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Breath of the Earth: Cycling carbon through terrestrial ecosystems
Date:7/5/2010

This release is available in Italian, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese.

Two recent international studies are poised to change the way scientists view the crucial relationship between Earth's climate and the carbon cycle. These reports explore the global photosynthesis and respiration ratesthe planet's deep "breaths" of carbon dioxide, in and outand researchers say that the new findings will be used to update and improve upon traditional models that couple together climate and carbon.

The two reports will be published online by the journal Science at the Science Express Web site at 6 p.m., US ET, Monday, 5 July. Science is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

Christian Beer from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, along with colleagues from 10 other countries around the world, first take a look at Earth's Gross Primary Production, or GPP, which represents the total amount of carbon dioxide that terrestrial plants breathe in through photosynthesis each year. With a novel combination of observations and modeling, they estimate the total amount of carbon dioxide that the world's plant life inhales annually to be 123 billion tons.

Then, Miguel Mahecha, also from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, and another international team of researchers settle a long-standing debate over the effects of short-term variations in air temperature on ecosystem respira
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Contact: Natasha Pinol
npinol@aaas.org
202-326-7088
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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