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Biofuels Could Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 96%

biofuel studyResearch by three national laboratories has created a new process that converts ethanol to fuels in one step. The result could be a reduction in greenhouse gases from transportation by up to 96%

CleanTechnica

Offshore oil and gas rigs leak more greenhouse gas than expected

A survey of offshore installations extracting oil and natural gas in the North Sea revealed far more leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, than currently estimated by the British …

oil leak – Read More…

Antarctica Greenhouse Produces Cucumbers, Tomatoes and More in Mars-Like Test – Space.com


Space.com

Antarctica Greenhouse Produces Cucumbers, Tomatoes and More in Mars-Like Test
Space.com
"After more than half a year of operation in Antarctica, the self-sufficient greenhouse concept appears to be effective for climatically demanding regions on Earth, as well as for future manned missions to the moon and Mars," DLR officials said in the

and more »

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EPA change to Obama-era rule on methane leaks could lead to more greenhouse gas emissions

The EPA has announced another proposed change to Obama-era rules intended to combat climate change, this time to how the oil and natural gas industry is required to monitor and prevent leaks of …

oil leak – Read More…

Greenhouse gases are warming the world—but chilling Antarctica. Here’s why – Science Magazine


Science Magazine

Greenhouse gases are warming the world—but chilling Antarctica. Here's why
Science Magazine
The greenhouse gases that are warming the globe actually cool Antarctica much of the year, a new study confirms. The odd trend doesn't break the laws of physics, but it does highlight what a strange place Earth's southernmost continent truly is

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This environmental group is launching its own satellite to learn more about greenhouse gas leaks

The EDF analysis estimates Pennsylvania’s oil and gas operators emit more than 520,000 tons … But those advantages can be offset by leaks of methane into the air because methane is a short-lived but extremely potent greenhouse gas.

oil leak – Read More…

Extreme Weather Events Plague Leading Greenhouse Gas Emitting Countries – Breaking Energy


Breaking Energy

Extreme Weather Events Plague Leading Greenhouse Gas Emitting Countries
Breaking Energy
Bloomberg Outlines Plans For Improving The City's Ability To Handle Large Destructive Storms The growing prevalence of climate change related extreme weather events in countries around the world closely matches what was is being predicted by climate …

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Carbon Quilt — Want A More Visceral Sense Of The Scale Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Take A Look Here



Not exactly clear what the numbers and figures put out there by various scientific bodies actually mean? Want to get a more visceral sense of the scale of modern anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions?

Then I recommend that you take a look at the Carbon Quilt — a visualization resource created for just such a purpose.

As an interesting example of what the site offers, take a look at the image/tweet below — depicting London’s CO2 emissions next to a number of well-known landmarks.

If you’re curious at all, I think checking out the Carbon Quilt is worth the time. :)

Carbon Quilt — Want A More Visceral Sense Of The Scale Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Take A Look Here was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Cornstalk Biofuels Can Generate More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline, Research Finds



Biofuels created from corn crop residues — such as stalks, leaves, cobs, etc — can generate higher levels of greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The production of these biofuels — including ethanol — also works to reduce soil carbon, further contributing to greenhouse gas emissions via that pathway.

Baling corn residue at a University of Nebraska-Lincoln field experiment site in Saunders County, Neb. Image Credit: UNL

Baling corn residue at a University of Nebraska-Lincoln field experiment site in Saunders County, Nebraska.
Image Credit: UNL

This new work casts yet further doubt on the usefulness of biofuels with regard to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, biofuels have a number of other advantages over conventional fuels that will likely see them used in some capacities for some time to come — especially by militaries, and/or governmental agencies.

The work also casts doubt on whether or not “corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production.”

The press release from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides more:

Corn stover — the stalks, leaves and cobs in cornfields after harvest — has been considered a ready resource for cellulosic ethanol production. The US Department of Energy has provided more than $ 1 billion in federal funds to support research to develop cellulosic biofuels, including ethanol made from corn stover. While the cellulosic biofuel production process has yet to be extensively commercialized, several private companies are developing specialized biorefineries capable of converting tough corn fibers into fuel.

The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule — which is 7% greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Importantly, they found the rate of carbon emissions is constant whether a small amount of stover is removed or nearly all of it is stripped.

“If less residue is removed, there is less decrease in soil carbon, but it results in a smaller biofuel energy yield,” Liska explained.


According to the research, the way to limit increased carbon dioxide emissions and to reduce soil carbon, would be to increase the planting of cover crops — in order to fix more carbon in the soil.

According to Liska, the researchers tried their best to poke holes in the study — but without success. The work appears to be quite solid.

“If this research is accurate, and nearly all evidence suggests so, then it should be known sooner rather than later, as it will be shown by others to be true regardless,” he continued. “Many others have come close recently to accurately quantifying this emission.”

Of course, the findings aren’t all that surprising to many people — most especially farmers, who have long noted the need to retain crop residue on their fields to protect against soil erosion and to preserve soil quality.

Some more specifics on the work:

Until now, scientists have not been able to fully quantify how much soil carbon is lost to carbon dioxide emissions after removing crop residue. They’ve been hampered by limited carbon dioxide measurements in cornfields, by the fact that annual carbon losses are comparatively small and difficult to measure, and the lack of a proven model to estimate carbon dioxide emissions that could be coupled with a geospatial analysis.

Liska’s study, which was funded through a three-year, $ 500,000 grant from the US Department of Energy, used carbon dioxide measurements taken from 2001 to 2010 to validate a soil carbon model that was built using data from 36 field studies across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Using USDA soil maps and crop yields, they extrapolated potential carbon dioxide emissions across 580 million 30-meter by 30-meter “geospatial cells” in Corn Belt states. It showed that the states of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin had the highest net loss of carbon from residue removal because they have cooler temperatures and more carbon in the soil.

The new findings were just published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Cornstalk Biofuels Can Generate More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline, Research Finds was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

EU environment agency: Greenhouse gases emissions in 2011 lowest in 14 years

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The EU’s environmental agency says the 27-nation bloc’s greenhouse emissions in 2011 were the lowest since it began monitoring them in 1990. The European Environment Agency says greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.3 …
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