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In the Media

The Daily Collegian
Hyun Soo Lee
In the first event of its kind, three Penn State professors debated the properties of three different energy types — coal, renewables and nuclear — in an effort to enhance each other’s knowledge as well as the greater Penn State community. The three professors are Jonathan Mathews, Susan Stewart and Arthur T. Motta. Each is armed with a wealth of knowledge in his or her respective field. On Wednesday night, they came together and debated in front of an audience at 112 Chambers during the Campus Energy Debate.
The Guardian
Bill McGuire
Debate within the hurricane science community has in recent decades been almost as hostile as the storms themselves, with researchers, on occasion, even refusing to sit on the same panels at conferences. At the heart of this sometimes acrimonious dispute has been the validity of the Atlantic hurricane record and the robustness of the idea that hurricane activity had been broadly ratcheting up since the 1980s. Now, the weight of evidence looks to have come down on the side of a broad and significant increase in hurricane activity that is primarily driven by progressive warming of the climate. For many, the bottom line is the sea surface temperature, which is a major driver of hurricane activity and storm intensification. Last year saw the warmest sea temperatures on record, so it should not be a surprise. As Michael Mann, an atmospheric scientist at Penn State University, says: “It isn’t a coincidence that we’ve seen the strongest hurricane in both hemispheres [western and eastern] within the last year.” As the Atlantic continues to heat up, the trend is widely expected to be towards more powerful and wetter storms, so that Matthew might seem like pretty small beer when looked back on from the mid-century.
Lancaster Farming
Tabitha Goodling
Elvin Ranck of Charvin Farms described the ups and downs of cover cropping with corn last week at a Penn State Extension field day on his farm near Mifflin in Juniata County. Penn State Extension has been working with the Rancks, including Elvin’s son Michael, for six years to improve the cover crop process.
StateCollege.com
A scientist-turned-Congressman who now heads the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will join several Penn State researchers Thursday night to talk about how scientists help inform policy. Rush Holt will be joined by Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, and Peter Hudson, director of Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the Willaman Professor of Biology, for "Scientist-Citizen: Science Policy in the Age of Promise and Peril," at 7 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center's Freeman Auditorium. The panel discussion is free and open to the public.
The Daily Collegian
Hyun Soo Lee
In the first event of its kind, three Penn State professors debated the properties of three different energy types — coal, renewables and nuclear — in an effort to enhance each other’s knowledge as well as the greater Penn State community. The three professors are Jonathan Mathews, Susan Stewart and Arthur T. Motta. Each is armed with a wealth of knowledge in his or her respective field. On Wednesday night, they came together and debated in front of an audience at 112 Chambers during the Campus Energy Debate.
Food security is threatened by many things. In some regions, climate variability causes droughts that make vital resources scarce. In others, political turmoil creates logistical blockades for farming, harvesting, and shipping produce. But, practically everywhere, plant disease can wipe out entire crops with little warning. A team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland have turned the keen eye of artificial intelligence toward agriculture, using deep learning algorithms to help detect crop disease before it spreads.
Phys.Org
What does the study of honey bees have to do with pollen variations and seasonal allergies? Science major Cassandra Darnell hopes to find out, through an ongoing independent study she is conducting on the honey bees that she brought to Penn State Berks. In the spring of 2016, Darnell set up four bee boxes at the Berks campus. She brought two of her bee boxes with established colonies, each approximately 50,000 strong, and two additional colonies, that she purchased for the project, with 10,000-member packages.
CNN
John Sutter
"Last year was the warmest our oceans have ever been on record. And that's critical context," Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, told Democracy Now. "It's that warmth that provides the energy that intensifies these storms. And it isn't a coincidence that we've seen the strongest hurricane in both hemispheres within the last year."
Fast Company
Jessica Leber
Scientists believe that warmer ocean temperatures created by climate change had been fueling its power—both intensifying it more quickly and sustaining its strength far longer than other storms in the modern record. "It isn’t a coincidence that we’ve seen the strongest hurricanes in both hemispheres within the last year," Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann told Democracy Now. (In February, Tropical Cyclone Winston was the strongest ever in the southern hemisphere). MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel told CNN that, with climate change, we would expect to see more Category 4 and 5 storms in the future.
StateCollege.com
The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program has received $655,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection to provide energy and environmental assessments to businesses across Pennsylvania.
