October 2011

Field and Berry Group

Oct. 2: Chris Field on Climate Change Science at Energy @ Stanford & SLAC (12 Sep 2011):  http://vimeo.com/29831479http://vimeo.com/29831479 http://vimeo.com/29831479http://vimeo.com/29831479
Oct. 3: Aaron Strong described the 2009 Royal Society Report on "Geoengineering: Science, Governance, Uncertainty."  Ken Caldeira had been a member of the group that drafted this Document that is available in PDF format. Aaron described Geoengineering as any technology that deliberately reduces solar insolation or increases sequestration (of CO2). Characteristics include Intentionality, Large Scale — over 200 Km2, and Related to Mitigating Climate Change. He discussed several examples including Iron Fertilization of the Oceans.
Tasting: Kelly McManus provided a variety of humus dips and a way for the Group to vote their preferences. She later reported the results of her study suggesting that the ideal humus recipe utilized canned (Trader Joe's organic) chickpeas, cumin, and roasted garlic. Overwhelmingly, the samples prepared with canned chickpeas were preferred to the fresh chickpea variety.  The addition of cumin was positively correlated with taste preferences.  Fresh vs roasted garlic was a less consistent preference among study participants, which may suggest a divide between "fresh garlic lovers" and those who prefer a milder flavor.
Oct 10: Jen Johnson addressed the topic of atmospheric approaches to solar radiation management (SRM). Above and beyond temperature stabilization, the major anticipated side effects of SRM involve changes in the hydrologic cycle. The Group then discussed two papers by Bala et al. 2008 & 2011. The former about the Impact of Geoengineering on the Global Hydrological Cycle & the latter article: Albedo enhancement of marine clouds to counteract global warming. Ken Caldeira also contributed thoughts steming from his experience in this field.
Oct 17: Grad Student, Marina Oster talked about Solar Radiation Management at the Surface. She described possible ways to reduce solar absorption by increasing surface albedo or reflecting power. This is difficult to change over the ocean, but over land it's possible to cool urban surfaces such as roofs & pavements by painting them white; alter crop varieties to get more reflective leaves; or put reflectors in the desert. The first is the most plausible, especially when planning new buildings; the latter might cause unexpected consequences such as monsoon rain pattern changes.
Tasting: Lena Perkins brought strawberries, raspberries and four kinds of whipped cream to dip them in. We were asked to rate the creams. The results in descending order with the first being the best were: Lucerne heavy, Organic heavier, Lucerne light and canned, the least flavorful.
Oct 31: Lena Perkins summarized her talk drawn from the Science article as follows:
1. Potential market niches for biomass energy with CO2 capture and
storage--Opportunities for energy supply with negative CO2 emissions.
3. Carbon-Negative Biofuels from Low-Input High-Diversity Grassland Biomass. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/314/5805/1598.short
Tasting: Rebecca Hernandez brought four kinds of Horchata, a beverage common in Hispanic restaurants. Two had been blended or infused with ground almonds and cinnamon and two had been blended or infused with milk and cinnamon. We tasted to detect the difference and decide which we preferred.


Caldeira Group

The middle of October Ken and his crew started their annual visit to One Tree Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. More Videos on youtube:
#1 Ken Caldeira on Climate Modeling Applications at Energy @ Stanford & SLAC (12 Sep 2011):  http://vimeo.com/29834364http://vimeo.com/29834364
Sally Benson on Her Lab, Mules, and Carbon Capture and Storage at Carnegie DGE (27 Sep 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT5x-A01f_Mhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT5x-A01f_M
#2 Kate Ricke on Regional Responses to Solar-Radiation Management at Carnegie DGE (27 Sep 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaV2JawS4cw
#3 Jack Silverman (Oct 25) demonstrating the measurement of seawater alkalinity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RN0qkGM2mc>
#4. Ben Kravitz (climate modeler; 1:38)
#5. Julia Pongratz (Oct 27) (climate modeler; 3:21) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaUupxp0sp
#6. Sarah Hamylton (Oct 27) (remote sensing; 3:54)
#7. Ken Caldeira (Oct 28) (climate scientist; 5:54)
#8. Kenny Schneider (Oct 29) (marine biogeochemist;3:51) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj9gDzHfWcU

Jan Brown, Editor, Email: jbrown1@stanford.edu
Click on photos to enlarge.










