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Latest Carbon cycle Stories

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2010-05-07 09:45:00

Potential climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide might be better understood by examining fossil plant remains from millions of years ago, according to biogeochemists. The types of carbon within the leaves can serve as a window into past temperatures and environmental conditions. "Carbon isotopes are really important for understanding the carbon cycle of the past, and we care about the carbon cycle of the past because it gives us clues about future climate change," said Aaron...

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2010-05-02 08:15:28

For insight into what can happen when the Earth's carbon cycle is altered -- a cause and consequence of climate change -- scientists can look to an event that occurred some 720 million years ago. New data from a Princeton University-led team of geologists suggest that an episode called "snowball Earth," which may have covered the continents and oceans in a thick sheet of ice, produced a dramatic change in the carbon cycle. This change in the carbon cycle, in turn, may have triggered future...

2010-04-27 18:52:47

New Haven, Conn. -- The physiology of microbes living underground could determine the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from soils on a warmer Earth, according to a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. Researchers at UC Irvine, Colorado State University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies have found that as global temperatures increase, microbes in soil become less efficient over time in converting carbon in soil into carbon dioxide, which is a key...

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2010-04-26 08:10:10

Key players in carbon cycle multiply slowly when overheated In dark, rich soils on every continent, microbes dealing with the effects of climate change aren't accelerating global warming the way scientists had predicted, a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine, Colorado State University and Yale University shows. Results of the study appear in a paper published on-line this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. The work was supported by the National Science...

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2010-04-15 13:58:08

Carbon fixation by phytoplankton in the open ocean plays a key role in the global carbon cycle but is not fully understood. Until now researchers believed that cyanobacteria overwhelmingly accounted for phytoplankton's role in carbon fixation in the open ocean. But now scientists at the University of Warwick and the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton have opened 'the black box' of eukaryotic phytoplankton and discovered that they actually account for almost half the ocean's carbon...

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2010-03-25 08:31:14

Twenty years of field studies reveal that as the Earth has gotten warmer, plants and microbes in the soil have given off more carbon dioxide. So-called soil respiration has increased about one-tenth of 1 percent per year since 1989, according to an analysis of past studies in the March 24 issue of Nature. The scientists also calculated the total amount of carbon dioxide flowing from soils, which is about 10-15 percent higher than previous measurements. That number -- about 98 petagrams of...

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2010-03-04 16:45:10

BOSTON, Mass. -- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We hear this mantra time and again. When it comes to carbon"´the "Most Wanted" element in terms of climate change"´nature has got reuse and recycle covered. However, it's up to us to reduce. Scientists at Harvard Medical School are trying to meet this challenge by learning more about the carbon cycle, that is, the process by which carbon moves from the atmosphere into plants, oceans, soils, the earth's crust, and back into the atmosphere...

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2010-02-16 16:39:50

Two studies provide clearer picture of how carbon cycle was dramatically affected long ago Geoengineering -- deliberate manipulation of the Earth's climate to slow or reverse global warming -- has gained a foothold in the climate change discussion. But before effective action can be taken, the Earth's natural biogeochemical cycles must be better understood. Two Northwestern University studies, both published online recently by Nature Geoscience, contribute new -- and related -- clues as to...

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2010-01-08 13:22:59

The impact on levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere by the decaying remains of a group of marine creatures that includes starfish and sea urchin has been significantly underestimated. "Climate models must take this carbon sink into account," says Mario Lebrato, lead author of the study. The work was done when he was at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) and affiliated with the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES); he is now at the...

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2009-12-16 07:29:04

Researchers studying carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas and a key driver of global climate change, now have a new tool at their disposal: daily global measurements of carbon dioxide in a key part of our atmosphere. The data are courtesy of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. Moustafa Chahine, the instrument's science team leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., unveiled the new product at a briefing on recent breakthroughs...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'