Geology & Geophysics News

Wildfires, Coal Fires, and Other Things to Get Fired Up About

What Earth and space science stories are we recommending this week?

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Here Are the Environmental Justice Stories to Watch in 2020. Are you wondering what 2020 will bring for the environment? Grist has us covered. I liked this quick take on what stories are coming in environmental justice this year. I’ll be keeping watch on the House bill on heat protection in the workplace and on community-driven air pollution monitoring.

Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer

 

We Save Lives and Crops Every Time a Coal Plant Closes. New research directly links the closing of coal-fired power plants, and the resulting reduction of pollutants added to the environment, to benefits for human health and agriculture—something few previous studies have done. The work indicated that “the shutdown of coal plants across the [United States] between 2005 and 2016 saved 26,610 lives” and about “570 million bushels of corn, wheat, and soybeans in nearby fields.”

Timothy Oleson, Science Editor

 

Five Environmental Consequences of Australia’s Fires.

Australia’s wildfire season still has months to go, and the immediate impacts of the fires have been devastating. This is a really good overview of a few of the ways that these fires will continue to affect the world even after they are extinguished.

Kimberly Cartier, Staff Writer

 

Our Favorite Science Illustrations of 2019.

I’m always interested in and impressed by how artists can capture tone and convey complicated information in images. Here the design team of Science shares some of its favorites from the past year.

Faith Ishii, Production Manager

 

How the Planets Got Their Spots. I enjoyed reading this—I learned some interesting things about how our solar system took on its present configuration.

—Nancy McGuire, Contract Editor

 

Can We Fix the Air? Probably not. “We could draw down 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by planting trees, 1.5 billion by better forest management, 3 billion by better agricultural practices, and up to 5.2 billion by biofuels with carbon capture. This adds up to over 10 billion tonnes per year. It’s not nearly enough to cancel the 37 billion tonnes we’re dumping into the air each year now.”

Caryl-Sue, Managing Editor

Citation: AGU (2020), Wildfires, coal fires, and other things to get fired up about, Eos, 101, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EO138755. Published on 17 January 2020.
Text © 2020. AGU. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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