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    Dutch multinational oil group Rompetrol, also known as TRG, has entered the biofuel market in France in conjunction with its French subsidiary Dyneff. It hopes to equip approximately 30 filling stations to provide superethanol E85 distribution to French consumers by the end of 2007. Energy Business Review - May 13, 2007.

    A group of British organisations launches the National Forum on Bio-Methane as a Road Transport Fuel. Bio-methane or biogas is widely regarded as the cleanest of all transport fuels, even cleaner than hydrogen or electric vehicles. Several EU projects across the Union have shown its viability. The UK forum was lauched at the Naturally Gas conference on 1st May 2007 in Loughborough, which was hosted by Cenex in partnership with the NSCA and the Natural Gas Vehicle Association. NSCA - May 11, 2007.

    We reported earlier on Dynamotive and Tecna SA's initiative to build 6 bio-oil plants in the Argentinian province of Corrientes (here). Dynamotive has now officially confirmed this news. Dynamotive - May 11, 2007.

    Nigeria launches a national biofuels feasibility study that will look at the potential to link the agricultural sector to the automotive fuels sector. Tim Gbugu, project leader, said "if we are able to link agriculture, we will have large employment opportunity for the sustenance of this country, we have vast land that can be utilised". This Day Onlin (Lagos) - May 9, 2007.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva meets with the CEO of Portuguese energy company Galp Energia, which will sign a biofuel cooperation agreement with Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras. GP1 (*Portuguese) - May 9, 2007.

    The BBC has an interesting story on how biodiesel made from coconut oil is taking the pacific island of Bougainville by storm. Small refineries turn the oil into an affordable fuel that replaces costly imported petroleum products. BBC - May 8, 2007.

    Indian car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra is set to launch its first B100-powered vehicles for commercial use by this year-end. The company is confident of fitting the new engines in all its existing models. Sify - May 8, 2007.

    The Biofuels Act of the Philippines has come into effect today. The law requires all oil firms in the country to blend 2% biodiesel (most often coconut-methyl ester) in their diesel products. AHN - May 7, 2007.

    Successful tests based on EU-criteria result in approval of 5 new maize hybrids that were developed as dedicated biogas crops [*German]. Veredlungsproduktion - May 6, 2007.

    With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED), Michigan State University intends to open a training facility dedicated to students and workers who want to start a career in the State's growing bioeconomy. Michigan State University - May 4, 2007.

    Researchers from the Texas A&M University have presented a "giant" sorghum variety for the production of ethanol. The crop is drought-tolerant and yields high amounts of ethanol. Texas A & M - May 3, 2007.

    C-Tran, the public transportation system serving Southwest Washington and parts of Portland, has converted its 97-bus fleet and other diesel vehicles to run on a blend of 20% biodiesel beginning 1 May from its current fleet-wide use of B5. Automotive World - May 3, 2007.

    The Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) and France's largest research organisation, the CNRS, have signed a framework-agreement to cooperate on the development of new energy technologies, including research into biomass based fuels and products, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies. CNRS - April 30, 2007.

    One of India's largest state-owned bus companies, the Andra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is to use biodiesel in one depot of each of the 23 districts of the state. The company operates some 22,000 buses that use 330 million liters of diesel per year. Times of India - April 30, 2007.

    Indian sugar producers face surpluses after a bumper harvest and low prices. Diverting excess sugar into the ethanol industry now becomes more attractive. India is the world's second largest sugar producer. NDTVProfit - April 30, 2007.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet on Thursday signed a biofuel cooperation agreement designed to share Brazil's experience in ethanol production and help Chile develop biofuels and fuel which Lula seeks to promote in other countries. More info to follow. People's Daily Online - April 27, 2007.

    Italy's Benetton plans to build a €61 million wood processing and biomass pellet production factory Nagyatád (southwest Hungary). The plant will be powered by biogas. Budapest Sun - April 27, 2007.

    Cargill is to build an ethanol plant in the Magdeburger Börde, located on the river Elbe, Germany. The facility, which will be integrated into existing starch processing plant, will have an annual capacity of 100,000 cubic meters and use grain as its feedstock. FIF - April 26, 2007.