The Guardian
Oliver Milman
Michael Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University, said that the studies deal with very different processes but are “examples of climate change impacts that are already threatening us here in the US and around the world, the devastating and unprecedented wildfires in Alberta last spring and the coastal flooding and massive loss of life from Hurricane Matthew being just the latest reminders, and which will only worsen if we do not act on climate”.
SF Gate
David Titley
In this presidential election year we have heard much about some issues, such as immigration and trade, and less about others. For example, climate change was discussed for an estimated 82 seconds in the first presidential debate last week, and for just 37 minutes in all presidential and vice presidential debates since the year 2000.
Phys.Org
A network of computers fed a large image dataset can learn to recognize specific plant diseases with a high degree of accuracy, potentially paving the way for field-based crop-disease identification using smartphones, according to a team of researchers at Penn State and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Guardian
Oliver Milman
The global temperature has increased to a level not seen for 115,000 years, requiring daunting technological advances that will cost the coming generations hundreds of trillions of dollars, according to the scientist widely credited with bringing climate change to the public’s attention. Michael Mann, a prominent climatologist at Penn State University, agreed that CO2 removal will be required if the world was to avoid 1.5C warming although the 2C limit “could likely be achieved without negative emissions, but it would require urgent action, as I have argued myself is necessary.”
Nanowerk
Researchers at Penn State, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company have developed methods to control defects in two-dimensional materials, such as graphene, that may lead to improved membranes for water desalination, energy storage, sensing or advanced protective coatings. Read more: Simulations show how to turn graphenes defects into assets
Centre Daily Times
Roger Van Scyoc
Shortly after he graduated from Whitman College in 1996, Erik Foley boarded a flight and began a journey that spanned more than 6,000 miles, two years and countless memories. While working for the Peace Corps, the former sociology and environmental studies major applied what he learned in Walla Walla to classrooms in Paraguay, leading workshops and helping start the country’s first school geared toward environmental education.
Christian Science Monitor
Diana Donlon
In bone-dry California we are counting the days until October when the rainy season should begin. When wells run dry in the Central Valley, fires rage in Big Sur and pine forests in the Sierra Nevada die off, you can’t help but wonder where all the water has gone. But what if we asked a slightly different question: where should the water be? To answer this it helps to know that soil hydrologists classify fresh water as either blue or green. According to Henry Lin, Professor of Hydropedology / Soil Hydrology at Penn State University, “Blue water refers to water collected in rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. Blue water is available for withdrawal before it evaporates or meets the ocean. Green water refers to water absorbed by soil and plants and is then released back into the air. Green water is unavailable for withdrawal.”
Mother Nature Network
Tom Oder
While trees — magnolias, dogwoods, redbuds, pines, towering tulip poplars and oaks, majestic maples and numerous other species — can be seen throughout Atlanta, the forest that existed when settlers drove a stake into the ground in 1839 to mark the rail line's zero-mile post is long gone, with one prominent exception. Fernbank Forest, located on the campus of Fernbank Museum of Natural History, is an intact 65-acre mixed hardwood forest that has survived urban planners, bulldozers, sprawl and — to some degree — even neglect. Fernbank is not unique by virtue of simply being an old growth urban forest. "Every major city in the nation has old growth urban forests," said Robert Loeb, professor of biology and forestry at Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus. Several cities, such as New York and Philadelphia, even have multiple old growth forests, added Loeb, who is the author of the book "Old Growth Urban Forests."
Think Progress
Joe Romm
In fact, paleo-climate expert Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, says of the last decade’s remarkable warmth that there is “tentative but nonetheless compelling evidence that we have moved into territory unseen in more than a hundred thousand years.”
Christian Science Monitor
Diana Donlon
In bone-dry California we are counting the days until October when the rainy season should begin. When wells run dry in the Central Valley, fires rage in Big Sur and pine forests in the Sierra Nevada die off, you can’t help but wonder where all the water has gone. But what if we asked a slightly different question: where should the water be? To answer this it helps to know that soil hydrologists classify fresh water as either blue or green. According to Henry Lin, Professor of Hydropedology / Soil Hydrology at Penn State University, "Blue water refers to water collected in rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. Blue water is available for withdrawal before it evaporates or meets the ocean. Green water refers to water absorbed by soil and plants and is then released back into the air. Green water is unavailable for withdrawal.”

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