5 metric gigatons of energy-related CO2, while the global emissions of energy-related CO2 totaled 31.6 metric gigatons. Metric gigatons are a billion metric tons.
Although the scope of sequestration included in this assessment is unprecedented, injecting CO2 into geologic formations is not a new process or technology. CO2 injection has been one method of enhanced oil recovery since the 1980s. The process works by flooding the oil reservoir with liquid CO2, which reduces the viscosity of the hydrocarbons and allows them to flow to the well more easily.
The USGS project results announced today represent an assessments of storage capacity on a regional and national basis, and results are not intended for use in the evaluation of specific sites for potential CO2 storage. All sedimentary basins in the U.S. were evaluated, but 36 were assessed because existing geologic conditions or the available data suggested only these 36 met the assessment's minimum criteria.
In 2007, Congress authorized the USGS to conduct the carbon sequestration assessment in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The USGS also studies biologic carbon sequestration -- sequestration that happens naturally in trees, fields, and different types of ecosystems that store carbon. The USGS has already completed assessments for the Great Plains Region and the western U.S.; reports on the eastern U.S., Alaska and Hawaii will follow. (Source: USGS, 26 June, 2012) Contact: USGS, Jessica Kershaw, (202) 208-6416, www.usgs.gov
Tags CCS news, Carbon Sequestration news, USGS news,
The company says it has secured funding and has inked a 25-year PPA with a large North Carolina utility.
(Source: NDR Energy, EBR 4 June, 2013) Contact: NDR Energy Group, Ken Harris, Pres., (704) 248-0583, www.ndrenergy.com; JSG Solar, (904) 579-4360, www.jsgsolar.com
Tags NDR Energy news, Solar news,
Green Plains Renewable Energy has a production capacity of approximately 740 million gpy from nine plants located in Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan. The company also produces valuable co-products such as distiller's grains (DDGs) used for animal feed and corn oil, often used in the production of biodiesel.
SCS provides accredited services under a wide range of internationally recognized certification programs. (Source: SCS Global Services, 21 May, 2013) Contact: Green Plains Renewable Energy, Jim Stark, VP, (402) 884-8700, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gpreinc.com;
SGS Global Services., Nick Kordesch , (510) 452-8035, email@example.com
Tags Green Plains Renewable Energy news, Biofuel news, SCS Global Service news, DDGs news, Biodiesel news,
A team led by research oceanographer Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., compared passive "bathtub" inundation models with dynamic models for two of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The team studied Midway, a classic atoll with islands on the shallow atoll rim and a deep, central lagoon, and Laysan, which is higher, with a deeper rim and an island in the center of the atoll. Together, the two locations exhibit landforms and coastal features common to many Pacific islands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are also among the world's most important nesting and breeding sites for migratory birds and other wildlife.
The team found that at least twice as much land is forecast to be inundated on Midway and Laysan by sea-level rise than was projected by passive models. For example, 91 percent of Midway's Eastern Island is projected to be inundated under a model that takes into account storm and wave activity accompanied by a sea-level rise of 2 meters as compared with only 19 percent under passive sea-level-rise models. Storm waves on Midway are also projected to be three to four times higher than they are today, because more deep-water wave energy could propagate over the atoll rim and larger wind-driven waves could develop on the atoll. These findings have importance not only for island wildlife on the largely uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and other low-lying Pacific Island groups.
The report, Forecasting the Impact of Storm Waves and Sea-Level Rise on Midway Atoll and Laysan Island within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument - A Comparison of Passive Versus Dynamic Inundation Models, is available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1069. (Source: USGS, 11 April, 2013) Contact: USGS, Curt Storlazzi, (831) 427-4748, firstname.lastname@example.org; Barbara Wilcox, (650) 329-4014, email@example.com, www.usgs.gov
Tags Global Warming news,
SCS Global Services (SCS) provides third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation and Certified B Corp™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. (Source: SCS Global Services, 25 Feb., 2013)
Contact: Nick Kordesch (510) 452-8035, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.scsglobalservices.com; Piedmont Biofuels, (919)321-8260, www.biofuels.coop
Tags Piedmont Biofuels news, SGS Globa news, Biodiesel news, Biofuels news, Sustainable Biofuelsl news,
The database contains information from a network of academic researchers, private industry, and state and federal agencies. It includes more than 717,000 oil and gas wells, 414,000 water wells, and 9,300 geothermal wells nationwide. An additional 2 to 3 million wells will be added to the database within a year.
