Tag Archives: canopy

Image or reality? Leaf study needs photos and lab analysis

Automated remote photography is a convenient, labor-saving research tool for tracking leaf function and doing forest research. But does photography mirror what’s actually happening on the ground? A new study finds photography accurately tracks the timing of red pigments in the fall, but the timing of green in the spring and summer — not so much.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Every picture tells a story, but the story digital photos tell about how forests respond to climate change could be incomplete, according to new research. (more…)

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Acid Rain

UD’s long-term monitoring shows 60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain

Several decades ago, precipitation in Delaware was among the most acidic in the country. Pollutants in the air reacted with rainwater to sprinkle sulfuric, nitric and carbonic acids onto the ground below, affecting crops and ecosystems statewide.

The scientific consensus is that pollution controls enacted through the Clean Air Act Amendments in the 1990s and other measures have helped decrease the acidity of rain by approximately 60 percent to less harmful levels, as reflected in data gathered nationwide and by UD researchers in Lewes, Del., as part of a longstanding study. (more…)

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Carnegie Airborne Observatory: Mapping Video

Some 55% of tropical forests are negatively affected by land use practices and deforestation worldwide. But the ability to penetrate the canopy to see what’s going on has been lacking until now.

Global Ecology’s Greg Asner’s group has developed new airborne methods to peer through the canopy to measure and map, in beautiful 3-D, the underlying vegetation, degradation and deforestation, and the amount of carbon stored and emitted in these forests. (more…)

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The Next Carbon Capture Tool Could be New, Improved Grass

*Berkeley Lab scientist analyzes role of bioenergy crops to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere*

Berkeley Lab's Christer Jansson hopes to get scientists thinking about new ways to use bioenergy crops to fight climate change. Image credit: Berkeley Lab

A blade of grass destined to be converted into biofuel may join energy efficiency and other big-ticket strategies in the effort to reduce atmospheric carbon — but not in the way that you might think.

In addition to offsetting fossil-fuel emissions, a potential bioenergy plant such as the grass Miscanthus could also snare carbon from the atmosphere and trap it in the soil for millennia.

Sounds promising. But should scientists genetically engineer bioenergy crops to be better at ridding the atmosphere of the greenhouse gas? And can this strategy take place on the scale needed to mitigate climate change?

These questions are framed in a new analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Christer Jansson and researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their research, published in the October issue of Bioscience, explores ways in which bioenergy crops can become a big player in the drive to rein in rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The authors hope to get others thinking about engineering plants to not only produce biofuel, but to also sequester carbon. (more…)

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First-of-Its-Kind Map Details the Height of the Globe’s Forests

WASHINGTON — Using satellite data, scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map that details the height of the world’s forests. Although there are other local- and regional-scale forest canopy maps, the new map is the first that spans the entire globe based on one uniform method.

(more…)

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