For Friday, Feb. 18, 2022
1 – Corn-based ethanol may be worse for the climate than gasoline.
A U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard created in 2007 mandates that biofuels partially replace petroleum-based ones.
So far, corn ethanol has mostly been used to meet the mandate. But research led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that carbon emissions from producing corn-based ethanol are likely 24 percent higher than gasoline.
The analysis was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The findings are said to align with a movement toward developing next-generation biofuels, such as those made from non-food plants that are grown on land less suitable for conventional agriculture.
The results are especially timely, researchers say, because mandates in the Renewable Fuel Standard are set to expire at the end of the year.
The Environmental Protection Agency will have to set new rules for what types of biofuels are produced to meet the standard.
Researchers also found that the fuel standard drove up crop prices, and resulted in more fertilizer use and degraded water quality.
The study included the University of California, Davis; Kansas State University and the University of Kentucky.
2 – New research launched to protect the Great Lakes includes work by Central Michigan University and a project in Saginaw Bay.
Michigan Sea Grant recently announced more than $1.5 million worth of projects. They range from investigating the effects of invasive species to ensuring healthy populations of walleye to improving water resource management.
The work includes research by Michigan State University on “Understanding where walleye spawn in Saginaw Bay to ensure better management and habitat protection” and by Central Michigan University on “Using audio playback to attract desired migratory bird species to restored coastal wetlands.”
3 – Ice shanties in the northern Lower Peninsula must be removed by midnight, Tuesday, March 15.
That includes the counties of Arenac, Bay and Midland.
The state Department of Natural Resources urges anglers to always use extreme caution on the ice.
Changing conditions could require the removal of fishing shanties before the deadline. That’s because all shanties must be removed once ice can no longer safely support them.
Not removing a shanty in time can result in fines and jail time.
More information is available at Michigan.gov/IceSafety.