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SPOTLIGHT

1. AGRICULTURE

Scientist finds chemical group that helps organic soils store more carbon

Phil Robertson may be on the cusp of solving a long-standing mystery. Aside from anecdotal observations, no one could really explain why organic fields keep more carbon underground than conventional ones. Robertson thinks he might have an answer: a chemical group called phenolics, a class of complex compounds that also protect plants from disease and pests.

2. FINANCE

China is a major investor in overseas renewable energy projects

Apart from its traditional role as a high-volume manufacturer and exporter of solar modules and wind turbines to global markets, China is also a major direct investor in international renewable energy markets. It has at least $40 billion in renewable energy assets spread across the globe, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute.

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