Glyphosate clouds contaminating even more distant fields now, and all popular beer and wine brands tested

By Zen Honeycutt, March 2018 The past few years have revealed some disturbing news for the alcohol industry. In 2015, CBS news broke the announcement of a lawsuit against 31 brands of wines for high levels of inorganic arsenic. In 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even independent beers. Moms Across America released test …

Water stress, soil, and oceans at risk

About 40 percent of the world’s food depends on irrigation, which draws largely from stores of underground water, called aquifers, which make up 30 percent of the world’s freshwater. Unfortunately, groundwater is being rapidly depleted worldwide. In the United States, the Ogallala Aquifer—one of the world’s largest underground bodies of water—spans eight states in the High Plains and supplies almost …

Soil Carbon: 3 recent papers on soil carbon pathways

December 17, 2017  Plant diversity enhances soil microbial biomass, particularly soil fungi, by increasing root-derived organic inputs. Build on emerging evidence that points to significant consumption of labile (easily altered) carbon (C) by fungi, and to the ability of ectomycorrhizal fungi to decompose organic matter, researchers show that labile C constitutes a major and presently underrated source of C for …

A map depicting the total millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released into the environment by state in 2016

A map depicting the total millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released into the environment by state in 2016. Darker colors indicate a higher volume of toxins.   (Source: Ode to Clean) Editor’s Note: Solugen, founded in 2016, is a biotech company concerned with developing environmentally conscious alternatives to chemical manufacturing. Their first patent is called Bioperoxide—a hydrogen peroxide alternative created …

Reduced rainfall in the SW through late summer and fall, and in the longterm, due to climate disruption

ScienceDaily 18 Oct 2017 excerpt …Results highlight the possibility of a strong precipitation reduction in the northern edge of the monsoon in the southwestern US in response to warming, with consequences for regional water resources, agriculture and ecosystems. “Monsoon rains are critical for the southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico, yet the fate of the North American monsoon is quite uncertain,” …

Study: Agriculture has released almost as much carbon into the atmosphere as deforestation, has large potential to change practices

By Chelsea Harvey. Washington Post, 23 August 2017 A Case IH tractor pulls a planter through a field as corn is planted in Princeton, Ill. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News) Agriculture has historically released almost as much carbon into the atmosphere as deforestation, a new study suggests — and that’s saying something. In a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, …

Improving Africa’s soils to cut emissions and boost food security

On Carbon Brief, 2 August 2017 Dr Keith Shepherd is a principal soil scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Dr Rolf Sommer is a principal soil and climate change scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Together they lead the Restoring Degraded Landscapesresearch theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). How we manage soils is crucial to tackling climate change. …

Air pollution and dust can cut solar panel performance by 20-25%

By James Ayre, Clean Technica, 28 June 2017 A new study has now quantified the solar cell energy output loss occurring around the world as a result of air pollution and dust — bringing one of the most serious limitations of solar photovoltaic reliance in the more polluted parts of the world to the forefront, and giving us a better …

Warming soils releases more and absorbs less CO2 than previously thought

By James Ayre in Clean Technica, 13 March 2017  As the world’s soils continue warming over the coming decades and centuries, they could release much higher levels of carbon dioxide than was previously thought, according to new research from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research is apparently some of the first (or the first) to …

Talk about the weather

By HIROKO TABUCHI 28 Jan 2017, New York Times GLEN ELDER, Kan. — Doug Palen, a fourth-generation grain farmer on Kansas’ wind-swept plains, is in the business of understanding the climate. Since 2012, he has choked through the harshest drought to hit the Great Plains in a century, punctuated by freakish snowstorms and suffocating gales of dust. His planting season starts …