DNR weekend reading: Nano-sterilization another use for old Christmas trees?

Capitol Peak
Routine maintenance of radio and cell phone towers on Capitol Peak (the highest point in Capitol State Forest, elev. 2,664 feet) often requires a special ride during winter months. The towers are on state trust land, and provide revenue for public school construction. Photo: Alan Robinson.

Here are links to reading selections about climate, wildlife, the environment and other science news published recently by science journals, universities, websites, and other sources.

Science Daily: Use for Old Christmas Trees? Douglas Fir Needles May Sterilize Nano Devices for Medical Applications
As twelfth night approaches, there is the perennial question as to what to do with the tree. New research suggests that the needles of the plant Pseudotsuga menziesii, commonly known as the Douglas fir, could be used indirectly to sterilize nano devices destined for medical applications.

Scientific AmericanHow North Korea Fuels Its Military Trucks With Trees
Instead of burning synthetic diesel fuel produced by a gasification process, North Korea appears to be fueling at least some of its military trucks by directly gasifying wood chips–a less efficient method but one that does not require a  large infrastructure for synthetic fuel production.

University of Delaware: Renewable news
Renewable energy through a well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today’s electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.

Alpha Galileo Foundation: New study documents the natural relationship between CO2 concentrations and sea level
By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine meters above current levels.

Science DailyEffects of Climate Change On Birds Worsened by Housing Development
A new study by PRBO Conservation Science researchers suggests that the effects of future housing development may be as great or greater than those of climate change for many bird species. In fact, some species projected to expand their distributions with climate change may actually lose ground when future development is brought into the picture.

Science Daily:  Maple Syrup, Moose, and the Impacts of Climate Change in the North
Current climate change models don’t account for real life surprises that take place in forests, concludes a group of scientists. In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources.

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