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Ohio State Energy in the News

Trump’s policies will harm coal-dependent communities instead of helping them

The Conversation

October 11, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is moving to repeal the Clean Power Plan as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to bring jobs and prosperity to communities that rely on the coal industry.

Our research focuses on determining which factors help create sustainable and prosperous regions, with a special focus on rural areas. In our view, Trump’s proposals will do little to help coal-dependent regions, and some will actually worsen their decline.

Featured experts: column authors Mark Partridge, professor of rural-urban policy and Michael Betz, professor of human development and family sciences

Two Ohio State scientists got early career awards; now they're trying to save the Earth: BTN LiveBIG

Big Ten Network

October 1, 2017

Two Ohio State University assistant professors and researchers were recently awarded 2017 Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Awards: Kelly Wrighton, for her work in microbiology, and Hannah Shafaat, for her research into biochemistry. Wrighton has been studying methane in soil while Shafaat is examining how CO and CO2 and be converted into fuel.

Could restoring swampland fix Lake Erie algae crisis?

The Columbus Dispatch

October 1, 2017

The neon cyanobacteria swirling across Lake Erie for the past three months or so signals to scientists and farmers alike: The annual plague of toxic algae is far from cured. …

Bill Mitsch, a world-renowned wetlands expert and Ohio State environmental-science professor emeritus, believes he has a remedy.

In a scientific paper published recently, Mitsch proposed restoring 10 percent of the swamps that once coated northwestern Ohio before pioneers drained the land for agriculture.

Featured expert: Bill Mitsch, environmental-science professor emeritus

OSU-Mansfield earns STARS rating for sustainable achievements

Richland Source

September 29, 2017

The Ohio State University at Mansfield has earned a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

2017 harmful algal bloom blossoms across Lake Erie, as Toledo mayor wants water designated 'impaired'


September 27, 2017

The harmful algal bloom has blossomed across Lake Erie, covering almost the entire western basin of the lake, with shoots as far east Lorain County.

Featured expert: Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant

ALSO: Detroit News: Spread of Lake Erie algae raises alarm across region

Iceberg Four Times the Size of Manhattan Just Broke From an Antarctic Glacier, Fueling Concerns of Runaway Ice Retreat

The Weather Channel

September 26, 2017

A massive chunk of ice has broken off from a key Antarctic glacier, creating an iceberg four and a half times the size of Manhattan.

The iceberg that broke from the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica on Saturday measures some 100 square miles. It is the second time in two years the glacier has lost such a large piece and scientists are concerned that the latest break signifies a considerable change in the behavior of the glacier.

Featured expert: Ian Howat, professor of earth sciences

ALSO: CBS: Iceberg that broke off Antarctica was 4 times the size of Manhattan

Key Antarctic glacier just lost a piece of ice four times the size of Manhattan

Chicago Tribune

September 25, 2017

An enormous Antarctic glacier has given up an iceberg over 100 square miles in size, the second time in two years it has lost such a large piece in a process that has scientists wondering if its behavior is changing for the worse. The Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest in West Antarctica, a region that is currently Antarctica's biggest ice loser.

Featured experts: Ian Howatt, professor of earth sciences and Seongsu Jeong, postdoctoral researcher

Native grasses look promising on strip-mine land

The Columbus Dispatch

September 23, 2017

The state, with help from The Wilds and Ohio State University soil microbiologists, is now testing the theory on six experimental acres at three former coal strip-mining sites: Rose Valley in Belmont County, Joyce Hill in Tuscarawas County and Middleton Run, the site in Jackson County.

The group planted native seeds in 2014 and 2015 and has been surveying them annually each August.

The goal is to inspire new industry standards for abandoned mine reclamation throughout Ohio.

Featured experts: Richard Dick and Nicola Lorenz, soil microbiologists

Restoration of historic Great Black Swamp could help save Lake Erie

The Blade

September 22, 2017

The best hope for saving Lake Erie may lie in a serious commitment to restoring 10 percent of the historic Great Black Swamp, according to a scientific paper published this month by one of the world’s top wetlands experts. That’s 100,000 acres of the former Great Black Swamp’s 1 million acres.

The paper asserts that taking that much strategically located farmland out of production at a time would itself bring a 40 percent reduction in Ohio’s phosphorus releases, the same percentage state and federal officials have challenged Ohio to achieve by 2025.

Ohio State Ag Dean Cathann Kress eyes ‘grand challenges’

Farm and Dairy

September 20, 2017

Cathann Kress hit the ground running. She started as vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University May 1, and now, four months later, has a list of ‘grand challenges’ she’s ready to tackle.

