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Trapping carbon pollution underground for thousands of years is key to fighting climate change
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trapping carbon emissions deep within Earth's crust may be a clever way to keep warming greenhouse gases from amassing in the planet's atmosphere.  Giant wind turbines and solar-paneled roofs are almost certainly the energy future, but until the greater transition from burning fuels is complete, fuel-burning plants will continue to expel carbon into the air, which has already led to a rapid and accelerating disruption of Earth's climate.  Researchers now say that if carbon is pumped into the Earth, only small amounts, if that, are likely to leak out.  SEE ALSO: After attempts at censorship, National Park Service finally releases climate change report The storing of these emissions in the ground for thousands of years, or longer — a technology called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) — is a solution already employed in places like Norway's North Sea, but it has yet to be widely adopted.  However, if CCS were widely accepted, a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that well over 90 percent of this carbon will likely stay put for some 10,000 years, if stored correctly. Permanently storing this carbon miles beneath the ground will likely play a critical role in keeping Earth's warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) below that of pre-industrial times by century's end, an ambitious goal agreed upon by nearly 200 nations at the Paris climate talks. The Sleipner gas platform, around 150 miles off Norway's coast in the North Sea, pumps carbon dioxide into the ground under the ocean.Image: DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images"Tackling greenhouse gas emissions is a really complex problem and there is no one single solution," Stephanie Flude, a study coauthor and CCS researcher, said over email.  "Storing billions of tonnes of CO2 [carbon dioxide] underground is most likely essential to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less, but we still need to apply other solutions, such as reducing consumption, improved efficiency, switching to renewable and low-carbon energy and feedstocks, and improved land-use." Flude said there have been some misleading ideas that these sites won't leak any carbon, and also the opposite, that a single leak could release all of a site's carbon, so Flude and her team wanted to present a more realistic picture.  In doing so, they built a "storage security calculator," which benefited from a rich history of how other gases have leaked — and not leaked — in the past.  They projected the storage of carbon dioxide in the ground — which is pressurized and heated into a liquid state — over the years 2020 to 2050. Their results, that this carbon will mostly stay there for thousands of years, are consistent with what other geologists and engineers have found. "Leakage back to the atmosphere, while a potential concern from social and political perspectives, isn’t much of concern from a scientific perspective because studies such as this continue to find it unlikely," Jeffrey Bielicki, who heads the Energy Sustainability Research Laboratory at Ohio State University and had no involvement in the study, said in an interview.   A graphic showing how CCS works. The carbon storage element is shown at the bottom left.Image: Norwegian Government/GassnovaThough, whether carbon dioxide might find its way back to the surface isn't the only concern.  "There’s a worry it could delay the transition to renewables," Paul Olsen, who researches earth and environmental sciences at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, said in an interview. "The logical thing is reducing the boring of fossil fuels and replacing that with renewables," said Olsen, who had no involvement in the study. "However, it won’t happen overnight." Flude acknowledged the argument that advancing carbon storage might deter from the march toward renewables, but noted that CCS can also lock away other sources of carbon, beyond that produced by power plants. Steel, cement, and chemical plants all emit loads of carbon dioxide, so switching to renewable power won't stop those industries from venting carbon into the air, she said.  Carbon, however, can't be trapped in the ground wherever's convenient. The geology needs to be right.  Places with lots of big voids in the ground, like the limestone beneath West Texas, won't do because there are too many caverns, escape routes, and holes in the ground. Expansive slabs of impervious granite won't work either, as the hard rock doesn't have much porous space.  "You can’t just pump it down anywhere," said Olsen.  The best places, said Flude, are areas where gas companies are already removing vast bounties of fossil fuels from the ground. These areas are made up of layered sedimentary rock that have multiple hard rock "caps" that can trap any escaping gases, just like they've trapped pockets of gas and oil for millions of years. Image: U.S. Energy Information association And there's an even better solution: We can pump carbon dioxide into underground rocks that react with the carbon, and then quickly transform it into hardened rock (specifically limestone and quartz). This carbon then gets stuck underground, in perpetuity.  But this, again, requires the right geology, which includes something like ancient lava rock, known as basalt. That said, there's a lot of that kind of rock beneath New York City, said Olsen. "In places like New York, or places with large-scale CO2 sources from power plants, it makes sense to look at the carbon storage model," said Olsen. "I think it's stupid not to." But, Olsen noted that the deep subsurface needs to be well-researched before you can start pumping liquified carbon dioxide into the ground, expecting it to turn into rock.  "Every place is special," he said, adding that scientists need to ensure the underground will actually trap carbon the way scientists think it will. Going forward, scientists know the technology can work — and in some places already does. The problem is scaling it up to be useful to greater society — not just a kind of successful test site somewhere.  "To make a large dent in the emissions, that's where the challenges are," said Bielicki. The study's authors did find that if these storage sites weren't well monitored for possible leaks, more than 20 percent of the carbon might escape back into the air. But it's unlikely this will ever be the case.  Every nation seriously considering or already using CCS, like Canada, Norway, and the United States, will almost certainly be carefully watching these sites. "That's the way it's likely to play out," said Bielick. Watching for leaks, diligently researching these underground worlds, and transporting highly-pressurized carbon to these places, however, isn't expected to be simple, nor cheap. "There's no free lunch here," said Olsen. "The only free lunch you get is with renewables." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?    
