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Latest Primary production Stories

Photosynthesis Measurements From Space
2014-03-25 10:22:18

Carnegie Institution Plants convert energy from sunlight into chemical energy during a process called photosynthesis. This energy is passed on to humans and animals that eat the plants, and thus photosynthesis is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth. But the photosynthetic activity of various regions is changing due to human interaction with the environment, including climate change, which makes large-scale studies of photosynthetic activity of interest. New research from a...

Ocean Food Web Plays Key Role In The Global Carbon Cycle
2014-03-12 10:39:50

University of California - Santa Barbara Nothing dies of old age in the ocean. Everything gets eaten and all that remains of anything is waste. But that waste is pure gold to oceanographer David Siegel, director of the Earth Research Institute at UC Santa Barbara. In a study of the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle, Siegel and his colleagues used those nuggets to their advantage. They incorporated the lifecycle of phytoplankton and zooplankton — small, often microscopic animals...

Fish Have Huge Nutrient Impacts On Marine Ecosystems
2012-12-12 09:33:47

University of Georgia Fish play a far more important role as contributors of nutrients to marine ecosystems than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Georgia and Florida International University. In a pair of papers in the journal Ecology, they show that fish contribute more nutrients to their local ecosystems than any other source-enough to cause changes in the growth rates of the organisms at the base of the food web. Jacob Allgeier, a doctoral student in...

2012-02-17 11:13:35

Canada Excellence Research Chair determines how marine ecosystems in the Arctic are responding to climate change Marcel Babin, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier at the Université Laval, will be discussing his research on the effects of environmental changes in the Arctic as part of an upcoming press breakfast panel discussion. The February 17 Canada Press Breakfast on the Arctic and oceans will be part of the 178th annual...

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...

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2011-05-15 10:01:21

Which is more efficient at harvesting the sun's energy, plants or solar cells? This salient question and an answer are the subject of an article published in the May 13 issue of the journal Science.Although both photosynthesis and photovoltaics harvest energy from the sun, they operate in distinctly different ways producing different fuels. It is not a simple task to find common ground between the two in order to compare energy conversion efficiency."In order to make meaningful comparisons...

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2011-04-05 09:30:00

Patrick Lynch, NASA's Earth Science News Team Mary Cleave left the NASA astronaut corps in the early 1990s to make a rare jump from human spaceflight to Earth science. She was going to work on an upcoming mission to measure gradations in ocean color "“ something she had actually seen from low-Earth orbit with her own eyes. From space, differing densities of phytoplankton and algae and floating bits of plant life reveal themselves as so many blues and greens. For Cleave, a former...

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2010-12-15 10:55:27

We may be becoming an ever more technologically advanced society, but we remain as dependent as ever -- if not more and more so -- on the natural world that surrounds us. That is one takeaway from new NASA research that has found humans are using an increasing amount of the Earth's total land plant production each year for food, fiber, building and packaging materials and biofuels. This remains a young data record, as one of the first global measurements tied to satellite data was published...

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2010-07-06 07:34:28

New data on photosynthesis and respiration will improve models, researchers say Two recent international studies are poised to change the way scientists view the crucial relationship between Earth's climate and the carbon cycle. These reports explore the global photosynthesis and respiration rates"”the planet's deep "breaths" of carbon dioxide, in and out"”and researchers say that the new findings will be used to update and improve upon traditional models that couple together...

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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...