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Australian fires have increased CO2, but also carbon-capturing algae: research

The Australian wildfire was the worst on record.

A devastating Australian wildfire released twice as much climate-warming CO2 as previously thought, but a giant algae anomaly thousands of miles away, according to a study published Wednesday. It may have caused the outbreak and absorbed a significant amount of excess carbon.


Severe summer heat and drought caused fires in late 2019 and early 2020, killing 33 people and tens of millions of wildlife and destroying vast eucalyptus forests.

These “black summer” fires, which wrapped Sydney and other cities in smoke and ash for months, were known to release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but quantify the exact amount. It was difficult.

To investigate, Dutch researchers used a new satellite technology that could monitor the gas released into it. fire On a daily basis.

They made estimates of overall emissions as well as carbon dioxide emitted, and concluded that the amount was more than double the previously estimated from five different fire inventories.

“CO2 Emissions from this single event were significantly higher than the emissions normally emitted by burning fossil fuels by all Australians in a year, “said the lead author of a paper published in the journal Nature.” Ivar van der Velde of the Netherlands Institute for Space Research, SRON, said. ..

It was still uncertain, but he said global warmingWe believe it is quite possible that more of these types of large wildfires will occur in Australia, and perhaps elsewhere.

“This could contribute even more CO2 In an atmosphere more than expected “

Wildfires are consistent with a warm world, as climate change causes droughts and heat waves to become more frequent and intense.

Depending on the amount of CO2 It is pulled back to the plant as it re-grows, and the emissions can help promote further warming.

2019-2020 Australian fire

A snapshot from the fire space in southwestern Australia in January 2020. It is for a new study released on September 15th to assess the effects of carbon dioxide emitted by a fire.

“Fertilize the sea”

The fire also released an aerosol that transports nitrogen, Iron particles Can spur the “flowers” of the sea Microalgae, Called phytoplankton.

In another study NatureResearchers have found that high levels of iron pumped into the air by the fire were blown away over long distances, eventually causing a significant increase in phytoplankton in the Pacific Ocean, thousands of kilometers away from Australia.

Previous studies have suggested that wildfires can be a species of blue-green algae, according to Joan Llort, co-author of the University of Tasmania’s Polar Science Museum.

But he said the study revealed that “the most amazing thing was the size,” and the flowers covered a larger area than Australia itself.

Phytoplankton take up CO2 during photosynthesis in a plant-like process and play an important role in the Earth’s climate.

Some of that carbon will eventually sink Deep sea Will be saved.

“Our results provide evidence that iron from wildfires can fertilize the ocean and can lead to a significant increase in carbon absorption by phytoplankton,” said Duke University Nicholas Environmental School. Author Nicholas Casal said.

But he said he would investigate whether fire emissions would be offset by the CO2 absorbed by the micros. Blue-green algae Sowing with fire is the “Holy Grail” of research and is still uncertain.


Australian wildfires cause large-scale algae outbreaks in the Southern Ocean


© 2021 AFP

Quote: Australian fire increased CO2, but also carbon-capturing algae: Study (September 15, 2021) https: //phys.org/news/2021-09-australian- Obtained September 15, 2021 from boosted-co2but-carbon-capturing-algae.html

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Australian fires have increased CO2, but also carbon-capturing algae: research

Source link Australian fires have increased CO2, but also carbon-capturing algae: research

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