Carnegie Science News - Department of Global Ecology

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

With Video
A tiny, little-understood plant pore has enormous implications for weather forecasting, climate change, agriculture, hydrology, and more. A study by scientists at the Department of Global Ecology has now overturned the conventional belief about how these important structures called stomata regulate water vapor loss from the leaf–a process called transpiration. They found that radiation is the driving force of physical processes deep within the leaf.

Friday, July 2, 2010

With Video
With carbon dioxide in the atmosphere approaching alarming levels, even halting emissions altogether may not be enough to avert catastrophic climate change. Could scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air be a viable solution? A new study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution suggests that while removing excess carbon dioxide would cool the planet, keeping carbon dioxide at low levels would require a long-term commitment spanning decades or even centuries.

Monday, June 28, 2010

With Video
One proposed emergency fix for global warming is to seed clouds over the ocean to make them more reflective, reducing the solar radiation absorbed by the Earth. But the scheme could also change global rainfall patterns, raising concerns of water shortages on land. A new study by the Carnegie Institution, with the Indian Institute of Science, suggests that the scheme could actually increase monsoonal rains and cause continents to become wetter, not drier, on average.

Monday, June 14, 2010

With Video
The Green Revolution of the late 20th century increased crop yields worldwide and helped feed an expanding global population. According to a new report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it also has helped keep greenhouse gas emissions at bay. The researchers estimate that since 1961 higher yields per acre have avoided the release of nearly 600 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

With Video
Trees and other plants help keep the planet cool, but rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are turning down this global air conditioner. According to a new study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science, in some regions more than a quarter of the warming from increased carbon dioxide is due to its direct impact on vegetation. This warming is in addition to carbon dioxide’s better-known effect as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. For scientists trying to predict global climate change in the coming century, the study underscores the importance of including plants in their climate models.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chris Field, director of the Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, is among the scientists elected this year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies, cited Field for his research in global ecology and contributions to the assessment and understanding of climate change

Monday, March 8, 2010
With Video
A new study by Carnegie scientists finds that over a third of carbon dioxide emissions associated with consumption of goods and services in many developed countries are actually emitted outside their borders. The study finds that, per person, about 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide are consumed in the U.S. but produced somewhere else. For Europeans, the figure can exceed four tons per person. Most of these emissions are outsourced to developing countries, especially China.
Read the coverage in Time magazine
Listen to the story on NPR
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Global Ecology director Chris Field, with CEO of PG&E Peter Darbee, wrote a white paper on climate change for policymakers and business leader

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Carnegie scientists Kenneth Caldeira of the Department of Global Ecology, Yingwei Fei of the Geophysical Laboratory, and Steven Shirey of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism have been elected 2010 Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Election to Fellowship each year honors scientists who “have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Audio Press Release
Global warming is causing climate belts to shift toward the poles and to higher elevations. To keep pace with these changes, the average ecosystem will need to shift about a quarter mile each year, says a new study led by scientists at the Carnegie Institution. For some habitats, such as low-lying areas, climate belts are moving even faster, putting many species in jeopardy, especially where human development has blocked migration paths.