GCEP Meeting

Oct. 4-5: The Global Climate & Energy Project held its 7th Annual Meeting at Stanford with the Title "Addressing the Changing Energy Landscape." DGE Alum, David Lobell moderated a session on Bioenergy with Chris Field as one of the speakers talking to the title: The Climate-Protective Domain. Grad Student, Lena Perkins presented a Poster titled Biomass and Carbon Negative Energy.

DGE's 2011-12 Seminars

Oct 11: Prof. Larry Crowder presented the first talk in this year’s seminar series. He studies marine ecology writ large, from food web interactions and marine recruitment, to spatial ecological analysis, to evaluation of approaches to marine conservation.  Some of his earlier work contributed to widespread adoption of turtle excluder devices (TED) in fisheries, and more recently he has worked on global assessments of bycatch, ecosystem-based management, and marine spatial planning. He raised the question of whether sea turtles can adapt fast enough to survive relatively rapid, human-induced Climate Change. Dr. Crowder recently moved from Duke University to Stanford, where he is the Science Director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, Professor of Biology based at Hopkins Marine Station, and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Oct 12: Bradley Opdyke is a Geochemist based at the Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra. He visited us last year (Nov. 2010) and spoke about an increase in ocean acidity and its deleterious effect on corals. This time his main emphasis was on dolomite deposits in Holocene rocks and their possible origins from coralline red algae. Holocene dolomite is a biological precipitate with a high magnesium content composed of a mixture of magnesium calcite, dolomite and magnetite. These studies have implications for current models of sea level change.


DGE Internal Seminars

Oct 3: Bill Anderegg, 4th year Grad Student, brought us up to date on his research into Forests and Climate Change. Although his specific study has been of the aspen forest die-off in Colorado, his wider interest is with Models of Ecosystems with Climate Change. Is there a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model or are many site-specific models more useful?

Oct 6: Mark Higgins, Post Doc from Duke Univ. & newest member ofthe Asner Group spoke about his Thesis work titled "Geological control of floristic composition in Amazonian forests." Accurate maps of composition and function are critical for conservation planning in Amazonian forests, but are sorely lacking for most of Amazonia. Using a combination of satellite imagery and field inventory, we demonstrate that Amazonian forests are partitioned into large-area units on the basis of geological formations and their edaphic properties. The boundaries between these geological formations, furthermore, correspond to floristic discontinuities that extend for hundreds to thousands of kilometers. The existence of broad-scale units in Amazonia indicates that conservation planning should proceed on a region-by-region basis, and has far-reaching implications for the function and evolution of the Amazonian biota.

Oct 10: Kate Marvel
spoke to the title "Global Wind Power and Climate" and described her preliminary modeling results. She defined such terms as local wind effects, e.g. turbulence, dissipation, whole atmosphere and the vertical transfer of energy which elicited much discussion. Her visit to Caldeira's Lab has been shortened by the offer of a job next month at the Lawrence/ Livermore Laboratory.

Oct 17: Joe Berry spoke about satellite measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence. The goal of this work is to find independent methods of measuring photosynthesis over large areas. It is now becoming possible to measure not only chlorophyll fluorescence but also oxygen absorption in the infrared region of the spectrum from outer space and correlate these numbers with primary productivity on the ground.

Oct 31: Andrew Davies who is a visiting graduate student working with Greg, spoke about grass decomposition in African savannas.   

Oct 17: Louis Fernandez writes: Here is good overview article that just came out on www.mongabay.com  regarding deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru resulting from the recent massive global gold boom. The article features two of the studies we have been conducting in Peru with several collaborators (Amazon Conservation Association, US EPA, Argonne National Laboratory  University of Machala - Ecuador)   The article even has a couple pics of  me in the field(!)....including one with a rather large fish (Zungaro zungaro).
Greg Asner's work on mapping deforestation is also featured. http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1011-fraser_gold_mining_peru.html