The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Carbon Cycle Regulated by Tropical Ecosystems

1 Comment

RedOrbit reports on a new study by the National Academy of Sciences that links rising temperatures to the release of carbon dioxide from tropical ecosystems:

Rising temperatures, influenced by natural events such as El Nino, have a corresponding increase in the release of carbon dioxide from tropical forest ecosystems, according to a new study out today. 
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a temperature anomaly of just 1 degree C (in near surface air temperatures in the tropics) leads to a 3.5-Petagram (billion tonnes of carbon) anomaly in the annual CO2 growth rate, on average. This is the equivalent of 1/3 of the annual global emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation together. 
Importantly, the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) study results provide scientists with a new diagnostic tool to understand the global carbon cycle as it undergoes major changes due to the influences of human activities. 
NASA study co-author, CSIRO’s Dr Pep Canadell, said that the study’s 50-year analysis centered on temperature and rainfall patterns during El Nino years, when temperatures increase in tropical regions and rainfall decreases. An accompanying analysis assessed the effects of volcanic eruptions, which lead to decreased temperatures due to volcanic aerosols in the atmosphere. 
“Our study indicates that carbon exchanges in tropical ecosystems are extremely sensitive to temperature, and they respond with the release of emissions when warmer temperatures occur”. 
“Many processes involved in this response are the same as what is known as the carbon-climate feedback, which it is thought will lead to an acceleration of carbon emissions from vegetation and soils and into the atmosphere under future climate change. 
“The observed temperature changes are more important than changes in rainfall in influencing concentration of atmospheric CO2.”
 
Advertisements

Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

One thought on “Carbon Cycle Regulated by Tropical Ecosystems

  1. Looks like we have yet one more amplifying feedback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s