Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon sinks losing the battle with rising emissions

19.03.2009
The stabilising influence that land and ocean carbon sinks have on rising carbon emissions is gradually weakening, say scientists attending this week’s international Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

“Forests, grasslands and oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere faster than ever but they are not keeping pace with rapidly rising emissions,” says CSIRO scientist and co-Chair of the Global Carbon Project, Dr Mike Raupach.

“While these natural CO2 sinks are a huge buffer against climate change, which would occur about twice as fast without them, they cannot be taken for granted.”

Dr Raupach and Swiss scientist, Dr Nicolas Gruber, co-Chaired one of 43 sessions at the conference – Climate Change, Vulnerability of Carbon Sinks.

Dr Raupach says concern about the vulnerability of carbon sinks is based on identifying several mechanisms that could cause the present stabilising role of oceans and land to be weakened or even reversed.

“Forests, grasslands and oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere faster than ever but they are not keeping pace with rapidly rising emissions,” says CSIRO scientist and co-Chair of the Global Carbon Project, Dr Mike Raupach.“Such a change would have drastic consequences for the predicted magnitude or speed of climate change occurring and scientists will meet in Copenhagen to review and question the latest research from which advice can ultimately be provided to decision-makers.”

Discussions will focus on:

Changes in the carbon sink on land through shifts in atmospheric composition, temperature and rainfall changes, deforestation, fire frequency and insect attacks, all of which can slow or reverse sinks or initiate sources of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Release of carbon presently locked in frozen soil, as both CO2 and methane (a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2).

Shifts in large-scale agricultural production of food and fibre, potentially speeding up land clearing and tropical deforestation. This process currently contributes 15-20 per cent of anthropogenic carbon emissions.

Findings on the exchange of heat and CO2 between the atmosphere and deep ocean, which suggest that climate change is effectively irreversible in less than 1000 years.

Australian science is represented at the conference in sessions on; sea ice, sea level rise, ocean circulation, atmosphere and ocean tipping points, carbon sequestration, carbon capture and storage, changing the way we live and adapting future agricultural production.

Craig Macaulay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>