In the Northwest, where tons of biomass rots in forests or burns in slash piles, the conversion of waste into biochar is an environmental and economic win-win.
Forests at Risk
“The margin between life and death in the forest can be rather small,” says Oregon State climate scientist Philip Mote. As wildfires widen, insects invade and drought deepens, the razor-thin margin for tree survival becomes ever thinner.
An Iceberg Roars
OSU scientists were astounded recently when they listened to recordings of an iceberg that had formed in Antarctica, floated into the open ocean, and eventually melted and broke apart. Scientists have dubbed this phenomenon an “icequake.”
Where Growth Meets Decay
Bowls made of hardwoods like curly soft maple, sugar maple, box elder and buckeye oak are adorned with pigments made by fungi whose ecological role is, ironically, to decompose wood.
Through the Ice
Andrew Thurber is a self-described “connoisseur of worms.” He finds these wriggling, sinuous creatures, many with jaws and enough legs to propel an army, to be “enticing.” In the Antarctic, where he dives through the ice in the name of science, a type of worm known as a nemertean can reach 7 feet long.
When dying people choose to hasten death with a doctor’s help, their caregivers often face a troubling dilemma. In particular, hospice — the final stop for many terminal patients — poses an overlooked problem, OSU researchers report. That’s because hospice objects to physician-assisted death, yet most patients who choose assisted death are in hospice care.