DNR weekend reading: Native plants, diagonal trees make better biofuel

Members of the Puget SoundCorps wrestle a creosote-treated log from a lagoon at Neck Point on Shaw Islandon a chilly December day..
Members of the Puget SoundCorps wrestle a creosote-treated log from a lagoon at Neck Point on Shaw Island on a chilly December day. Photo: DNR.

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:

Scientific American: Food versus Fuel: Native Plants Make Better Ethanol
New research indicates that native grasses and flowers grown on land not currently used for crops could make for a sustainable biofuel

Imperial College London: Wind in the Willows Boosts Biofuel Production: Trees Grown Diagonally Produce Five Times More Biofuel
Willow trees cultivated for ‘green energy’ can yield up to five times more biofuel if they grow diagonally, compared with those that are allowed to grow naturally up towards the sky.

Science Daily: Air Pollution and Unhappiness Correlated, Study of Europeans Shows
Researchers in Canada have found a correlation between air pollution and people’s happiness. Their deep analysis, reported in the latest issue of the International Journal of Green Economics, suggests that air pollution may lead to unhappiness while the converse is also true, the less happy the citizens of a country the more air pollution.

Science Daily: Invading Species Can Extinguish Native Plants Despite Recent Reports to the Contrary
Ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich have found that, given time, invading exotic plants will likely eliminate native plants growing in the wild despite recent reports to the contrary.

National Geographic: 6 Ways Climate Change Will Affect You
The planet keeps getting hotter, new data showed this week. For example in the United States, 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded. Every few years, the U.S. federal government engages hundreds of experts to assess the impacts of climate change, now and in the future.

environment360: Black Carbon and Warming: It’s Worse than We Thought
A new study indicates that soot, known as black carbon, plays a far greater role in global warming than previously believed and is second only to CO2 in the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. Reducing some forms of soot emissions, such as from diesel fuel and coal burning, could prove effective in slowing down the planet’s warming.

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