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In the Media

Business Insider
Mike McRae
In our rapidly warming world, finding a cheap way to pull greenhouse gases from the atmosphere while satisfying our energy needs could be the key to our continued survival on Earth in the centuries to come. And new research has brought us one step closer by developing a rechargeable battery that runs on solutions of carbon dioxide and air. But what if we could use carbon dioxide in the production of batteries directly? Researchers have explored this possibility in the past, but most plans for generating electricity from our glut of atmospheric CO2 are prohibitively expensive, or don't produce much of a current. A team from Pennsylvania State University thinks their new invention finally bucks that trend.
Danfoss North America and The Pennsylvania State University at Philadelphia today announced a major grant from Danfoss in support of Penn State’s 2017 Immersive Internship in Global Sustainability Practices. The grant marks the launch of a collaborative Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities initiative through which Penn State and Danfoss will focus on enlarging the workforce required to create, maintain, and renew sustainable, low-carbon communities; advance the deployment of innovative technologies and designs to reduce carbon emissions; and highlight the important role of engineering in creating the sustainable commercial buildings and communities of tomorrow.
Tafline Laylin
With so much excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, researchers from every corner of the globe are working on innovative ways to soak it up. Penn State University scientists have gone a step further with a powerful new battery that not only soaks up CO2, but also repurposes it to make more energy. Their pH-gradient flow cell battery is not the first of its kind, but it is the most powerful – take a closer look after the jump.
Jamie Rigg
Researchers at Penn State University have potentially come up with yet another way we could create energy from all that nasty carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere. They've developed an inexpensive flow cell battery that uses mostly water solutions containing either dissolved CO2 or dissolved normal air -- the technical name for the dissolving process is called sparging, just FYI. Because the liquids contain different concentrations of CO2, they have different pH levels, and it's this imbalance that generates electricity.
Onward State
Lexi Shimkonis
Welcome to day two of conference weekend at Penn State. Today, the seventh annual TEDxPSU conference will bring together leaders and innovators for a one-day series following State of State’s day-long forum yesterday. We’re live from Schwab Auditorium all day so check here for updates and coverage on each of the speakers. 2:41 p.m.: Academics Program Fellow from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute Peter Buckland is next on stage, here to discuss thrash metal. “Those things that might be really hard to listen to are things that we HAVE to listen to,” Buckland said of thrash metal music, which most of us admittedly wouldn’t willingly listen to. 2:50 p.m.: Buckland is highlighting the political statements that exist in thrash metal and pointed out that these bands fear for a world that may be taken over by global warming, and they are way ahead of the rest of us.
Kaleah Mcilwain
On Saturday, February 12th Penn State students, faculty and alumni came together for the fourth annual State of State conference, titled “Innovate the State,” with the goal of fostering conversation about innovation in a non-traditional way. The event, which was held in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Roberson Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., featured 15 speakers who challenged the audience to think, discuss, and ultimately take action on the issues and ideas that were presented. The next group of presenters touched on “Sustainable Practices” that have been and could be implemented at Penn State. Those presenting were or are involved in supplying sustainable resources here on campus.
Daily Collegian
Julie Biertempfel
Starting promptly at noon, the second session of State of State's "Innovate the State" kicked off with words from Doug Goodstein. Goodstein, the primary contact within the Institute for Student Affairs, was the first speaker under the theme of sustainability practices. He brought his expertise to this conference by speaking about the increasingly important shift to sustainability on campus.
Onward State
Emma Dieter
If you’re a student at Penn State, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the multitude of waste bins on your daily commute — some for compost, some for metals, some for trash. Perhaps in your first few weeks at school, you actually found the whole ordeal to be a bit obnoxious — after all, why should students have to stop in their tracks just separate two types of plastics? What’s the real difference?
Los Angeles Times
Associated Press
The plunging cost of solar power is leading U.S. electric companies to capture more of the sun just when President Donald Trump is moving to boost coal and other fossil fuels. "Solar growth is so extensive and has so much momentum behind it that we're at the point where you can't put the genie back in the bottle," said Jeffrey R.S. Brownson, a Pennsylvania State University professor who studies solar adoption. "You either learn how to work with this new medium, solar energy, or you're going to face increasing conflicts."
