Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experts prove the geochemical origin of part of the CO2 emissions in semiarid climates

14.04.2008
The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol has raised, among other pressing matters, the need of getting to know the annual levels of carbon in different earth’s ecosystems. Scientists connected with the CEAMA-Andalusian Centre for the Environment (University of Granada-Andalusian Council) are studying these levels in semiarid Mediterranean scrubland, situated in Eastern Andalusia, whose results are comparable to wide regions of the world.

These researchers have analysed for the first time the CO2 level in carbonated semiarid systems. The interest of the work lies in the knowledge of the CO2 production processes and their absorption and in the conservation of one of the richest ecosystems of Spain.

One of the most recent studied on the subject is the doctoral thesis “CO2 interchanges between atmosphere and karst ecosystems: Applicability of the commonly applied techniques”, read by Penélope Serrano Ortiz and led by Doctors Andrew S. Kowalski and Lucas Alados Arboledas.

The work, supported by the “Carbon and water balance in Mediterranean thicket ecosystems in Andalusia: Effect of the climatic change” project, has permitted to quantify and identify the processes involved in carbon annual balance in a semiarid carbonated substrate ecosystem, situated in Sierra de Gádor (Almeria). After three years of observation of this ecosystem (2004-2006), through the use of the most advanced techniques (attached photo), have permitted to estimate the annual carbon balance. The carbon balance of this type of ecosystem has been checked for the first time, revealing that it acts as a CO2 drain which assimilates approximately 25 g C m-2 a year (between 10 and 20 times lower than arable land and tree ecosystems respectively).

Extreme climate

What is the meaning of this in an area characterized by a scrubland vegetation and a dry climate? Up to now, when it came to devise measures to prevent climatic change, they used to value tree ecosystems especially; that is the origin of the emphasis made in the reforestation and forestation of neglected agricultural land. But little attention had been paid to other ecosystems, such as the thicket ecosystem object of this study, which represents more than half the forest area of Andalusia (where a great part of the biological diversity of the Mediterranean ecosystems gathers together).

In that respect, besides defining the CO2 assimilation capacity of the studied thicket area, Serrano’s thesis has proved how rain distribution conditions the functional nature of the studied ecosystem and how the duration of the drought period and, therefore, the water content, determinates the duration of the CO2 geochemical emissions, through soil ventilation.

It proves that CO2 production is not only related to vegetation, but also to geochemical emissions which increase in dry seasons.

“The hypothesis formulated in this work -says Serrano- is that the emissions are a consequence of a ventilation phenomenon of the carbonated system’s macro-pores, which appear to be connected with wind speed. In this line, certain studies on degasification phenomenon in caves and turbulent CO2 interchanges with the atmosphere, carried out by Sergio Sánchez Moral and Soledad Cuezva Robleño (Spanish Museum of Natural Sciences, CSIC) in the Altamira Cave, endorse the theory of the existence of CO2 geochemical flows in ecosystems situated in karst substrate”.

Politics and ecology

CO2 is one of the main greenhouse gases which contributes to the rise of earth’s temperature. Serrano Ortiz’s study is the first one focused on carbonated semiarid ecosystems and has proved that they act as CO2 drains, due to the action of the thickets, and as CO2 geochemical generators in dry periods (especially worrying if we reach the temperature rise predicted by climatic change models).

His work provides data of C (carbon) flows in key ecosystems for biodiversity conservation, as well as for the negotiations related to CO2 emissions.

Dr Penélope Serrano Ortiz | alfa
Further information:
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/verNota/prensa.php?nota=521

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Surface clean-up technology won't solve ocean plastic problem
04.08.2020 | University of Exeter

nachricht Improving the monitoring of ship emissions
03.08.2020 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

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: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Forces: The Surprising Stretching Behaviour of DNA

05.08.2020 | Life Sciences

Carbon monoxide improves endurance performance

05.08.2020 | Health and Medicine

How tumor cells evade the immune defense

05.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>