Ohio State Energy in the News
December 5, 2018
…The shuttles offer residents and visitors a hands-on educational experience with self-driving technology. Engineers, researchers and policymakers from Smart Columbus, DriveOhio and The Ohio State University will use the demonstration to inform future deployments of self-driving vehicle technology in Ohio, including a route planned for a Columbus neighborhood, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge grant.
December 6, 2018
Rattan Lal, a distinguished university professor of soil science at the Ohio State University, has won the Glinka World Soil Prize 2018 in a ceremony at the Rome headquarters of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for his outstanding contribution to sustainable soil management.
ALSO: Northwest Signal: CFAES Scientist Honored on World Soil Day
Ohio State News
December 5, 2018
Experts from The Ohio State University and its communities will gather in Columbus, Ohio, in January to work together on solutions to support communities through social, economic and environmental changes.
The Ohio State University 2019 Community Engagement Conference is set for Jan. 23 and 24 in the Ohio Union. The theme this academic year is Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future.
November 29, 2018
Salt is essential for cooking, but too much salt in soil can ruin crops and render fields useless. Today it would be very expensive and logistically challenging to gather enough salt to render large swaths of land infertile. But that is precisely what climate change is doing in many parts of the world.
As sea levels rise, low-lying coastal areas are increasingly being inundated with saltwater, gradually contaminating the soil. These salts can be dissipated by rainfall, but climate change is also increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including droughts and heat waves. This leads to more intensive use of groundwater for drinking and irrigation, which further depletes the water table and allows even more salt to leach into soil.
Featured expert: column co-author Joyce Chen, associate professor of development economics
November 4, 2018
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report three weeks ago predicting global mean temperatures will rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius around 2040. This increase will harm environmental services on which many depend.
Ninety-one volunteer IPCC scientists from 40 countries summarized more than 6,000 peer-reviewed papers to prepare their consensus report for policymakers.
The climate modeling research base they reviewed has grown rapidly, especially in biology. Biologists are identifying factors that will affect future climates that were not previously captured in climate models. Their studies forecast rates and effects of climate change greater than those predicted by those recent models.
Featured expert: Steve Rissing, professor of Biology
November 27, 2018
Representatives from six businesses and organizations will provide testimony Nov. 26 before the Toward a Cleaner Lake Erie Working Group Committee of the Ohio legislature.
…Cathan Kress, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Ohio State University, testified at the meeting and stressed the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to taking on problems in the lake and the state’s rivers and streams.
Featured expert: Cathan Kress, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
November 19, 2018
At a casual glance, it might sound like mad science: Spending millions of dollars researching how to make a dandelion more fruitful and prolific. But it’s really not the nightmare we might have thought. These dandelions are a distant, feeble cousin of the robust one we try to purge from our lawns.
Featured expert: Katrina Cornish, Ohio research scholar, endowed chair of bioemergent materials, and technical director of the Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives
WOSU All Sides
November 15, 2018
In many rural cities across the U.S., residents don’t have access to clean water. Lead, pesticides, and other chemicals continue contaminate wells and public water systems.
Featured expert: panelist Natalie Hull, assistant professor of environmental microbiology
November 8, 2018
Batteries that use aluminum and oxygen normally live fast and die young. But a new design could help these high-energy devices endure.
Featured expert: Yiyang Wu, Leet Professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
Farm and Dairy
November 7, 2018
A team of researchers is planning to study farmers’ fields in northwestern Ohio that have more phosphorus than the crops can use.
Researchers are partnering with nutrient consultants and some of the farmers that they work with.
Featured expert: Jay Martin, ecological engineering professor
November 12, 2018
… The state of Ohio, Ohio State University and JobsOhio have invested $45 million in the first phase of the Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center at TRC to test autonomous and connected vehicle technology. TRC President and CEO Brett Roubinek says he sees more companies exploring possibilities, including the insurance industry.
November 9, 2018
For now, it’s unclear what will happen to western Lake Erie once Gretchen Whitmer and Mike DeWine are sworn in as governors of Michigan and Ohio, respectively.
But those who track algal blooms see great potential for a fresh start and the chance for more bipartisan cooperation.
Featured expert: Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory
November 3, 2018
While it created a fair amount of controversy itself, the $600 million Blue Creek Wind Farm — a collection of some 152 wind turbines across Paulding and Van Wert counties, near the Indiana state line — was Ohio’s largest construction project when most of it was installed in 2011.
