Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search
Go Green banner ads

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Scientists Use High-Tech Experimental Forest to Track the Impact of Carbon Dioxide

[INTERESTING]

Scientists Use High-Tech Experimental Forest to Track the Impact of Carbon Dioxide

A group of scientists want to find out how the world’s forests will respond to higher levels of carbon dioxide. By the middle of the 21st century, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to have risen significantly, which is why researchers are keen to find out how effective the Earth’s forests will be as carbon sinks. They’re now using the Staffordshire forest in England as an outdoor laboratory for their carbon impact experiment.


The Industrial Scale Carbon Experiment

Professor Rob Mackenzie from Birmingham University is the lead scientist for this carbon impact experiment. He is part of a team of scientists that are testing the effects of high carbon dioxide levels on the Earth’s forests. The experiment being held in the Staffordshire forest is the first of its kind to be conducted in Europe. There are currently three other countries, apart from England, that are conducting similar experiments.


Mackenzie chose Staffordshire forest (also known as Mill Haft) because it is thought to have been consistently covered with trees for over 300 years. This 25 hectare woodland is mostly covered in English Oak (Quercus robur) that are between 160 and 180 years old.  


Scientists have installed 25 meter high masts beside trees to pump out high levels of carbon dioxide throughout the forest. They will pump out 550 parts per million (ppm) levels of carbon dioxide to see what the effects will be on the trees, their leaves, the soil, insects and diseases. They’ve also encircled the Staffordshire forest with a 3 meter high anti-climb fence and lined the forest with silver snake-like tubes.


Mackenzie says that “the impact of changing CO2 should show up in the leaf chemistry of exposed trees within days, and in the soil within weeks.” He predicts that within three years they should see changes in stem growth, canopy structure and other structural forest elements in the areas of the forest exposed to higher CO2 levels.


Forests as Carbon Sinks

Researchers want to find out how effective the Earth’s forests will be as carbon sinks as CO2 levels continue to increase. Trees are estimated to store between a quarter and a third of the carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. Some scientists believe that when CO2 levels rise significantly, trees will fix more CO2 as a plant fertilizer into their roots, trunks, and for other organic matter in the soil. Mackenzie agrees, but he also told BBC News that “we are quite sure that there will be other things that will start to limit that. Rising temperatures will (also) change the ability of plants (to absorb CO2) - they are adapted to current temperatures.”


Professor Ranga Myneni from Boston University has conducted studies that reveal a positive fertilization effect and higher water use efficiency with increased levels of CO2. But they also found that these positive effects diminished over time. It’s unclear how much of the information gathered from such experiments translates to the real world, but it’s important to take note of their findings.


It’s crucial that scientists and citizens do not rely heavily in this fertilization effect as the answer to global warming. The fertilization effect should not be an excuse for humans to keep pumping out fossil fuels into the atmosphere. If anything, optimists believe that the forests and oceans are helping humans buy time to lessen their reliance on fossil fuels and help address the issue of climate change. Carbon impact experiments can provide us with insight on increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and its effects on forests, but it is up to citizens to take action and help reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere.


 

Rate this article:
No rating
Comments ()Number of views (158)

Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Energy & Power, Animals & Wildlife, Climate & Weather

Tags:

Print

Search Jobs

Calender

«April 2017»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27
1606

The Great Barrier Reef is on the Brink of Extinction

The Great Barrier Reef could be past the point of restoration according to new evidence. Mass bleaching is expected to both continue and increase unless policies are changed.

Read more
28
1608

Meet the “King of All Poultry”: the Giant Brahma Chicken

Have a look at this footage from one of the largest chickens on the planet! These brahma chickens have been known to reach a whopping 18.25 lbs!

Read more
29
1607

Climate Change Has Reached Record Breaking Levels

The planet is entering an age of uncharted territory as average temperatures across the globe rise higher than the earth has seen in 115,000 years. And we aren't doing much about it.

Read more
30
1609

Black Wolves Spotted and Filmed Running Along Canadian Highway

A woman in northern Canada captured some rare footage of two enormous black wolves running along the highway alongside her vehicle. 

Read more
31
1610

7000 Gas Bubbles Found in the Siberian Tundra Pose Explosive Threats

Researchers are collecting more and more information about underground bubbles of greenhouse gases in Siberia that could have devastating consequences if they explode.

Read more
12
3
1611

Keystone XL Pipeline Good to Go Thanks to Trump

The construction of the controversial and environmentally endangering Keystone Pipeline just got the go ahead from President Trump. Activists and environmentalists are prepared to fight back. 