These wells are critical resources to aid in the exploration and development of the nation's geothermal energy resources. They also represent an invaluable resource for a wide variety of environmental, hydrological, and other natural resource uses. Each well is accompanied by geographical coordinates, county and state location, well status, total depth, and spud and end-of-drilling dates. Some wells include bore hole temperature, aqueous geochemistry, drillers log, and geophysical logs -- typically porosity, resistivity and temperature logs.
To serve the geothermal exploration and research communities, the NDGS catalog portal provides data discovery via an interactive geographic map tool, ready data access, and analysis. NGDS uses open standards and protocols to encourage developers to build custom applications for accessing and displaying data. The site also includes a FAQ section and tutorials for use of the system. The system can accommodate common GIS applications, including GoogleEarth, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Explorer, NREL Geothermal Prospector, Microsoft Layerscape, and the USGS' National Map Viewer. (Source: Arizona Geological Survey, Tucson Citizen, 4 Dec., 2012)
Contact: Access FREE National Geothermal Data System at http://geothermaldata.org
Tags Arizona Geological Survey news, Geothermal news,
To generate their estimates, the USGS scientists studied how permafrost-affected soils, known as Gelisols, thaw under various climate scenarios. They found that all Gelisols are not alike: some have soil materials with large amounts of decaying organic matter that burns easily and will impart newly thawed nitrogen into the ecosystem and atmosphere. Others have materials that are very nutrient rich and will impart a lot of nitrogen into the ecosystem. All Gelisols will contribute carbon dioxide and likely some methane into the atmosphere as a result of decomposition once the permafrost thaws. And, gases will themselves contribute to further warming.
"The scientific community researching this phenomena has made these international data available for the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says USGS soil scientist Jennifer Harden. "As permafrost receives more attention, we are sharing our data and our insights to guide those models as they portray how the land, atmosphere, and ocean interact." Harden added. (Source: USGS, TG Daily, Oct. 29, 2012) Contact: U.S. Geological Survey, www.usgs.gov
Tags U.S. Geological Survey news, Carbon Emissions news,
The research forecasts that under faster sea-level rise rates, salt marshes could bury up to four times as much carbon as they do now. The study forecasts that marshes will absorb some of that carbon dioxide, and if other coastal ecosystems -- such as seagrasses and mangroves -- respond similarly, there might be a little less warming.
Interestingly, salt marshes are perhaps the best example of an ecosystem that actually depends on carbon accumulation to survive climate change: the accumulation of roots in the soil builds their elevation, keeping the plants above the water. Salt marshes store significant quantities of carbon by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through their leaves, and then storing it in their roots. As plants die, the carbon becomes part of the soil and helps the marsh survive sea level rise.
"Coastal wetlands are among the most economically and ecologically valuable ecosystems on Earth, with their services estimated worth about $15,000 an acre," said Matthew Larsen, associate director for climate and land use research at the U.S. Geological Survey. "They provide clean water, abundant food, wildlife habitat and protection from storms. This and other USGS research aims to understand and forecast the vulnerability of coastal wetland systems to global change and identify ways that managers can effectively respond to global change effects."
Kirwan cautioned that the study also showed that marshes can survive only moderately fast rates of sea level rise. To survive, the elevation of the soil surface has to build vertically through time. If the seas rise more quickly than the marsh can build up, marshes drown and die off. "At fast levels of sea level rise, no realistic amount of carbon accumulation will help them survive. And, , if marshes are drowned by fast-rising seas, they no longer would provide a significant carbon storage capacity," Kirwan said.
The US DOI manages 35 million acres of low-lying coastal areas, including marshes and thousands of miles of shoreline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alone manages about 5 million acres of coastal wetlands.
