These fun comics explain a lot about why the microbes are important to live and evolution...besides it is very fun!www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php/archive/archive_print.php?comicid=1874
While we observed the political advances between countries to adopt the Paris agreement, we had the highest CO2 per year increase in 5 decades. There was the accumulation of 3.76 ppm of CO2 between February 2015 and February 2016, according to the Mauna Loa Observatory data. Something needs to be done, and quickly!
Figure represents the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the last 5 years from Mauna Loa Observatory (http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/).
After several years, the photo-degradation of dissolved organic carbon process (which is the physical degradation of organic matter by the sunlight radiation) in aquatic ecosystems is, literally, back on the top of the world.
In the eighties, scientists focused on the ozone (O3) concentration reduction in the stratosphere. The Ozone Layer can filtrate some of the ultraviolet radiation B (UV-B; 280-315 nm) that comes from the sun, reducing its incidence on the Earths surface. Thus, the reduction of the ozone layer would cause deep negative effects to human health, such as enhanced skin cancer frequency, due to higher UV-B incidence. Then, several actions were taken world wide in order to reduce the ozone layer loss.
At the same time, as the UV-B radiation can also degrade dissolved organic carbon, specially the terrestrially-originated, the photo-degradation process in aquatic ecosystems received great attention from scientists as well. Several studies focused from the role of photo-degradation to ecosystem functioning (e.g. to microbial metabolism) to its possible effects on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. For instance, besides directly mineralizing the organic carbon into CO2, photo-degradation process also transforms organic molecules in such a way that it affects how much and how fast the bacteria also mineralizes it (Farjalla et al. 2009).
Recent works have demonstrated that aquatic ecosystems are key elements to the global carbon cycle since they transport and process, either to the atmosphere or to the oceans, several tons of carbon per year (Cole et al 2007, Tranvik et al, 2009, Raymond et al 2013). Because of that, some studies evaluated the relative importance of the photo-degradation process and bacterial respiration (two of the most important decomposition processes in the water column) to the CO2 emission to the atmosphere, and its potential contribution to the global changes (green house effect).
At higher latitudes (higher than 22° N and S) the photo-degradation was not supposed to be very relevant (< 10%) to the total CO2 production in lakes (Jonsson et al 2001). Together with the ozone layer stabilization, this low photo-degradation relevance cooled down the topic discussion. A few years later, one of the papers in my Masters dissertation (Amado et al 2006) indicated that the photo-degradation CO2 production could be as high as the bacterial mineralization in tropical Amazonian lakes. However, since then, researches linking photo-degradation and CO2 emissions are scarce.
Last week, (August, 22nd, 2014), Dr. Rose Cory (Michigan University) and colleagues published a paper (Cory et al. 2014) in Science Magazine, of a three year study about the photo-degradation and the bacterial degradation in several aquatic ecosystems at Alaska (Artic). According to their study, the photo-degradation process can be responsible from 70% to 95% of the total CO2 production in those aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, photo-degradation would be up to ten times higher than the bacterial CO2 production. As it contradicts the current paradigms, they brought back the photo-degradation topic to discussion. As the increased temperature predicted to the Polar regions, the thawing will probably expose huge amounts of organic matter. Thus, the photo-degradation will be responsible for even more CO2 emission to the atmosphere in a positive feedback to the greenhouse effect.
Amado, A. M., Farjalla, V. F., Esteves, F. D., Bozelli, R. L., Roland, F., & Enrich-Prast, A. (2006). Complementary pathways of dissolved organic carbon removal pathways in clear-water Amazonian ecosystems: photochemical degradation and bacterial uptake. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 56(1), 8-17.
Cole, J. J., Prairie, Y. T., Caraco, N. F., McDowell, W. H., Tranvik, L. J., Striegl, R. G., . . . Melack, J. (2007). Plumbing the global carbon cycle: Integrating inland waters into the terrestrial carbon budget. Ecosystems, 10(1), 171-184.
Cory, R. M., Ward, C. P., Crump, B. C., & Kling, G. W. (2014). Sunlight controls water column processing of carbon in arctic fresh waters. Science, 345(6199), 925-928. doi: 10.1126/science.1253119
Jonsson, A., Meili, M., Bergstrom, A. K., & Jansson, M. (2001). Whole-lake mineralization of allochthonous and autochthonous organic carbon in a large humic lake (Ortrasket, N. Sweden). Limnology and Oceanography, 46(7), 1691-1700.
Raymond, P. A., Hartmann, J., Lauerwald, R., Sobek, S., McDonald, C., Hoover, M., . . . Guth, P. (2013). Global carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters. Nature, 503, 355-359. doi: 10.1038/nature12760
Tranvik, L., Downing, J. A., Cotner, J. B., Loiselle, S. A., Striegl, R. G., Ballatore, T. J., . . . Weyhenmeyer, G. A. (2009). Lakes and reservoirs as regulators of carbon cycling and climate. Limnology and Oceanography, 54(6, part 2), 2298-2314.
