Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stressed crops emit more methane than thought

19.08.2009
University of Calgary scientists say uncounted for source of greenhouse gas could promote global warming

Scientists at the University of Calgary have found that methane emission by plants could be a bigger problem in global warming than previously thought.

A U of C study says that when crops are exposed to environmental factors that are part of climate change -- increased temperature, drought and ultraviolet-B radiation -- some plants show enhanced methane emissions. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas; 23 times more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

"Most studies just look at one factor. We wanted to mix a few of the environmental factors that are part of the climate change scenario to study a more true-to-life impact climate change has on plants," says David Reid, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences who co-authored a paper with research associate Mirwais Qaderi in the advanced on-line edition of the journal Physiologia Plantarum.

Reid and Qaderi, who received funding from the University Research Grants Committee (URGC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), analyzed methane emissions from six important Canadian crops – faba bean, sunflower, pea, canola, barley and wheat – that were exposed to combinations of three components of global climate change: temperature, ultraviolet-B radiation and water stress (drought). What they found they say is troubling. These stresses caused plants to emit more methane. In a warmer, drier world methane might be a bigger contributor in global warming than previously thought.

When it comes to the greenhouse effect, methane could be considered the misunderstood and often overlooked orphan greenhouse gas. Much of the attention has been focused on carbon dioxide but more recently it has been realized that methane should also be considered as a very significant greenhouse gas. Its concentrations have more than doubled since pre-industrial times. While the growth rate of methane concentrations has slowed since the early 1990s, some scientists say this is only a temporary pause.

"Our results are of importance in the whole climate warming discussion because methane is such a potent greenhouse warming gas, says Qaderi. "It points to the possibility of yet another possible feedback phenomena which could add to global warming."

Since elevated levels of carbon dioxide has been observed to counteract the negative effects of some environmental stresses,

Qaderi and Reid are now studying the effect of increased carbon dioxide with factors such as drought, higher temperature and UVB on methane production in crops.

The paper "Methane emissions from six crop species exposed to three components of global climate change: temperature, ultraviolet-B radiation and water stress" by David M. Reid and Mirwais M. Qaderi is available in the advanced online issue of the journal Physiologica Plantarum: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119880798/issue

Leanne Yohemas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucalgary.ca
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119880798/issue

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

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

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>