Scientists studying climate change have long debated exactly how much hotter Earth will become given certain amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Models predicting this “climate sensitivity” number may be closer to the observed reality than some previously thought, according to a new study.

Observations in the past decade seemed to suggest a value lower than predicted by models. But the new study shows that two leading methods for calculating how hot the planet will get are not as far apart as they have appeared.

In climate science, the climate sensitivity is how much the surface air temperature will increase if you double carbon dioxide from pre-Industrial levels and then wait a very long time for the Earth’s temperature to fully adjust. Recent observations predicted that the climate sensitivity might be less than that suggested by models.

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ECS is proud to partner with the March for Science, a global event with almost 400 satellite marches taking place on April 22.

ECS has fully endorsed the March’s non-partisan, educational, and diversity goals and encourages its members to adhere to these values as they get involved in one of the numerous marches taking place throughout the world. You can help represent ECS at your march by using our #FreetheScience graphic on your signs.

And before you take to the streets on Earth Day, check out a few essential reads on the origins of the march and what those taking part hope to accomplish.

From the lab to the streets

Mother Jones sits down with the organizers of the march and look at the reasons behind the mobilization efforts, including pulling scientific funding, budgets cuts to science agencies, downsizing or outright eliminating science advisors in government, and roll backs of agency work based on public health research.

The organizers discuss their goals of championing more public engagement, evidence-based policies, and general science advocacy while balancing the over politicization of the field.

“I would actually argue that science is political,” Valorie Aquino, co-organizer of the march, tells Mother Jones. “Scientific integrity goes beyond one person eroding it. It hits across both sides of the aisle and people who aren’t necessarily affiliated with a political party at all.”

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Society, division, and section awards

ECS is pleased to announce the 11 award winners for the Society’s spring biannual meeting.

All awards will be presented at the upcoming 231st ECS Meeting, taking place May 28-June 1, 2017 in New Orleans, LA, where ECS will celebrate its 115th anniversary.

“ECS has a rich history of providing award recognition for scientists and engineers in our field,” says Roque Calvo, executive director of ECS. “The awards being presented at the 231st ECS Meeting highlight some of the most influential researchers in the fields of electrochemical and solid state science.”

Doron Aurbach will receive the 2017 Allen J. Bard Award in Electrochemical Science in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the field. Aurbach is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he and his team research and develop rechargeable high energy density batteries and supercapacitors, as well as novel electro-analytical and spectro-electrochemical methods for sensitive electrochemical systems. He has published more than 540 papers and is a technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

“The Electrochemical Society is my scientific home,” Aurbach says. “I’ve been affiliated with the Society from the beginning of my career, nearly 35 years ago. Receiving this award is one of the greatest moments of my scientific career.”

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Ajit KhoslaAjit Khosla is a professor at Yamagata University in Yonezawa, Japan and a visiting professor at San Diego State University’s College of Engineering. Khosla’s work in the area of nano-microsystems has resulted in more than 100 scientific and academic contributions. Khosla has recently been named associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

The Electrochemical Society: What do you hope to accomplish in your role as associate editor?

Ajit Khosla: As an associate editor, I hope to accomplish quick and fair peer review process, as little as three weeks from submission. I would like to encourage and convince scientists and scholars from all over the world, including ones who are presenting their work at ECS meetings, to strongly consider submitting full-length journal papers to the Journal of The Electrochemical Society. I will also be focusing on to soliciting high-quality papers in the sensor topical interest area in biosensors, micro-nano fabricated sensors, systems & devices for healthcare, and environmental monitoring.

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BatteryWhen a battery is used, electrically charged ions travel between electrodes, causing those electrodes to shrink and swell. For some time, researchers have wondered why the electrode materials – which are fairly brittle – don’t crack in the expansion and contraction styles.

Now, a team of researchers from MIT, led by ECS member Yet-Ming Chiang, may have found the answer to this mystery.

This from MIT:

While the electrode materials are normally crystalline, with all their atoms neatly arranged in a regular, repetitive array, when they undergo the charging or discharging process, they are transformed into a disordered, glass-like phase that can accommodate the strain of the dimensional changes.

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An interview with Isamu Akasaki

Isamu AkasakiOn June 8, 2016, Yue Kuo, an ECS fellow and vice president of The Electrochemical Society, traveled to the Akasaki Institute at Nagoya University in Japan to talk with Isamu Akasaki, a Nobel Prize winner and ECS life member.

Professor Akasaki is a materials scientist specializing in semiconductor science and technology. He is a pioneer of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which have enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources. He shares the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for this work. Prior to their groundbreaking work, scientists had produced LEDs that emitted red or yellow-green light, but not blue. Blue had been thought impossible or impractical to make. Blue LEDs became commercially available in 1994.

