Carnegie Science News - Department of Global Ecology

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.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

With Video
New technology, developed by a team of scientists at Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, is revolutionizing forest monitoring by marrying free satellite imagery and powerful analytical methods in an easy-to-use, desktop software package called CLASlite. Thus far, 70 government, non-government, and academic organizations in five countries have adopted the technology, with more on the horizon. The team announced its new web site for CLASlite users at the Copenhagen climate meetings today (http://claslite.ciw.edu).

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Can global warming be mitigated by a technological fix such as injecting light-blocking particles into the atmosphere or chemically “scrubbing” excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? Global Ecology's Ken Caldeira addressed this question in his testimony to Congress in a hearing titled “Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention.”
Thursday, October 22, 2009

The October 22, 2009 issue of Nature features an extended article about the work of Global Ecology’s Greg Asner and the Carnegie Airborne Observatory .

Monday, October 19, 2009

In a recent interview, scientist and director of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology, Chris Field, describes the historic shift taking place in the production of greenhouse gases. As their economies industrialize, developing nations are overtaking the industrialized world in production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Developing nations don't, however, have the resources to invest in pollution-reducing technologies. Dr. Field discusses the challenges involved and the avenues of cooperation that are possible. The interview was given to EarthSky,  "A Clear Voice for Science."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Palo Alto, CA— Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, has been awarded a prestigious Heinz award. The awards were established by Teresa Heinz in 1993 to honor her late husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz, by recognizing “extraordinary achievements of individuals in the areas of greatest importance to him.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

With Audio
The future of the Earth could rest on potentially dangerous and unproven geoengineering technologies unless emissions of carbon dioxide can be greatly reduced, claims a new study coauthored by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and published by the UK’s Royal Society, September 1.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

With Video

When glaciers advanced over much of the Earth’s surface during the last ice age, what kept the planet from freezing over entirely? This has been a puzzle to climate scientists because leading models have indicated that over the past 24 million years geological conditions should have caused carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to plummet, possibly leading to runaway “icehouse” conditions.  Now researchers writing in the July 2, 2009, Nature report on the missing piece of the puzzle – plants.

Thursday, June 18, 2009
With Audio
Emergency plans to counteract global warming by artificially shading the Earth from incoming sunlight might lower the planet’s temperature a few degrees, but such “geoengineering” solutions would do little to stop the acidification of the world oceans that threatens coral reefs and other marine life, report Carnegie scientists in a new study.  The culprit is atmospheric carbon dioxide, which even in a cooler globe will continue to be absorbed by seawater, creating acidic conditions.
Monday, June 15, 2009
With Video
In the future, will wind power tapped by high-flying kites light up New York? A new study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution identifies New York as a prime location for exploiting high-altitude winds, which globally contain enough energy to meet world demand 100 times over. The researchers found that the regions best suited for harvesting this energy match with population centers in the eastern U.S. and East Asia, but fluctuating wind strength still presents a challenge for exploiting this energy source on a large scale.