Category: Agriculture

New method for bio-designing yeast could improve biofuel production

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Originally Published by Earth & Climate News — ScienceDailyA new strain of yeast that could improve the efficiency of making fuel from cellulosic biomass such as switchgrass has been discovered by researchers. Both the yeast strain and the method of its design could help overcome a significant bottleneck in the biofuels pipeline — namely, that […]

New rainforests boost carbon capture

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Originally Published by BBC News – Science & EnvironmentSecondary rainforests – if allowed to flourish in the right conditions – can absorb 11 times as much carbon as old-growth rainforests, a study shows. Topic: Ecosystems

Protecting lakes, streams by removing phosphates as well as nitrates

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Originally Published by Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily A low-cost method of removing phosphates from tile drainage water has been developed, and may help protect lakes and streams. Using steel byproducts to trap phosphates in simulated tile drainage water, the researchers envision installing a steel-containing cartridge as an add-on to nitrate-capturing bioreactors. Topic: Agriculture, […]

Saving coffee from extinction

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Two billion cups of coffee are drunk around the world every day and 25 million families rely on growing coffee for a living. Over the past 15 years, consumption of the drink has risen by 43% – but researchers are warning that the world’s most popular coffee, Arabica, is under threat.

Study uses farm data to aid in slowing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds

Fields of corn. Credit: Monsanto
Although researchers and industry personnel have made recommendations to slow the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, an understanding of the patterns and causes of the resistance has been limited. A recently published study looking at glyphosate-resistant waterhemp is providing valuable evidence that points to management practices as the driving force behind herbicide resistance, and that herbicide mixing, as opposed to herbicide rotation, is the most effective tool in managing resistance.

Seaweed Farms in South Korea

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Originally Published by NASA Earth ObservatoryAlong the southern coast of the Korean peninsula farming doesn’t always happen on land. Topic: Agriculture

NASA Launches New Satellite to Help Measure Soil Moisture

SMAP Launch Vehicle lifts off from Vandenberg, California
On Saturday, January 20 NASA successfully launched its Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite. The SMAP mission will provide data that can help to improve weather forecasts, flood planning, and more.

The Wonders Beneath Our Feet—The International Year of Soils

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The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Opportunities for expanded monitoring and appreciation of soil abound, ranging from the NASA’s SMAP mission just launched at end of January to events offered by the Soil Science Society of America.

Tracking Snow: The Cryosphere in an Era of Climate Change

Matthew Sturm. Image Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A new generation of weather satellites is helping researchers gain insights into the complex relationship between the cryosphere – the planet’s cold regions – and the climate. With drinking water supplies dwindling around the world, understanding the cryosphere is becoming a front-burner issue.

The hidden farms of Chicago

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NPR’s The Salt recently took a look at Chicago and the many “hidden farms” that can be found on rooftops around the city.