Eco-news in brief 6-26
By CG News Editor April Jaynes
Researchers examine effects of climate change in Athens area forest
Ohio University scientist Jared Deforest and colleagues from the Holden Arboretum and Case Western Reserve University are studying forests in the Athens area and northeastern Ohio to determine forest ecosystem responses to climate change. The researchers received funding from the National Science Foundation to study the soil dynamics of these two forested areas. They speculate that microbes in the soil diminish the change in soil chemistry by producing phosphatase enzymes from acid rain and are testing this theory by using experimental lime and phosphorus treatments in over 72 plots in both forested areas. The findings of this four-year study could effect how the U.S. Forest Service manages the forests.
New report estimates significant rise of West Coast sea levels by 2100
Last Friday the National Research Council (NRC) released an analysis that concluded U.S. West Coast sea levels could rise up to four or five feet by 2100 if the rate of greenhouse gas emissions continue steadily in conjunction with global warming. The report was conducted at the request of the state of California. The NRC’s estimates are the latest and take into account recent estimates such as the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates published in 2007. The prime uncertainty for researchers in predicting the rise of sea levels for researchers is how quickly and effectively humans move to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Population growth threatens Florida’s freshwater springs
A recent drought in north-central Florida and years of pumping groundwater to meet the state’s population growth are depleting Florida’s once abundant freshwater sources like Silver Springs. The bottom of this spring and the Silver River are no longer visible and the springs flow rate has dropped by a third. The state’s water keepers and environmentalists debate about how much overconsumption of groundwater contributes to the steady depletion of Florida’s 700 artesian springs. Organizations such as the Florida Conservation Coalition, (formed last year), are working with the state government to help safeguard the state’s water.