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plowing minnesota's prairie is increasing carbon in the atmosphere


newly plowed land in minnesota released 1.6 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year between 2008 and 2012, a consequence of high corn prices and the ethanol mandate.only the dakotas, texas and missouri released more carbon buried in soil by converting natural landscapes to row crops, according to an analysis by researchers at the university of wisconsin, presented this week at a scientific and conservation conference on grasslands.it adds another element to the hotly debated question of whether the renewable fuels mandate increases or decreases the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change, and whether the resulting demand for corn has resulted in the loss of prairies, wetlands and forests while adding to agricultural water pollution.researchers at the un






how nasa satellite will watch earth breathe from space


this article was originally published at the conversation. the publication contributed the article to space.com's expert voices: op-ed & insights. carbon is a building block of life on our planet. it is stored in reservoirs on earth – in rocks, plants and soil – in the oceans, and in the atmosphere. and it cycles constantly between these reservoirs. understanding the carbon cycle is crucially important for many reasons. it provides us with energy, stored as fossil fuel. carbon gases in the atmosphere help regulate earth’s temperature and are essential to the growth of plants. carbon passing from the atmosphere to the ocean supports photosynthesis of marine phytoplankton and the development of reefs. these processes and myriad others are all interwoven with earth’s climate, but the manner i






nasa satellite reveals source of el niño-fueled carbon dioxide spike


for every ton of carbon dioxide emitted by a power plant's smokestack or a car's exhaust pipe, some portion will stay in the earth's atmosphere, raising global temperatures, while the rest is absorbed by the oceans or ecosystems on land. but which parts of the ocean or biosphere act as net sources of carbon dioxide (co2) and which take up more than they emit into the atmosphere, has been an open question. figuring that out, as well as understanding what mechanisms govern that interplay and how they might change along with the climate, has been an open question and one that is key to understanding how global warming will progress. the 2014 launch of the orbiting carbon observatory-2 satellite was aimed at beginning to piece together some answers by monitoring the comings and goings of co2 f






scientists fear new eu rules may 'hide' forest carbon loss


image copyrightgetty imagesimage caption trees are said to absorb about 10% of europe's carbon emissions every year leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in europe. the scientists fear that millions of tonnes of co2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead. trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of europe's emissions every year. but some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon.europe's forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day. however accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. forests can both






scientists fear new eu rules may 'hide' forest carbon loss


image copyrightgetty imagesimage caption trees are said to absorb about 10% of europe's carbon emissions every year leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in europe. the scientists fear that millions of tonnes of co2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead. trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of europe's emissions every year. but some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon.europe's forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day. however accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. forests can both






scientists fear new eu rules may 'hide' forest carbon loss


image copyrightgetty imagesimage caption trees are said to absorb about 10% of europe's carbon emissions every year leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in europe. the scientists fear that millions of tonnes of co2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead. trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of europe's emissions every year. but some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon.europe's forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day. however accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. forests can both






scientists fear new eu rules may 'hide' forest carbon loss


image copyrightgetty imagesimage caption trees are said to absorb about 10% of europe's carbon emissions every year leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in europe. the scientists fear that millions of tonnes of co2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead. trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of europe's emissions every year. but some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon.europe's forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day. however accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. forests can both






interesting thing of the day


it has become my custom here at interesting thing of the day to choose topics that i think will be unfamiliar to most readers—a sort of implicit “i’ll-bet-you’ve-never-heard-of-this” test. i think it’s fair to say that any educated person over the age of 10 or so has probably heard of carbon dating. but i realized the other day that even as an adult with a fair amount of scientific knowledge, i could not articulate exactly how or why carbon dating works. so i did a bit of research to fill in the gaps in my understanding, and not surprisingly i found the details to be quite interesting. what did surprise me was the huge number of web sites and books vigorously attacking the legitimacy of what i had thought was a fairly straightforward, uncontroversial test. apparently carbon dating is right






