Ohio State Energy in the News

Corals have weaker immunity as the climate warms


January 23, 2018

The balance of bacteria within coral mucus is very important because it serves as a type of artificial immune system, keeping corals healthy by preventing bad bacteria from entering their systems. Researchers at Ohio State University have identified two effects of climate change which can disrupt the vital balance in coral microbe populations and allow bad bacteria to take over their bodies.

Featured expert: Andrea Grottoli, professor of earth sciences

Bigger, Faster Avalanches, Triggered by Climate Change

New York Times

January 24, 2018

A deadly 2016 glacier collapse in Tibet surpassed scientists’ expectations—until it happened again. They worry it’s only the beginning.

Featured expert: Lonnie G. Thompson, professor of geological sciences

Scientists leading algae fight

Toledo Blade (editorial)

January 24, 2018

Ohio State University’s algae researchers have launched yet another initiative to help the state track and study the dangerous algae threatening bodies of water around Ohio.

The university’s scientists have long led efforts to study the algae that blankets portions of Lake Erie every summer.

Regulatory ruling leaves energy companies wondering what future holds

Toledo Blade

January 13, 2018

"What the FERC said was, no, this doesn't make any sense to them, and they kicked further discussion back to the RTOs,” Prof. Edward Hill, a teacher of economic development, public, and finance policy at Ohio State University, said. “It said they know best where the reliability issues are in their systems.”

Featured expert: Ned Hill, professor of public policy

EPA Awards $681,343 to Ohio State University for Harmful Algae Blooms Research

Environmental Protection Magazine

January 11, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $681,343 to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, for research on the prediction, prevention, control, and mitigation of freshwater harmful algal blooms.

Harmful algae blooms (HABs) are overgrowths of algae and cyanobacteria in water that can product dangerous toxins that hurt local economies and the environment.

ALSO: WOSU: Ohio State Researchers Win Federal Grant To Study Algae Problems

ALSO: Associated Press: Research aims to predict algae blooms on lakes, rivers

As Ohio moves away from coal, carbon emissions continue to fall

Midwest Energy News

January 8, 2019

While the state is still a major polluter, Ohio’s shift away from coal has led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions from Ohio’s energy sector fell by 50 million metric tons from 2005 to 2015, according to data recently released by the Energy Information Administration.

Featured expert: Norm Dormady, assistant professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Soil power! The dirty way to a green planet

Regenerative agriculture can help soil absorb carbon from the air and slow the advance of climate change

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 7, 2018

Rattan Lal, the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, estimates that soil has the potential to sequester carbon at a rate of between 0.9 and 2.6 gigatons per year. That’s a small part of the 10 gigatons a year of current carbon emissions, but it’s still significant. Somewhat reassuringly, some scientists believe the estimate is low.

“Putting the carbon back in soil is not only mitigating climate change, but also improving human health, productivity, food security, nutrition security, water quality, air quality — everything,” Mr. Lal told me over the phone. “It’s a win-win-win option.”

Featured expert: Rattan Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center

Zero-emissions ‘chemical looping’ converts fossil fuels into electricity

The Engineer

January 4, 2018

The researchers, engineers from Ohio State University in Columbus, have published their findings in two papers in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Developing a technology called coal-direct chemical looping combustion (CDCL), which project leader Prof Liang-Shih Fan and his team first invented five years ago, the engineers describe their technique as a stop gap for providing clean energy while the cost of renewable generation continues to fall.

Featured expert: L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering

ALSO: Product Design & Development: A Fossil Fuel Technology That Doesn't Pollute

ALSO: EconoTimes: Turns Out ‘Clean Coal’ Is Actually Real, Sort Of

ALSO: AZoCheantech: New Chemical Looping Technology Could Provide Clean Electricity

ALSO: Power Technology: Researchers develop environmentally friendly technology converting fossil fuels into electricity

ALSO: International Business Times: Using Fossil Fuels Will Not Produce Carbon Dioxide, Thanks To This Technology

Can 'super-corals' save the reefs?

Research suggests that some coral species will likely adapt to changing ocean conditions. But resilience may come at the cost of diversity.

Christian Science Monitor

December 29, 2017

For the past two years, Professor Grottoli and her colleagues had subjected these corals to some truly harsh conditions, the kind that climate models suggest could become the new normal by the end of the 21st century. When she harvested them from reefs around the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Grottoli had hoped that some would acclimate to the excessively warm and acidic waters of the tank, but “there was a real risk that they were all going to die after two years,” the Ohio State University coral researcher says.

Featured expert: Andréa Grottoli, professor of earth sciences

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Consider going green and reducing waste

The Columbus Dispatch

December 25, 2017

The average family of four could save about $1,600 annually on tossed leftovers, according to Brian Roe, an agricultural, environmental and development economics professor at Ohio State University.

“That’s a nice chunk of change,” Roe said. “We all cringe a bit if we bought that nice fish for a high price and we don’t end up eating it.”

Featured expert: Brian Roe, professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics

Biology: Warming climate threatens Santa, reindeer and more

The Columbus Dispatch

December 24, 2017

As a biologist, I miss traditional Christmases like those that we had when I was a boy.

