Agriculture uses a huge amount of energy—almost a fifth of the total consumption in the U.S. alone. And, farming as we know it erodes fertile land far faster than nature can replace it. So how might high oil prices be the best thing that could happen to agriculture? ESS‘ David Montgomery explains, in this piece in the Wall Street Journal.
It’s been about 15 years since the state of Oregon started working to harness wave power for energy. Things are really speeding up with this technology, although some would rather we take it slow and assess the side-effects before, rather than after, large-scale implementation. University of Washington is mentioned in this overview of the history and state of wave-generated energy.
A team of researchers has tested the efficiency of using sewage sludge – usually an unwanted side-effect of human settlements – into biodiesel. The result was pretty pooptacular! Read more here.
Ocean Sentinel (image via Oregon State University)
The Pacific Northwest now has a place for companies and scientists to put new wave power devices through their paces. The Ocean Sentinel began operating off the Oregon coast near Newport last week, a product of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, a joint venture with Oregon State University and University of Washington. Read more here!
The March 11, 2011, Japan tsunami generated about 3 petajoules of energy, according to a new NOAA study. That’s enough to power New York City for seven days or the entire country of Canada for about two and a half hours, they estimate. The study, the first to estimate total energy of a tsunami from measurements made in real time during the tsunami propagation, was published earlier this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans. Read more about this here.
In today’s Seattle Times, an op-ed on ocean acidification was published by Dean Lisa Graumlich from UW’s College of the Environment. Read more about ocean acidification, how it affects marine ecosystems and economies, and what we can do about it here.
A vessel designed to stop oil spills during the drilling that’s scheduled to get under way in the Arctic Ocean in July is currently under construction, and under scrutiny, on the Bellingham waterfront. Such ventures are the consequence of a rapid decline in sea ice, which also means that storms will affect the barges in ways we don’t yet know. ATMO‘s David Battisti is quoted. Read more here.