girls' lacrosse championship preview: blake vs. eden prairie


no. 3 blake (14-4) vs. no. 1 eden prairie (17-1)3:30 p.m. saturday, chanhassen high schoolwhy eden prairie will win: the two-time-defending champion eagles have averaged 18.1 goals per game this season while yielding just 4.6 per game. eden prairie has defeated blake the past four times they have played, dating to 2015, including a 19-13 victory over the bears on may 25. eden prairie lost just once this season, to a nationally ranked team from illinois.why blake will win: the bears have balanced scoring, with six players notching at least 29 goals. the team played the closest game of any minnesota team against eden prairie this season. plus, it will be motivated by last year’s 11-9 loss to eden prairie in the state title game. “we’re just pumped and motivated to show them that we can do it






girls' lacrosse championship preview: blake vs. eden prairie


girls' lacrosse championshipno. 3 blake (14-4) vs. no. 1 eden prairie (17-1)3:30 p.m. saturday, chanhassen high schoolwhy eden prairie will win: the two-time-defending champion eagles have averaged 18.1 goals per game this season while yielding just 4.6 per game. eden prairie has defeated blake the past four times they have played, dating to 2015, including a 19-13 victory over the bears on may 25. eden prairie lost just once this season, to a nationally ranked team from illinois.why blake will win: the bears have balanced scoring, with six players notching at least 29 goals. the team played the closest game of any minnesota team against eden prairie this season. plus, it will be motivated by last year's 11-9 loss to eden prairie in the state title game. "we're just pumped and motivated to






the climate could hit a state unseen in 50 million years


no, the headline is not a typo. current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and are on track to climb to even more ominous heights in just a few decades.if carbon emissions continue on their current trajectory, new findings show that by mid-century, the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years. back then, temperatures were up to 18°f (10°c) warmer, ice was almost nowhere to be seen and oceans were dramatically higher than they are now.this article was originally published at climate centralthe implications of the research, published on tuesday in nature communications, are some of the starkest reminders yet that humanity faces a major choice to curtail carbon pollution or risk pushing the climate outside the bounds that have allowed civilization to thr






earth day - be more environmentally friendly | news


saturday april 22 will be the 48th earth day. this global occasion is now recognised in more than 193 countries, and events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.on earth day 2016, the landmark paris agreement  was signed by the united states, china, and around 120 other countries.this signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft  climate protection treaty  adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the  2015 united nations climate change conference in paris.that was of course before us president, donald trump took office, and stated his disbelief in man-made climate change, regardless of the irrefutable evidence to prove it.in 1895, svante arrhenius first calculated the impact that increasing carbon dioxide could have on






earth day - be more environmentally friendly | 2017 news


saturday april 22 will be the 48th earth day. this global occasion is now recognised in more than 193 countries, and events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.on earth day 2016, the landmark paris agreement  was signed by the united states, china, and around 120 other countries.this signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft  climate protection treaty  adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the  2015 united nations climate change conference in paris.that was of course before us president, donald trump took office, and stated his disbelief in man-made climate change, regardless of the irrefutable evidence to prove it.in 1895, svante arrhenius first calculated the impact that increasing carbon dioxide could have on






with help from minnesota researchers, imperiled prairie butterfly takes new flig


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






the world’s first commercial co2 capture plant just went live


a swiss company on wednesday is set to become the world’s first to commercially remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into a useful product.climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near zurich, switzerland, plans to compress the co2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. the company wants to dramatically scale its technology over the next decade, and its long-term goal is to capture 1 percent of global annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2025.along with cutting fossil fuel use to zero, removing carbon dioxide from the air is increasingly seen as one way to stop the long-term buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. carbon removal and storage coupled with drawing down fossil fuel use is called “negative emissions.”time i






