Navigation Links
Sugarcane cools climate
Date:4/17/2011

Palo Alto, CABrazilians are world leaders in using biofuels for gasoline. About a quarter of their automobile fuel consumption comes from sugarcane, which significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would be emitted from using gasoline. Now scientists from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology have found that sugarcane has a double benefit. Expansion of the crop in areas previously occupied by other Brazilian crops cools the local climate. It does so by reflecting sunlight back into space and by lowering the temperature of the surrounding air as the plants "exhale" cooler water. The study is published in the 2nd issue of Nature Climate Change, posted on-line April 17.

The research team,* led by Carnegie's Scott Loarie, is the first to quantify the direct effects on the climate from sugarcane expansion in areas of existing crop and pastureland of the cerrado, in central Brazil.

The researchers used data from hundreds of satellite images over 733,000 square milesan area larger than the state of Alaska. They measured temperature, reflectivity (also called albedo), and evapotranspirationthe water loss from the soil and from plants as they exhale water vapor.

As Loarie explained: "We found that shifting from natural vegetation to crops or pasture results in local warming because the plants give off less beneficial water. But the bamboo-like sugarcane is more reflective and gives off more watermuch like the natural vegetation. It's a potential win-win for the climateusing sugarcane to power vehicles reduces carbon emissions, while growing it lowers the local air temperature."

The scientists found that converting from natural vegetation to crop/pasture on average warmed the cerrado by 2.79 F (1.55 C), but that subsequent conversion to sugarcane, on average, cooled the surrounding air by 1.67 F (0.93C).

The researchers emphasize that the beneficial effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation. It is also important that other crops and pastureland do not move to natural vegetation areas, which would contribute to deforestation.

So far most of the thinking about ecosystem effects on climate considers only impacts from greenhouse gas emissions. But according to coauthor Greg Asner, "It's becoming increasingly clear that direct climate effects on local climate from land-use decisions constitute significant impacts that need to be considered core elements of human-caused climate change."


'/>"/>

Contact: Scott Loarie
loarie@gmail.com
650-462-1047
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. ARS genetic analysis helps spot sugarcane rusts
2. Sugarcane bioethanol: Environmental implications
3. American opinion cools on global warming
4. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
5. White Mountain Research Station to host climate change conference
6. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
7. Severe climate change costs forecast for Pennsylvania, N.C., Tennessee, N.D.
8. Experts discuss climate change during UH lecture series
9. Dont blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions
10. Green coffee-growing practices buffer climate-change impacts
11. Brookhaven scientists take off for southeastern Pacific climate study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... SuperCom (NASDAQ:   SPCB ... e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors announced today that Leaders ... to implement and deploy a community-based supportive services program to reduce ... , further expanding its presence in the state. ... This new program, which is expected ...
(Date:12/16/2016)...   IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a leading ... and a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and hardware ... seamless, integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric readers ... provide IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification and ... and theft. "We are proud to ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016   WaferGen Bio-systems, ... held genomics technology company, announced today that on December ... Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC which ... bid price of WaferGen,s common stock had been at ... WaferGen has regained compliance with Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. ... it has initiated a global Phase 2b induction ... peptide that targets alpha4beta7 integrin. The aim of ... to evaluate the safety/tolerability and efficacy of PTG-100 ... moderate to severe active disease. ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Attagene , a Research ... U.S. Small Business Administration. The Tibbetts Award honors the Small Business Innovation ... and are considered the best of the best from the thousands of firms ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... to 2021" report to their offering. ... The biosimilars market is expected to ... 2016, at a CAGR of 26.3%. The global ... and application. Factors such as rising incidence of various diseases, increasing ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 ... ... teamed up with several companies to offer its customers three new solutions for ... probe would come in handy if a customer has an oddly-shaped sample that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: