Ohio State Energy in the News

Climate Change Leading to Water Shortage in Andes, Himalayas

Ohio State News

December 14, 2018

Researchers at The Ohio State University have been studying in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau for decades. The researchers say that glaciers in both of these areas are melting more rapidly than at any point in the last 10,000 years. Finding that rapidly melting glaciers are causing similar problems on these two continents, they seek solutions for the vulnerable residents that rely on glacier water.

Featured expert: Lonnie Thompson, a climate scientist at Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

A study examined why customers remain in TOU programs, and the results were terrible

Utility Dive

December 13, 2018

Nicole Sintov conducts a study for time-of-use (TOU) designs and why customers are choosing that program over others.

Featured expert: Nicole Sintov, an assistant professor of behavior, decision making and sustainability

Water Quality in Rural Ohio

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

Rattan Lal Honoured with Glinka World Soil Prize 2018

Economic Times

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 conference to focus on building resilient and sustainable communities

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.

Ohio's First Self-Driving Shuttle Opens to the Public


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.

Climate change is making soils saltier, forcing many farmers to find new livelihoods

The Conversation

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

Lake Erie Working Group to Meet

The Press

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

Not weeds: Ohio State, Cooper Tire studyrubber-producing dandelions

The Courier

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

Nonprofit Spotlight: DriveOhio is Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles and Other Innovations

Columbus CEO

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.

Fate of western Lake Erie under new governors uncertain

Toledo Blade

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

These Fragile, Futuristic Batteries Run Longer with a Little Oil

Science News

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.

Scientists to Examine Residual Phosphorus Issue in Ohio

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

Biology: We can’t kick climate change can down the road anymore, new reports show

Columbus Dispatch

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

A look at wind power's history in Ohio

Toledo Blade

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.

Antarctica now the best mapped continent


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

Water Wonders: Renovated Mirror Lake provides hydrogeology lab for students

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.

Iceberg 5 Times the Size of Manhattan Calves Off Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier

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

Ohio State grad on Virgin Hyperloop One engineering team: Making the tech ‘better, cleaner, cheaper, faster’ (Video)

Business First

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.

Green beer sales intended to prod state action on Lake Erie algae blooms

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