Researchers Propose New Biochar Technique to Scrub Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Three million years ago, there were no humans, global temperatures were possibly four degrees celsius warmer and sea levels were high enough to cover most of modern-day Manhattan. This was also the last time in geologic history that global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm), a benchmark that was permanently and ominously passed once again in 2016. Carbon emissions, largely as a result of burning fossil fuels, are not likely to halt anytime soon. Some scientists have started organizing backup plans; most notably, finding a way to grab some of this atmospheric carbon and store it in the Earth. “The critical thing at this point in time is to reduce emissions as rapidly as we are able to do so.

Cornell Scientist Predicts Climate Change Will Prompt Earlier Spring Start Date

In an astronomical sense, the first day of spring occurs on the vernal equinox, when the hours of the day are almost exactly evenly split between daylight and night. For the past six years, this exact time has fallen on various hours of March 20. Conventionally, this is the date the Gregorian calendar on your refrigerator will call the first day of spring. But how does a climate scientist define spring? An article published last month in Climate Dynamics, coauthored by Zachary Labe, a graduate student at UC Irvine, Cornell’s Prof. Toby Ault, earth and atmospheric sciences, and Prof. Raul Zurita-Milla, geo-information science at University of Twente, highlighted the importance of this definition in understanding the phenomena of early onset springs.

Cornell University Assembly Tables Request for Information on Cost of Carbon Neutrality

Corrections appended
The University Assembly voted 7-1-1 to table a resolution requesting additional information from the University about the costs of carbon neutrality Tuesday. Prof. Ellis Loew, physiology, emphasized the importance of carbon neutrality and its potential impact on the entire planet. “Anything you can do to minimize energy usage will have a financial impact — which will be positive — and a positive impact on our environment by reducing our carbon footprint,” Loew said. Loew acknowledged the financial burden carbon neutrality places on the University, but argued that the value of carbon neutrality was greater. “There is going to be cost to everything,” he said.

In ‘Last Lecture,’ Professor Bruce Monger Tells Students to Dream Big

Think big and carve your own paths, urged Prof. Bruce Monger, earth and atmospheric sciences, in his “last lecture.”
The last lecture series, hosted by Mortar Board, brings speakers to reflect on his or her life experiences and share thoughts with students, as if it was the speaker’s last lecture. In his lecture titled “My Slightly Unusual Life-Journey And Some Important Things I Have Learned Along the Way…,” Monger recounted how he grew up in the small town of Shelton, Washington, where the two main industries were saw mills and logging. Despite his deep love for science as a child, Monger said in high school he “just mindlessly sort of followed what [his] friends were doing,” taking carpentry and woodshop instead of science classes. After high school, he continued to follow his friends and went into the logging business, “because that’s what everyone else did.” However, during one solo motorcycle trip to Colorado during a summer vacation, he had an epiphany that changed the direction of his life. While checking into a motel, he realized, “That’s what adults do…I’m totally an adult. I’m in charge of everything now.

CORNUCOPIA | Bruce Monger Talks the Science of Climate Change

Cornucopia is a biweekly podcast that covers research stories unfolding across campus. Join hosts Addison Huneycutt ’18 and Ali Jenkins ’18 as they dig into the juiciest discoveries they can find. In each episode, you’ll meet a researcher, chat with Addison and Ali and hear some corny jokes. Check out the science section of The Cornell Daily Sun for biweekly updates about the latest episodes. Queries relating to Cornucopia may be sent to [email protected]