The Guardian
Alison Moodie
The most widely used class of insecticides in the world is facing a slow death. Called neonicotinoids, or neonics, these bug killers have long been used to treat millions of acres of farmland in the US. Neonics, the nicotine-based pesticides, gained popularity because they are powerful killers. Introduced in the 1990s, sales of neonics-coated seeds took off in the US in the mid-2000s, and by 2011, at least a third of soybean acres and nearly 80% of corn acres were treated with these pesticides, according to researchers at Penn State University.
The Washington Post
Darryl Fears
Outside the government, scientists who’ve studied how 670 miles of walls and fences erected as part of the Secure Fence Act under former president George W. Bush in 2006 tell stories of animals stopping in their tracks, staring at barriers they couldn’t cross. “At the border wall, people have found large mammals confounded and not knowing what to do,” said Jesse Lasky, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University. Deer, mountain lions, jaguar and ocelots are among the animals whose daily movement was disrupted, he said.
Brian Kahn, Climate Central
When it comes to climate change, the facts are clear. The world had its hottest year ever recorded in 2016, the third year in a row that mark has been set. Arctic sea ice has been decimated by repeated heat waves, seas continue to rise and researchers have warned of instability driven by climate shocks. The cause is human's pouring carbon pollution into the atmosphere. Yet despite knowing all of that, scientists have stressed that world is not doing enough to put humanity on course to avoid catastrophic climate change. David Titley, a professor at Penn State and one of the authors of the new doomsday clock report, said that while the Paris Agreement represents a positive step, the climate talks in Morocco late last year didn't move the ball forward enough.
Hannah Hickey
A dramatic pattern in our planet’s climate history involves paroxysms in Arctic temperatures. During the last ice age, tens of thousands of years ago, Greenland repeatedly warmed by about 10 degrees Celsius over just a few decades and then gradually cooled. Meanwhile the Southern Hemisphere climate stayed fairly stable, with only weak and long-delayed echoes of the temperature chaos up north. But new research shows the fierce winds circling Antarctica—an important lever on the global climate—shifted quickly in response to the Northern Hemisphere temperature spikes.
American Geophysical Union
Richard B. Alley was awarded the 2016 Climate Communication Prize at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 14 December 2016 in San Francisco, Calif. The Climate Communication Prize is funded by Nature's Own, a purveyor of fossils, minerals, and handcrafted jewelry in Boulder, Colo. The prize honors an AGU member-scientist "for the communication of climate science" and "highlights the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respect and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change."
Onward State
Elissa Hill
The TED conference series will return to State College for its seventh annual TEDxPSU conference, this year dubbed “Breach” to be held February 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Schwab Auditorium. This year’s conference will feature 11 speakers, including some Penn State students and faculty. To reserve your spot at TEDxPSU, register for free online here. Here’s a summary of the lineup, with biographical information courtesy of TEDxPSU.
Jim Hook
The Penn State Mont Alto Arboretum is treating some of its specimen, or valuable, ash trees and removing others too badly infested, according to Beth Brantley, instructor of forest technology at Penn State Mont Alto. Established in 1903, the forestry school's collection contains more than 1,000 trees representing 174 species. The outlook is grim, but not hopeless.
Jesse Westbrook
Penn State professor is researching the trickle-down effects that melting tropical glaciers have on food security and biodiversity, and what regional communities, like Cusco and Huaraz in Peru, can do about it.
The Times Herald
Elizabeth Dell
Thanks to Congresswoman Candice Miller for showing leadership on climate change solutions during her last days in office. Miller became the 16th Republican to co-sponsor House Resolution 424, a non-binding resolution recognizing the impacts of climate change and calling for Congress to work on solutions to reduce future risk. While the resolution expired with the end of the last Congress, it is expected to be reintroduced by another Republican sponsor. When it is, constituents of the 10th District should encourage Congressman Paul Mitchell to follow Miller’s lead. This resolution takes seriously the almost 100 percent consensus among scientists that our planet is warming at an unprecedented rate. It outlines numerous climate change impacts including extreme weather, wildfires, pollution related health problems, agricultural disruption, and finally, national security concerns. The latter were highlighted for me last fall, when I had the opportunity to spend time with Rear Adm. David Titley, U.S. Navy (ret.) when he visited Michigan to present about the national security risks of a changing climate. Titley, now director of the Penn State Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, said it’s fundamentally about people, water and change.