Investors urge heavy carbon emitters to set science-based reduction targets

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors managing around $20 trillion in assets on Tuesday called on the heaviest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases to set science-based targets on the way to net zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

AXA Group and Nikko Asset Management Co are among 137 investors urging 1,800 companies responsible for a quarter of global emissions to act, coordinated by non-profit group CDP.

While more companies are pledging their support for the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, not all have been clear about how they will get there.

To help limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial norms by 2050, companies need to set out their pathway to net zero and ensure it is consistent with the science and independently verified, the investors said.

“Climate change presents material risks to investments, and companies that are failing to

Read More
Read More

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest
Rockets represent carbon stored in wood, trees, and soil in four main boreal forest regions. Though fire weather helps “ignite” the rockets, the amount of emissions each forest can produce is determined by fuel load (soil layers) and flammability (soil moisture). Credit: Victor Leshyk, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society

As climate warming stokes longer fire seasons and more severe fires in the North American boreal forest, being able to calculate how much carbon each fire burns grows more urgent. New research led by Northern Arizona University and published this week in Nature Climate Change suggests that how much carbon burns depends more on available fuels than on fire weather such as drought conditions, temperature, or rain. In a large retrospective study that stretched across Canada and Alaska, the international team of researchers found that the carbon stored belowground in soil organic matter was the most important predictor of how

Read More
Read More

Especially the microbial part of the carbon cycle is affected — ScienceDaily

The deep sea is far away and hard to envision. If imagined it seems like a cold and hostile place. However, this remote habitat is directly connected to our lives, as it forms an important part of the global carbon cycle. Also, the deep seafloor is, in many places, covered with polymetallic nodules and crusts that arouse economic interest. There is a lack of clear standards to regulate their mining and set binding thresholds for the impact on the organisms living in affected areas.

Mining can reduce microbial carbon cycling, while animals are less affected

An international team of scientists around Tanja Stratmann from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany, and Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and Daniëlle de Jonge from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, has investigated the food web of the deep seafloor to see how it is affected by disturbances such as those caused

Read More
Read More

University of Oregon-led project identifies the age, depth and carbon stock of the world’s oldest tropical peatlands — ScienceDaily

Researchers probing peatlands to discover clues about past environments and carbon stocks on land have identified peatland that is twice as old and much deeper than previously thought.

Their findings, detailed in an open-access paper published Sept. 14 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, show that an inland site near Putussibau, not far from the Indonesia-Malaysia border, formed at least 47,800 years old and contains peat 18 meters deep — roughly the height of a six-story building.

The study provides new insights about the climate of equatorial rainforests, especially during the last ice age, said study co-author Dan Gavin, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon.

“This existence of this very deep and old peatland provides some clues on past climate,” Gavin said. “It tells us that this area remained sufficiently wet and warm to support peat growth through the last ice age. The climate during that

Read More
Read More

New study reveals sheep and beef farms close to being carbon neutral



a group of sheep standing on top of a lush green field: The study found on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.


© Getty
The study found on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.

A new study shows New Zealand sheep and beef farms are already offsetting the bulk of their agricultural emissions.

The research – led by Dr Bradley Case at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) – estimates the woody vegetation on sheep and beef farms across the country is offsetting between 63 percent and 118 percent of on-farm agricultural emissions.

If the mid-point of that range is taken, on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.

Dr Case, who is a senior lecturer in GIS and remote sensing at AUT’s Applied Ecology Department in the School of Science, said the findings showed there was a strong case for farmers to get credit for the sequestration already happening on their farms.

“This is an integral part of He Waka

Read More
Read More

Lego-like assembly of zeolitic membranes improves carbon capture — ScienceDaily

Zeolites are porous minerals that occur both naturally but also are being synthesized artificially. Because they are stable and durable, zeolites are used for chemical catalysis, purification of gases and liquids, and even in medical applications such as drug delivery and blood-clotting powders, e.g. the QuickClot trauma bandages used in the US military.

