Study: Aquifers beneath deserts may be huge CO2 sinks


Great Sand Dunes National Park. @bberwyn photo.

Research tracks path of carbon dioxide via agriculture to underground storage

Staff Report

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

Expert panel calls for national weather commission

Emerging technologies, private-public cooperation could boost country’s weather readiness and mitigate impact of costly weather events

A national weather commission could help better prepare the U.S. for impacts from extreme weather events that may increase as the global climate warms. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A panel of weather experts this week said the U.S. needs a national weather commission to help policy makers leverage weather expertise and shape a response to weather events that cost billions of dollars.

The commission would bridge the gap between government and the private sector to better protect lives and businesses.

“The nation must focus its weather resources on the areas of greatest need in order to keep our economy competitive and provide maximum protection of lives and property,” said Thomas Bogdan, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. “Emerging technologies are providing an opportunity to create forecasts that are more accurate and detailed than ever, and to communicate them instantly to key communities and businesses,” Bogdan said. Continue reading


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