ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

Se prevén niveles de polen altos y avanzados para esta primavera. No confundir la alergia con el COVID-19

Las polinizaciones de esta primavera y verano comenzarán unos días antes de lo habitual y serán importantes, alcanzando niveles por encima de la media (del período 1994-2019).

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak .

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

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Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .
News
Study gauges trees’ potential to slow global warming in the future

Date: 2019-09-02


The Pyrenean forests, the Cantabrian coast and Galicia show an important potential to accumulate even larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the future and thus help to slow down the increase in CO2 concentrations which are warming the planet.

The research, led by the ICTA-UAB and the Stanford University (USA) warns that trees can only absorb a fraction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and their ability to do so beyond 2100 is unclear. The results show that carbon dioxide levels expected by the end of the century should increase plant biomass by 12%, enabling plants and trees to store more carbon dioxide.

An international team led by scientists at Stanford University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona finds reason to hope trees will continue to suck up carbon dioxide at generous rates through at least the end of the century. However, the study published Aug. 12 in Nature Climate Change warns that trees can only absorb a fraction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and their ability to do so beyond 2100 is unclear.

“Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the best way to limit further warming, but stopping deforestation and preserving forests so they can grow more is our next-best solution,” said study lead author César Terrer, researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and a postdoctoral scholar in Earth system science in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. 

Weighing carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide – the dominant greenhouse gas warming the earth – is food for trees and plants. Combined with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, it helps trees grow and thrive. But as carbon dioxide concentrations rise, trees will need extra nitrogen and phosphorus to balance their diet. The question of how much extra carbon dioxide trees can take up, given limitations of these other nutrients, is a critical uncertainty in predicting global warming.

“Planting or restoring trees is like putting money in the bank. Extra growth from carbon dioxide is the interest we gain on our balance. We need to know how high the interest rate will be on our carbon investment,” said co-author Rob Jackson, professor in Earth System Science at Stanford.
 
Several individual experiments, such as fumigating forests with elevated levels of carbon dioxide and growing plants in gas-filled chambers, have provided critical data but no definitive answer globally. To more accurately predict the capacity of trees and plants to sequester carbon dioxide in the future, the researchers synthesized data from all elevated carbon dioxide experiments conducted so far – in grassland, shrubland, cropland and forest systems – including ones the researchers directed.

Using statistical methods, machine-learning, models and satellite data, they quantified how much soil nutrients and climate factors limit the ability of plants and trees to absorb extra carbon dioxide. Based on global datasets of soil nutrients, they also mapped the potential of carbon dioxide to increase the amount and size of plants in the future, when atmospheric concentrations of the gas could double.

Their results show that carbon dioxide levels expected by the end of the century should increase plant biomass by 12 percent, enabling plants and trees to store more carbon dioxide – an amount equivalent to six years of current fossil fuel emissions. The study highlights important partnerships trees forge with soil microbes and fungi to help them take up the extra nitrogen and phosphorus they need to balance their additional carbon dioxide intake. It also emphasizes the critical role of tropical forests, such as those in the Amazon, Congo and Indonesia, as regions with the greatest potential to store additional carbon.

“We have already witnessed indiscriminate logging in pristine tropical forests, which are the largest reservoirs of biomass in the planet. We stand to lose a tremendously important tool to limit global warming,” said Terrer. 

Original article:
César Terrer Moreno; Rob Jackson. Nitrogen and phosphorus constrain the CO2 fertilization of global plant biomass. Nature Climate Change. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0545-2
 

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