Love this. Funny or Die has a new take on climate change and the Koch brothers. Not much more to say except that if you want to learn more about climate change I highly recommend Climate Truth and Skeptical Science.
Research by a University of Oklahoma scientist could lead to novel way to fight climate change. It has to do with dust.
Dr. Gerilyn Soreghan and a team of researchers from the University of California Riverside, Florida State University, University of Leeds, Hampton University, and Cornell University have been looking at some really old, iron-rich dust deposits. Like 300-million year old dust from the late Paleozoic period.
Dr. Soreghan says Earth’s atmosphere was as dusty as it has ever been 300 million years ago. She says it’s important to study those dust deposits because of the impact they had back then on Earth’s climate.
Here’s why: dust carries iron- iron is a fertilizer for plants- plants use photosynthesis-photosynthesis removes carbon from the atmosphere and replaces it with oxygen.
Dr. Soreghan says deep-time dust contained a lot of iron which means it “…should have even larger consequences for burial of carbon.” As for the modern day, there’s talk of iron fertilization as a geoengineering scheme to control the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Dr. Soreghan says her study on deep-time events shines a light on how those types of geoengineering endeavors may work in the present day but, she says, more research is needed.
You can read more on the study in this brief write-up by Dr. Soreghan or here where the Geological Society of America has published an article. The National Science Foundation and American Chemical Society funded the research.
Rising CO2 levels are not good for grasslands, that’s the result of a four decade study in Montana. Researchers with Montana State University have been studying the same meadow near Bozeman for more than 40 years. They recently published the results of their study in Nature Communications.
The study ran from 1969 to 2012. When it began the concentration of carbon dioxide was at 327 parts per million. 42 years later it had risen by 20% to 402ppm.
So what were the results? Not surprisingly at all, not good. As reported by The Daily Climate, “Dryness over the last several decades is outpacing any potential growth stimulation from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen deposition,” said Jack Brookshire, one of the study’s co-author. He added, “Our results demonstrate lasting consequences of recent climate change on grassland production.”
One of the big arguments for climate change deniers is that rising CO2 emissions are good for plants. Our own illustrious Senator with the snowball has made that argument several times. He most recently said it earlier this month on the Senate floor. Here’s the video courtesy of Raw Story.
So basically more CO2 makes plants greener. In a way, that’s correct. But when looking at climate change you have take into everything into account…that includes less rainfall. So more CO2 and less rain means less productivity in grasslands.
Maybe next time the Senator with the snowball will bring a clump of grass to the Senate floor to make his case.
Oklahoma is well known for its climate change deniers, but did you know that Oklahoma is also considered a rock star, so to speak, by those who study climate change?
A research paper published in February in Nature showed that carbon dioxide is indeed trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. The study backs up what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been saying all along. The research was conducted by scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They concluded that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 22 parts per million from 2000-2010.
The data came from two climate research facilities in the United States. One is in Barrow, Alaska and the other is right here in Oklahoma…Lamont, OK to be precise. The small town is located in Grant County, west of I-35 along Highway 60. The town’s mayor writes on Lamont’s website, “Lamont is a classic small town, where everyone knows your name, a neighbor is not just someone who lives next door, and the community is your family.”
The climate research site in Lamont is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy. The main facility covers 160 acres of land around Lamont. You can read all about the facility here and see a map of where weather research stations are located in Oklahoma.
One of the researchers for this new study is Dr. Daniel Feldman. Here’s what he told me about the role Oklahoma is playing in the study of climate change, “The site in Oklahoma that was used for this research is actually pretty famous in the atmospheric science community, because it is heavily instrumented and has been for over two decades now. The idea for this site is to make a whole lot of high quality measurements to improve scientific understanding of atmospheric science, including weather, how thunderstorms and tornadoes form, cloud formation, interactions between the land and the atmosphere, and many other research topics. The site’s data has been used by researchers to advance science many, many times, and often is referred to as a “ground truth” because of the quality of the data there, its accessibility, and its comprehensive nature.”
So there you have it, regardless what the Senator with the Snowball says, climate change is real and Oklahoma is playing a major role in documenting it.
NASA has recently released a graphic depiction of how carbon dioxide makes its way around the world. It’s a fascinating watch. Click on the link and read what National Geographic has to say. In a nutshell, most carbon dioxide comes from the Northern Hemisphere and basically infects the atmosphere everywhere it goes.
I wonder if Jim Inhofe will watch it.