PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Irrigation management key for bioenergy production to mitigate climate change

2021-03-08
(Press-News.org) To avoid a substantial increase in water scarcity, biomass plantations for energy production need sustainable water management, a new study shows. Bioenergy is frequently considered one of the options to reduce greenhouse gases for achieving the Paris climate goals, especially if combined with capturing the CO2 from biomass power plants and storing it underground. Yet growing large-scale bioenergy plantations worldwide does not just require land, but also considerable amounts of freshwater for irrigation - which can be at odds with respecting Earth's Planetary Boundaries. Scientists now calculated in their to date most detailed computer simulations how much additional water stress could result for people worldwide in a scenario of conventional irrigation and one of sustainable freshwater use.

"Irrigation of future biomass plantations for energy production without sustainable water management, combined with population growth, could double both the global area and the number of people experiencing severe water stress by the end of the century, according to our computer simulations," says lead author Fabian Stenzel from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who developed the research idea in the Young Scientists Summer Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). "However, sustainable water management could almost halve the additional water stress compared to another analyzed scenario of strong climate change unmitigated by bioenergy production."

++Both political regulation and on-farm improvements needed++

"Sustainable water management means both political regulation - such as pricing or water allocation schemes - to reduce the amounts of water taken from rivers as well as on-farm improvements to make more efficient use of the water," says co-author Sylvia Tramberend from IIASA. This could include cisterns for rainwater collection or mulching to reduce evaporation. "Moreover, sustainable water management includes the preservation of reliable river flows to ensure undisturbed ecosystems in and alongside rivers. Up- and downstream river management may in fact require international cooperation calling for more transboundary river management as well as between different water users - that's the challenge ahead for integrated water resource management."

Largely unmitigated global warming together with population growth would increase the number of people under water stress by about 80% in the simulations. Enhanced use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could limit climate change: When plants grow, they take up CO2 from the air and build it into their trunks, twigs and leaves. If this biomass is burned in power plants and the CO2 is captured from the exhausts and stored underground (carbon capture and storage, in short CCS), this can eventually help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere - scientists call this 'negative emissions'.

In many scenarios, these are seen as necessary for meeting ambitious climate mitigation targets if direct emission reductions proceed too slowly, and to balance any remaining greenhouse gas emissions that are difficult or impossible to reduce, for instance potentially in aviation, certain types of industry or in livestock production.

++Water scarcity remains a huge challenge++

"According to existing scenarios, biomass plantations could increase by up to 6 million square kilometers if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the more ambitious of the two temperature targets of the Paris Agreement," says co-author Dieter Gerten from PIK. "We use these scenario inputs to run simulations in our high-resolution global vegetation and water balance model to explore the freshwater implications. While substantial irrigation implied in a bioenergy plus CCS scenario including population growth suggests a 100% increase in the number of people facing water stress, combining it with sustainable water management brings the number down to 60%. This, of course, is still an increase, so challenging tradeoffs are on the table."

Regions that already suffer from water stress today would be most affected in the climate change scenario, like the Mediterranean, the Middle East, northeastern China, South-East and southern West Africa. In the bioenergy plus CCS scenario without sustainable water management, high water stress extends to some otherwise unaffected regions, like the East of Brazil and large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Here, large biomass plantation areas in need of irrigation are assumed in the scenario analyzed.

++Sustainable Development Goals and Planetary Boundaries must be taken into account++

Climate mitigation is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the world has agreed to achieve. The water-energy-environment nexus studied in this research highlights that pathways to sustainability must consider all affected SDGs.

"The numbers show that either way, sustainable water management is a challenge urgently to be addressed," says co-author Wolfgang Lucht, head of PIK's Earth System Analysis research department. „This new study confirms that measures currently considered to stabilize our climate, in this case bioenergy plus CCS, must take into account a number of further dimensions of our Earth system - water cycles are one of them. Risks and tradeoffs have to be carefully considered before launching large-scale policies that establish biomass markets and infrastructure. The concept of Planetary Boundaries considers the whole Earth system, including but not limited to climate. Particularly the integrity of our biosphere must be acknowledged to protect a safe operating space for humanity."

