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Tag Archives: Environmental Research Letters

Facts and fiction

By Dave Elliott

Is the truth out there? An extended Xmas Whimsy

It’s usual for there to be a spread of viewpoints on most issues, and it’s always worth looking at a range views, including ‘outlier’ ones! On that, this is fun: www.xonitek.com/press-room/company-news/the-stone-age-didnt-end-because-they-ran-out-of-stones/

However at times you can get weary of obsessive time wasters and yearn for clarity! Sadly that may not be easy to achieve.

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Imported wood combustion? Some say it’s fine..others disagree

By Dave Elliott

Many environmentalists are not keen on using imported wood pellets in old inefficient converted fossil-fueled plants. They say there are better ways to use biomass and better sources- local anaerobic digestion of biomass wastes and residues, along with Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Large-scale biomass conversion, and even co-firing with coal, is sometimes portrayed as an interim option, getting biomass use established, but not everyone is convinced that this helps build up support for local sourcing of biomass. It’s just a way to keep old power plants going, so as to avoid having to write off some sunk costs.  There is also the wider debate about the extent to which large-scale combustion of grown biomass, especially from forests, is net low carbon, given that it takes time for new growths to absorb emitted CO2. It’s even been claimed that using wood from trees might lead to more emissions net than from using coal, depending on the source of the wood: http://www.rspb.org.uk/Image/biomass_report_tcm9-326672.pdf 

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James Hansen on pacts with the devil

By Liz Kalaugher

We are increasing the stakes of the climate Faustian bargain, believes James Hansen, who retires from NASA this week, through higher levels of fossil-fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution, which mask greenhouse-gas warming in the short term. The Faustian bargain sees aerosols reduce the net human-made climate forcing; they only maintain this level of reduction, however, if we allow air pollution to increase as emissions rise. Once people decide to reduce particulate air pollution for health reasons, the “devil’s payment” will be extracted via increased global warming.

The original Faust, the story goes, entered a pact with the devil and received magic powers for 24 years before the devil claimed his soul, leaving Faust in eternal damnation.

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October’s favourite ERL video abstract

By Liz Kalaugher

October’s most popular Environmental Research Letters (ERL) video abstract was on “Can switching fuels save water? A life cycle quantification of freshwater consumption for Texas coal- and natural gas-fired electricity”.

It’s currently close runner-up to September’s most popular video abstract – on “Sources of multi-decadal variability in Arctic sea ice extent”.

See the full collection of video abstracts.

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ERL introduces article-level metrics and new Creative Commons licence

By Liz Kalaugher

Environmental Research Letters (ERL), sister product to environmentalresearchweb, has introduced a new service, making article-level metrics such as full-text downloads, video abstract views, citations, shares and bookmarks available to all users. The metrics provide users with information that reveals the potential wider impact of individual articles in a specific research area and beyond. Read more on article-level metrics.

ERL has also moved, with immediate effect, to a CC-BY 3.0 licence. This more liberal Creative Commons licence allows others to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon a piece of work as long as they credit the original creation. Find out more.

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ERL board gathers in London

By Liz Kalaugher

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This Monday saw twelve members of the Environmental Research Letters (ERL) board meet up at the Institute of Physics in London to guide the journal’s future. A sister product to environmentalresearchweb, ERL is run by IOP Publishing and has provided open-access high-quality research articles from across the full range of environmental science since 2006.

Delegates came in person from the US, UK, India, Argentina, Norway and Guyana while ERL editor-in-chief Dan Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, US, dialled in from the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, and Julie Hall of New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research joined in from Wellington.

Pictured from left, Scott Goetz of Woods Hole Research Center, US, Chuixiang “Tree” Yi of City University of New York, US, ERL Publisher Guillaume Wright, Bridget Scanlon of University of Texas, Austin, US, Arpad Horvath of the University of California, Berkeley, N H “Ravi” Ravindranath of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, Giles Harrison of the University of Reading, UK, Ian Colbeck of the University of Essex, UK, Geir Sverre Braut of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision, Tim Smith, ERL Senior Publisher, Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, Dan Rubenstein of Princeton University, US, Carolyn Stephens of Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina, and Isabella Bovolo of the University of Newcastle, UK, and Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation & Development, Guyana.

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ERL launches video editorials

By Liz Kalaugher

According to Time magazine, five years ago saw the invention of a low-allergy cat, solid coffee and a motorized inflatable pool lounger. Perhaps more significantly, it was also the birth-year of Environmental Research Letters (ERL), environmentalresearchweb‘s sister open-access journal.

To celebrate five years of publishing high-quality research, ERL has launched its first video editorial from Editor-in-Chief Dan Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley. In “It takes a community to define a discipline” Dan discusses the factors he feels make ERL unique – fast publication times, broad coverage, a high-quality interdisciplinary editorial board, good visibility for articles, and access for all. You can also read Dan’s complementary traditional editorial.

Dan’s video marks the launch of video abstracts for ERL, an exciting new feature for 2012, a year which will also see focus issues on topics such as second-generation biofuels, biodiversity, human health and well-being, and environmental risks and migration.

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ERL presents the Rosenfeld plaque to Dr Carey King

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By Liz Kalaugher

Environmental Research Letters (ERL) is pleased to present this one time award in recognition of outstanding work in the journal in the field of energy economics.

ERL awards the Rosenfeld plaque to Dr Carey King for his work published in the journal, where he described a new method to measure energy return on energy invested (EROI) that can be estimated every year, rather than the previous best method which gave estimates at best every five years. In recognition of Dr King’s work and as a gesture of gratitude, the journal would like to give Dr King the opportunity to publish in ERL completely free of charge until the end of 2012.

The Rosenfeld plaque is a limited edition item, named in honour of Dr Arthur H Rosenfeld, which was manufactured to commemorate a letter published in ERL in March 2010 that defined a new unit to represent energy savings.

To highlight Dr King’s work further, alongside this award ERL has published a perspective article written by Professor Charles Hall.

The article (full text HTML link) by Dr King and perspective (full text PDF link) by Professor Hall are listed below:

Read Carey King’s blog for environmentalresearchweb.

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Happy 5th birthday ERL

By Liz Kalaugher

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environmentalresearchweb’s sister product, open-access journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL) is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a collection of the very best papers published over the last five years.

Twenty-five articles were nominated for the collection based on criteria such as novelty, scientific impact, readership, broad appeal and wider media coverage. The Editorial Board of ERL then picked a winner for each year of the journal’s existence.

To find out more about topics such as the Sahara’s Bodélé depression, the 2005 drought in the Amazon, how difficult it is to recover from dangerous levels of global warming, water shortage over the last 2000 years, and how urban structure affects consumption, head to the dedicated collection page.

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Winners announced for ERL competition

By Liz Kalaugher

Back in December, environmentalresearchweb‘s sister journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL) held a competition at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, US. Congratulations are now due to Dr James O’Brien of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University, US, and to Cecilia Avendano Rodriguez de Harpel of Vancouver, Canada, who have each won an Amazon Kindle.

We wish them happy reading!

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