Fast-growing trees like these willows pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while adding oxygen. / Photo by Ned Rozell

A green system of carbon-dioxide removal

Last week, I wrote about a thought experiment proposed by Fairbanks scientist Jim Beget. He suggests raining down crystals of a compound that captures carbon dioxide onto a frigid plateau in Antarctica. There, the greenhouse gas might remain locked for a few hundred thousand years. Beget will present his idea at the fall meeting of […]

Photosynthesis capacity forest needles Research Experience Undergraduates

Secret lives of evergreen needles

Benjamin Russell pointed out different years of growth on a white spruce tree, using bud scars found on the back of the branch to segment off different growing seasons’ needles. “This is the new growth, the growth from this season. And see how abnormally large this is compared to the rest of the tree? That […]

NOAA phytoplankton samples

The albatross and the phytoplankton

An albatross soaring over the wide open ocean doesn’t just rely on chance sightings of prey; it actually follows its nose. Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is a biological sulfur compound that can result from the activity of microorganisms called phytoplankton. Not only does airborne DMS provide a wind-map for foraging seabirds, it also also aids in […]