INFORMATION:

Article: Fabian Stenzel, Peter Greve, Wolfgang Lucht, Sylvia Tramberend, Yoshihide Wada, Dieter Gerten (2021): Irrigation of biomass plantations may globally increase water stress more than climate change. Nature Climate Change [DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-21640-3]

Weblink once the study is published: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21640-3



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Diphtheria risks becoming major global threat again as it evolves antimicrobial resistance

2021-03-08
Diphtheria - a relatively easily-preventable infection - is evolving to become resistant to a number of classes of antibiotics and in future could lead to vaccine escape, warn an international team of researchers from the UK and India. The researchers, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, say that the impact of COVID-19 on diphtheria vaccination schedules, coupled with a rise in the number of infections, risk the disease once more becoming a major global threat. Diphtheria is a highly contagious infection that can affect the nose and throat, and sometimes the skin. If left untreated it can prove fatal. In the UK and other high-income countries, babies are vaccinated against ...

Cardiac arrest from opioid overdose has unique features affecting prevention and treatment

2021-03-08
DALLAS, March 8, 2021 -- Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests triggered by opioid overdose are a significant cause of death among adults 25 to 64, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, the nation's largest voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health for all. The statement published today in the Association's flagship journal Circulation. In the U.S., opioid use disorder affects an estimated 2 million people each year and costs more than $78 billion in health care expenses. The opioid epidemic, ...

Stroke affecting the eye requires immediate treatment, can signal future vascular events

2021-03-08
DALLAS, March 8, 2021 - While most people think of strokes affecting the brain, they can also affect the eye. Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a rare form of acute ischemic stroke that occurs when blood flow is blocked to the main artery of the eye. It typically causes painless, immediate vision loss in the impacted eye, with fewer than 20% of people regaining functional vision in that eye. Today, the American Heart Association published a new scientific statement, "Management of Central Retinal Artery Occlusion," in Stroke, an American Heart Association ...

Immune cells in cerebrospinal fluid predict response to immunotherapy

Immune cells in cerebrospinal fluid predict response to immunotherapy
2021-03-08
The analysis of immune cells infiltrating cerebrospinal fluid enables the characterization of the tumor microenvironment in brain metastases. Findings reported today in Nature Communications* confirm that these cells recapitulate the characteristics of those detected in brain metastases, and could act as novel and non-invasive biomarkers to predict patient responsiveness to immune-based therapies. Results from a study led by Joan Seoane, Director of Preclinical and Translational Research co-program at VHIO and ICREA Professor, show that immune cells accessing cerebrospinal fluid faithfully recapitulate the characteristics of cells identified in brain metastasis, and could therefore constitute novel ...

Virtual avatar coaching with community context for adult-child dyads

Virtual avatar coaching with community context for adult-child dyads
2021-03-08
Philadelphia, March 8, 2021 - Virtual reality avatar-based coaching shows promise to increase access to and extend the reach of nutrition education programs to children at risk for obesity, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier. Researchers introduced 15 adult-child dyads to a virtual avatar-based coaching program that incorporated age-specific information on growth; physical, social, and emotional development; healthy lifestyles; common nutrition concerns; and interview questions around eating behaviors and food resources and counseling. "We developed a virtual reality avatar computer program ...

Globalization of cancer clinical trials linked to lower enrollment of Black patients

2021-03-08
For the drug approval process in the United States, investigators have been expanding clinical trials to sites outside the country. However, a new study indicates that this trend may be widening racial disparities in patient enrollment in cancer clinical trials. The study is published by Wiley early online in END ...