scientists aim to fight climate change with super plants


ever since humans first walked the earth, we have relied on plants for our survival.they provide us with food, shelter, medicine and even the oxygen we breathe. now, a team of scientists is wondering if they can protect us from climate change as well.friday, researchers at the salk institute for biological studies in san diego launched a new initiative to improve on the ability of plants to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it deep in the soil. they call it “harnessing plants.”“there are a lot of geoengineering efforts to come up with ways of pulling carbon dioxide out of the air,” said joseph noel, a chemical biologist at salk who is working on the project. “plants do this anyway, so why not try a biological solution as well.”during the growing season, plants pull more t






with help from minnesota researchers, imperiled prairie butterfly takes new flig


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






rescue mission for prairie butterfly takes flight


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






mars' atmosphere: composition, climate & weather


mars is a planet that shows climate change on a large scale. although its atmosphere used to be thick enough for water to run on the surface, today that water is either scarce or non-existent. the atmosphere today is also too thin to easily support life as we know it, although life may have existed in the ancient past.  the climate of mars comes from a variety of factors, including its ice caps, water vapor and dust storms. at times, giant dust storms can blanket the entire planet and last for months, turning the sky hazy and red. what is mars' atmosphere made of? the atmosphere of mars is about 100 times thinner than earth's, and it is 95 percent carbon dioxide. here's a breakdown of its composition, according to a nasa fact sheet: carbon dioxide: 95.32 percent nitrogen: 2.7 percent argon






minn. researchers begin rescue mission for prairie butterfly


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






alaska’s tundra is filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide — and that’s worse


even as the trump administration weighs withdrawing the united states from the paris climate agreement, a new scientific paper has documented growing fluxes of greenhouse gases streaming into the air from the alaskan tundra, a long-feared occurrence that could worsen climate change.the new study, published in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences, suggests that frozen northern soils – often called permafrost – are unleashing an increasing amount of carbon dioxide into the air as they thaw in summer or subsequently fail to refreeze as they once did, particularly in late fall and early winter.“over a large area, we’re seeing a substantial increase in the amount of co2 that’s coming out in the fall,” said roisin commane, a harvard atmospheric scientist who is the lead author of






co2 content of atmosphere has passed a mark millions of years old


the carbon dioxide content of the earth’s atmosphere was 411.276 parts per million (ppm) on may 15. on that date one year ago the count was 406.97 ppm.a record high of 412.63 ppm was recorded on april 26. “scientific american” magazine had this to say about the april 18 reading, the first time the measurement passed the 410 ppm mark: ”on april 18, the mauna loa observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading in excess of 410 parts per million (it was 410.28 ppm in case you want the full deal). carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that height in millions of years.”measurements are made by two independent co2 monitoring programs (noaa and scripps) at the mauna loa observatory in hawaii, about 3,400 metres above sea level.photos of tree swallows mating






new minnesota rule requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats pushed to 2018


a new law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in some boats in minnesota has been delayed a year.sophia's law, named for edina 7-year-old sophia baechler, had taken effect last month, but the legislature has now amended it to take effect may 1, 2018, due to some issues about the availability of marine carbon monoxide detectors.minnesota is the first state in the nation to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats. this summer, conservation officers and other law enforcement agencies will be educating boaters about the new law and what they need to do before next summer.baechler died in 2015 on lake minnetonka when carbon monoxide leaked from a hole in a boat's exhaust pipe. carbon monoxide poisoning can happen when the gas builds up from an idling motor, generator or faulty motor exhaust






another el nino problem: more carbon dioxide in air


washington (ap) — a nasa satellite has found another thing to blame on el nino: a recent record high increase of carbon dioxide in the air.a study published thursday in the journal science found that the super-sized el nino a couple of years ago led to an increase of 2.5 billion tons of carbon into the air. the effect was so large that it was the main factor in the biggest one-year jump in heat-trapping gas levels in modern record.el nino is the natural warming of parts of the central pacific that affects weather around the world. the nasa satellite showed that el nino made it more difficult for plants to suck up man-made carbon emissions and sparked fires that released more carbon into the atmosphere.