…While its biggest customers are FirstEnergy Solutions and American Municipal Power, 50 of those megawatts are purchased by Ohio State University.
November 2, 2018
Perhaps unbelievably, it’s still less than 200 years since the continent of Antarctica, first sighted in 1820, was finally confirmed to exist. Even into the 21st century, detailed knowledge about the interior of the vast frozen landmass was hard to come by. Almost overnight, this situation has entirely changed. Extreme close-up satellite imagery and dedicated computer power has now made Antarctica visible in an extraordinary amount of detail, with around 98 per cent of the continent having been mapped.
‘It is the highest-resolution terrain map by far of any continent,’ says Ian Howat, professor of earth sciences at The Ohio State University. ‘Up until now, we’ve had a better map of Mars than we’ve had of Antarctica. Today, Antarctica is the best-mapped continent.’
Featured expert: Ian Howat, professor of earth sciences
Ohio State News
November 1, 2018
On a crisp October day at Mirror Lake, senior Michael Madson surmises why dissolved solids in the lake have dropped in the past few months.
He discusses a few hypotheses with Audrey Sawyer, assistant professor of earth sciences. Could it be seasonal?
… The installation of a new hydrogeology learning lab in and near the lake gives students like Madson the opportunity to apply classroom learning without leaving campus.
October 31, 2018
Hyperloop works, but there's a bonus to months of waiting for ongoing feasibility and environmental studies before starting construction on any of the various proposed routes, including Chicago-Columbus-PIttsburgh, says a lead engineer on the project.
… “We took everything we built on Devloop (test track) and said, 'OK, how can we make this better, cleaner, cheaper, faster?' ” said Kristen Hammer, manager of materials engineering at the Los Angeles startup.
… Pods shooting through tubes at up projected top speeds of 670 mph might sound like fantasy, but this entirely new mode of travel simply combines existing technology in new ways, Hammer said before a panel on hyperloop last week at her alma mater, Ohio State University.
The Columbus Dispatch
October 24, 2018
It’s awfully green-looking.
The beer, dubbed “Creature from the Alegae Bloom,” is a sour double IPA crafted by a Toledo microbrewery using matcha. It was brewed in hopes of creating awareness of the harmful algae blooms, or microcystis cyanobacteria, that plague the lake each July and last through October.
Featured expert: Chris Winslow, director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program
The Weather Channel
October 31, 2018
The iceberg measured 87 square miles before it began to fragment. It first appeared as a rift in September and was the largest chunk of nearly 116 square miles of ice that separated from the glacier this week.
...In 2016, a study led by Seongsu Jeong and Ian Howat of Ohio State University found that Pine Island Glacier was “breaking up from the inside out.”
...“Rifts usually form at the margins of an ice shelf, where the ice is thin and subject to shearing that rips it apart,” said study leader Ian Howat, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State. “However, this latest event in the Pine Island Glacier was due to a rift that originated from the center of the ice shelf and propagated out to the margins. This implies that something weakened the center of the ice shelf, with the most likely explanation being a crevasse melted out at the bedrock level by a warming ocean.”
Featured experts: Ian Howat, professor of earth sciences, and Seongsu Jeong, post-doctoral researcher
Cool Green Science
October 15, 2015
One of my first projects for the Conservancy back in 1992 was the place that would eventually come to be known as the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Central Florida. When I first knew it, though, it was a land of cow pastures, ditches, dirt roads and remnant patches of scrub, longleaf pine, and withering wetlands on the edge of Lake Russell near Orlando.
I remember visiting the property with TNC scientists and listening to them talk about the science and feasibility of restoration, and thinking, is restoration of such a place even possible?
Featured expert: References paper co-authored by Jeff Bielicki, assistant professor, Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering
Business Wire, Is It Possible? A Future Where People and Nature Thrive
The Nature Conservancy, The Science of Sustainability
October 9, 2018
New funding from the state will help researchers better examine environmental problems in Lake Erie.
Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory plans to build a $1.9 million laboratory on Gibraltar Island, near Put-In-Bay, and use additional funds for cutting-edge new equipment.
… Stone Lab director Christopher Winslow says the technology will be used to monitor the lake and study issues like harmful algal blooms.
Featured Expert: Christopher Winslow, Director, Ohio Sea Grant