Carnegie Science News - Department of Global Ecology

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

VideoAudio 
A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. 

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

Audio
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

Video
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.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Video
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence for the impending dangers of human-made climate change, policy decisions leading to substantial emissions reduction have been slow.  New work finds that even as extreme weather events influence those who experience them to support policy to address climate change, waiting for the majority of people to live through such conditions firsthand could delay meaningful action by decades.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Video
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

Video
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

Audio
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.