plants are gobbling up our carbon emissions, but not fast enough


image: jay mantri via pexels.comit’s one of the biggest mysteries in this global experiment we’re conducting by pouring 10 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year: what’ll happen to the plants? will the relentless burning of fossil fuels prompt our leafy green friends to suck down more co2, tapping the brakes on climate change? or are the trees unable to bail earth’s atmosphere out this mess?advertisementecologists have spent decades debating the extent of the so-called “co2 fertilization effect,” in which adding carbon to the atmosphere stimulates carbon-hungry plants to grow faster, limiting the buildup of heat-trapping gases in our air. now, thanks to a clever analysis involving antarctic ice cores, one group of scientists is pretty confident that co2 fertilization is takin






plants are gobbling up our carbon emissions, but not fast enough


image: jay mantri via pexels.comit’s one of the biggest mysteries in this global experiment we’re conducting by pouring 10 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year: what’ll happen to the plants? will the relentless burning of fossil fuels prompt our leafy green friends to suck down more co2, tapping the brakes on climate change? or are the trees unable to bail earth’s atmosphere out this mess?advertisementecologists have spent decades debating the extent of the so-called “co2 fertilization effect,” in which adding carbon to the atmosphere stimulates carbon-hungry plants to grow faster, limiting the buildup of heat-trapping gases in our air. now, thanks to a clever analysis involving antarctic ice cores, one group of scientists is pretty confident that co2 fertilization is takin






eden prairie man drowns in northeastern minnesota


police discovered a 67-year-old eden prairie man drowned thursday evening after a family friend went to check on him near his bob lake property in northeastern minnesota and reported him missing.the friend located a submerged canoe about 40 feet from the dock, where the carlton county sheriff’s office found the man’s dog, according to a news release.police located the man’s body shortly after.the man’s identity has not been released.jessie bekker is a university of minnesota student on assignment for the star tribune.






with help from minnesota researchers, imperiled prairie butterfly takes new flig


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






with help from minnesota researchers, imperiled prairie butterfly takes new flig


the dakota skipper is a butterfly for just two short weeks in its one-year life. a caterpillar for the rest of the year, it hunkers down under the snow in winter, preserved by an antifreeze its body produces.but as the tallgrass prairie disappeared across much of minnesota, the dakota skipper has nearly vanished. just 1 percent of the native prairie remains, and the small brown-gold butterfly is considered threatened under the federal endangered species act — one of two minnesota butterflies on the list.in a rescue effort, researchers at the minnesota zoo have been breeding dakota skippers in captivity, and now, for the first time, the imperiled butterfly is being reintroduced into the wild.about 100 captive-raised dakota skippers fluttered away last week at hole-in-the-mountain prairie, a






law requiring carbon monoxide detectors on minn. boats pushed to 2018


a new law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in some boats in minnesota has been delayed a year.sophia’s law, named for edina 7-year-old sophia baechler, took effect last month, but the legislature has now amended it to take effect may 1, 2018 due to some issues about the availability of marine carbon monoxide detectors.minnesota is the first state in the nation to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats. this summer, conservation officers and other law enforcement agencies will be educating boaters about the new law and what they need to do before next summer.baechler died in 2015 on lake minnetonka when carbon monoxide leaked from a hole in a boat’s exhaust pipe. carbon monoxide poisoning can happen when the gas builds up from an idling motor, generator or faulty motor exhaust system






turning co2 into stone in iceland | iceland


one hundred percent of iceland's electricity needs are generated from renewable sources, including geothermal energy.  with the aim of cutting emissions even further, a unique carbon capture system called carbfix is being pioneered at the hellsheidi geothermal power plant in western iceland. carbon dioxide emissions are captured, mixed with water and injected into the ground. through this process, the co2 is transformed into a mineral called calcite within just six months. this solid form of co2 storage is seen as one of the most effective ways of preventing the gas from entering the atmosphere.  "we want to do our part in trying to solve this problem of the increased concentration of co2 in the atmosphere," says ingvi gunnarsson, a geochemist at carbfix. "what comes from the power plant o






humans can't stop breaking carbon emissions records


(image: ap)the climate is changing, driven in part by humans spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. an overwhelming majority of climate scientists agrees with this statement. they agree with this statement because they look at long-term climate models, look at carbon emissions, run lots of tests, and see that one drives the other. i do not like writing seriousarticles about climate change because it’s exasperating. but there is news that i must report: as usual, we’re on track for a record-breaking year.advertisementthe met office, the united kingdom’s weather agency, predicts that we’re to break 410 parts-per-million of atmospheric carbon dioxide for the first time on record. the change from 2016 to 2017 isn’t as high as the change from 2015 to 2016 (yay!) but is still the highest






global fuel emissions climbing after years of nearly flat growth


after three years of barely budging, fossil fuel emissions are once again climbing, according to new stanford-led analyses.concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities were nearly flat between 2014 and 2106, despite growth in the global economy, reports the global carbon project, an international team chaired by stanford scientist rob jackson.but they are now inching up.carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have increased from approximately 277 parts per million at the dawn of the industrial era to 403 parts per million as of 2016, according to the group’s series of reports.they are expected to increase by 2.5 parts per million in 2017.the greatest jump comes from china, where emissions are projected to grow by about 3.5 percent, the group found.growin






climate science is not a belief system | news


science is not a belief system: it is repeatable, testable experimentation leading to a working theory. the science behind climate change is basic and can be learned during childhood schooling.that the climate changes is undisputed - ice ages, dinosaurs, coal deposits, oil; all these are evidence of a very different climate in previous years.the question is whether mankind is now causing another change.the chief arguments are:the burning of fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide that has been stored for millions of yearsdeforestation reduces the number of trees whose natural processes re-absorb carbon dioxideincreasing meat-eating requires more cattle thus producing more methane release read more: leaders tell trump 'climate change not a fairy tale' methane is 32 times more potent than carbon






el nino contributes to new high in co2 levels | news


the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (co2) in our world is likely to top 410 parts per million (ppm) this year. the co2 measured at the mauna loa baseline atmospheric observatory in hawaii hit 405.1 ppm in 2016 - an increase of 3 ppm over the previous year, marking five consecutive years of an unprecedented rate of growth, according to the national oceanic and atmospheric administration.co2 is the most prominent, abundant and measurable greenhouse gas, responsible for keeping the world warm enough for life. it is also capable of making the atmosphere too warm when its concentration becomes too great.the increased burning of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution has driven up the amount of co2 held in the atmosphere to unprecedented levels. however, a new nasa study provides spac






carbon dioxide not primary cause of warming – the denver post


washington (ap) — the new chief of the environmental protection agency said thursday he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and his own agency.epa administrator scott pruitt said measuring the effect of human activity on the climate is “very challenging” and that “there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact” of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.“so, no, i would not agree that (carbon dioxide) is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” pruitt told cnbc’s “squawk box.”pruitt’s view is contrary to mainstream climate science, including nasa, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and the epa itself.nasa and noaa reported in january that ear






rogue national park service twitter account says it’s no longer run by governmen


the rogue government twitter account, altusnatparkservice, which claimed it was being run by current park rangers, says it has now handed off control of its twitter account to “several activists and journalists who believe they can continue in the same spirit.”the move has led some to question if the account was, in fact, ever operated by disgruntled government employees in the first place and, if it was, whether or not it just squandered the power the account held to serve as a means of resisting the trump administration.if you haven’t been following closely, the saga of the rogue government twitter accounts can be a little confusing.this week, the trump administration issued gag orders affecting several government agencies, including the environmental protection agency, the department of