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!
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences