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Latest Carbon cycle Stories

2011-11-21 09:49:41

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most important greenhouse gases and the increase of its abundance in the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning is the main cause of future global warming. In past times, during the transition between an ice age and a warm period, atmospheric CO2 concentrations changed by some 100 parts per million (ppm) — from an ice age value of 180 ppm to about 280 ppm during warm periods. Scientists can reconstruct these changes in the atmospheric carbon...

2011-11-16 09:53:09

U.S. scientists have developed a new, integrated, ten-year science plan to better understand the details of Earth's carbon cycle and people's role in it. Understanding the carbon cycle is central for mitigating climate change and developing a sustainable future. The plan builds on the first such plan, published in 1999, but identifies new research areas such as the role of humans as agents and managers of carbon cycling and climate change, the direct impact of greenhouse gases on ecosystems...

2011-11-09 10:33:10

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have found that carbon is stored in the soils and sediments of the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin for a surprisingly long time, making it likely that global warming could destabilize the pool of carbon there and in similar places on Earth, potentially increasing the rate of CO2 release into the atmosphere. The study, published in the current online edition of Nature Geoscience, examined the radiocarbon content of river sediments collected...

“Albedo Effect” In Forests Can Cause Added Warming, Bonus Cooling
2011-10-20 06:10:28

Wildfire, insect outbreaks and hurricanes destroy huge amounts of forest every year and increase the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, but scientists are now learning more about another force that can significantly affect their climate impact. Researchers conclude in a new study that the albedo effect, which controls the amount of energy reflected back into space, is important in the climatic significance of several types of major forest disturbances. In some cases...

2011-10-12 23:21:24

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet's climate. In the ocean, bacteria coalesce on tiny particles of carbon-rich detritus sinking through the depths. WHOI marine biogeochemists Laura Hmelo, Benjamin Van Mooy, and Tracy Mincer found that these bacteria send out chemical signals to discern if other bacteria are in the neighborhood. If enough of their cohorts are nearby, then bacteria...

2011-10-05 14:48:04

A new insight into global photosynthesis, the chemical process governing how ocean and land plants absorb and release carbon dioxide, has been revealed in research that will assist scientists to more accurately assess future climate change. In a paper published today in Nature, a team of US, Dutch and Australian scientists have estimated that the global rate of photosynthesis, the chemical process governing the way ocean and land plants absorb and release CO2, occurs 25% faster than...

2011-09-29 22:30:37

Researchers recommend the reworking of global carbon models in Nature The global uptake of carbon by land plants may be up to 45 per cent more than previously thought. This is the conclusion of an international team of scientists, based on the variability of heavy oxygen atoms in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere driven by the El Niño effect. As the oxygen atoms in carbon dioxide were converted faster than expected during the El Niño years, current...

2011-09-01 16:57:09

Understanding the flow and processing of carbon in the world's oceans, which cover 70 percent of Earth's surface, is central to understanding global climate cycles, with many questions remaining unanswered. Between 200 and 1,000 meters below the ocean surface exists a "twilight zone" where insufficient sunlight penetrates for microorganisms to perform photosynthesis. Despite this, it is known that microbes resident at these depths capture carbon dioxide that they then use to form cellular...

2011-08-25 21:35:49

Globally, irrigation increases agricultural productivity by an amount roughly equivalent to the entire agricultural output of the U.S., according to a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study. That adds up to a sizeable impact on carbon uptake from the atmosphere. It also means that water shortages – already forecasted to be a big problem as the world warms – could contribute to yet more warming through a positive feedback loop. The new research quantified irrigation's...

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2011-08-15 07:17:54

A new study shows that as climate change enhances tree growth in tropical forests, the resulting increase in litterfall could stimulate soil micro-organisms leading to a release of stored soil carbon. The research was led by scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the University of Cambridge, UK. The results are published online August 14, 2011 in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The researchers used results from a six-year experiment in a rainforest at the...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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