I get all kinds of science emails every day as part of my job as your On Pasture editor. It helps me find information helpful to you in your grass-based job. But I’ve also learned a lot about the great science that’s going on all around us. And, unlike so much “news” today, it’s hopeful, and it makes me happy to see that really bright people are working on ways to make our lives better.
Here are some things that made me happy this week.
Researchers have developed a super-efficient new way of capturing carbon dioxide and converting it to solid carbon, keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere. It’s a step up from turning carbon into liquid form and injecting it into the ground because it’s less expensive, uses less energy, and prevents potential leakage hazards. If applied only to the steel and cement industries, it would reduce global emissions by 14%. Scientists are looking at ways to use the solid product as a building material. They say it’s one more tool in our efforts to reach our net zero goals.
Like many other insects, bees are in sharp decline so it’s important to find out what they need to reproduce and thrive. A team of German scientists has shown that a diet from a diversity of flowers across a landscape means better reproduction and can even help them fight off the negative effects of infestation with parasitic wax moth larvae. Now we can work on providing bees a healthier environment, which is healthier for us too.
Researchers were surprised to find that nets equipped with LED lights almost eliminated capture of sharks, turtles, skates, and rays, an ancient group of animals that has declined globally due to bycatch and illegal fishing. Illuminated nets also reduced the time fishers spend removing these species from their nets. This means fishers can save more than an hour per trip and improve the quality of their catch. It’s a win-win-win for all of us!
I know this is a little geeky, but it gives you another perspective on the world around us, plus you’ll have something out of the ordinary to add to the conversation when you stop for coffee or lunch.
Thanks for reading!