Carnegie Science News - Department of Global Ecology

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today a team, led by Greg Asner,  unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of Perú. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change for future market-based carbon economies. The new carbon map also reveals Perú’s extremely high ecological diversity and it provides the critical input to studies of deforestation and forest degradation for conservation, land use, and enforcement purposes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The planet’s soil releases about 60 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, which is far more than that released by burning fossil fuels. This happens through a process called soil respiration. Short-term warming studies have documented that rising temperatures increase the rate of soil respiration. As a result, scientists have worried that global warming would accelerate the decomposition of carbon in the soil, and decrease the amount of carbon stored there. If true, this would release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it would accelerate global warming.

Monday, July 21, 2014

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Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock. New research finds that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of animals. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Washington, D.C.-—The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced on June 30 that Christopher Field will receive the Roger Revelle Medal. Field is director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology.

Monday, March 24, 2014

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Plants convert energy from sunlight into chemical energy during a process called photosynthesis. This energy is passed on to humans and animals that eat the plants, and thus photosynthesis is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth. New research uses satellite technology to measure light that is emitted by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis

Monday, March 3, 2014

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In many ways, plants act as chemical factories, using energy from sunlight to produce carbon-based energy and taking nutrients from the soil in order to synthesize a wide variety of products. Carnegie scientists asked the question: How much does the portfolio of chemicals generated by plants vary, depending on the surrounding environment, and what can this tell us about how we interact with forests? The answer involved climbing into the Amazonian canopy, resulting in the discovery that the forest's chemical portfolios form a rich mosaic that varies with elevation and soil content.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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The pace of global warming over the last century has been about twice as rapid over land than over the oceans and will continue to be more dramatic going forward if emissions are not curbed. According to an analysis of 27 climate models by Carnegie’s Chris Field, if we continue along the current emissions trajectory, we are likely facing the most rapid large climate change in the last 65 million years. This will clearly pose great challenges for a variety of terrestrial ecosystems.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christopher Field, the founding director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and co-chair of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group 2, has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven extremely prohibitive for individuals to entire governments. Carnegie’s Greg Asner is hoping to change that by making advanced forest monitoring tools available to the public, free of charge, and putting the power to monitor forests directly into the hands of people around the world. Today the Department of Global Ecology launched the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (or CLASlite) Classroom hosted by Stanford University Online Learning. It will allow non-commercial users to learn how to use the revolutionary CLASlite software for detecting deforestation and other forest disturbances.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

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Government calculations of total U.S. methane emissions may underestimate the true values by 50 percent, a new study finds. The results cast doubt on a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to downscale its emissions estimate.