Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Northeastern Researcher Finds Missing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Date:
December 6, 2004
Source:
Northeastern University
Summary:
A Northeastern University researcher today announced that he has found that the soil below oak trees exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide had significantly higher carbon levels than those exposed to ambient carbon levels. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated carbon dioxide levels are increasing carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and slowing the build-up of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Credit: Image courtesy of NOAA

BOSTON, Mass. (11-30-04) -- A Northeastern University researcher today announced that he has found that the soil below oak trees exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide had significantly higher carbon levels than those exposed to ambient carbon levels. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated carbon dioxide levels are increasing carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and slowing the build-up of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is thought to cause global warming by trapping heat radiated by the Earth.

The research, published in the latest on-line edition of the journal Earth Interactions, represents an important advance in the global warming research. The lead author on the article, “Soil C Accumulation in a White Oak CO2-Enrichment Experiment via Enhanced Root Production,” is Kevin G. Harrison from the department of earth and environmental sciences at Northeastern. Contributors also include Richard J. Norby and Wilfred M. Post from the Oak Ridge National Library in Tennessee and Emily L. Chapp form the University of Hawaii.

In the study, the researchers sought to determine if the mechanism for storing carbon in soil was CO2 fertilization, the process by which plants grow better when exposed to high CO2 levels, and to investigate the extent to which CO2 fertilization could be increasing the amount of carbon stored in soil under white oak trees. The researchers studied the soil below white oak trees in the temperate zone over four growing seasons and found that the soil below trees exposed to elevated levels of CO2 had an average of 14% more carbon.

“Researchers have long been puzzled by observations that show that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing more slowly than expected.,” said Harrison. “This conundrum has hindered predictions of future carbon dioxide levels and, in turn, estimates of future global warming. By being able to demonstrate a substantial average increase in the carbon below these oak trees, we have potentially found the solution to better global warming forecasting. However, further research is needed in other ecosystems to see if they show similar responses to elevated carbon dioxide levels.”

About Northeastern

Northeastern University, located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, is a world leader in practice-oriented education and recognized for its expert faculty and first-rate academic and research facilities. Northeastern integrates challenging liberal arts and professional studies with the nation’s largest cooperative education program. Through co-op, Northeastern undergraduates alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, giving them nearly two years of professional experience upon graduation. The majority of Northeastern graduates receive a job offer from a co-op employer. Cited for excellence three years running by U.S. News & World Report, Northeastern has quickly moved up into the top tier rankings—an impressive 30 spots in three years. In addition, Northeastern was named a top college in the northeast by the Princeton Review 2003/04. For more information, please visit http://www.northeastern.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northeastern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northeastern University. "Northeastern Researcher Finds Missing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203095938.htm>.
Northeastern University. (2004, December 6). Northeastern Researcher Finds Missing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203095938.htm
Northeastern University. "Northeastern Researcher Finds Missing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203095938.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins