Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Plants won't save us from global warming.

Plants don't absorb more heat-trapping carbon dioxide at higher atmospheric CO2 levels because much of the world's soils don't contain enough nitrogen levels. A recently concluded six year study by Peter B. Reich, a forest resources professor at the University of Minnesota highlights a flaw in worldwide computer modeling based on the assumption that plants would take up a good portion of the extra carbon dioxide mankind is emitting into the atmosphere. The study concluded that for plants to absorb extra carbon dioxide, they would need artificially higher nitrogen soil levels, impractical on a worldwide scale: Source: :::[Pioneer Press]

"This suggests a less optimistic scenario for how much of the elevated CO2 the plant systems can soak up,'' said Reich, a professor in the department of forest resources.


The researchers did their study by tending 296 field plots containing different numbers and combinations of perennial grassland species. They subjected each to one of four conditions: some got added soil nitrogen, others got added atmospheric carbon dioxide, and still others got added levels of each. The rest got standard levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Researchers measured the amount of plant material produced in each setting. After four to six years, plots receiving more nitrogen absorbed at least three times as much extra carbon under higher carbon-dioxide conditions than did plots without any extra nitrogen.

Climate modelers will have to revise the assumption, and policy makers need to take note that climate change will be more extreme than earlier predicted. Finally this puts the kibosh on the tactic of the global warming denial crowd who say the carbon dioxide rich atmosphere will be good for plant growth when eventully forced to admit to warming.

Personally I think the future is big for legumes.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Friday, December 30, 2005

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dinosaurs cooked by global warming

Fresh fossil leaves analysis shows there was a sudden and dramatic rise in carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere 65 million years ago. It's what killed the dinosaurs, say researchers. C02 was injected into the atmosphere in vast amounts by the impact of an asteroid striking CO2 rich limestone rock and the ensuing blistering heatwave that followed raised global temperatures by as much as 7.5 Celsius making it impossible for the ancient reptiles and countless other lifeforms to survive. CO2 levels were estimsted to be four to five times higher for 10,000 years after the impact

The researchers from the University of Sheffield, UK, and Southwest Texas State University and Pennsylvania State University, US, studied the fossilised pores of leaf of gingkoes and ferns that grew around the time of the dinosaurs' demise. The number of carbon dioxide-absorbing pores in the fossils reflects the amount of carbon dioxide in the air: the fewer the pores, the more carbon dioxide.

By using computer simulations and doing real experiments on plants, the scientists can show there was a sudden, five-fold increase in CO2 at the end of the Cretaceous.

This can only be explained, they believe, by the sudden vaporisation of between 6,400 and 13,000 billion tonnes of carbon - a substantial component of the limestone rocks that lined the shallow sea that existed at Chicxulub 65 million years ago.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Google Search: 07-Aug-05 22:18

Result: about 38,000 for "struggle against violent extremism". (0.24 seconds)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Google Search: 04-Aug-05 17:53

Results: about 25,000 for "struggle against violent extremism". (0.25 seconds)

So President Bush says he thinks that he is still at war, and that is that? No more MSM discussion. A fickle lot. But Technorati.com search results increasing at roughly 120 per day show that the conversation is still somewhat alive in blogland:
Technorati.com search: 658 posts about: "struggle against violent extremism".
I searched Google to see how "War on Terror" is doing and I got about 8.1 million results, which is going backwards from yesterday's 8.6 million. Maybe Google gets tired of counting in the pre-double digit millions and means it when it says "about 8" point something million results.
Meanwhile, those most affected by it are searching for their own meaningful descriptors.
Macomb community decides on name for Iraq war

"August 4, 2005, 4:37 AM

"Call it Iraq. That's how the war in which U.S. Army Pvt. Mark Barbret died will be described on a monument honoring the 22-year-old Macomb County soldier."

"Some favored the 'War on Terror' and others 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' Pentagon designations for the war. Others said those names amount to pro-war editorials, rather than neutral descriptions of the conflict."

"After postponing action last month, the township board on Tuesday unanimously adopted Barbret's family's request that his name appear on the memorial under the word "Iraq," The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reported."

I know what is vampiring the topic. It's this idiotic notion of "Intelligent Design":

Technorati Search Results: 17,751 posts about: "intelligent design"

According to Technorati "Intelligent Design" is the most posted blog topic as we go to press.

President Bush has stated that he supports ID theory being taught alongside Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection in schools. If he means it's OK to introduce ID theory into religious classes, then fine. Plenty of religions have press-ganged pseudosciences into service for them. But it is still odd that our dear leader of the free world is concerning himself with a minutia of the school curriculum for about 20 schools in Texas. The recently reclaimed G-WOT must be going well indeed. And if he means for this theory to be taught in the social science classes then he may have some grounds to mount a defensible argument. Some people just might find it interesting that this meme has any traction and want to study why. But if he means for ID to be taught in biology class, well he can just fuck off!!

Science, my friends, is sacred. And, hey Dubya, Darwin sits high the Pantheon.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Google Search: 03-Aug-05 17:09

Results: about 25,000 for "struggle against violent extremism". (0.15 seconds)

Ah, now the wheels are digging in. But wait ... let us eavesdrop on those of the blogosphere before we jump to conclusions. The following via Fish Wars on Cars suggests an insight into why our new baby is kangaroo-hopping and clutch-starting all over the shop:
"Last fall I was told by friends in the counter terror community that the NSC was pushing to change the Global War on Terrorism into the War on Extremism (WOE). "The original intent was to eliminate GWOT and replace it with WOE (I realize this sounds like a skit from the Daily Show, but it is the honest to God truth). Apparently someone at the White House realized that WOE would provide endless grist for comedy writers and decided instead to go with GSAVE."
No kidding, but I don't think one can say "Struggle against Jihad" and keep much of a straight face for any length of time either. The last para captures my first impressions (although I had not known about WOE):
"At the end of the day this episode is a reminder of why Bin Laden is still at large. We cannot even agree on what to call the fight against Islamic radicals (FAIR is already taken as an acronym). We had WOT, thought about WOE, moved to GSAVE and may go back to WOT. Someone needs to find out WHAT is happening."