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In the Media

Associated Press
Man-made climate change about doubled the chances for the type of heavy downpours that caused devastating Louisiana floods last month, a new federal study finds. “We are now actually able to objectively and quantifiably say ‘yes, climate change contributed to this event,'” Cullen said of the Louisiana downpours. “It’s unequivocal.” Most outside experts — including six who contributed to the National Academies of Science report that looked at climate attribution studies — praised the science and results. The national academies panel chairman, retired Admiral David Titley, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, said the Louisiana study followed the guidelines the academies set out and uses observations, models and physics to come to its conclusion.
Capital Press
John O'Connell
Social scientists have largely overlooked the Northwest in their efforts to assess farmers’ sentiments about climate change and how they may be adapting to it, according to a scientific literature review awaiting publication. Regional climate officials say they’re aware of the review, conducted by a team of experts from Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University, and studies addressing the apparent information gap are already in the works.
The New York Times
Justin Gillis
Many people in Congress, almost all of them Republicans, express doubt about climate science, with some of them promulgating conspiracy theories claiming that researchers have invented the issue to justify greater governmental control over people’s lives. So far, this ideological position has been immune to the rising evidence of harm from human-induced climate change. The Obama administration has been pushing federal agencies, including the Pentagon, to take more aggressive steps. But without action in Congress, experts say these efforts fall far short of what is required. “In the country, certainly in the Congress, it hasn’t really resonated — the billions and perhaps trillions of dollars that we would need to spend if we want to live on the coast like we’re living today,” said David W. Titley, a retired rear admiral who was the chief oceanographer of the Navy, and now heads a climate center at Pennsylvania State University.
The Daily Collegian
Bailey Jensen
For the students who are involved in the Vegetarian Club, living with dietary restrictions doesn’t feel like a restriction at all. They are committed to lifestyle they believe in. While Penn State struggled to provide enough dining options for its vegetarian and vegan students only three years ago, the University has made a substantial amount of progress toward diversifying the food they offer.
Centre Daily Times
Lori Falce
Imagine a summer where Pennsylvania lakes ice over and frost happens on an almost daily basis. That’s not possible, right? It was in 1816. While August 2016 broke one meteorological record, becoming the hottest in State College since 1900, that mirrors another milestone two centuries ago. It seems hard to believe, but Penn State’s award-winning resident expert on climate change Michael Mann said it really happened.
The Times-Tribune
Vincent Cotrone
As summer draws to an end, the kids go back-to- school and the evening temperatures get cooler, many people will start to drain pools, especially temporary pools. Pool water seeping in your landscape may cause major damage.
The Daily Collegian
James Eisenstein
The University of Wisconsin partners with some 40 local growers and food distributors to serve 7,000 undergraduates. Students there can purchase lunch in one of their dining halls using local ingredients every day. Penn State served one locally sourced dinner in Redifer Commons last fall and offered some local food at lunch on Earth Day. The University of Illinois buys 25% of its food from locally grown or processed suppliers (Penn State’s equivalent figure is 18%). Other major universities (UCLA, Virginia Tech, Maine, Cornell, U. Georgia) all have active programs to bring locally produced food into their dining halls. U.C. Berkeley offers its students organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, dressings, oils and vinegars.
The Daily Collegian
Antonia Jaramillo
With a growing concern about the wellbeing of the environment, an increase in demand for more environmental friendly objects such as electrical vehicles has risen in past years. Though there has been success in creating electric vehicles, they still are not seen as efficient or as economical due to the materials that make them — that is, until now. A group of Penn State materials scientists have achieved the seemingly impossible — together they have found a way to create the proper amount of energy storage needed to produce efficient electric vehicles.
Palm Coast Observer
Jacque Estes
Charles Nelson sits at his computer inventorying items from the Florida Farm Bureau. Charles isn’t a farmer, he’s a student in one of Andrew Medearis’ STEM classes at Buddy Taylor Middle School. “We received a grant from the American Farm Bureau for material,” Medearis said. Nelson says little, he is focused on his task. The first class of the day is meeting in the wet lab, a special area designed for cooperative work, and on days like today, a place to assemble things like hydroponic growing containers.