Kress outlined those challenges during the Celebration of Ohio Agriculture Sept. 19 at the Farm Science Review.

New grant can help predict toxicity of Lake Erie's algal blooms

Sandusky Register

September 20, 2017

A new federal government grant is aimed at overcoming the next challenge: figuring out how toxic the blooms will be.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a $749,500 grant Tuesday to determine how to best forecast the toxicity of Lake Erie's annual late summer harmful algal blooms. The first payment will be $248,400 for the first year and expected to receive the balance in the following two years.

Among the grant recipients: Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, near Put-in-Bay.

Justin Chaffin, research scientist for Stone Lab, is leading the study.

More fuel cell buses coming to SARTA, fuel cell electric cars on the horizon


September 19, 2017

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority is adding two more buses to its 11-bus fleet of electric buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

…The transit authority has been working with the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research and a private, California clean transportation company to solve this chicken-and-egg issue.

Was It Bad Luck or Climate Change?

History News Network

Sept. 18, 2017

Last month, Hurricane Harvey dumped more rain on the Texas coast in a week than most states see all year. As I write, Florida is engulfed in a hurricane expected to cause tens of billions more in damage. We know rising sea levels mean higher storm surges. We know hotter air means potentially larger hurricanes with more rain and winds. What’s harder to say is whether we should blame these particular storms—or any other weather event—on global warming.

Featured expert: Sam White, history

ALSO: Time: Where 2017's Hurricanes Fit in the Long History of American Climate Confusion

OSU-M seeks land bank's help with micro farms

Mansfield News Journal

September 16, 2017

The Richland County Land Bank has been asked to participate in a new program at the Ohio State University Mansfield campus to develop urban mini-farms in the area. Cindy Wood, campus director of development and community relations, outlined the project at the Land Bank’s regular meeting Friday.

Algae experts fight to heal Lake Erie

13abc Action News

September 15, 2017

Toledo’s drinking water dashboard is back in the 'watch' category Thursday. While the city says your water is totally safe to drink, is Lake Erie itself really doing any better? 258 scientists gathered at the Stranahan Thursday to solve Lake Erie's green water problem. While the science is better than ever, the lake is a different story.

Featured expert: Jay Martin, professor of food, agricultural and biological engineering

Smart phones helping farmers fight prevent blooms

Port Clinton News Herald

September 15, 2017

As the prevalence of smart phones and tablets continues to grow, mobile technology is also becoming an emerging tool in the fight to reduce farm nutrient runoff, which causes Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.

Featured expert: John Fulton, professor of food, agricultural and biological engineering

Nikola Labs raises another $2M, lands internet-of-things customers for its wireless power components

Business First

September 13, 2017

A startup making wireless power components for the internet of things has raised an additional $2 million and hired the technology's inventor part-time from Ohio State University. Nikola Labs Inc. has raised a combined $4 million – $2.7 million of it this year – since 2015. Chi-Chih Chen, an associate research professor at Ohio State's electroscience laboratory, developed the technology that converts radio frequency to direct current energy.

Connectivity is the first step on long road to self-driving cars

Crain’s Detroit Business

September 7, 2017

Autonomous vehicle technology has become a hot topic in the automotive industry and in the public imagination. But that doesn't mean driverless pods will be whisking metro Detroiters to the grocery store any time soon. Complete autonomy is decades away, panelists said at Technology in Motion, a summit taking place Wednesday through Friday at downtown Detroit's Cobo Center.

Featured expert: Carla Bailo, assistant vice president for mobility research and development

LIGHTWEIGHTING: Now Comes the Hard Part

Advanced Manufacturing

September 7, 2017

Automakers, working closely with suppliers, have reduced the weight of their vehicles, in some cases by hundreds of pounds. They’ve introduced new materials, stepping up the use of high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium. They’ve found new ways to join parts made with different materials together. Now comes the hard part—continuing the momentum, going deeper into vehicles and components to find weight savings.

Featured expert: Glenn Daehn, professor of metallurgical engineering

Scientists say megastorms are the new norm


September 5, 2017

Scientists at The Ohio State University say megastorms have already become the new norm and if we don’t start addressing climate change now it’s only going to get worse.

“Events have been predicted now for over 30 years as a result of increasing temperatures in the atmosphere and in the oceans and these storms feed on that,” said Lonnie Thompson, Senior Research Scientist at The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center.

Featured expert: Lonnie Thompson, Senior Research Scientist, Byrd Polar Research Center