Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Should Look At Their Own Carbon Footprint, Expert Urges

Date:
June 8, 2009
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
Scientists studying the impact of climate change on the Arctic need to consider ways to reduce their own carbon footprints, says a medicine researcher, who regularly flies north to study the health of caribou.

Scientists studying the impact of climate change on the Arctic need to consider ways to reduce their own carbon footprints, says a researcher who regularly flies north to study the health of caribou.

In the June issue of Arctic, the journal of the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of North America, postdoctoral fellow Ryan Brook calls on scientists to show leadership by examining and sharing ways to reduce the impact of working in polar regions.

"The importance of the research is not at question here. It is vital to our understanding of and adapting to climate change. But we need to think about better approaches," says Brook from the U of C's faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

"This is an issue for all scientists, though polar researchers often travel particularly long distances using commercial air travel. We also rely extensively on small aircraft, icebreakers, and snowmobiles, all of which produce large amounts of carbon. We know that carbon release by human activity is a key contributor to climate change."

Brook studies the health and anatomy of caribou herds in Nunavut and Northwest Territories. He collaborates with northern wildlife managers and is also involved in youth education. This work typically takes him north five or six times per year and when he calculated his own carbon footprint, he was not happy with the result.

"My research footprint is about the same as the annual footprint of an average Toronto resident. Basically, I have two footprints—my own personal life, which is moderate, and my research footprint."

Arctic research is a specialized field and the community of scientists who travel north is relatively small. Even if all scientists working in the north reduced their carbon emissions, it would not make a big impact on the global scale. For Brook, it's the optics that matter.

"The total footprint of all scientists is small, but it's important to critically evaluate how we can reduce our footprint from research activities. What are we doing in the best ways possible? Where can we improve? What do we need in order to improve? Let's start talking about this on a larger scale."

There are ways researchers can reduce the amount of carbon they use. Some helicopters use less fuel than others. Solar and wind power are alternatives to gas-fired generators. And while carbon offsets don't reduce the amount of carbon emitted, they are an easy first step.

"There aren't necessarily any easy answers, but we need to start talking about it," says Brook. "This is particularly important for the next generation of scientists being trained and I hope to see them become leaders in this issue."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Scientists Should Look At Their Own Carbon Footprint, Expert Urges." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125109.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2009, June 8). Scientists Should Look At Their Own Carbon Footprint, Expert Urges. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125109.htm
University of Calgary. "Scientists Should Look At Their Own Carbon Footprint, Expert Urges." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125109.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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