Drug to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women of 'very limited use'

2021-03-08
An independent analysis of the medical trials which formed the final basis of approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly suggests the drug bremelanotide has very limited effectiveness as a treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in women, and that trial participants preferred a placebo. The analysis, published today in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sex Research, also highlights issues with the validity of HSDD as a diagnosis. The condition was removed from the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013. Professor Glen Spielmans, of Metropolitan State University, USA, examined data from bremelanotide's FDA New Drug Application, ...

Investigating youth suicides among children involved with the welfare system

2021-03-08
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 5 to 21 years in the United States. Between 2010 and 2019, suicide rates among this group increased 40%. Youth involved in the child welfare system experience an even greater risk of suicidal behavior, yet research on this vulnerable population is minimal. To better understand and prevent suicide in this at-risk group, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital conducted the first study to compare characteristics and health service utilization patterns of youth suicide decedents (those ...

Study suggests wearing a face mask during intense exercise is safe for healthy people

2021-03-08
Wearing a protective face mask has only a modest effect on the ability of healthy people to do vigorous exercise, according to a study published today (Monday) in the European Respiratory Journal [1]. Researchers carried out detailed testing on breathing, heart activity and exercise performance in a group of 12 people while they were using an exercise bike with and without a mask. Although they found differences in some measurements between wearing a mask and not wearing a mask, they say that none of their results indicate any risk to health. This suggests that masks could be worn safely during intense exercise, for example to reduce COVID-19 transmission between ...

One size doesn't fit all when it comes to products for preventing HIV from anal sex

2021-03-06
The initial insights from the study, aptly named DESIRE (Developing and Evaluating Short-acting Innovations for Rectal Use), are being reported on March 6 in a Science Spotlight session at the virtual meeting of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), March 6-10. The presentation will be available for registered participants and media to view throughout the meeting. Conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), DESIRE focused on potential delivery methods for rectal microbicides - topical products being developed and tested to reduce ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Quantum computing will radically alter the application of copyright law, study says

Ochsner Health & Wellness Day in New Orleans East set for March 9

Protecting joints from bacteria with mussels

Researchers investigate immune response of a man who received 217 Covid vaccinations

Proceed with caution – the meteoric rise of zero-alcohol drinks

USC collaborates with startup supporter Techstars to encourage intellectual property development

Who military service members see as credible to discuss secure firearm storage for suicide prevention

Low birthweight coupled with overweight in 20s linked with ‘massive risk’ of early type 2 diabetes in men

DNA aptamer drug sensors can instantly detect cocaine, heroin and fentanyl – even when combined with other drugs

New project will use next-gen at-home rapid test to track COVID-19, RSV, and flu

SRI relaunches the PARC Forum event series as it celebrates the first anniversary of acquiring the storied Palo Alto Research Center

An inside look at Beech tree disease

New AI model draws treasure maps to diagnose disease

Breastfeeding after COVID-19 booster can give babies antibodies

Researchers closing in on genetic treatments for hereditary lung disease, vision loss

COVID-19 associated with increased risk for autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases up to a year after infection

UC Irvine receives $15 million NSF grant for integrative movement research

University of Houston engineer Metin Akay featured in study highlighting 50 scientists' contributions to biomedical engineering advancements

JWST captures the end of planet formation

Good news—MS drugs taken while breastfeeding may not affect child development

Programs intended to reduce health insurance premiums may make coverage less affordable for the middle class

PrEP discontinuation in a US national cohort of sexual and gender minority populations, 2017–22

USC Study: Medicare Part D plans increased restrictions on drug coverage

Sacituzumab govitecan plus platinum-based chemotherapy in breast, bladder, and lung carcinomas

Global study unveils "problematic" use of porn

Newly discovered protein prevents DNA triplication

Less ice in the arctic ocean has complex effects on marine ecosystems and ocean productivity

Antarctica’s coasts are becoming less icy

New research shows migrating animals learn by experience

Modeling the origins of life: New evidence for an “RNA World”

[Press-News.org] Irrigation management key for bioenergy production to mitigate climate change