    Wärtsilä Corporation was awarded a contract by the Belgian independent power producer Renogen S.A. to supply a second biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant in the municipality of Amel in the Ardennes, Belgium. The new plant will have a net electrical power output of 3.29 MWe, and a thermal output of up to 10 MWth for district heating. The electrical output in condensing operation is 5.3 MWe. Kauppalehti - April 25, 2007.

    A Scania OmniCity double-decker bus to be deployed by Transport for London (TfL) will be powered by ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane, TfL Coordinator Helen Woolston told a bioethanol conference in London. The bus will join a fleet of seven hybrid diesel-electric buses currently running in London, where TfL plans to introduce 50 more hybrid buses by the end of 2008. EEMS Online - April 24, 2007.

    Virgin Atlantic plans to fly a 747 jumbojet on a mix of 60% biofuel and 40% kerosene in 2008. Sir Richard Branson is collaborating with Boeing to achieve this milestone in aviation history. He already hinted at the fact that the biofuels "it was possible the crops could be grown in Africa, thereby helping to alleviate poverty on the continent at the same time as safeguarding the environment." More details to be announced soon. Telegraph - April 24, 2007.

    A top executive of General Motors, vice-chairman Bob Lutz, says the US should launch a 'Manhattan Project' for biofuels to make a 'wholesale switch' within five years. Kentucky.com - April 24, 2007.

    Canada's new government launches a C$200 million 'Ecoagriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative' aimed at helping agricultural producers construct or expand transportation biofuel production facilities. Government of Canada - April 24, 2007.

    Russian oil company Lukoil reportedly installed production facilities for obtaining biofuels in its refinery Neftochim in the coastal city of Bourgas. Lukoil has over 2500 oil stations in Europe, the largest number of which are located in Bulgaria, which joined the EU this year. Sofia Echo - April 22, 2007.

    The government of the Indian state of Haryana approves three small-scale (1MW) biomass gasification projects, while the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) identifies seven industrial sectors it will help to adopt the biomass gasification technology to meet their captive thermal and electrical requirements. Economic Times - April 21, 2007.

    The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is planning to build a coconut oil biodiesel plant in Ivisan, Capiz (a province in the Western Visayas region) by the middle of this year in response to the growing demand for biodiesel. News Today (Iloilo City) - April 20, 2007.

    Scientists working for Royal Nedalco (involved in cellulosic ethanol production), the Delft University of Technology and a firm called Bird Engineering have found a fungus in elephant dung that helped them produce a yeast strain which can efficiently ferment xylose into ethanol. The researchers consider this to be a breakthrough and see widespread application of the yeast within 5 years. More info to follow as details emerge. Scientific American - April 19, 2007.

    As part of its 'Le dessous des cartes' magazine, Europe's culture TV channel ARTE airs a documentary about the geopolitics of sustainable transport tonight, at 10.20 pm CET. Readers outside of Europe can catch it here. ARTE - April 18, 2007.

    Spain's diversified company the Ferry Group is investing €50 million into a biomass plantation in new EU-memberstate Bulgaria. The project will see the establishment of a 8000ha plantation of hybrid paulownia trees that will be used for the production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik, Bulgaria - April 18, 2007.

    Bioprocess Control signs agreement with Svensk Biogas and forms closer ties with Swedish Biogas International. Bioprocess Control develops high-tech applications that optimise the commercial production of biogas. It won Sweden's prestigious national clean-tech innovations competition MiljöInnovation 2007 for its 'Biogas Optimizer' that accelerates the biogas production process and ensures greater process stability. NewsDesk Sweden - April 17, 2007.

    A joint Bioenergy project of Purdue University and Archer Daniels Midland Company has been selected to receive funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to further the commercialization of highly-efficient yeast which converts cellulosic materials into ethanol through fermentation. ADM - April 17, 2007.

    Researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Services (ARS) have found that glycerin, a biodiesel by-product, is as effective as conventional corn-soymeal diets for pigs. AllAboutFeed - April 16, 2007.

