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 Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
23.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>