News: CEE

Image of crops in desert like area, The Roza Irrigation District within the Yakima River Basin in Washington state.

Climate change forces farmers to pick low yields or instability

By: Syl Kacapyr

Climate change will leave some farmers with a difficult conundrum, according to a new study by researchers from Cornell and Washington State University: either risk more revenue volatility or live with a more predictable decrease in crop yields. As water shortages and higher temperatures drive down crop yields in regions that depend heavily on seasonal snow, the choice to use more drought-tolerant crop varieties comes at a cost, according to model projections detailed in the paper “Water Rights Shape Crop Yield and Revenue Volatility Tradeoff for Adaptation in Snow Dependent Systems,”... Read more

Todd cowen, photo below of healthcare worker with mask on, April Gu, below glass of water, Sriramya Nair with photo of smokestack below

Three CEE professors receive funding from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability

Congratulations to three of our professors who received funding from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability Academic Venture Fund. Professor April Gu is one of the investigators on a project titled "Antibacterial Resistance in Drinking Water." Recent research reveals that disinfectants can increase antimicrobial resistance in drinking water systems. This project will investigate antimicrobial resistance in municipal drinking water supplies. Professor Todd Cowen is working on the research project "Reducing Health Care Workers’ Risk From Disease Spread." Researchers will develop, monitor... Read more

Windmills, design of car overlayed with grid  Environmentally friendly or no? Ricardo Daziano models the economic variables that influence whether consumers choose energy-efficient technology. Illustration by Elizabeth Nelson

How Consumers View Energy Efficiency

By: Jackie Swift

Cutting back on energy use in the face of climate change means we need to make some important choices in the marketplace: Do we buy a gasoline-powered car or an electric one? Do we replace our old furnace with a gas furnace or an electric heat pump? Do we opt to get our energy from solar panels or coal-fired power plants? “Environmentally friendly products like electric cars and solar panels have benefits not only for the user, who saves money because the products are energy efficient, but also for society because they produce less emissions,” says Ricardo A. Daziano, Civil and Environmental... Read more

text: Toll Pricing Impact on Emissions - Manhattan -Central Business District, Possible congestion toll scenarios that may begin in 2021. photo of traffic in NYC with graph overplayed on top.

Steep NYC traffic toll would reduce gridlock, pollution

By: Blaine Friedlander

New York City is among the most congested traffic spots in the world. Soon, in an effort to ease some of the Big Apple’s legendary gridlock – and make the air more breathable – driving a car into midtown Manhattan will cost you. New research by Cornell and the City College of New York (CCNY), which is part of the City University of New York system, shows that by enforcing a $20 toll for cars and taxis to enter the central business district of Manhattan, traffic congestion could be reduced by up to 40%, public transit ridership could grow by 6% and greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by... Read more

Sophia Openshaw ’23, of the Engineers for a Sustainable World student group, works to convert a 14-year-old diesel tractor to allow for biodiesel, as Jon Ewing from Optimus Technologies looks on. Sophia Openshaw ’23, of the Engineers for a Sustainable World student group talks to camera in machine shop on Cornell campus.

Cornell farm tractor gets clean, green biodiesel makeover

By: By Blaine Friedlander

A week before the Ithaca campus shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of an engineering student group converted a university-owned diesel tractor into a clean, green farming machine. Instead of emitting the notoriously noxious black diesel smoke, the tractor now emits a much lighter colored exhaust with a smell more reminiscent of French fries than farm implements. That’s thanks to its soy-based biodiesel fuel, as the updated tractor helps the university take another step toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. “A carbon-neutral campus is an inspiring vision,” said H. Oliver... Read more

Lynden A. Archer, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor in Engineering, has been named the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering for a five-year term beginning July 1.

Lynden Archer named dean of College of Engineering

By: David Nutt

Lynden A. Archer, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor in Engineering, has been named the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering for a five-year term beginning July 1. Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced Archer’s appointment today, following approval by the Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees on June 5. “Lynden has made many tremendous contributions, to science and society, through his work in energy storage and carbon-capture technology, and he has demonstrated great leadership with the Cornell Energy Systems Institute,” Kotlikoff said. “He is not only one of our... Read more

Map showing the portion of the Colorado River’s upper basin studied by Cornell Engineers, who examined the dynamics behind water shortages caused by drought and other factors. The Shoshone Power Plant owns one of the largest and oldest water rights in the basin and the highlighted tunnels are the most major transbasin diversions, exporting water to the eastern plains.

Complex dynamics of water shortages highlighted in study

By: Syl Kacapyr

Within the Colorado River basin, management laws dictate how water is allocated to farms, businesses and homes. Those laws, along with changing climate patterns and demand for water, form a complex dynamic that has made it difficult to predict who will be hardest hit by drought. Cornell engineers have used advanced modeling to simulate more than 1 million potential futures – a technique known as scenario discovery – to assess how stakeholders who rely on the Colorado River might be uniquely affected by changes in climate and demand as a result of management practices and other factors. Their... Read more

Samitha Samaranayake

Atkinson COVID-19 grants could inform policy decisions

By: Blaine Friedlander

"One project aims to produce a mathematical model that allows government officials to manage human mobility during a pandemic. It will be led by Samitha Samaranayake, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering." Read more