There are challenges ahead for this potential plastic killer. Plastic is really cheap — it’s made from natural gas and petroleum — and this new packaging will be more expensive. John Coupland, a Penn State food science professor who has worked on milk plastics, pointed out that biodegradability can be a mixed blessing — you don’t want the packaging to start breaking down before you are ready. What’s more, wrapping from methane-producing cows may not be more sustainable than wrapping from petrochemicals.
Centre Daily Times
Emma Rohan
Thanks to a grant from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Crop Mobs are also at work right here in Happy Valley. Students and community members connect with local, sustainable farmers through a day of various tasks, including harvesting, planting and learning about sustainable farming practices. We encourage any interested community members to attend a State College Crop Mob.
The Daily Collegian
Antonia Jaramillo
A Penn State researcher — along with researchers at other universities — have recently discovered via computer simulations that coral larvae in the Central Pacific Ocean cannot help replenish the coral reefs in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Gabriella Stevenson
Now that production is in full swing at Penn State’s one-acre Student Farm, The Student Farm Club will host its first Harvest Festival for the community on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The festival is free and open to the public.
Public News Service
Rising sea levels from global climate change are threatening wildlife, recreation and economies along the America's eastern seacoast, but a new report outlines steps to reduce the impact and adapt to changes. The National Wildlife Federation report, “Changing Tides,” says sea levels could rise more than 6 feet by the end of this century. According to Ray Najjar, a professor of oceanography at Penn State University, the impact on coastal areas of such a rapid increase could be devastating.
Lancaster Farming
Charlene Shupp Espenshade
When it comes to water pollution, it all flows downstream. Thus, efforts to fix problems in the Chesapeake Bay have to start upsteam in local watersheds. “The culture of stewardship that is ingrained in Pennsylvania agriculture can form the basis of an exciting new consensus around meeting goals of viable farms and healthy streams,” Matthew Royer, director of Penn State’s Agriculture and Environment Center, said during the Aug. 17 water quality forum at Ag Progress Days.
Onward State
Gabriella Stevenson
Now that production is in full swing at Penn State’s one-acre Student Farm, The Student Farm Club will host its first Harvest Festival for the community on Wednesday, September 7. The festival is free and open to students, faculty, and the public.
Washington Post
Chelsea Harvey
A new paper is challenging our understanding of how long human-caused climate change has been at work on Earth. And the authors say their findings may question existing ideas about how sensitive the planet is to greenhouse gas emissions — with potentially big implications for our global climate policy. But some experts are saying that the research team should be ascribing more importance to this early 19th-century cooling effect in the context of the warming that came after it. Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University said he is “troubled” by the researchers’ suggestion that the planet may be more sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.
Maria Callucci
A separate study from March found that surface melt could greatly accelerate Antarctic ice loss by raising the risk of "hydrofracture," which happens when water formed by the melting of snow and ice atop ice shelves causes them to disintegrate. The process is one reason why several Greenland glaciers are starting to destabilize, according to research that Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and David Pollard of Penn State published in the journal Nature.
Marilyn Borchardt
Do clusters of organic farming activity lead to higher income for farmers as well as others in their community? A recent study suggests that producing organic foods is correlated with lower poverty and increased household incomes in rural communities. In their economic analysis, Pennsylvania State University agricultural economist, Ted Jaenicke and then-student Julia Marasteanu (who now works at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration) identified counties around the country with high levels of organic agricultural activity where a neighboring county also has high organic activity.
R&D Magazine
The energy-storage goal of a polymer dielectric material with high energy density, high power density and excellent charge-discharge efficiency for electric and hybrid vehicle use has been achieved by a team of Penn State materials scientists. The key is a unique three-dimensional sandwich-like structure that protects the dense electric field in the polymer/ceramic composite from dielectric breakdown.