"This research can help decision makers understand and prepare for how coastal areas may fare in response to climate change," said Glenn Guntenspergen, a USGS researcher who leads a project on Coastal Marsh Response to Climate and Land Use Change Project that this study was a part of. Kirwan and his co-author, Simon Mudd, a geosciences researcher at the University of Edinburgh used computer models to predict salt marsh growth rates under different climate change and sea level scenarios. (Source: USGS, PR, 26 Sept., 2012)
Contact: USGS, www.usgs.gov
Tags U.S. Geological Survey news, Climate Change news, Salt Marsh news,
Over the past two years, crews drilled nine wells in Utah's Black Rock Desert basin south of Delta to test out a theory that water at high temperatures might exist deep beneath the surface that would be hot enough to be turned into steam, which could then be used to generate electricity.
The agency has identified an approximately 100-square-mile area within the Black Rock Desert basin it believes could eventually support power plants that could conservatively produce hundreds of megawatts of electricity. The area is especially attractive for geothermal development because of the existing infrastructure, including a large coal-fired power plant, a 300-MW wind farm and a nearby major electrical transmission line.
The U.S. Geological Survey several years ago conducted a survey of the nation's available geothermal resources and, at that time, estimated 80 percent of the potential sites had yet to be discovered. (Source: USGS, Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 27, 2012) Contact: Utah Geological Survey, www.geology.utah.gov; USGS, www.usgs.gov
Tags Utah Geological Survey news, USGS news, Geothermal news,
"Ocean acidification is a particularly vexing problem associated with the release of CO2 into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels because it interferes with the ability of marine organisms to build hard shells of calcium carbonate," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "Comparatively more research has been devoted to the tropics, where coral reefs are threatened. This important expedition focuses on polar latitudes, where the acidification effects can cascade from microscopic organisms up to our economy, as the organisms at risk form the base of the food chain for some of the world's most productive fisheries."
Oceans currently absorb about one-fourth of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) increases in the atmosphere and is absorbed by the ocean. Ocean acidity will continue to rise as CO2 levels are projected to increase. The Arctic Ocean's cold surface waters absorb CO2 more rapidly than warmer oceans, thus contributing to its vulnerability. This vulnerability is increased as the warming climate causes sea-ice to retreat and melt, leaving less of a buffer and more exposure of surface water to the atmosphere.
On the previous two cruises in 2010 and 2011, scientists collected more than 30,000 water samples and traveled throughout the Canada Basin up to very near the North Pole. Data from the cruises are currently being processed. "This cruise offers us an opportunity to collect more information over a vast spatial extent of the Arctic Ocean," said USGS oceanographer and project chief Lisa Robbins. "These data will provide a better understanding of the current patterns of acidification and thus they will significantly contribute to society's efforts to understand, forecast, and potentially mitigate impacts to the Arctic ecosystem and its many globally important resources."
USGS field experiments on ocean acidification are currently being run in tropical, temperate, and polar environments, including the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and the Arctic Ocean.
(Source: USGC, 24 Aug.2012)
Contact: USGS, www.usgs.gov
Tags Global Warming news,
Algae.Tec Executive Chairman Roger Stroud said Algae.Tec offers NSW and Australia energy security at a time when traditional fossil fuel companies are leaving the local market. "Algae.Tec offers the promise of home grown transport fuels (aviation and diesel), which is the number one energy security priority for countries like the USA and increasingly Australia." Algae.Tec announced that leading inspection, verification, testing and certification services company SGS will now undertake the third party yield validation process.
Algae.Tec has projects with Holcim Lanka, joint venture discussions in China, and a manufacturing base in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). The Company is also in talks with relevant firms in NSW, Brazil and the United States. (Source: Algae Tec, 2 Aug., 2012) Contact: Algae Tec, (678) 679-7370 (U.S. Office),
Tags Algae Tec news, Algae Biofuel news,
Since about 1990, sea-level rise in the 600-mile stretch of coastal zone from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to north of Boston, Mass. -- coined a "hot spot" by scientists -- has increased 2 - 3.7 millimeters per year; the global increase over the same period was 0.6 to 1.0 millimeter per year. The report shows that the sea-level rise hotspot is consistent with the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation. Models show this change in circulation may be tied to changes in water temperature, salinity and density in the sub-polar north Atlantic. Though global sea level has been projected to rise roughly two-to-three feet or more by the end of the 21st century, it will not climb at the same rate at every location. Differences in land movements, strength of ocean currents, water temperatures, and salinity can cause regional and local highs and lows in sea level.