The new combination of blue, green, and red LEDs produces white light, and blue LEDs coated with YAG:Ce yellow phosphor appear white to the eye and can be developed for much less energy than that from incandescent and fluorescent lamps, which contain toxic mercury. Prof. Akasaki’s work helped lead to the development of blue semiconductor lasers, which proved useful for high-capacity optical-media devices such as Blu-ray disc players.

What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation between Yue Kuo and Isamu Akasaki, which they had in English.

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By: Roque Calvo, ECS Executive Director

ECS at 115In April 1902, upon the conclusion of the Society’s first meeting in Philadelphia, the Society’s first president wrote the column below, which was printed in the Society’s first publication, explaining the rationale to form The American Electrochemical Society.

Evidence accumulates on every hand that the analogue of the specialist in science is the society which specializes. Whether for good or ill, whether some of its influences are narrowing in some directions or not, the society which specializes is the necessary corollary of the scientific specialist; the latter came perforce into existence, has made the whole world his debtor, and is recognized as the present factor for progress; the former is coming perforce into existence, will soon make the world its immeasurable debtor, and will be a wonderfully potent factor in future scientific progress.

Such is the force, the necessary condition, which has brought into existence The American Electrochemical Society. … Its functions should be those of bringing electrochemists into personal contact with each other; of disseminating among them all the information known to, and which can be spared by, their co-workers; to stimulate original thought in these lines by
mutual interchange of experience, and by papers and discussions; to stimulate electrochemical work all over the world. …

Such a society … being, therefore, a necessity, a pressing need, its formation was inevitable. It came. … The results have justified the insight of the projectors of the society, the first meeting has been an enthusiastic success, the organization now exists, its future is one of assured usefulness. With confidence we stand out to sea.

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By: Jens Blotevogel, Colorado State University

Solar fieldWithout knowing it, most Americans rely every day on a class of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. These man-made materials have unique qualities that make them extremely useful. They repel both water and grease, so they are found in food packaging, waterproof fabric, carpets and wall paint. The Conversation

PFASs are also handy when things get heated. Consumers value this property in nonstick frying pans. Government agencies and industry have used them for decades to extinguish fires at airports and fuel storage facilities.

However, widespread use of PFASs has led to extensive contamination of public water systems. Today, these substances can be found in the blood serum of almost all U.S. residents. Exposure to PFASs has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, as well as developmental, immune, hormonal and other health issues.

But removing them from the environment is not easy. Chemical bonds between fluorine and carbon – the backbone of PFAS molecules – are extremely strong. PFASs can be removed from water by filtering them out, but the used filters have to be disposed of afterwards, and landfilling only transfers the problem to another location. The best solution to the problem is to break down PFASs completely – and on that score, we’re making progress.

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Student Volunteers Wanted!

ECS Student MembersVolunteer for six hours at the 231st ECS Meeting and receive a FREE meeting registration!

As a student volunteer, you will work closely with the ECS staff and gain first-hand experience in what it takes to execute an ECS biannual meeting.

Take advantage of the opportunity to network and engage with meeting attendees, symposium organizers, and ECS staff while learning how registration operates, technical sessions run, and how major meeting programs are facilitated. In addition to hands-on experience, volunteers will also receive a meeting t-shirt, a complimentary ticket to the student mixer and a certificate of participation.

Multilingual speakers are highly encouraged to apply!

Deadline for application submissions: Friday, April 21
Candidates notified: Tuesday, April 25

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

NOTE: If you do not complete the six hours of work on-site, you will be invoiced for the full registration fee. We will do our best to accommodate the hours you have listed as being available but this is not a guarantee. Each volunteer position will require interaction with the attendees, long periods of standing, and foot-traffic flow management. If you are unwilling or unable to complete these tasks please make us aware upon submitting your application.

Perspective articlesSince 1902, ECS has been at the forefront of publishing electrochemical and solid state science and technology research. For the past 115 years, the Society has been publishing high quality, peer-reviewed journals that contain the work of renowned scientists, engineers, investors, and Nobel laureates. Now, ECS is providing researchers a new avenue to offer insights into emerging or established fields: Perspective articles.

“The Perspective article was established to facilitate new research and research directions by bringing new interpretations or thoughts of experts on a specific topic within the fields of interest of the ECS community,” says Robert Savinell, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

Perspective articles differ from traditional research articles published in ECS journals. Instead of focusing on presenting new findings and data, Perspective articles aim to tap into the expertise of researchers, giving them a platform to present thoughts on their respective field and offer new insight or trends. The new article type will allow authors to reach a broader audience and spark discussion in the scientific community.

ECS recently published its first Perspective article in JES, “Localized Corrosion: Passive Film Breakdown vs Pit Growth,” where corrosion experts Gerald Frankel, Tianshu Li, and John Scully discuss the modern debates in localized corrosion and share their outlook on the field.

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