    U.S. demand for uranium may surge by a third amid a revival in atomic power projects, increasing concern that imports will increase and that limited supplies may push prices higher, the Nuclear Energy Institute says. Prices touched all time highs of US$113 a pound in an auction last week by a U.S producer amid plans by China and India to expand their nuclear power capacity. International Herald Tribune - April 16, 2007.

    Taiwan mandates a 1% biodiesel and ethanol blend for all diesel and gasoline sold in the country, to become effective next year. By 2010, the ratio will be increased to 2%. WisconsinAg Connection - April 16, 2007.

    Vietnam has won the prestigious EU-sponsored Energy Globe award for 2006 for a community biogas program, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced. ThanhNien News - April 13, 2007.

    Given unstable fossil fuel prices and their negative effects on the economy, Tanzania envisages large-scale agriculture of energy crops Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Christopher Chiza has said. A 600 hectare jatropha seed production effort is underway, with the seeds expected to be distributed to farmers during the 2009/2010 growing season. Daily News (Dar es Salaam) - April 12, 2007.

    Renault has announced it will launch a flex-fuel version of its Logan in Brazil in July. Brazilian autosales rose 28% to 1,834,581 in 2006 from 2004. GreenCarCongress - April 12, 2007.

    Chevron and Weyerhouser, one of the largest forest products companies, are joining forces to research next generation biofuels. The companies will focus on developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into economical, clean-burning biofuels for cars and trucks. PRNewswire - April 12, 2007.

    BioConversion Blog's C. Scott Miller discusses the publication of 'The BioTown Source Book', which offers a very accessible introduction to the many different bioconversion technologies currently driving the bioenergy sector. BioConversion Blog - April 11, 2007.

    China's State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import & Export Corp., Ltd. (COFCO) have signed a framework agreement over plans to cooperatively develop forest bioenergy resources, COFCO announced on its web site. Interfax China - April 11, 2007.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador is speeding up writing the country's biofuels law in order to take advantage of the US-Brazil cooperation agreement which identified the country as one where projects can be launched fairly quickly. The bill is expected to be presented to parliament in the coming weeks. El Porvenir - April 11, 2007.

    ConocoPhillips will establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University dedicated to developing technologies that produce biofuels. The grant is part of ConocoPhillips' plan to create joint research programs with major universities to produce viable solutions to diversify America's energy sources. Iowa State University - April 11, 2007.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Researchers develop biomass powered "refrigerator-stove-generator" for developing world

The following three problems are well known energy-related obstacles for development in poor countries: (1) primitive biomass used for cooking and heating is highly inefficient and a killer in the kitchen claiming two million lives each year (earlier post), (2) the lack of reliable and affordable refrigerators prevents the development of efficient food and medicine markets where products need to be kept fresh and cool, (3) finally, the lack of rural electrification limits the opportunity for people to study, to connect to the broader world and to spend their time efficiently.

Now wouldn't it be great if you could solve all these problems by creating one single device? Imagine an affordable three-in-one technology that consists of an efficient, low-cost refrigerator, combined with a safe and clean cooking stove, and an electric generator added to it. To make things better, imagine the device being powered by the very biomass rural people in the South already use on a daily basis, albeit in a wasteful manner.

Well, the SCORE project (Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration and Electricity) is developing exactly such a machine. What is more, the device will rely on the physics of thermoacoustic heating and cooling - a field of research that has resulted in such high-tech applications as devices to cool satellites, radars and to liquefy natural gas. The £2 million (€2.93/US$3.96 million) project brings together four major UK universities, the US Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multi-national electrical goods manufacturer, an international charity and numerous universities in Asia and Africa.

The consortium's goal is to reduce poverty in Africa and Asia by understanding the energy needs of rural communities and working with them to develop the affordable, versatile, domestic appliance. The collaboration will ensure the device is affordable, socially acceptable, and there is scope for communities to develop numerous businesses from the manufacture, repair and innovative usage.

The University of Manchester's Dr Artur Jaworski, an expert in thermoacoustic engineering in The School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, will lead the vital research into the engine design for the SCORE device.

