April 25, 2016
United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a droughtThe warm spring of 2012 in the U.S. caused plants to absorb more carbon, thereby compensating for reductions during the subsequent summer drought, researchers have demonstrated.
March 16, 2016
Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than ExpectedThe bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.
February 26, 2016
Consumers care about carbon footprintHow much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy? Would they care more if the goods were labeled with emissions data?
February 25, 2016
How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxideThe seas around the UK and the rest of northern Europe take up a staggering 24 million tonnes of carbon each year.
February 24, 2016
New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sinkSince pre-industrial times, the world's oceans have absorbed 41 percent of the carbon dioxide humans have released into the atmosphere. The remainder stays airborne, warming the planet.
February 22, 2016
Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expectedResults from a new climate reconstruction of how Antarctica's ice sheets responded during the last period when atmospheric carbon dioxide reached levels like those expected to occur in about 30 years, plus sediment core findings reported in a companion paper, suggest that the ice sheets are more vulnerable to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought.
January 7, 2016
A carbon sink that can't be filledForests can store as much as 45 percent of the world's terrestrial carbon, making them a critical part of the process of regulating climate change.
January 4, 2016
Melting of massive ice 'lid' resulted in huge release of carbon dioxide at the end of the ice age Date:A new study of how the structure of the ocean has changed since the end of the last ice age suggest that the melting of a vast 'lid' of sea ice caused the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
December 7, 2015
Warm nights could flood the atmosphere with carbon under climate changeA new study suggests that hotter nights may wield more influence than previously thought over the planet's atmosphere as global temperatures rise -- and could eventually lead to more carbon flooding the atmosphere.
November 12, 2015
As Earth Warms, NASA Targets 'Other Half' of Carbon, Climate EquationCarbon dioxide from wildfires and urban sources blankets the Northern Hemisphere. Credit: NASA/GSFC/GMAO
Watching the planet breathe
When plants photosynthesize, they use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide from the air into sugars used to live and grow. In doing so, they give off a fluorescent light — a glow that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that can be seen with the right instruments. More photosynthesis translates into more fluorescence, meaning that the plants are very productive in taking up carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants is called “gross primary productivity,” and is the largest part of the global carbon cycle.