Posted on July 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Research tracks path of carbon dioxide via agriculture to underground storage
FRISCO — Vast aquifers beneath the world’s deserts may be significant carbon sinks, scientists with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said.
In a new study, the UCAR researchers estimated that those aquifers may store more carbon than all the plants on land.
About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by people stays in the atmosphere and heats the planet. About 30 percent is taken up by oceans, where it is rapidly acidifying the water to the detriment of shellfish and other marine species.
The other 30 percent is partially absorbed by land plants, but when scientists ran CO2 models, it didn’t add up, so they started searching for additional carbon sinks. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Democracy, global warming | Tagged: carbon cycle, carbon dioxide sinks, climate change, CO2, desert aquifers, Environment, UCAR | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Adaptive grazing could have environmental benefits, researchers say. bberwyn photo.
Short-rotation pastures with long recovery time for fields may yield environmental benefits
FRISCO — While healthy forests are known to be important carbon sinks in the global atmospheric cycle, there’s also a role for robust soils, according to a study team that’s exploring whether new grazing management techniques could have long-term environmental benefits.
The Arizona State University-SoilCarbon Nation team is looking at adaptive multi-paddock grazing, rotating stock through small pastures for short periods of grazing and longer recovery periods for soil and vegetation. The method mimics the migrations of wild herd animals, such as elk, bison and deer, and could help create robust soils, watersheds and wildlife habitat while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate, Environment, grazing, soils management | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘Continued forest carbon accumulation in the region is highly sensitive to land use transitions’
FRISCO — Forest disturbances, such as fire, disease, and cutting, as well as the impacts of land use change, may be slowing the carbon uptake of southeastern U.S. forests, according to a new U.S. Forest Service study.
The research shows that future carbon accumulation rates are highly sensitive to land use changes. Land use choices that either reduce the rate of afforestation or increase the rate of deforestation are key factors in future forest carbon accumulation, the scientists concluded in their report, published in the journal Scientific Reports. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate change, Environment, Forest health, forests, global warming | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate change, Environment, forests | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists eye impacts to high-latitude marine ecosystems
Melting glaciers, like the Dachstein in Austria, may be a big source of dissolved carbon with the potential to affect downstream ecosystems. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — As if rising sea levels aren’t enough to worry about, U.S. Geological Survey scientists say melting glaciers may also adding significant amounts of carbon to the oceans, where it’s readily available to microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain.
By 2050, that carbon could total as much as 17 million tons, equal to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, cautioning that their calculations are subject to revision.
The study aimed to better understand the role glaciers play in the global carbon cycle, especially as climate warming continues to reduce glacier ice stores and release ice-locked organic carbon into downstream freshwater and marine ecosystems. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate change, Environment, glacier meltdown, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New study will deepen understanding of plankton’s role in global carbon cycle
How does ocean phytoplankton respond to global warming?
FRISCO — It’s well-known that ocean phytoplankton are a key link in the global carbon cycle, and a new study this year will help expand that understanding.
A researcher with Oregon State University will lead a $30 million NASA-funded study to look at a phytoplankton hot spot stretching from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to the Azores and north to Greenland’s southern tip.
The research could challenge conventional wisdom about when and why phytoplankton bloom and help show how global warming will change the oceans. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate, oceans, phytoplankton | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The word’s tropical rainforests, shown in green, are more important carbon sinks than previously thought.
Carbon uptake in northern forests slows
FRISCO — Tropical forests are even more important carbon sinks than previously believed, according to a new study led by NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The study estimates that tropical forests absorb 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, forests, global warming | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate change, CO2, tropical forests | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Findings challenge carbon-balance assumptions of woody biomass energy boosters
A forest health logging site on Swan Mountain near Dillon, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Logging forests may have a more significant impact on carbon storage in soils than previously believed, Dartmouth College researchers found after taking a close look at at how timber harvesting affects mineral soil carbon over 100 years.
The study found that, while logging doesn’t immediately release carbon stored in a forest’s mineral soils into the atmosphere, it triggers a gradual release that may contribute to climate change over decades. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Environment, Forest health, forests, global warming, US Forest Service | Tagged: carbon cycle, Environment, Forest health, forests, global warming, logging, soil carbon storage | 2 Comments »