March 2011

March 8: Chris Field is testifying before the HR Energy & Commerce Committee today about Climate Change and proposed cuts to the EPA Budget. See the following Web Site for PDF copy of his submitted presentation:

Field & Berry Groups

March 1: In a new paper Matt Georgescu used a regional climate model to look at the direct climate effects of biomass energy crops. This study opens a new door on a topic with a wide range of twists and turns. The reference is: Georgescu, M., D. B. Lobell, and C. B. Field. Direct climate effects of perennial bioenergy crops in the United States. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2011.

Feb. 28: Rebecca Hernandez led the discussion of a 1977 paper by I.R. Cowan & G.D. Farquhar titled Stomatal Function in Relation to Leaf Metabolism and Environment reprinted from the Society for Experimental Biology Symposium No. XXXI, Cambridge Univ. Press. Both Chris Field & Joe Berry contributed to the discussion from their personal knowledge of the authors and development of plant science at the time. It was the beginning of the important realization of the roles that stomata play in controlling the movement of water based on economic principles.
March 7: Kyla Dahlin led a continuation of the historical discussion of Ecophysiology as the basis of Conservation. The discovery of C-4 Photosynthesis was one of the drivers to accepting the idea that ecology and physiology are convergent. This, in turn, led into speculation about a Nuclear Winter and Climate Change.
Tasting: Kyla brought an experiential citrus mixture including tangerines, honey tangerines, a "sumo" tangerine, clementines, a Naval orange, a "pink" orange, kumquats, blood oranges, a pink grapefruit, and Meyer lemons.The surprise winner (at least for a few of us) was the pink orange - a mix between a pink grapefruit and an orange. The warty looking sumo tangerine was definitely not the sweetest, despite what the sign at Whole Foods said.

Jan Brown, Editor, Email:
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Asner Group

March 1: Greg Asner writes about a paper released by Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment highlighting an “old” study from Hawaii that really got our regional carbon stock and emissions mapping going as we see it today all over the world.  While our methods have since greatly expanded and improved since the original Hawaii study, this one stands out as one of the most challenging in terms of variation in ecosystem and vegetation types, terrain, and cloud cover.

March 2: Luis Fernandez writes about an article from this month's Smithsonian Magazine that discusses the increasing environmental problems in the amazonian Madre de Dios region in Peru, and mentions the Carnegie study that we did last year with Victor Gonzalez from the University of Machala (Ecuador) which looked at the impact of the major deforestation driver in the region, gold mining, on river ecosystems of the region.

Caldeira Group

March 15: Ken Caldeira welcomes Sharon Gourdji, who recently defended her Ph.D. (Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor) as part of his group in January and is now in California for a few weeks working at a desk in DGE.  Sharon has done a lot of regional inverse modeling work. As part of a short postdoc, she is exploring the degree to which the current ground-based CO2 monitoring network in North America can be used to constrain fossil fuel emissions. 

March 30: Sharon Gourdji presented a Seminar titled: Towards improved estimates of regional-scale CO2 surface flux from atmospheric inverse models. Her group has been collecting data from multiple sources about the concentrations of CO2 to compare different models with the goal of removing temporal & annual uncertainties. She is returning to Michigan in a couple of days.