Read more
4
1612

Over 7,000 Explosive Gas Bubbles Discovered in Siberia

Thousands of underground bubbles have been found in Siberia recently made up of methane and carbon dioxide. Such bulbs could be the result of increasing temperatures around the world. 

Read more
5
1613

Trump to Drastically Cut Budget on Environmental Monitoring

Cuts to environmental programs due to the Trump administrations recent budget proposal could lead to catastrophic data loss for scientists from a variety of environmental programs.

Read more
6
1614

Avalanche Rescue Dog in Lake Tahoe Slides Down the Ski Hill After a Hard Days Work

This footage of an adorable avalanche rescue dog sliding down a hill is one of the most adorable things you'll ever see. He slides down the mountain on the back like a pro!

Read more
7
1615

Permian Mass Extinction Reveals the Catastrophic Effects of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere

New research on one of our planet's previous mass extinctions has pointed towards rising temperatures and global warming as the cause of so much widespread death. 

Read more
89
10
1616

Lifted Hunting Restrictions Allow Brutal Predator Control Practices

Repeal of an Obama-era bill now allows hunters to track and kill predators that may be in their den with their young or during hibernation. Such brutal practices have been outlawed for years. 

Read more
11
1617

Carrier Crab Filmed with a Large Red Urchin on its Back

This footage of a carrier crab taken in off the Indonesian Coast shows the mutually beneficial relationship of these two sea creatures. Fascinating look at the complexity of marine life!

Read more
12
1618

Scientists Use High-Tech Experimental Forest to Track the Impact of Carbon Dioxide

Scientists are testing the effects of CO2 levels in the atmosphere with the help of high-tech equipment placed inside and England forest. 

Read more
13
1619

The Okeanos Explorer Gives a Glimpse of the ‘Wonders of the Deep’

Amazing video that features a look into the wonders that our world's deep oceans hold. These sea creatures are unlike most animals you'll ever see!

Read more
14
1620

Coal-Fired Power May Be Responsible for Low Birth Weights Across the US

Recent studies show a strong connection between birth defects and coal-fired power plants in close proximity, an alarming development given our administrations push towards coal. 

Read more
1516
17
1621

Trump’s New EPA Sacrifices Science for Industry

The new Trump-era EPA is moving further away from its original goal of environmental protection and moving more towards furthering the interests of corporations.

Read more
18
1622

‘Cat Man of Aleppo’ Rebuilds Sanctuary for Abandoned Animals in Syria

Mohammad Alaa Jaleel, also known as the "Cat Man of Aleppo", has been taking in abandoned dogs and cats in war-struck Syria. A heartwarming story of a true animal lover.

Read more
19
1623

Great Barrier Reef Reaches a Terminal Stage Say Scientists

A recent report shows that the mass bleaching's in 2016 and 2017 have put the Great Barrier Reef into it's final stages. Tragically, there's no turning back now.

Read more
20
1624

Bottle Recycling Bin Helps Feed Stray Dogs in Istanbul

A Turkish company is putting a new spin on an old problem, two problems in fact. This recycle bin not only curbs waste, it also feeds Istanbul's starving dogs at the same time!

Read more
21
1625

Trump Planning to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling

In another move that goes against both Obama-era regulations and environmental protections, Trump plans to sign an executive order to begin drilling in the Atlantic.

Read more
2223
24
1626

EPA Being Sued After Reversal on Pesticide Ban It Helped Create

Flying in the face of evidence published by his very agency, new EPA head Scott Pruitt decides to reverse the ban on a dangerous pesticide. And activists are taking action. 

Read more
25
1627

Red Panda Stopped Dead in Its Tracks by a Boulder

What's cuter than a red panda? How about a surprised red panda? Or what about a red panda that's surprised by a rock? This viral video goes to show few animals are cuter than these little guys.

Read more
26
1629

Western Wildfires Made Worse By Climate Change

Another side effect of climate change has been discovered. Scientists find that global warming is contributing to even larger, more dangerous wildfires. And it's not getting any better. 

Read more
27
1628

Woodpecker Takes a Joy Ride in a Cab in the Windy City

Watch this cute footage as a woodpecker takes a trip across Chicago and becomes friends with one of the city's cab drivers. A cheerful pick-me-up for anyone, city dweller or not. 

Read more
282930
1234567

Category

Categories

    Help Us Go Green
      
    Help Us Go Green