Agriculture

Stanford researchers create a better way to predict the environmental impacts of agricultural production
April 21, 2017 05:55 PM - Taylor Kubota via Stanford University

Consumer goods companies often rely on life-cycle assessments (LCA) to figure out the potential consequences of how they design products and source ingredients. This kind of assessment, while sophisticated, often lacks detail about how the products affect natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity.

A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, in a partnership called the Natural Capital Project, along with researchers from Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre, developed a new kind of assessment to integrate these impacts in a more detailed way. They call it Land Use Change Improved Life Cycle Assessment, or LUCI-LCA. It’s designed to help researchers or companies more accurately predict impacts of new designs and sourcing.

Stanford researchers create a better way to predict the environmental impacts of agricultural production
April 21, 2017 05:55 PM - Taylor Kubota via Stanford University

Consumer goods companies often rely on life-cycle assessments (LCA) to figure out the potential consequences of how they design products and source ingredients. This kind of assessment, while sophisticated, often lacks detail about how the products affect natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity.

A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, in a partnership called the Natural Capital Project, along with researchers from Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre, developed a new kind of assessment to integrate these impacts in a more detailed way. They call it Land Use Change Improved Life Cycle Assessment, or LUCI-LCA. It’s designed to help researchers or companies more accurately predict impacts of new designs and sourcing.

Making oil from algae — towards more efficient biofuels
April 19, 2017 11:19 AM - Kobe University

The mechanism behind oil synthesis within microalgae cells has been revealed by a Japanese research team. This discovery could contribute to the development of biofuels. The findings were published on April 4 in Scientific Reports.

Cover crops may be used to mitigate and adapt to climate change
April 17, 2017 04:08 PM - Penn State

Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a Penn State researcher.

Eat, Prey, Move
April 17, 2017 04:05 PM - UC Santa Barbara

It’s a fish-eat-fish world out in the ocean, and prey species usually fear the predators that would make them into a tasty snack.

Termite gut holds a secret to breaking down plant biomass
April 17, 2017 03:53 PM - University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the Microbial Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the incredibly efficient eating habits of a fungus-cultivating termite are surprising even to those well acquainted with the insect’s natural gift for turning wood to dust. - See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/termite-gut-holds-a-secret-to-breaking-down-plant-biomass/#sthash.wNKkjWOk.dpuf

Termite gut holds a secret to breaking down plant biomass
April 17, 2017 03:53 PM - University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the Microbial Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the incredibly efficient eating habits of a fungus-cultivating termite are surprising even to those well acquainted with the insect’s natural gift for turning wood to dust. - See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/termite-gut-holds-a-secret-to-breaking-down-plant-biomass/#sthash.wNKkjWOk.dpuf

Prescribed Fires Consume Kansas Landscape
April 13, 2017 11:57 AM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Most if not all the fires in this image taken by Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on April 11, 2017 are controlled fires set by farmers to manage land.  Farmers in Kansas as allowed to burn grass every year to produce better grass for cattle.  The grass burning typically occurs between March and mid-April on a yearly basis.

Prescribed Fires Consume Kansas Landscape
April 13, 2017 11:57 AM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Most if not all the fires in this image taken by Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on April 11, 2017 are controlled fires set by farmers to manage land.  Farmers in Kansas as allowed to burn grass every year to produce better grass for cattle.  The grass burning typically occurs between March and mid-April on a yearly basis.

Overpumping Reduces California's Groundwater Storage
April 12, 2017 12:30 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Decades of overpumping groundwater have irreversibly altered layers of clay beneath California's Central Valley, permanently reducing the aquifer's ability to store water, finds a new satellite remote sensing study by scientists at Stanford University, Stanford, California; and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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