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 24, 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 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) Federal researchers have released new images of the City of Chester, a steamship that sank in San Francisco Bay in 1888. Researchers recently found the shipwreck while mapping shipping routes. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 23, 2014) A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed. Deborah Gembara reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
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