Lawmakers Are Hesitant to Judge the North Korea Summit Just Yet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Eight thousand miles away, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were a tad more measured.
'Roof, roof!' Dog rescued from overhang roof at his home
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SPRING LAKE PARK, Minn. (AP) — "Roof! Roof!" He was practically begging to be rescued.
Despite murky details, summit sends NK clear message: Welcome to the club
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The world will see a major change,” Kim said as he signed the summit’s joint statement. What had been dubbed a denuclearization summit was actually very light on the specifics, beyond its quid-pro-quo joint statement twinning North Korea’s commitment to denuclearize with US security commitments for Kim.
Psychedelics May Physically Alter the Structure of the Brain
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Psychedelic drugs are known to produce mind-altering effects, which can lead to profound changes in consciousness. Researchers from the University of California, Davis (UCD), found that psychedelic compounds such as LSD, DMT and MDMA, can increase the number of connections between brain cells, or neurons.
Body Language Experts Reveal What Trump and Kim's Behavior Says About the Singapore Summit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Both men sought the alpha role but Trump took the upper-hand by playing host
Flood damage would double without coral reefs: study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Loss of coral reefs around the world would double the damage from coastal flooding, and triple the destruction caused by storm surges, researchers said Tuesday. Coupled with projected sea level rise driven by global warming, reef decline could see flooding increase four-fold by century's end, they reported in the journal Nature Communications. Without coral to help absorb the shock, a once-in-a-century cyclone would wreak twice the havoc, with the damage measured in the tens of billions of dollars, the team calculated.
Woman with vial of Moon dust is proactively suing NASA to prevent its seizure
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It should go without saying, but material from the Moon is pretty rare here on Earth. The Apollo astronauts brought a whole bunch of lunar material back with them but virtually none of that is in the hands of the general public. A Cincinnati woman named Laura Cicco might be one of the very few private citizens with a piece of the Moon that she can call her own, and now she's suing NASA to make sure they don't try to take it from her. Cicco was first given a tiny vial of moon dust when she was just ten years old, the Washington Post reports, along with a handwritten note from astronaut Neil Armstrong. It was the 1970s, and Cicco — then Laura Murray — had a connection to the famed space traveler via her father, a US Army and FAA pilot who was friends with Armstrong. Decades later, she would rediscover the vial of pale gray dust in a box of her parents' belongings, and now she's fighting to make sure it remains in her possession. The lawsuit, which Cicco filed this week in federal court, is a proactive measure to prevent NASA from attempting to claim the vial of dust. To be clear, NASA hasn't actually attempted to retrieve the dust from Cicco, and it's unclear if the agency has or had any plans to do so, but if they did it certainly wouldn't be without precedent. NASA has made a habit of hunting down lunar artifacts that have escaped its possession in the past. Perhaps most famously, a "lunar sample return" bag used by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 17 mission was mislabeled by a government employee and auctioned off to the public by mistake. It was bought and eventually resold, but not before NASA did everything in its power to get the bag back. A court ultimately decided that the government was not the rightful owner, and the artifact remains in private hands. The vial of dust that Cicco was gifted has been analyzed at least twice, with scientists ruling that it is "likely" a sample of the lunar surface. However, the possibility that the material is actually of terrestrial origin can't be ruled out. Nevertheless, it's clearly pretty special to its owner and we'll have to wait and see if NASA decides to make a move.
Tiny Space Diamonds Might Be Beaming Mystery Signals Through the Milky Way
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Tiny hydrogenated diamonds swirling around infant stars could be the source of strange microwave signals emanating through our galaxy. It was dubbed “anomalous microwave radiation" (AME), and astronomers have puzzled over its source ever since. Researchers figured out that small, spinning grains were to blame for the strange microwave light.
