The materials discovery project is a collaboration between the Institute for Computational Sustainability (ICS), the Cornell Materials Science & Engineering Department, and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP).
This is contributing to a larger effort in high-throughput materials science, which is part of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI).
Accelerated biodiversity loss is another great challenge threatening our planet and humanity, especially considering the growing evidence of the importance of biodiversity for sustaining ecosystem services. The current rate of species extinction is estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times the background rates that were typical over Earth's history. Agriculture, urbanization, and deforestation are main causes of biodiversity reduction, leading to habitat loss and fragmentation. Climate change and introduction by humans of species to non-native ecosystems are further accelerating biodiversity loss.
The Amazon is in the midst of a hydropower boom. More than 350 new dams are proposed across four Amazonian countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru), with more already under construction. Environmental impacts are assessed for individual dams—but what are the combined costs of the hydropower explosion for biodiversity, sediment and nutrient transport, fisheries, navigation, and other benefits provided by intact rivers? Our multidisciplinary team has developed a framework for evaluating cumulative impacts in areas of rapid hydropower growth. The new models can help guide design of more sustainable dam networks that meet hydropower targets while reducing damage to key ecosystem services.