In simple terms, thermoacoustics refers to generation of sound waves due to the non-uniform heating of gas - a typical example being the 'singing' of hot glass vessels during glass blowing processes, a phenomenon known for centuries. The process works in reverse as well. The idea is to couple the heat generated by the biomass-powered thermoacoustic engine and cooking stove, to the resonator that contains pressurised gas which, when heated, generates soundwaves that power the thermoacoustic freezer and that is coupled back to the engine, while at the same time generating electricity (see diagram, click to enlarge). If you have some free time, why not make your own [*.pdf] tabletop thermoacoustic refrigerator to learn more about the science?

Using thermoacoustic technology is a more efficient way of using wood as a fuel than using an open fire to cook. It produces less pollutants. Like a Stirling engine, the device will also have fewer moving parts than ordinary engines and freezers, making it more reliable. The efficiency of thermoacoustic engines (40%) is considerably higher than that of ordinary combustion engines:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The concept of the device is based on the proven thermoacoustic Stirling engines and refrigerators developed by Los Alamos, NASA and the US military for applications including: cooling of satellite systems and radar arrays, gas liquefaction and cryogenics, use of waste heat for air conditioning, separation of binary gas mixtures and many others. There is a significant level of innovation in the proposed work in three respects:
  1. research into the combination of the thermoacoustic engine, linear alternator and cool box in a single device, powered by a biomass stove, which has not been attempted before
  2. design of a rugged and inexpensive linear alternator that could be easily mass-produced
  3. the overall system design from the viewpoint of low cost, application of indigenous materials, use of local manufacturing skills and simplicity of assembly, which are major research issues compared to the high-cost and high-tech thermoacoustic systems produced so far.
These challenges form the backbone of the proposed scientific and technological work programme.

Within the overall 5-year duration, there will be two stages to the project: the first 3 years will mainly focus on conducting the necessary social and scientific research, while the last 2 years will broadly focus on technology hand-over, including representative field trials and a wide dissemination among target communities.

Dr Jaworski says: "A multi-purpose thermoacoustic device such as this, powered by biomass, has never been attempted before. Although we have wide experience of this technology and applying it in different ways, this new and exciting project will require plenty of ingenuity and innovation."

Making a difference
"With the depth of experience and expertise we have assembled as part of this international project, we are confident we can meet our aims, deliver a viable appliance and make a real difference to people living in the developing world."

"The benefits could be huge, ranging from better health due to the correct storage of medicines, to improved education through electricity for computers and lighting, to a higher standard of living through the creation of employment opportunities and associated businesses."

Researchers will need to look carefully at ways of ensuring any design can be assembled cheaply and easily using local labour and indigenous materials. Given the high cost and high-tech nature of current thermoacoustic systems, this represents a significant challenge.

Dr Jaworski, who is an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow, will work closely with academics at The University of Nottingham, Imperial College London and Queen Mary, University of London.

Other partners are the international charity Practical Action, Los Alamos National Laboratory and GP Acoustics. Universities in developing countries in Africa and Asia will also assist with the design, development, production and introduction of the device.

The SCORE consortium is funded by grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of its initiative on energy and international development.

More information:
The SCORE project website.

The Thermoacoustics web-server at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, with an overview of the physics.

Daniel A. Russell and Pontus Weibulla, "Tabletop thermoacoustic refrigerator for demonstrations" [*.pdf], American Association of Physics Teachers, 2002.

Steven L. Garrett, Scott Backhaus, "The Power of Sound", American Scientist, November-December 2000, Volume: 88 Number: 6 Page: 516 DOI: 10.1511/2000.6.516

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Scientist studies effects of high gas prices on American workers

The socio-economic effects of high energy prices are most dramatic in the developing world and amongst the poor. There, the situation is catastrophic, so much so that the UN stated the following in its latest report on bioenergy: "Recent oil price increases have had devastating effects on many of the world's poor countries, some of which now spend as much as six times as much on fuel as they do on health. Others spend twice the money on fuel as they do on poverty alleviation. And in still others, the foreign exchange drain from higher oil prices is five times the gain from recent debt relief."

