Environment

Many scientists assume that the growing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will accelerate plant growth but a new study suggests much of this growth will be curtailed by limited soil nutrients so that by the end of the century, there may be more 10 percent more CO2 in the atmosphere, which would accelerate climate change.  

Cory Cleveland, a University of Montana associate professor of biogeochemistry, and co-authors looked at 11 leading climate models to examine changes in nitrogen and phosphorous. They found that nitrogen limitation actually will reduce plant uptake of CO2 by 19 percent, while a combined nitrogen and phosphorous limitation will reduce plant uptake by 25 percent. 


Since the Cambrian Explosion, ecosystems have suffered repeated mass extinctions, 5 of which wiped out half of all species: The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction, the Triassic–Jurassic extinction, the Permian–Triassic extinction, the Late Devonian extinction and the Ordovician–Silurian extinction.

20 years ago, a sixth major extinction was put forth in the Middle Permian (262 million years ago) in China. This Capitanian extinction was known only from equatorial settings and it was not recognized as an actual global crisis and was instead considered just one of many lesser mass extinctions. David P.G. Bond and colleagues provide the first evidence for severe Middle Permian losses amongst brachiopods in northern paleolatitudes (Spitsbergen).

Soil is considered e a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon but it may instead be releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere faster than thought, which means that the carbon bomb not happening in one study could be happening in this other one published in Nature Climate Change.

In the paper, researchers showed that chemicals emitted by plant roots act on carbon that is bonded to minerals in the soil, breaking the bonds and exposing previously protected carbon to decomposition by microbes.


Clearing grasslands to make way for biofuels may seem counterproductive, but University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers show in a study today (April 2, 2015) that crops, including the corn and soy commonly used for biofuels, expanded onto 7 million acres of new land in the U.S. over a recent four-year period, replacing millions of acres of grasslands.


It is raining in California as I write this but most of it will do little good. The rain is going to go to a gutter and the gutter will go to a stream and that will go to an ocean.

Yes, much of the fresh water that California has runs into the Pacific Ocean. You might wonder why the Pacific Ocean needs so much, since 96 percent of Earth's water is already in oceans, but the oceans are not asking for it. Instead, it is due to anti-science policies lobbied for by well-heeled California environmentalists.

Last summer’s Lake Erie toxic algae outbreak shut down the water supply for almost half a million people in Toledo and the surrounding suburbs.

Bottled water ran out in stores across the area, and residents fled the city in search of clean water — an option not available to Lake Erie’s diverse and fascinating array of wildlife.

The resulting call for action focused on setting toxin standards and reducing discharges of the fertilizer phosphorus, the primary driver of the toxic algae, to Lake Erie.


Deforestation could impact global food production by triggering changes in local climate, according to research on albedo (the amount of the sun's radiation reflected from Earth's surface) and evapotranspiration (the transport of water into the atmosphere from soil, vegetation, and other surfaces) as the primary drivers of changes in local temperature.
Rice is well-equipped with an effective immune system that enables it to detect and fend off disease-causing microbes but sometimes nature needs a hand.

A new study shows that rice immunity gets boosted when the plant receives a receptor protein from a completely different plant species, a result which may help increase health and productivity of rice, the staple food for half of the world's population, at least in countries that don't ban food science.
A new study has recommended against using nitrogen to fertilize radiata pine plantations after analysis of more than 1,500 soil samples gathered in timber woodlands in Bizkaia and the north of Araba-Álava in recent years.  Fertilizing using phosphorus is recommended in virtually the whole area in the study as it may be helpful in obtaining better yields on radiata pine plantations.  

There was an article on the ABC site this morning which gave us this alarming headline “Pesticide banned worldwide still used to grow 70pc of Australian strawberries”.

Shocking!

Except, well, there were a few teeny tiny but important details missing. Like the fact that the rest of the world is still using the “banned” pesticide too.