"Cities in the hot spot, like Norfolk, New York, and Boston already experience damaging floods during relatively low intensity storms," said Dr. Asbury Sallenger, USGS oceanographer and project lead. "Ongoing accelerated sea level rise in the hotspot will make coastal cities and surrounding areas increasingly vulnerable to flooding by adding to the height that storm surge and breaking waves reach on the coast."
During the 21st century, the increases in sea level rise rate that have already occurred in the hotspot will yield increases in sea level of 8 to 11.4 inches by 2100. This regional sea level increase would be in addition to components of global sea level rise.
To determine accelerations of sea level, USGS scientists analyzed tide gauge data throughout much of North America in a way that removed long-term (linear) trends associated with vertical land movements. This allowed them to focus on recent changes in rates of sea-level rise caused, for example, by changes in ocean circulation. (Source: USGS, PR, 23 June, 2012) Contact: USGS, www.usgs.gov
Tags USGS news,
ISGS is one of five consortium members involved in ongoing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) efforts in Decatur; others include Schlumberger Carbon Services and Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) which is supplying the CO2 and financing construction of the collection, compression and dehydration facilities required to sequester it. The U.S. Dept. of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy is providing additional funding and support for both projects.
(Source: ENERMidwest, 21 May, 2012) Contact: Robert Drummond, President, North America, Schlumberger Carbon Services, (281) 285-1300, email@example.com, www.slb.com; Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, www.sequestration.org
Tags Schlumberger Carbon Services news,
Heliatek, founded in 2006 as a spin off from the universities of Dresden and Ulm, is based on the use of small organic molecules to produce highly tailorable, low temperature, low cost organic photovoltaics which, although less optically efficient than silicon could prove to be more economically efficient. SGS measurements included showed that the cell has improved efficiency under low light conditions and that the efficiency remains constant with temperature.
The company is currently working on its first roll-to-roll manufacturing line installed in Dresden, Germany, to go in production in the third quarter of 2012. It has also kicked off a third financing round to raise 60 million euro from current and new investors for a new roll-to-roll 75 megawatt-peak production line.
(Source: Heliatek, 29 April, 2012) Contact: Heliatek, Martin Pfeiffer, co-founder and CTO, www.heliatek.com
Scientists at the U.S. DOE's Joint BioEnergy Institute announced last year they were working with new strains of Escherichia coli that could more easily digest biomass from switch grass for use in gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.
The USGS said it expected demand for biofuel products to increase as global economics search out alternatives to fossil fuels. The agency said "critical considerations" are made when examining energy derived from biofuels compared to the energy used to grow and process them.
In December, 2011, the U.S. DOE announced that, along with the USDA, it awarded $12.2 million for 10 separate grants that target improvements in biofuels and bioenergy crops. (Source: USGS) Contact: U.S. Geological Survey, www.usgs.gov
Tags USGS news, Switchgrass news,
The researchers are using innovative new near-surface and deep monitoring technology to protect health and safety while keeping track of how the CO2 behaves in the subsurface. The IBDP also has a 7,000-foot-deep verification well on site that allows the researchers to monitor pressure and fluid chemistry. They are also using advanced geophysical imaging technology to monitor the injected carbon dioxide by sending energy pulses into the earth and recording the reflection.
Public outreach is an important component of the program. The ISGS offers a variety of teacher education and professional development programs through a knowledge-sharing and capacity-building program called the Sequestration Training and Education Program (STEP). The survey has hosted a variety of national and international delegations to share knowledge gleaned from their project-based experience.