President Trump Is Ending 'War Games' in Korea. Here's What Russia and South Korea Think About That
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"It will save us a tremendous amount of money. They're tremendously expensive"
SpaceX is giving Wall Street a reason to bet on Tesla
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Elon Musk is exceptional at creating a few handbuilt, expensive things that go fast. Tesla started off building the Roadster, an electric supercar built on a Lotus chassis, assembled by hand in Britain and California. Tesla’s next two cars, the Model S and Model X, were built in a proper factory yet not much less…
Trump's 'astonishing' concession to Kim Jong Un and North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The president says he will halt U.S.-South Korea military exercises, a key demand from Pyongyang.
Man literally falls into police's hands after eluding them
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who ran from a traffic stop and then found himself clinging by his hands to a window ledge has been literally caught by police waiting below.
Abandoned baby moose, 'begging for attention,' befriends dog
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
WALLAGRASS, Maine (AP) — A dog and a young moose have forged an unlikely friendship in Maine.
A summit that may pop fear in North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As the world’s most repressive tyranny, the North Korean regime has survived by keeping its people in the dark, dampening their expectations, and instilling a fear of external enemies, especially the United States. North Korea’s official media told the nation of 26 million that the talks could bring a “permanent and durable peace mechanism” with the US. TV images showed Mr. Kim touring Singapore, where “every building is stylish,” the streets are clean, and the country’s “good” development is worth following.
A taciturn tactician, McConnell’s leadership draws respect – and ire
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In January, when former Senate majority leader Bob Dole of Kansas was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, his fellow Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, offered a tribute. Senator Dole showed that “principles and pragmatism are not opposites, but complements,” said Senator McConnell.
South Korea's President 'Could Hardly Sleep' on Eve of the Historic Summit Between the U.S. and North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The South Korean president has championed the summit and often acted as a mediator
Erdogan opens new pipeline to pump Azerbaijan gas to Europe
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday opened a new gas pipeline that will pump Caspian gas from energy-rich Azerbaijan across Anatolia to Europe for the first time. The $8.5 billion Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is one of several mega projects being showcased by Erdogan as he heads to keenly-fought elections on June 24. The TANAP pipeline connects with the South Caucasus Pipeline which pumps gas from the vast Azerbaijani Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian, via Azerbaijan and Georgia, to Turkey.
Kim Jong Un's Jogging Bodyguard Unit Make Another Appearance in Singapore
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The jogging guardians caught the world's attention at April's inter-Korea summit
The Trump Administration Dropped Asylum Protection for Survivors of Domestic Violence
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"The asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune"
Trump and Kim sign joint statement promising 'complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued the statement at a historic summit in Singapore. Here's what it says.
Trump says he's 'prepared to start a new history' with Kim, but offers few details about their future
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
While President Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong Un's joint statement praised their meeting as “an epochal event of great significance,” some experts on the volatile region had clear misgivings the summit didn’t yield more substantive results. North Korea’s promise to eliminate its nuclear arsenal did not include a commitment to verifiable, irreversible denuclearization nor any explicit agreements on exactly what would be destroyed and how the process could be monitored.
California's Gavin Newsom wants to lead the way to a post
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Gavin Newsom, the charismatic former mayor of San Francisco, is almost certain to become the next governor of California and a major force in the Democratic Party. Can he deliver on his progressive agenda while moving the party into a post-Bernie, post-Hillary future?
George Conway rips Trump's claim that Mueller's appointment is unconstitutional
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
George Conway, the conservative lawyer and husband of President Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, is publicly dismissing her boss’s claim that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is unconstitutional.
Watching coverage of the Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended their historic meeting in Singapore by signing a joint statement. The document promised “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” without detailing exactly what that would entail.
14 boys, no regrets: Michigan family happy the way they are
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
A Michigan couple has 14 boys and no regrets, regardless of what online opinion-givers have to say about it. Some comments focus on whether Schwandt and his wife, Kateri, 43, are capable of giving each child enough attention, a criticism their fourth son, Brandon, dismisses. It's our life," said Brandon Schwandt, a 19-year-old hockey standout who recently signed to play with a junior team in Florida.
Distillery has new bourbon flavored by beaver secretion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TAMWORTH, N.H. (AP) — Beaver-flavored whiskey, anyone?
China's forced evictions: One migrant family's story
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
One morning in mid-March, Wang Tianle and his mother visited the site of his old school in northern Beijing. Things started to change in 2015, when the municipal government announced plans to cap the city’s population at 23 million by 2020.
The Story of President Trump and Kim Jong Un's Singapore Summit in Five Photos
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
From the first handshake to a thumb's up, these are the moments we'll remember from the historic meeting.
