New article in Science features WAFERx research

The research will focus on the Upper Missouri River Basin (UMRB), which refers to the Missouri River and all its tributaries upstream of Sioux City, Iowa.

A new article in Science features the Water, Agriculture, Food, Energy, Research Nexus (WAFERx) project, with a focus on the project's research into bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in the Upper Missouri River Basin. As the impacts of climate change become more pronounced in coming years, BECCS and other negative emissions technologies are looked to as a means of avoiding dangerous future climate scenarios by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Often the real world implications of these technologies are not well understood, but projects like WAFERx are working to increase our understanding of such technologies and their on-the-ground impacts. 

From the article: "...researchers hope to provide answers gleaned from the Upper Missouri River Basin, which includes parts of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. They have just launched a $6 million effort to study the impacts of BECCS on such things as local food production, water use, and biodiversity. In other words, what happens when you pluck BECCS from the idealized realm of global carbon accounting and plop it into a real place, with patchwork lands, messy politics, and interconnected ecological, physical, and economic systems? 'Nobody's evaluated what these assumptions mean at the regional scale,' says Ben Poulter, a carbon cycle modeler at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and a leader of the project. 'It's really important that we try to figure that out."

The WAFERx project, comprised of researchers from Montana State University, University of South Dakota, University of Wyoming, NASA, and USGS, is led by Dr. Paul Stoy, an Assistant Professor in the Land Resources & Environmental Sciences Department at MSU and IoE Affiliate. More information about WAFERx can be found at

The full article from Science can also be found at



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