If carbon dioxide is trump, then methane is the joker in the greenhouse game. The flammable gas (CH4) is produced in wetlands, landfills and in the guts of cattle and sheep, and it is stored in vast amounts in so-called clathrates, or gas hydrates, in the ocean floor. Read more
Hard to believe: The long-standing notion that old forests are carbon neutral – that is, that from a certain age forests cease to absorb and accumulate carbon – has its origin from a mere decade worth of data from one single site. Read more
Posted by Olive Heffernan | Categories: Biodiversity and Ecology, Biosphere feedbacks, Carbon markets, Climate Policy, Climate prediction, Climate Science, Deforestation, GHG emissions, Mitigation, Olive Heffernan, Uncertainty
For all tree huggers out there, this week’s Science is dedicated to ‘forests in flux’, paying tribute to the trees and their contribution to the greater good. A special collection of articles in print, with complementary and online material, examines the fate of the world’s forests, in the face of climate change and an escalating human population. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the chance to appreciate the languid leafiness of forest foliage, check out the online video. Or for those of you hoping for a more ‘hands on’ experience, there’s a whole section of Science Careers dedicated … Read more
One of the more irritating aspects, if you will, of global change is that air pollution has so far prevented the planet from warming more rapidly than it actually did. Clean air is of course a good thing. But reducing pollution might expose an as of yet ‘masked’ portion of global warming. Read more
Lovelock and Rapley (Nature, 449,403, 2007) put forward the idea that by pumping up nutrient rich deep oceanic water, the subsequent stimulation of planktonic photosynthetic production would give rise to a very significant drawdown atmospheric CO2. The concept is flawed scientifically on two accounts.
Over at News@nature, Mike Hopkin reports from the Ecological Society of America’s meeting in San Jose on research into tropical forest growth rates. Looking at plots in Panama and Malaysia, the researchers found that increases in mean daily minimum temperature over a couple of decades correlated with decreases in growth rates. They associate this with lower net photosynthetic activity.