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Early spring rains bring rise in methane emissions across Alaska

Early spring rains bring rise in methane emissions across Alaska

Science
Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Analysis of a bog in Alaska suggests early spring rains cause permafrost to thaw and boosts methane emissions. According to observations made by researchers at the University of Washington, a 2016 spike in early spring rainfall caused permafrost to melt three weeks earlier than usual. As a result, plants began growing and methane-producing microbes proliferated. The head start resulted in a 30 percent increase in methane released by the bog during 2016. "Early rainfall sent a slog of warm water moving into our bog," Rebecca Neumann, an associate professor of environmental engineering, said in a news release. "We believe microbes in the bog got excited because they were warmed up, so they released nutrients from the soil that allowed more plant growth. Methane production an...
Report: US 2018 CO2 emissions saw biggest spike in years

Report: US 2018 CO2 emissions saw biggest spike in years

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device A new report has found that US carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4% in 2018 after three years of decline.The spike is the largest in eight years, according to Rhodium Group, an independent economic research firm.The data shows the US is unlikely to meet its pledge to reduce emissions by 2025 under the Paris climate agreement.Under President Donald Trump, the US is set to leave the Paris accord in 2020 while his administration has ended many existing environmental protections.While the Rhodium report notes these figures - pulled from US Energy Information Administration data and other sources - are estimates, The Global Carbon Project, another research group, also reported a similar increase in US ...
Climate change: Worries over CO2 emissions from intensifying wildfires

Climate change: Worries over CO2 emissions from intensifying wildfires

Science
Rising numbers of extreme wildfires could result in a significant increase in CO₂ emissions, scientists warn.That could mean attaining the Paris climate agreement's goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2C could become harder, they say. Present emission-cut pledges by countries are projected to increase the average global temperature rise by more than 3C by the end of the century.That would lead to dangerous climate change impacts, experts say.These include sea level rise, drought, wildfires, among other extreme events."We can't neglect the emissions from wildfires," says Ramon Vallejo, a scientist specialising on fire ecology with the University of Barcelona. "Particularly now that we are seeing intense wildfires all around the world....
Illegal emissions threaten to undermine UN's optimistic ozone report

Illegal emissions threaten to undermine UN's optimistic ozone report

Science
Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Despite news reports of an improving ozone layer, uncertainty over the impacts of illegal chlorofluorocarbon emissions threatens to undermine the longterm success of the Montreal Protocol. Earlier this week, the United Nations issued a press release confirming the Earth's ozone layer continues to heal. The release called the news a "ray of hope" in the wake of urgent warnings about the risks of global warming. But the report itself revealed serious concerns -- concerns parties to the Montreal Protocol are discussing this week at meetings in Quito, Ecuador. Last year, reports revealed a surprising uptick in CFC-11 emissions, an ozone-depleting gas banned under the Montreal Protocol. Followup investigations suggested the Chinese foam industry is responsible for the rise in C...
Greenhouse gas emissions on rice farms underestimated, study finds

Greenhouse gas emissions on rice farms underestimated, study finds

Science
Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Climate scientists and policy makers have underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by rice farms. New research showed rice farms emit significant amounts of nitrous oxide in addition to methane. In recent years, policy makers have worked with rice farmers to reduce methane emissions and conserve water resources by deploying intermittent flooding. As water resources become more scarce, more continually flooded rice farms are likely to adopt intermittent flooding methods. But new research -- published this week in the journal Proceedings. of the National Academy of Sciences -- suggests the reduction in methane emissions achieved by intermittent flooding is undermined by increases in nitrous oxide emissions. "Water management on rice farms needs to be calibrated ...