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Release of Stored Carbon in Soil May Affect Predictions for Future Carbon Dioxide Levels
Scientists continue to study the earth’s climate in an effort to make vital predictions about the earth’s health and critical components such as carbon dioxide levels many years from now. Studying a subject as broad as the earth’s climate with so many potential variables involved obviously poses some significant challenges. And this task is made all the more difficult due to such a large number of potential factors that we aren’t even aware of yet. However, recent research conducted by members of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the University of Cambridge, UK have uncovered some vital information regarding future carbon dioxide levels that may prove to be quite helpful.
We already knew that climate has a direct affect on plant life, more specifically, that climate change has the potential to increase tropical forest growth rates. And this stimulated tree growth augments the amount of dead bio matter such as leaves and bark that falls to the ground (litterfall). But something we were previously unaware of is how this increase in tree growth and the corresponding increase in litterfall may affect the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the future.
The elevated levels of litterfall have the potential to affect microorganisms in the soil around the trees, catalyzing the release of carbon stored in the soil. The research conducted by the members of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the University of Cambridge reveals that higher levels of litterfall provide extra carbon which the microorganisms in the soil use as energy. This new abundance of energy then causes the microorganisms to increase their activity levels, leading to a greater degree of stored-carbon decomposition.
At this point in time, much of the carbon measurements and analysis for tropical forests are based on the growth statistics of the trees. But these recent findings uncover new implications regarding the relationships between plants and soil and their connection to carbon cycling. This new perspective on plant and soil interaction highlights a potential need for change in how we forecast upcoming atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as part of our climate change calculations.
With each new factor that we discover in relation to the planet’s climate, the closer we get to pinpointing specific sources and causes problem areas as well as potential environmental solutions. Such pursuits require a great deal of patience, but our capacity for sustainable living continues to improve as our data collection increases and with each new discovery.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.