To date, more than 75,000 metric tons of CO2 have been stored at the Decatur site, and so far the injection has gone well. The researchers see CCS as an important part of the portfolio of energy technology for the future. (Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 20, 2012)
Contact: Liz Eahlberg, (217) 244-1073,firstname.lastname@example.org, www.illinois.edu; www.istc.illinois.edu
Tags Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium news, CCS news,
Unlike carbon footprint mark schemes that are limited to a state, a country or a single phase in a product's carbon journey, SGS's program offers a comprehensive global approach that covers all geographies with a single label as well as recognizing multiple levels of environmental achievement. Products can "earn" three different marks successively:
In-house SGS sustainability experts around the globe can support companies to set up a carbon reduction strategy and help define an attainable reduction target in order to pave the way for achieving the SGS Carbon Reduction and SGS Carbon Neutral marks. That strategy, based on the product lifecycle analysis, can include steps such as raw material reductions, energy management, implementation of best available technologies and supply chain optimization. These techniques can also help drive savings in production costs.
The unique global, three-mark structure of the SGS Product Carbon Footprint program offers critical advantages for brands that want to advance their sustainability initiatives to increase sales, differentiate their products on store shelves, and help conserve the resources of the planet. Benefits of the SGS service include:
The GOGREEN Carbon Neutral Service allows customers to neutralize their carbon footprint by paying an offset charge over and above their shipping rates. The offset charge will be calculated on shipment / weight and distance. Carbon emissions from customer shipments will be offset by reinvesting in environmental protection projects verified by UN independent auditor Societe Generale de Surveillance www.in.sgs.com. A certificate, verified by SGS, will be issued to the customer annually detailing the total amount of CO2 offset per customer.
DHL Express India and Blue Dart are top performers in DHL's annual global Carbon Footprint Assessment register. In 2010, DHL Express India achieved 6.0 per cent improvement in carbon efficiency despite total CO2 increasing by 13.6% as the economy boomed. Blue Dart posted an improvement of 6.5 per cent year-on-year driven by stronger volumes, despite CO2 increasing by 18.5 per cent in 2010 versus 2009. Despite increases in fuel consumption, carbon efficiencies were achieved by switching to cleaner fuels such as CNG.(Source: Indian InfoLine, December, 13, 2011)
The CO2 is being captured from the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Ethanol Production Facility in Decatur, Illinois. A processing plant built for this project removes water from the CO2 stream and then compresses the dry CO2 to a liquid-like super-critical dense phase. The compressed CO2 then travels through a mile-long pipeline to the wellhead where it is injected into a deep saline formation more than a mile underground.
Up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 will be injected into the Mt. Simon Sandstone at a depth of about 7,000 feet over a 3-year period. The Mt. Simon Sandstone is the thickest and most widespread saline reservoir in the Illinois Basin, with an estimated CO2 storage capacity of 11 to 151 billion metric tons. Analysis of data collected during the characterization phase of the project indicated that the lower Mt. Simon formation has the necessary geological characteristics to be a good injection target. In October, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency completed its review of the injection facilities' specifications and approved injection operations as per the terms of the Underground Injection Control Permit which was finalized in March 2011. This marks the first time a large-scale CO2 injection test in a saline formation has been approved for operation in the United States.
Baseline environmental data collection has been underway for more than a year. During and following injection, a comprehensive monitoring program will ensure that the injected CO2 is safely and permanently stored. The position of the underground CO2 plume will be tracked, and deep subsurface water, groundwater, and surface water will continually be monitored around the injection site. The monitoring program will be evaluated yearly and modified as needed.
MGSC is one of seven regional partnerships in a nationwide network that is investigating the merits of numerous carbon capture and storage approaches to determine those best suited for different regions of the country. MGSC is investigating options for the 60,000 square mile Illinois Basin, which underlies most of Illinois, southwestern Indiana, and western Kentucky. Emissions in this area exceed 265 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly, mostly attributed to the region's 126 coal-fired power plants. (Source: DOE, November, 20, 2011)Contact: Robert Finley, Project Director, ISGS, Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, (217) 244-8389, email@example.com, www.sequestration.org
Tags Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium news, Carbon Storage news,
This demonstration project is part of the Development Phase of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program, a DOE Office of Fossil Energy initiative launched in 2003 to determine the best approaches for capturing and permanently storing GHGs. The ISGS, which manages the MGSC project, characterized the regional geology that led to selection of the Decatur site and is investigating the characteristics of the Mt. Simon reservoir and the overlying shale seal that will retain the CO2. The Survey is conducting one of the most extensive environmental monitoring programs of any sequestration site in the world. The project is permitted under requirements of both the Illinois and the U.S. EPAs as the first large demonstration-scale injection of CO2 from a biofuel production facility anywhere in the U.S.
