So Special About CO2?
of Past Articles for Chapter
2008 Nov 5. Dried
Mushrooms Slow Climate Warming
In Northern Forests.
The fight against climate warming
has an unexpected ally in mushrooms
growing in dry spruce forests
covering Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia
and other northern regions,
a new UC Irvine study finds.
When soil in these forests is
warmed, fungi that feed on dead
plant material dry out and produce
significantly less climate-warming
carbon dioxide than fungi in
cooler, wetter soil. This came
as a surprise to scientists,
who expected warmer soil to emit
larger amounts of carbon dioxide
because extreme cold is believed
to slow down the process by which
fungi convert soil carbon into
Knowing how forests cycle carbon
is crucial to accurately predicting
global climate warming, which in
turn guides public policy to curb
greenhouse gas emissions. This
is especially important in northern
forests, which contain an estimated
30 percent of the Earth's soil
carbon, equivalent to the amount
of atmospheric carbon.
"We don't get a vicious cycle
of warming in dry, boreal forests.
Instead, we get the reverse, where
warming actually prevents further
warming from occurring," said
Steven Allison, ecology and evolutionary
biology assistant professor and
lead author of the study. "The
Earth's natural processes could
give us some time to implement
responsible policies to counteract
27 November 2007. Can
baking soda curb global warming?
New York Times Online (*requires
registration). Michael Kanellos, for News.com.
Excerpt: Some scientists have proposed
compressing carbon dioxide and
sticking it in underground caves
as a way to cut down on greenhouse
gases. Joe David Jones wants to
make baking soda out of it. Jones,
the founder and CEO of Skyonic,
has come up with an industrial
process called SkyMine that captures
90 percent of the carbon dioxide
coming out of smoke stacks and
mixes it with sodium hydroxide
to make sodium bicarbonate, or
baking soda. The energy required
for the reaction to turn the chemicals
into baking soda comes from the
waste heat from the factory.
"It is cleaner than food-grade
(baking soda)," he said.
The system also removes 97 percent
of the heavy metals, as well as
most of the sulfur and nitrogen
compounds, Jones said.
Luminant, a utility formerly known
as TXU, installed a pilot version
of the system at its Big Brown
Steam Electric Station in Fairfield,
Texas, last year. Skyonic, meanwhile,
hopes to install a system that
will consume the greenhouse gas
output of a large--500 megawatts
or so--power plant around 2009.
Skyonic is currently designing
one of these large systems.
...Because it's a solid, storing
baking soda is simply easier, and
it allows greenhouse gas emitters
to store a lot of carbon in one
place. The stuff piles up: A 500-megawatt
power plant will produce approximately
338,000 tons of carbon dioxide
a year. Multiply that weight by
1.9 and you get the number of tons
of baking soda that the plant will
produce. Still, it can be sold,
stored in containers, used for
landfill or buried in abandoned
"If you can use the waste
heat, it strikes me as a potentially
feasible approach," said Alex
Farrell, an assistant professor
in the energy and resources group
at the University of California
at Berkeley. "I'm not willing
to throw any of the ideas out yet."....
16 May 2007. Climate
change: A guide for the perplexed.
NewScientist.com news service.
Michael Le Page. Excerpt:
Our planet's climate is anything
but simple. All kinds of factors
influence it, from massive events
on the Sun to the growth of microscopic
creatures in the oceans, and there
are subtle interactions between
these factors. Yet despite all
the complexities, a firm and ever-growing
body of evidence points to a clear
picture: the world is warming,
this warming is due to human activity
increasing levels of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere, and if
emissions continue unabated the
warming will too, with increasingly
serious consequences.Yes, there
are still big uncertainties in
some predictions, but these swing
both ways. For example, the response
of clouds could slow the
warming or speed it up. With so
much at stake, it is right that
climate science is subjected to
the most intense scrutiny. What
does not help is for the real issues
to be muddied by discredited arguments
or wild theories. So for those
who are not sure what to believe,
here is our round-up of the 26
most common climate myths and misconceptions.
11 April 2007. Greenhouse
Gas Study: 1 Percent From NYC.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Excerpt:
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City
produces nearly 1 percent of
the nation's greenhouse gas emissions
-- an amount that puts it on
par with Ireland and Portugal
-- according to a city study.
...The study found that the buildings,
subways, buses, cars and decomposition
of waste in America's most populous
city produced a net emission
of 58.3 million metric tons of
greenhouse gases in 2005. The
U.S. total was 7.26 billion metric
tons for that year. ...The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, a United
Nations network of 2,000 scientists,
warned last week of possible catastrophic
risks such as floods, disease,
food shortages, species extinction
and human suffering throughout
4 March 2004. RELEASE: 04-081. NASA
Research Shows Heavy Smoke "Chokes" Clouds.
data from NASA's Aqua satellite,
agency scientists found heavy smoke
from burning vegetation inhibits
cloud formation. The research suggests
the cooling of global climate by
pollutant particles, called
"aerosols," may be smaller
than previously estimated.
Pasta. Using different types of pasta (spaghetti,
linguini, cappellini, fettucini, lasagne, orzo,
macaroni, rigatoni, manicotti, ziti, etc), create
a combined model/display as analogies to explain
the principal classification of the electromagnetic
All About Atoms http://education.jlab.org/atomtour/
-- help in understanding the atom.
The Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change -- http://www.co2science.org/
-- was created to disseminate factual reports and
sound commentary on new developments in the world-wide
scientific quest to determine the climatic and biological
consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2
Burning -- Biomass
burning is the burning of living
and dead vegetation, including
both human-initiated burning for
land clearing, and burning induced
by lightning and other natural
sources. Researchers with the Biomass
Burning Project at NASA Langley
Research Center are seeking to
understand the impact that biomass
burning has on the Earth's atmosphere
of Past Articles for Chapter
Climate Change Up-To-Date Homepage
is the Greenhouse Effect?
is Global Warming?
is the Controversy About?
So Special About CO2?
Can We Measure Carbon Dioxide?
the Atmosphere Really Changing?
are the Greenhouse Gases?
are the Governments Doing about
do you think about Global
Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC),
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Has
sections on how oceans and vegetation
act as carbon sinks, the quantification
of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gas emissions, and the vulnerability
of coastal areas to rising sea level.
Asked Global Change Questions" section
is especially useful. Find answers
to questions relating to the atmospheric
lifetime of carbon dioxide and methane,
numerical estimates for sources and
sinks of carbon, and greenhouse gas
atmospheric residency times.
Bridge Narrows, Movie
of catastrophic failure of Tacoma
Narrows bridge due to resonance
issues coupling bridge structure
with forces due to wind. Also
found on Nova
Online and available for