Author: André M. Amado (Depto. Oceanografia e Limnologia; PPG Ecologia – UFRN)
Language Review: Bruna Q. Vargas (Cultura Inglesa, Natal-RN)
In times of IPCC reports, global policies to reduce greenhouse gases emission and extreme climate events all over the Planet, can we accept that the average warmer temperatures have become a normal scenario? Apparently, yes!
In an article published last week (August 6th, 2014) at Reuters , it was pointed out that the temperature was never lower than the average in this century and the last time that happened was in 1985. Even though most countries have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and some of them are working on that, it can be an even harder challenge to achieve because the global warmer conditions have been around for too long.
Three decades have passed since the last year when global temperature was below the average. On the other hand, half of Earth`s population is under 30 years old. It means that the current scenario of warmer weather is considered normal to great part of the world`s population. Thus, it might be possible that the popular support to the international efforts to reduce the causes of the climate changes are weakening.
Together with the warmer climate, the extreme climate events, such as higher occurrence of unpredictable storms, floods or dryer weather are also expected in the current century and are currently being registered over the world. For instance, in Brazil, severe droughts are endangering water and energy supply in the economical center of the country (São Paulo State). Thus, these catastrophic events are more likely to call people`s attention so as to demand governmental actions against these global changes.
A new study published in Science magazine shows that Brazil decreased the Amazon deforestation in 70% since 2004. It means that 3.2 billion tons of CO2 were kept out of the atmosphere. The reduction in deforestation in 2013 alone accounted for 1.5% of the global CO2 emission reduction. This scenario was probably motivated by three factors: public policies, market rejection of deforesting farmers, and an increase in protected areas. For more details click here.
Images from the Antarctic continent taken by European satellite show that the ice melted twice the amount between 2010 and 2013 than between 2005 and 2010. According to the scientists this faster melting phenomenon results from the climate changes and releases into the ocean about 160 billion tones of ice per year. This amount would represent a sea level rise of 0.45 mm per year. In the long run, if all the Antarctic ice melts, it would result in a total sea level rise of 4 meters, which would be catastrophic around the Globe. However, even though this melting process is being speeded up by climate changes, it would take several centuries to happen. Check the whole story here.
This post in The Guardian blog entitled "The top ten global warming 'skeptic' arguments answered" talks about the discussion whether or not the current Planet temperature increase is natural or humans action consequence. Accordingly to the post, 97% of the scientists believe in the human caused warming while only 3% goes with the beliefs that it is a political economic conspiracy theory or that is just natural.
That post presents 10 questions from the contrarian climate scientist Roy Spencer, where he expose the top 10 'skeptic' arguments about climate change. The post goes through it and b believe that they are easily answered. Check it out your self here.
Well, being true or not, there is a website called world underwater that simulates what will happen regarding see water level rise. It is fun and weird because you can see your street literally underwater. Go to world worldunderwater.org and have fun (weird fun!).
After the news that the CO2 level in the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii was higher than 400 ppm during the whole month, there is a short movie showing how fast it has been growing in the last few thousands of years. The last increase from levels lower than 300 ppm occurred "coincidently" with the Industrial Revolution in the last century. Check it out here.
Interesting news about the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, daily measured at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This month (April 2014), the CO2 levels are above 400ppm during the whole time. Accordingly to the scientist from this center, it is the first time it happens since the human beings are around.
Check the whole news out here.
We are interested in biogeochemical cycles and in microbially-mediated processes in aquatic ecosystems (both freshwater and marine). Mainly, we are interested in the regulation of microbial metabolism and its interaction to energy flow and carbon cycling in tropical (low latitude) environments. The main question we are investigating now is why microbial metabolism is so high and inefficient in tropical ecosystems and whether or not and how this relates to high CO2 emission rates form these lakes. We are also interested in how future scenarios of climate changes might affect the relationship between bacteria and nutrients. We are currently working this issues in coastal humid lakes, man-made reservoirs in the semiarid region in Northeastern Brazil, tanks of Bromeliad and in the Atlantic Ocean.
This research group was created in 2008 by Dr. André Megali Amado, inserted in the Aquatic Ecology Group. This laboratory has been dedicated to the study of general limnology, aquatic microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycles since then.
Phone: 55+84+ 3342-4965
Via Costeira Senador Dinarte Medeiros Mariz S/N; Praia de Mãe Luiza
Zip: 59014-002, Natal - RN - Brazil.
Departamento de Oceanografia e Limnologia
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Bruna Q. Vargas