As Arctic tundra has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of… Read more
NAU scientists, national partners win $3.3 million to study microbes’ role in a changing world
If the fate of carbon is a test that planet Earth is taking right now, one of the answer keys is likely to be found in soil, where microorganisms—which account for nearly 15 percent of global biomass, by some estimates—eat, store and respire carbon and other nutrients. As Earth warms, how these microbes change the way they live will have potentially big consequences for where the carbon goes.
Now, a team… Read more
Larger, more frequent fires in the boreal forest threaten previously protected carbon stores, NAU-led research team reports in Nature
Pools of old carbon in the soil of boreal forests historically safe from combustion are being released by more frequent and larger wildfires, a team led by researchers at Northern Arizona University announced in Nature this week. As the climate of these forests in the Northwest Territories of Canada becomes warmer and drier and… Read more
NAU scientists publish first estimate of carbon emissions from 2014 mega-fires in Canada’s boreal forests
The boreal forest is home to one-third of the Earth’s forest cover and stores 40 percent of the planet’s terrestrial carbon. North America’s boreal forest alone, which spans the northern portion of the continent from Alaska all the way to Newfoundland, covers an astounding 1.5 billion acres—more than 2.3 million square miles.
As mega-fires in the boreal forest become more frequent and more intense, scientists believe the burning of… Read more
NAU scientists lead DoD project to assess environmental impact of changing climate on boreal forests
The boreal forest, or taiga, is the largest terrestrial biome on Earth, extending across North America, Europe and Asia north of the 50th parallel. Representing nearly one-third of the world’s forest cover, the boreal forest plays a significant role in the planet’s biodiversity. Its coniferous spruce, pine and larch trees flourish in the long, severe winters and short summers of the subarctic climate. The… Read more