U.S. Olympic Skier Bode Miller’s Toddler Daughter Drowns in a Pool
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The 19-month-old daughter of U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller drowned in a Southern California swimming pool, authorities said Monday
Sharks can have bellybuttons – and other facts about their incredible diversity
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
New research shows just how different male and female sharks can be.
The NASA Engineer Making STEM Sing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Growing up, Dajae never saw anyone like her represented in the world of STEM. But after attending Missouri University of Science and Technology as a college athlete, she discovered a love for engineering. Today, she's an engineer at the NASA facility in Pasadena, California, working hard to ensure that other young women are given the opportunities to pursue their own careers in STEM. Using music, she rhymes and raps about math and science, making STEM fun and accessible for the next generation.
Trump says he’s ‘prepared to start a new history’ with Kim, but offers few details about their future
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
While President Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong Un's joint statement praised their meeting as “an epochal event of great significance,” some experts on the volatile region had clear misgivings the summit didn’t yield more substantive results. North Korea’s promise to eliminate its nuclear arsenal did not include a commitment to verifiable, irreversible denuclearization  nor any explicit agreements on exactly what would be destroyed and how the process could be monitored.
Chinese vase found in shoebox sells for $19 million
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
An 18th century Chinese vase found in a shoebox in an attic in France sold for 16.2 million euros ($19 million) at auction in Paris on Tuesday. The price was more than 20 times the estimate of 500,000 euros to 700,000 euros auctioneers Sotheby's had put on the item. It was the highest price reached for a single item sold by Sotheby's in France.
President Trump and Kim Jong Un Just Agreed to Work Toward Denuclearization. Read the Full Text Here
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The document included a commitment to "complete denuclearization" in Korea
Three New Alien Planets the Size of Earth Discovered
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The tally of planets beyond our solar system that are about the same size as Earth just got a little higher thanks to three new planets discovered about 160 light-years away.
Gunman Kills Four Child Hostages Then Himself After Florida Standoff
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr.
Sage grousing: Senators charge Interior is holding up conservation grants
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Democratic senators are demanding to know why the Department of Interior has been delaying the disbursement of grants and cooperative-agreement funding for conservation projects. According to a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, written by Democrats Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and signed by 10 colleagues, a political appointee has been put in charge of vetting payments of more than $50,000.
Scientific Mystery: Ancient Baobab Trees in Africa Dying at ‘Shocking’ Rate and No One Knows Why
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The ancient baobab trees first sprouted on the African savannah about 1,500 years ago, inspiring awe and becoming an icon on the continent. Recognizable for their swollen trunks, one grew so large that a pub was constructed inside, attracting tourists from around the globe. Then, two years ago, the tree began to split apart, and eventually, it completely fell to pieces.
Kim Jong Un Promises 'Major Change' After First Ever Summit Between Leaders of U.S. and North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Denuclearization talks are first ever between leaders of U.S. and North Korea.
Trump and Kim sign joint statement promising ‘complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued the statement at a historic summit in Singapore. Here's what it says.
At Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Don't expect Trump to hold Kim's feet to the fire at the Singapore summit
Elon Musk's flamethrowers are now available to own
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Elon Musk's The Boring Company has released the first batch of its 'Not A Flamethrower' and some buyers are already selling theirs on eBay for up to $20,000.
President Trump Wants North Korea to Give Up Nuclear Weapons. Here's Just How Hard That Would Be
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
No country that has amassed such an arsenal has ever given it up
Trump teases 'signing' with Kim Jong Un in Singapore
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
After months of saber-rattling that gave way to flirtation, President Trump finally met face-to-face with Kim Jong Un at a hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore on Tuesday morning. The two men walked along a white colonnade, meeting in front of a bank of 12 alternating U.S. and North Korean flags where they shook hands. According to the Shanghai Media Group, the 35-year-old Kim arrived at the summit venue seven minutes earlier than Trump, 71, to show respect to his elder.
Dennis Rodman breaks down on CNN while discussing Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The former basketball star gets emotional when recalling his diplomatic efforts in North Korea.
Pickle Juice Slushies Are Here to Remind Us That Nothing Is Sacred Anymore
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sonic is now serving up Pickle Juice Slushes for customers seeking both a savory kick and a nice cold slushie experience all in one.
U.S. Hits Russian Firms With Sanctions, Citing Cyberattacks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
They sanctions were a response to last year's NotPetya attack and intrusions into the U.S. energy grid
Paris Bistros and Terraces Seek UN Protected Status
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Our most beautiful love and friendship stories were often born in bistros and on terraces"