European forests near ‘carbon saturation point’

European forests are showing signs of reaching a saturation point as carbon sinks, a study has suggested.

Since 2005, the amount of atmospheric CO2 absorbed by the continent’s trees has been slowing, researchers reported.

Writing in Nature Climate Change, they said this was a result of a declining volume of trees, deforestation and the impact of natural disturbances.

Carbon sinks play a key role in the global carbon cycle and are promoted as a way to offset rising emissions.

Many of Europe’s forests are reaching an age where growth, and carbon uptake, slows down
Writing in their paper, the scientists said the continent’s forests had been recovering in recent times after centuries of stock decline and deforestation.

The growth had also provided a “persistent carbon sink”, which was projected to continue for decades.

Written by Mark Kinver. To read the full article, click here.

Bioenergy With Carbon Capture: Scientists Set out Path for Global Warming Reversal

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can reverse the global warming trend and push temperatures back below the global target of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, even if current policies fail and we initially overshoot this target.

This is according to a new study, published today, 11 July, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, which shows that ambitious temperature targets can be exceeded then reclaimed by implementing BECCS around mid-century.
The researchers, from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, show that if BECCS is implemented on a large-scale along with other renewable energy sources, temperature increases can be as low as 1.5°C by 2150.
Co-author of the study, Professor Christian Azar, said: “What we demonstrate in our paper is that even if we fail to keep temperature increases below 2°C, then we can reverse the warming trend and push temperatures back below the 2°C target by 2150.

Written by Science Daily. To read the full article, click here

Solar power finally makes more energy than it uses

Last year, U.S. energy-related carbon emissions were at the lowest levels since 1994, emitting “only” 5.3 billion metric tons of carbon.
This is largely from declining coal use due to cheap natural gas, lower demand for transportation fuels and a mild winter, says the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
Although we don’t like to think that solar energy contributes to emissions, it does, and there’s good news there, too.
To get the solar industry where it is today required huge inputs of electricity. Ironically, most of that comes from coal-fired power plants.
For example, to produce polysilicon — the basic building block of most solar panels — silica rock must be melted at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit using electricity, commonly from coal-fired power plants.

Written by Sustainable Business News. To read the full article, click here