Water does not forget, says Prof. Boris Koch, a chemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. With the combination of some new techniques, Koch and colleagues can now identify and retrace some of the biomolecular tracks left by living organism. This dissolved organic matter, detectable with mass spectrometry, is one of the largest active, organic carbon reservoirs on earth.
Researchers at Columbia University have developed a new software that can simultaneously calculate the carbon footprints of thousands of products faster than ever before. The software complies with the latest product LCA guidelines sponsored by the World Resources Institute, and any carbon footprint it calculates can easily be audited against this standard.
Some six years ago scientific textbooks had to be updated because of the surprising discovery made by a research group in Germany led by Frank Keppler that plants produce methane in an oxygen-rich environment. It had been previously thought that biogenic methane could only be formed during the decomposition of organic material under strictly anoxic conditions. Now, Keppler’s group has now made another fascinating new observation: Fungi produce methane.
It is common knowledge that the warmer the air, the more water can evaporate. Researchers in Europe have now established that this is not always the case: Although an increase in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide makes the climate warmer, it also allows less water to evaporate. This finding has informed a set of new calculations for climate modeling.
Viewed as a potential target in the global effort to reduce climate change, atmospheric black carbon particles absorb significantly less sunlight than scientists have predicted. In the first field study of it kind, researchers found that soot particles absorb significantly less sunlight than predicted by models, raising new questions about the impact of black carbon on atmospheric warming.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers helped develop the first computational model to accurately predict the interactions between flue gases and a special variety of the carbon dioxide-capturing molecular systems known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). This new model should greatly accelerate the search for new low-cost and efficient ways to burn coal without exacerbating global climate change.
The average temperature of oceans is rising along with the temperatures in the atmosphere, raising concern that ice-like compounds called methane hydrates could dissolve this powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. An expedition to Spitsbergen in the high Arctic could help answer this question.
Despite sharp increases in carbon dioxide emissions by humans in recent decades that are warming the planet, Earth’s vegetation and oceans continue to soak up about half of them, according to a new study which showed global carbon dioxide uptake by Earth’s sinks essentially doubled from 1960 to 2010.
Current techniques for post-combustion carbon capture filter out carbon dioxide from a power plant’s flue gases as they travel up a chimney. These methods can prevent 80 to 90% of a power plant’s carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, but researchers in the U.K. are trying to improve on that, using their nation’s synchrotron to determine the mechanism for the use of calcium oxide-based material as carbon dioxide sorbents.
The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink. Around 40% of the annual global carbon dioxide emissions absorbed by the world’s oceans enter through this region. A team of British and Australian scientists has recently discovered how this carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath.
In 2011, corn was planted on more than 92 million acres in the U.S. Because corn is a nitrogen-loving plant, farmers must use synthetic nitrogen fertilizer to their fields every year to achieve their crop target. However, nitrogen is hard to contain and can negatively affect the environment. Researchers have come up with a solution, however, and it’s tied to the relationship between nitrates and nitrous oxide emissions.
The first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrasses has revealed a surprising figure. While a typical terrestrial forest stores about 30,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer, most of which is in the form of wood, coastal seagrasses can account for 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer. Their global impact is significant as well.
According to a recent report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38% on their heating and cooling bills if they installed a handful of energy efficiency controls that make their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems more energy efficient.
A University of Colorado Boulder-led team has developed a new monitoring system to analyze and compare emissions from man-made fossil fuels and trace gases in the atmosphere, a technique that likely could be used to monitor the effectiveness of measures regulating greenhouse gases.
New research from North Carolina State University shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides—pollutants that have significant human health and environmental impacts.
A new study by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that there is enough capacity in deep saline aquifers in the United States to store at least a century's worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Though questions remain about the economics of systems to capture and store such gases, this study addresses a major issue that has overshadowed such proposals.
Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a team of American Indian scientists and engineers have partnered to study the possible use of Black Earth technology, or Cpryo, to help mitigate the uptake of radiocesium in locally grown foods in the Marshall Islands.
An international scientific team has found that rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes. This unusual conclusion was brought about by the first evidence obtained that high carbon dioxide levels in sea water disrupts a key brain receptor in fish, caused detrimental changes in behavior.
Carbon dioxide levels for 2010 have recently been release by the World Meteorological Organization. They show that CO 2 levels are now at 389 parts per million, up from about 280 parts per million 250 years ago. Also, levels are up 2.3 parts per million from 2009.
Geologic capacity exists to permanently store hundreds of years of regional carbon dioxide emissions in nine states stretching from Indiana to New Jersey, according to injection field tests conducted by the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP).
In terms of emissions, just one pound of sulfur hexafluoride, a nontoxic gas used in electric insulation, is equivalent to about 11 tons of carbon dioxide. Energy Department experts are hunting down this and other fugitive carbon emissions and have already prevented the release of 600,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent.
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.
Commercially crude oil occupies a region 5 to 10 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, but there is increasing interest in "abiogenic" hydrocarbons from much deeper in the Earth, which might make their way to the surface in some places. A new project to understand this "deep carbon" could affect both our thinking about energy supplies and the global movement of carbon.
The world pumped about 564 million more tons of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. This represents an increase of 6%, and is more carbon emissions than the worst scenario figures offered by climatologists four years ago.
Fears of global warming and its impact on our environment have left scientists scrambling to decrease levels of atmospheric carbon we humans produce. Now, Tel Aviv University researchers are doing their part to reduce humanity's carbon footprint by successfully growing forests in the most unlikely place—deep in Israel's Aravah Desert.