February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 7, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1994
PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS... OF GENERAL INTEREST: METHANE AND CO2:
CYCLES AND FEEDBACKS
"Are Wetlands the Key to the Ice-Age Cycle
Enigma?" L.G. Franzén (Dept. Phys. Geog., Göteborg Univ.,
Reutersgaten 2C, S-413 20 Gothenburg, Swed.), Ambio,
23(4-5), 300-308, July 1994.
Presents a new theory suggesting that the glacial intervals of
the Quaternary are generated by peat growth in temperate
wetlands, which draws down the amount of carbon in the atmosphere
leading to cooler conditions. Glacial erosion and transport
reverses the process, exposing stored carbon so that it returns
to the atmosphere. If the theory is correct, the present rapid
anthropogenic increase of CO2 will initiate an
incomparable interglacial epoch.
"Effect of Increasing Methane Concentration on
Ammonium Inhibition of Soil Methane Consumption," G.M. King
(Darling Marine Ctr., Univ. Maine, Walpole ME 04573), S. Schnell, Nature,
370(6487), 282-284, July 28, 1994.
Ammonium strongly inhibits soil methane consumption by an
uncertain process, and ammonium concentrations in many soils have
increased in recent years as a result of changes in land use and
precipitation chemistry. Field and laboratory data presented here
show that ammonium inhibition increases with methane
concentration, a mechanism that could provide a positive feedback
on future atmospheric methane concentrations.
Two related items from Nature, 370(6486),
July 21, 1994:
"Imbalance in the Budget," F. Joos (Phys. Inst.,
Univ. Bern, 3012 Bern, Switz.), 181-182. Discusses the
development of carbon budget estimates based on atomic bomb
isotopes, in reference to the following article.
"Radiocarbon Evidence for a Smaller Oceanic Carbon
Dioxide Sink Than Previously Believed," V. Hesshaimer (Inst.
Umweltphys., Univ. Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, D-69120
Heidelberg, Ger.), M. Heimann, I. Levin, 201-203. Applies a
simple model of the global carbon cycle to a compilation of bomb
detonation dates and strengths and the atomic bomb 14C inventory
in the stratosphere. The global oceanic bomb 14C inventory should
be revised downwards, implying that oceans take up 25% less
anthropogenic CO2 than has been believed.
"Stimulation of Methane Emission by Carbon
Dioxide Enrichment of Marsh Vegetation," J.W.H. Dacey (Woods
Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), B.G. Drake, M.J. Klug,
Nature, 370(6484), 47-49, July 7, 1994.
Field measurements show that marsh sites exposed to twice the
ambient concentration of CO2 for a week had higher
emissions of methane. Future CO2 increases may lead to
significant increases in methane emissions from wetlands.
"Methane Production in Terrestrial
Arthropods," J.H.P. Hackstein (Dept. Microbiol., Catholic
Univ., Toernooiveld, NL-6525 ED Nijmegen, Neth.), C.K. Stumm,
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 91(12), 5441-5445, June 1994.
More than 110 representatives of the different taxa of
terrestrial arthropods were screened to investigate the origins
of biogenic methane. Symbiotic methanogenic bacteria occur in the
hindguts of nearly all tropical representatives of millipedes,
cockroaches, termites and scarab beetles. The world population of
methane-producing arthropods constitutes an enormous biomass,
which can contribute significantly to atmospheric methane.
"Turning Attention to Reservoir Surfaces, a
Neglected Area in Greenhouse Studies," C.A. Kelly (Dept.
Microbiol., Univ. Manitoba, Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2, Can.), J.W.M.
Rudd et al., Eos, 75(29), 332-333, July 19, 1994.
Outlines research issues related to reservoirs as sources or
sinks of CO2 and methane, focusing on experiments in
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