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17 June 2020
Vulnerable carbon stores twice as high where permafrost subsidence is factored in, new research finds
Sinking terrain caused by the loss of ice and soil mass in permafrost is causing deeper thaw than previously thought and making vulnerable twice as much carbon as estimates that don’t account for this shifting ground.
15 July 2016
The most extensive land-based study of the effect of drought on Amazonian rainforests to date has shown that a recent drought completely shut down the Amazon Basin’s carbon sink. Previous research has suggested that the Amazon – the most extensive tropical forest on Earth – may be gradually losing its capacity to take carbon from the atmosphere. This new study paints a more complex picture, with forests responding dynamically to an increasingly variable climate.
12 May 2016
Scientists have tracked a higher-than-expected amount of carbon flowing out of a Pacific Northwest forest from month to month through a small headwater stream, suggesting that forested watersheds may not store quite as much carbon as previously thought.
16 December 2014
In the summer of 2012, Heather Alexander traveled to a remote larch forest in eastern Siberia, gathered together piles of dry twigs and branches, and lit a match. Alexander, a biologist at the University of Texas at Brownsville, is a fire starter. Her work aims to understand whether increasingly common fires in the boreal larch forests of north-eastern Siberia are unleashing more carbon into the atmosphere or, paradoxically, helping the forests capture and store atmospheric carbon by promoting the growth of new stands of trees.
16 December 2013
Melting ice caps may not be the only problem the Arctic has to worry about as the climate changes. As temperatures rise, permafrost melts earlier and stays wet longer. When plants and other organic material in the soil thaw, they decompose, releasing huge quantities of methane and carbon dioxide.
12 December 2013
In 1988, scientists at the Tennessee Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park planted a scattering of Sweetgum seedlings to fill a space equivalent to a running track. Nearly 10 years later, after the trees had matured, construction crews plopped four rings of 40-foot PVC pipes into the floor of the new deciduous forest. In 1998, two sets of pipes switched on and began blowing carbon dioxide into the trees’ air supply, non-stop for 12 years.
8 December 2011
Blazing orange and yellow mats of microbial communities layer the beds of Yellowstone’s springs. They’re clearly using up the environment’s iron and sulfur for their energy needs, he said. But they also need carbon and no one understood how the carbon was swirling into the mix.