But even in highly developed countries, like the US, the phenomenon has considerable impacts on workers and their families. Research conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of management in Florida State University's College of Business, documents that Americans' work attitudes have been affected as the cost to fill a tank of gas has nearly doubled over the past few years. In his research, approximately 1,000 full-time employees were asked to note how gas prices have affected their disposable spending patterns. They also were asked how these changes affected their stress levels and willingness to participate at work. (Respondents, who worked in both blue- and white-collar occupations, reported paying an average of US$2.83 a gallon during their previous visit to the gas station at the time they were surveyed earlier this year.)

Sixty percent of employees confirmed that the price of gas has significantly reduced the amount of money they have to spend on other things, while 45 percent reported the need to pay off debts more slowly or not at all. Finally, 26 percent indicated that the cost of gas has necessitated going without basics such as heat or air conditioning, or even cutting back on food purchases, over the past few months.

Further, Hochwarter found that those most affected by gas prices were prone to experience stress both on and off the job. Specifically, negative views of work and the company, sluggishness, antagonistic behavior, feeling overwhelmed and sadness were significantly higher for those indicating gas-price-related effects on spending behavior:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

"Most of these effects can be attributed directly to distraction while at work," Hochwarter said. "Those I've talked to spent a significant amount of time worrying about their financial situation."

The research also indicated much higher levels of family conflict for those required to modify spending habits.

Finally, Hochwarter was interested in whether employees felt alone in their sacrifices or if their company had to tighten its belt as well.

"Certainly, only a handful of employees noted that their company changed plans or had to go without because of the price of gas - even companies that rely heavily on fuel for their operations," he said.

Those personally affected by gas prices who did not see the company sacrificing were less committed to getting things done while at work. Compared to those who felt that their company was doing without, those who felt alone in their sacrifice:
  • Were 15 percent less committed to the company.
  • Had job performance levels that were 12 percent lower.
  • Were 20 percent less willing to stay late or work extra if needed.
  • Were 25 percent less likely to give "maximum effort."
It appears that misery does indeed love company. When employees have to go without, they get very upset when they see the CEO pulling into the parking lot in a new Jaguar.

"The price of gas has contributed to the perceptions of many that they are simply never going to get ahead," Hochwarter said. Hochwarter's research is being prepared for presentation and publication.

More information:
Florida State University: Higher gas prices leave many workers running on empty - May 11, 2007.

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Ocean's capacity to store carbon may alter because of climate change

A study released today provides some of the first solid evidence that warming-induced changes in ocean circulation at the end of the last Ice Age caused vast quantities of ancient carbon dioxide to belch from the deep sea into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the carbon dioxide (CO2) releases helped propel the world into further warming. The research is significant to understand how oceans with their large carbon storage capacity will react to human induced climate change.

Atmospheric CO2, also produced by burning of fossil fuels, is thought to be largely responsible for current warming. However, scientists have known for some time that the gas also goes through natural cycles. By far most of the world's mobile carbon is stored in the oceans - 40 trillion metric tons, or 15 times more than in air, soil and water combined. But how this vast marine reservoir interacts with the atmosphere has been a subject of debate for the last 25 years.

The new study shows carbon that had built up in the ocean over millennia was released in two big pulses at about 18,000 years ago and 13,000 years ago, says Dr. Thomas Marchitto of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who jointly led the study with colleague Dr. Scott Lehman.This is some of the clearest evidence yet that the enormous carbon release into the atmosphere during the last deglaciation was triggered by abrupt changes in deep ocean circulation.

The study, done by researchers at the University of Colorado, Kent State University and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, appears in the May 10 advance online version of the leading journal Science.

