Author Archive

Mountain forest study shows vulnerability to climate change

Phys.Org: CU-Boulder assistant professor Noah Molotch deploying an automated snow depth sensor and solar panel in Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Molotch and colleagues have found that mid-level mountain ecosystems in the West where people live, camp, hike, fish and mountain bike are the most sensitive to climate change. Credit: Image courtesy Noah Molotch, University of Colorado A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study that ties forest "greenness" in the western...

Unexpected finding shows fungi may not help store climate change’s extra carbon

Phys.Org: Fungi found in plants may not be the answer to mitigating climate change by storing additional carbon in soils as some previously thought, according to an international team of plant biologists. The researchers found that increased carbon dioxide stimulates the growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-a type of fungus that is often found in the roots of most land plants-which then leads to higher decomposition rates of organic materials, said Lei Cheng, post doctorate fellow in plant science,...

No-till could help maintain crop yields despite climate change

Phys.Org: Reducing tillage for some Central Great Plains crops could help conserve water and reduce losses caused by climate change, according to studies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Research leader Laj Ahuja and others at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Agricultural Systems Research Unit at Fort Collins, Colo., superimposed climate projections onto 15 to 17 years of field data to see how future crop yields might be affected. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency,...

Multiple factors, including climate change, led to collapse and depopulation of ancient Maya

Phys.Org: A new analysis of complex interactions between humans and the environment preceding the 9th century collapse and abandonment of the Central Maya Lowlands in the Yucat√°n Peninsula points to a series of events -- some natural, like climate change; some human-made, including large-scale landscape alterations and shifts in trade routes -- that have lessons for contemporary decision-makers and sustainability scientists. In their revised model of the collapse of the ancient Maya, social scientists B.L....

Incentives slow rainforest destruction, researcher says

Phys.Org: Tropical rainforests are the biggest defense against global warming, absorbing 50 percent more carbon than other kinds of forests. Yet they are disappearing at a rate of about 11 million hectares a year. Yeon-Su Kim, a Northern Arizona University ecological economic professor, is researching how economic incentives may slow the destruction of these important carbon-storing ecosystems and decrease the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. "We have a way of helping rainforest...

Climate change effects, potential mitigation in Northeast forests subject of Forest Service Report

Phys.org: A new report by U.S. and Canadian scientists analyzes decades of research and concludes that the climate of the Northeast has changed and is likely to change more. The report outlines the effects of climate change on multiple aspects of forests in the northeastern corner of the United States and eastern Canada and concludes with recommendations on adaptive and mitigating strategies for dealing with future effects. The report, "Changing Climate, Changing Forests: The impacts of climate change on...

Climate change may lead to fewer but more violent thunderstorms, study says

Phys.Org: Researchers are working to identify exactly how a changing climate will impact specific elements of weather, such as clouds, rainfall, and lightning. A Tel Aviv University researcher has predicted that for every one degree Celsius of warming, there will be approximately a 10 percent increase in lightning activity. This could have negative consequences in the form of flash floods, wild fires, or damage to power lines and other infrastructure, says Prof. Colin Price, Head of the Department of Geophysics,...

United Kingdom: Scientists: climate change is causing decline of specialised plant species

Phys.Org: Climate change has impacted on upland plants and vegetation over the past half century, new evidence from north west Scotland has revealed. Research funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has revealed for the first time the impacts of climate change on mountain landscapes. The pioneering work was carried out bythe University of Aberdeenand supported by the Hutton Institute and Bergen University, Norway. Dr Louise Ross ofthe University...

Research shows the response of the carbon cycle to climate change

Phys.Org: Marine and freshwater environments have the potential to release more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere in a warmer climate than their land counterparts, scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have found. In the largest ever analysis of rates of respiration, published online in the journal Nature today, scientists compared the temperature dependence of respiration between aquatic and land ecosystems. Lead author, Dr Gabriel Yvon-Durocher from Queen Mary, University of London...

European Arctic forests expansion could result in carbon dioxide release: study

Phys.Org: Carbon stored in Arctic tundra could be released into the atmosphere by new trees growing in the warmer region, exacerbating climate change, scientists have revealed. The Arctic is getting greener as plant growth increases in response to a warmer climate. This greater plant growth means more carbon is stored in the increasing biomass, so it was previously thought the greening would result in more carbon dioxide being taken up from the atmosphere, thus helping to reduce the rate of global warming....