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 Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>