Santa (aka Sinterklaas, Babbo Natale, Kanakaloka, etc.) lives at the North Pole, according to many folk tales.

Featured expert: Steve Rissing, biology

Researchers sue EPA over advisory committee policy

The Hill

December 22, 2017

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., federal court by Earthjustice and Columbia University’s Environmental Law Clinic, on behalf of Physicians for Social Responsibility, National Hispanic Medical Association, the International Society for Children’s Health and Environment, Robyn Wilson, Joseph Árvai and Edward Avol.

Featured expert: Robyn Wilson, risk analysis and decision science

ALSO: Washington Post, In 'defense of science,' researchers sue EPA over move to overhaul advisory boards

Linking climate change to ecosystem assembly and functioning

Research Features Magazine

December 21, 2017

... a multi-collaborative project, funded by the National Science Foundation (USA), is investigating the environmental factors that have hosted life in the Transantarctic Mountains, and how ecosystems reacted to glacial events before, during, and after the Last Glacial Maximum.

Featured expert: William Berry Lyons, earth sciences

Area’s air quality continues to improve

Columbus Dispatch

December 18, 2017

Kerry Ard, a professor at Ohio State University’s school of environment and natural resources, agreed, adding that it affects more than respiratory, cardiovascular and other health issues.

Poor air quality “strains the health-care system, keeps people home from work and school, and often negatively impacts household finances,” Ard said. “A healthier population means healthier consumers and workers, which means a more vibrant economy.”

Featured expert: Kerry Ard, assistant professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Winter means work for Lake Erie's algae warriors, too

Toledo Blade

December 14, 2017

Winter may seem like off-season for algae warriors, but it’s not.

Much of the number-crunching from last summer’s bloom is done during the winter. And on Wednesday, a dozen people — a combination of Great Lakes scientists and water-treatment plant operators — met at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center to clean, re-calibrate, and reset sensors that will be used on buoys in the lake next summer.

Featured expert: Justin Chaffin, Ohio Sea Grant Stone Laboratory research director

Stone Age secrets trapped in oldest ice core ever drilled that is the size of Empire State building

Scientists studying the ice core hope to gather information to assemble one of the longest-ever records of Earth's climate history.

International Business Times

December 14, 2017

Researchers found that there has been a persistent temperature rise and increase in precipitation over the last few centuries in Tibet's Kunlun Mountains. However, it is on the Guliya Ice Cap, where the latest ice core was drilled that scientists found the most dramatic and noticeable changes. In the last 50 years, the average temperature at the Guliya Ice Cap has gone up by 1.5 degrees Celsius and the average precipitation has risen by 2.1 inches per year in just 25 years.

"The ice cores actually demonstrate that warming is happening, and is already having detrimental effects on Earth's freshwater ice stores," Lonnie Thompson, a professor in the School of Earth Sciences at The Ohio State University and co-leader of the international research team, said in a statement.

Featured expert: Lonnie Thompson, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and co-leader of the international research team

ALSO: R&D Magazine: Researchers Capture Oldest Ice Core Ever Drilled Outside the Polar Regions

New paper on agriculture practices presented at Lake Erie Foundation event

Toledo Blade

December 11, 2017

A scientific paper written as a blueprint for addressing Lake Erie algae calls on the agricultural industry to focus more on injecting manure and other fertilizers three to five inches underground and limiting phosphorus applications to 50 parts per million or less.

That’s a concentration the state of Ohio currently has as a limit for crop fields. But livestock operations are allowed to apply as much as 150 ppm, meaning the paper’s suggested limit could pose a challenge for some facilities.

Featured expert: Jeff Reutter, special adviser for Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory

Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet

The New York Times

December 3, 2017

Among the advocates of so-called regenerative agriculture is the climate scientist and activist James Hansen, lead author of a paper published in July that calls for the adoption of “steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content” to ward off “deleterious climate impacts.”

Rattan Lal, the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State, estimates that soil has the potential to sequester carbon at a rate of between 0.9 and 2.6 gigatons per year. That’s a small part of the 10 gigatons a year of current carbon emissions, but it’s still significant. Somewhat reassuringly, some scientists believe the estimate is low.

Featured expert: Rattan Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center

The Buckeye Bullet is proving just how fast a green machine can go

BigTen Network

November 26, 2017

Here’s an interesting fact: more people have walked on the surface of the moon than have driven 400 miles per hour. But, if The Ohio State University student engineers and designers helming the Venturi Buckeye Bullet team meet their goals, they’ll chipping away at that ratio. Their long and lean automobile has already top 350 miles per hour at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats proving ground, but it is what’s under the hood that’s really turning heads: the Buckeye Bullet is a completely electric vehicle.

How Ohio State is engineering impact in rural Honduras

Big Ten Network

November 22, 2017

High on a mountain in eastern Honduras sits the Montaña de Luz orphanage, a facility that cares for youth who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Orphanages such as Montaña de Luz are often the only vestige of hope for young people in a nation where over 65 percent of the population lives in poverty. Beginning in 2005, every spring break engineering students from The Ohio State University travel to Montaña de Luz to help improve the orphanage for the children who depend on it.