Monday bummer blogging
Damn, one of the more promising ideas, biochar, seems to be a little less promising than hoped:
… a new study … suggests that these supposed benefits of biochar may be somewhat overstated.
… They found that when charcoal was mixed into humus … charcoal caused greatly increased losses of native soil organic matter, and soil carbon … Much of this lost soil carbon would be released as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Therefore, while it is true that charcoal represents a long term sink of carbon because of its persistence, this effect is at least partially offset by the capacity of charcoal to greatly promote the loss of that carbon already present in the soil.
Oh, and you know that thing Al Gore talked about, where birds would emerge from their eggs only to find that their usual food had already peaked and declined because the changing climate had disconnected formerly co-evolved species? Well, caribou go next:
Fewer caribou calves are being born and more of them are dying in West Greenland as a result of a warming climate, according to Eric Post, a Penn State associate professor of biology. Post, who believes that caribou may serve as an indicator species for climate changes including global warming, based his conclusions on data showing that the timing of peak food availability no longer corresponds to the timing of caribou births.
The phenomenon, called trophic mismatch, is a predicted consequence of climate change, in which the availability of food shifts in response to warming, whereas the timing of demand for those resources does not keep pace. … until now, the phenomenon had not been observed in terrestrial mammals. “Our work is the first documentation of a developing trophic mismatch in a terrestrial mammal as a result of climatic warming,” said Post. “And the rapidity with which this mismatch has developed is eye-opening, to say the least.”