Schlumberger Carbon Services is providing full project management for the design and construction of all wells associated with the storage and deep monitoring parts of the project. Drilling of the injection well in 2009 confirmed suitability of the site and was followed by a seismic survey, a geophysical monitoring well, and a pressure and fluid sampling (verification) well, all in 2010. Completion of the verification well was followed by two rounds of initial fluid sampling to thoroughly document pre-injection reservoir conditions. (Source: The Times Record, November, 17, 2011) Contact:Robert Drummond,
President, North America, Schlumberger Carbon Services, (281) 285-1300, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.slb.com;Robert J. Finley, PhD, director and leader of sequestration team, ISGS, (217) 244-8389, email@example.com, www.isgs.illinois.edu/;Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, www.sequestration.org
The attached study, Projected Evolution of California's San Francisco Bay-Delta-River System in a Century of Climate Change provides the first integrated assessment of how the Bay-Delta system will respond to climate change. Results show that the combined effects of increasing water temperature and salinity could reduce habitat quality for native species and intensify the challenge of sustaining their populations. The study indicates that water-resource planners will need to develop adaptation strategies to address potentially longer dry seasons, diminishing snow packs and earlier snow-melt leaving less water for runoff in the summer. The study also describes risk from flooding as sea-level rise accelerates and extreme water levels become increasingly common. Increased intensity and frequency of winter flooding could also occur as a result of earlier snow-melt and a shift from snow to rain. The Delta provides drinking water to 25 million people and irrigation water to farmland producing crops valued at $36 billion per year. Intensive efforts are underway among the USGS, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, and the State of California to address what will be increasingly difficult decisions regarding allocations of water for human consumption and biological needs. The report's findings provide new information that can inform planning of next steps in collaborative initiatives such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and contribute to the science foundation underlying the Delta Stewardship Council's Delta Plan.
In addition to providing future visions of the Bay-Delta system, this research provides general lessons to guide development of adaptation strategies for coping with climate change in other coastal landscapes. Anticipation, flexibility, and adaptability will be the keys to the success of those strategies. (Source: USGS, November, 2, 2011)
Butman and Raymond found that a significant amount of carbon accumulated by plant growth on land is decomposed, discharged into streams and rivers, and outgassed as CO2 into the atmosphere. It is estimated that streams and rivers release almost 100 million metric tons of carbon annually - equal to a car burning 40 billion gallons of gasoline, enough to drive back and forth to the moon 3.4 million times.
Water chemistry data from more than 4,000 U.S. rivers and streams were incorporated with detailed geospatial data to model the flux of CO2 from water. The river and stream samples were collected at U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gaging stations and the geospatial data was produced by both the USGS and EPA.
This research is being incorporated into the USGS Land Carbon effort to characterize the current and future fluxes of carbon influenced by both natural and anthropogenic processes. One part of this effort is looking at the potential for carbon storage in the Nation's vegetation, soils, and sediments, which is known as biological carbon sequestration. (Source: USGS, October, 25, 2011)
More information on that project can be found at the National Assessment of Ecosystem Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes website HERE
The scientists will take water samples and test for chemical indicators of acidification. Carbon emissions are blamed for altering the chemistry of the world's oceans by making them more acidic, which threatens sea life. The Arctic Ocean is considered especially vulnerable to acidification because of the cold temperatures and already-low level of calcium saturation.
The research is part of a U.S.- Canada Extended Continental Shelf Survey expedition that started last year to study little-understood areas of the Arctic.
Ocean acidification refers the process by which ocean waters absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, causing chemical changes in the alkaline-acid balance, or pH level, that makes the ocean more acidic.
Since oceans currently absorb more than a quarter of the GHG gases in the atmosphere, there are growing concerns about acidification and its effects on marine life.(Source: USGS, August, 10, 2011)
Contact: Lisa Robbins, USGS, (727) 803-2030, firstname.lastname@example.org
More Energy Overviews Ocean Acidification news,