University of Delaware
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Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

News Journal: Report displays future concerns on sea-level rise
12/10/2012 -

An already grim picture of global sea-level rise darkened last week, with a new federal report warning that global warming could push world average sea levels up by as much as 6.6 feet by 2100. The estimate by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientists – well above current state or United Nations estimates – is particularly troubling along the Mid-Atlantic, where sea-level already is rising faster than the world average because of local geologic factors.

Driving energy solutions: UD researcher among 66 to share in energy technology funding
12/10/2012 -

University of Delaware professor Yushan Yan is among America’s top scientists and engineers working to develop transformational energy technology solutions. His work is one of 66 cutting-edge research projects selected for more than $130 million in funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) OPEN 2012 program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 28.

News Journal: Threat of rise in seas grows
12/10/2012 -

Global sea levels are expected to rise by as much as 6.6 feet by the end of this century, a new estimate that increases the flooding threat of future storms like Sandy and expands the risk to more of the nation’s military, energy and commercial assets near the ocean, the U.S. government reported Thursday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest assessment included a worst-case, end-of-century rise that is more than three times higher than the most-recent United Nations outlook, and twice the mid-range number currently in use by Delaware officials for climate change and sea-level rise planning efforts.

12/10/2012 -

The unseasonably warm weather of the past few days, which is expected to continue, is part of a three-year trend in Delaware that’s breaking temperature records more than a century old. The first 10 months of this year were the warmest since meteorologists began keeping records in 1895, said Delaware State Climatologist Daniel Leathers. The temperature from January through October averaged 61.6 degrees, compared with the normal 57.45 degrees, he said. The same periods in 2010 and 2011 were the third- and fourth-warmest on record, respectively, he said. The second-warmest was in 2002.

Coastal economy: Delaware's coastal economy is topic of UD 'Focus on the Delaware Coast' seminar
11/29/2012 -

Delaware’s coastal economy will be the next topic in a series of seminars that focuses on coastal resource issues in Delaware.

The seminar will take place Friday, Dec. 7, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Virden Center at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del. The event is hosted by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC).

Making farm fresh affordable: New Food Bank program makes local produce accessible to low-income community
11/29/2012 -

“We want to make sure you have access to the best produce,” says University of Delaware anthropology senior Dan Reyes. “To locally-, naturally- and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Pesticide-free. Herbicide-free. The kinds of food normally too expensive to buy in grocery stores.”

The kinds of food that low-income households can now — thanks to the Food Bank of Delaware’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, developed by two UD students — purchase using their federal food benefits.

Funded by a $300,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, the CSA will enable 100-200 low-income families to purchase subsidized shares of fruits and vegetables from two local farms, allowing those farmers to, in turn, increase their annual revenues by nearly $50,000.


Eco-friendly garments:  UD senior one of five students nationwide to compete in design competition
11/28/2012 -

University of Delaware senior apparel design major Brynn Williams is one of five students nationwide selected to compete in one of the outdoor fashion industry’s leading design competitions.

The competition, Project OR, is a race-the-clock event, in which contestants must produce an original, innovative and functional prototype garment for the outdoor industry using performance and eco-friendly materials in 48 hours.

As one of the five student contestants, Williams will attend the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Winter Market tradeshow in Salt Lake City this January, where she will be given a design brief from which to make initial sketches on the show’s opening morning.

11/20/2012 -

Engineers armored New Jersey beaches to hold back the ocean, giving residents a sanguine feeling behind one of the most hardened shoreline defenses in America.

But Superstorm Sandy washed over Jersey’s sea walls and bulkheads, smashed its man-made dunes and tore through beaches that over the years have been nourished with millions of cubic yards of sand pumped on shore and smoothed to perfection along the state’s storied boardwalks.

11/20/2012 -

DNREC’s compilation of the annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and reports for 2011 from Delaware’s industrial facilities shows a significant decrease in reported emissions compared to 2010 despite increasing industrial productivity – and a continued trend in reduction in environmental releases and pollution since the first data was collected for 1987.

Climate dialogue:  Renowned geoscientist Richard Alley shares climate history, predictions
11/16/2012 -

Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, appeared at the University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall on Nov. 8 to discuss his breakthrough findings about abrupt climate changes in Earth’s past and the implications of his research for Earth’s future.

In the fifth installment of the Delaware Environmental Institute’s DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series, Alley was interviewed on stage in front of a live audience by UD associate professor and environmental historian Adam Rome. Alley gave a detailed but non-technical explanation of his research and discussed why his findings were significant.

“The fact that a lot of things changed very rapidly was really a surprise, and it’s the thing that makes you uncomfortable about pushing really hard on the climate,” he said.