Zeolites used in gas separation are usually produced as membranes. The state-of-the-art zeolitic membranes are manufactured by a lengthy and complex crystallization process. Unfortunately, this method has proved difficult to reproduce. Also, it lacks in producing efficient gas-separation membranes, especially when it comes to the separation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which is necessary for pre-combustion carbon capture from power plants.

A team of chemical engineers led by Kumar Agrawal at EPFL Valais Wallis have now successfully simplified the chemistry behind zeolite membrane synthesis, making it simple, reproducible, and scalable. The achievement of the longstanding goal is

Read More
Read More

PhosAgro Warns of Billions in Losses from EU Carbon Tax

(Bloomberg) — PhosAgro PJSC, Russia’s biggest producer of phosphate fertilizer, is calling for the government to help mitigate potentially billions in losses for the country’s raw-materials producers if Europe introduces a carbon tax.



a close up of a snow covered mountain: Granules of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) sit inside a storage warehouse at the PhosAgro-Cherepovets fertilizer plant, operated by PhosAgro PJSC, in Cherepovets, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Phosphate fertilizer prices may be supported in the 2H by "high season in India, pre-winter buying activity in the Northern hemisphere and risks of further potential production cuts in China," PhosAgro chief executive officer Andrey Guryev said in a statement.


© Bloomberg
Granules of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) sit inside a storage warehouse at the PhosAgro-Cherepovets fertilizer plant, operated by PhosAgro PJSC, in Cherepovets, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Phosphate fertilizer prices may be supported in the 2H by “high season in India, pre-winter buying activity in the Northern hemisphere and risks of further potential production cuts in China,” PhosAgro chief executive officer Andrey Guryev said in a statement.

The European Union is looking at how a potential carbon tax could help meet its 2050 goal of climate neutrality. If imposed, the levy would hit imports, including raw materials and products produced in countries without duties on emissions, such as Russia. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive

Read More
Read More

As atmospheric carbon rises, so do rivers, adding to flooding

flood
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

When it comes to climate change, relationships are everything. That’s a key takeaway of a new UO study that examines the interaction between plants, atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising water levels in the Mississippi River.


Published recently in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today, the study compared historical atmospheric carbon data against observations of herbarium leaf specimens to quantify the relationship between rising carbon levels and increasingly catastrophic floods in the American Midwest.

Using data covering more than two centuries, researchers demonstrated that as carbon levels in the atmosphere have risen due to the burning of fossil fuels, the ability of plants to absorb water from the air has decreased. That means more rainfall makes its way into rivers and streams, adding to their potential for damaging floods.

Co-authored by UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History geologist Greg Retallack and earth sciences

Read More
Read More

E. coli engineered to grow on CO2 and formic acid as sole carbon sources — ScienceDaily

Most biorefinery processes have relied on the use of biomass as a raw material for the production of chemicals and materials. Even though the use of CO2 as a carbon source in biorefineries is desirable, it has not been possible to make common microbial strains such as E. coli grow on CO2.

Now, a metabolic engineering research group at KAIST has developed a strategy to grow an E. coli strain to higher cell density solely on CO2 and formic acid. Formic acid is a one carbon carboxylic acid, and can be easily produced from CO2 using a variety of methods. Since it is easier to store and transport than CO2, formic acid can be considered a good liquid-form alternative of CO2.

With support from the C1 Gas Refinery R&D Center and the Ministry of Science and ICT, a research team led

Read More
Read More

Lidar study suggests carbon storage losses greater than thought in Amazon due to losses at edge of forests

LiDAR study suggests carbon storage losses greater than thought in Amazon due to losses at edge of forests
Graphic summary of the main results found in the work. Credit: Celso H. L. Silva Junior

An international team of researchers has found that carbon sequestering losses in the Amazon basin have been undermeasured due to omission of data representing losses at the edges of forests. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes using lidar to estimate the carbon sequestering abilities of trees along the edges of Amazon forests.


Prior research has shown that when part of a forest in the Amazon basin is cut down, the trees that remain at the edges of the forest are not as robust as those that are situated farther in. This is because they are more exposed to pollution, pesticides, herbicides, etc. In this new effort, the researchers noticed that the reduced sequestering abilities of such trees are not included in studies of carbon sequestering losses in

Read More
Read More