While much of the CO2 released by the ocean after the end of the last ice age about 18,000 years ago was taken up by the re-growth of forests in areas previously covered by ice sheets, enough remained in the atmosphere to pump up CO2 concentrations significantly, the authors said. Today, CO2 levels are higher than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years because of increased fossil fuel burning.
“The timing of the major CO2 release after the last ice age corresponds closely with deep sea circulation changes caused by ice melting in the North Atlantic at that time. So our study really underscores ongoing concerns about the ocean’s capacity to take up fossil fuel CO2 in the future, since continued warming will almost certainly impact the mode and speed of ocean circulation.” - Dr. Scott Lehman, University of Colorado at Boulder.
The researchers found the evidence in a core of Pacific Ocean sediment brought up from 705 meters off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. The core held the remains of bottom-dwelling protozoa called foraminifera, which take up carbon from surrounding water and use it to build their shells. The isotope carbon 14 - normally used to date organic remains such as wood and bones - can also be used to date the water in which the foraminifera grew (image, click to enlarge). Going back through layers built up over the past 38,000 years, the researchers found the shells contained expected levels of C14 in all but two brief periods, beginning roughly 18,000 years and 13,000 years ago. That meant the protozoa were using older sources of carbon, long isolated from the atmosphere:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The carbon could come from only one place: upwelling of the deep sea, from depths of 3 kilometers (nearly two miles) or more. The researchers believe the water came not from the Pacific, but from the faraway Antarctic Ocean--the only part of the world where great upwelling can occur, due to the bottom topography and wind patterns. Most of the rising C02 probably poured out into the air in southern latitudes, but some carbon-rich water traveled on currents at intermediate depths to the north, where the foraminifera recorded its C14 signature.

The upwelling and release of this carbon dioxide matches well with rapid warming and rises in atmospheric CO2 shown in glacial ice cores from Antarctica and other far-flung records. The researchers believe that largely as a result of these episodes, CO2 in the atmosphere went from 190 parts per million (ppm) during glacial times to about 270 ppm, and remained at that level until recently. A similar but much more rapid rise, to 380 ppm, has taken place since the Industrial Revolution - most of it in the last few decades. Both rises almost certainly stoked climate warming.

Exactly what caused the upwelling is not clear, but many scientists believe the world was already undergoing a natural warming cycle, possibly due to a slight periodic change in earth's orbit. This suddenly ended the last Ice Age, in turn changing ocean currents and wind patterns. The hypothesis favored by paper's authors is that sudden disintegration of northern ice sheets during this initial warming slowed or halted deep Atlantic Ocean circulation. This in turn warmed the Antarctic, causing massive retreats of sea ice and allowing deep Antarctic waters to surface. Thus, it is possible that the signal detected in the Pacific ultimately originated on the other side of the world.

"Once the CO2 started rising, it probably helped the warming process along - but exactly how much, we can't say," said Robert Anderson, a Lamont-Doherty expert in ocean circulation who was not involved in the study. "And there is still huge uncertainty as to how the oceans will respond to current warming." Anderson says the study should be a wake-up call to the scientific community to expand studies of the oceans' relationship to climate change.

“If the oceans were not such a large storage ‘sink’ for carbon, atmospheric CO2 increases in recent decades would be considerably higher,” Lehman says. “Since the uptake of CO2 on Earth’s land surface is being offset almost entirely by the cutting and burning of forests, any decrease in the uptake of fossil fuel CO2 by the world’s oceans could pose some very serious problems,” he says.

“This study provides strong indicators of just how intimately coupled the connection between the ocean and atmosphere can be,” Ortiz says. “The findings should give us pause to consider the impact that fossil fuel release will have on ocean circulation and future climate change.”

“When the ocean circulation system changes, it alters how carbon-rich deep water rises to the surface to release its carbon to the atmosphere,” says the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Dr. James White, a climate scientist who was not involved in the study. “This is important not only for understanding why glacial times came and went in the past, but it is crucial information we need to understand how the oceans will respond to future climate change.”

Studies in the past several years have shown sharp declines in Arctic sea ice in recent decades and a loss in ice mass from Greenland, which some believe could combine to alter North Atlantic circulation and disrupt ocean circulation patterns worldwide.

Image: Oceans are vast carbon sinks. Scientists use radioactive and stable isotopes to date and study carbon cycling processes and events. Courtesy: International Atomic Energy Agency, Marine Environment Laboratory.

More information:
Marchitto, T.M. et al. "Marine Radiocarbon Evidence for the Mechanism of Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise", [*abstract] Science, May 10, 2007, DOI: 10.1126/science.1138679

Eurekalert: Climate swings have brought great CO2 pulses up from the deep sea - May 11, 2007.

Kent State University: Study Sheds Light on Earth’s CO2 Cycles, Possible Impacts of Climate Change - May 10, 2007.

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