Alabama Power gets thumbs up for 80-MW solar project

Pricing indirect emissions accelerates low—carbon transition of US light vehicle sector

Trees in Amazon Wetlands Contribute to Methane Emissions, Study Says

The primary source of methane gas released into the atmosphere from floodplains in the Amazon basin is vented through tree root systems, say researchers led by the University of Birmingham, with considerable emissions occurring when no flooding is present.

The researchers discovered evidence that these trees emit a much higher amount of methane than soil or surface water, and that this is the case in both wet and dry conditions, a study published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A showed.


“While in wetland areas without trees, methane would usually be consumed by the soil on its way towards the surface, in forested wetland areas, tree roots could be acting as a methane transport system, venting it into the atmosphere via the tree trunks,” reported Andrei Ionescu of Earth.com.

“In such conditions, methane appears to be able to escape into the air even when it is produced in soil and water that is several meters below ground level. Thus, existing models could massively underestimate the extent of methane emissions in wetland areas such as the Amazon basin,” Ionescu reported.

“After reaching the atmosphere, methane causes more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years. While CO2 has a longer-lasting effect, methane sets the pace in the near term. At least 25% of today’s warming is thought to be led by anthropogenic methane production,” reported David J. Cross of AzoCleantech. “Since pre-industrial times, methane release has accounted for around 30 percent of global warming and is growing at a fast rate,” he added.

To test the theory that tree roots are acting as a transport system for methane, the researchers took measurements from the floodplains of three of the central Amazon basin’s main rivers. The response of the trees to changing water levels due to the annual flood were measured four times during the year.

Methane emissions were measured using a portable greenhouse gas analyser and then calculations were done to scale the findings up across the Amazon basin,” reported Phys.org. “Overall, the team estimate that nearly half of global tropical wetland methane emissions are funneled out by trees, with the unexpected result that trees are also important for emissions at times when the floodplain water table sits below the surface of the soil.”

Typically, models assume methane is only produced in flood conditions.

“Our results show that current global emissions estimates are missing a crucial piece of the picture,” said Professor Vincent Gauci, study lead author of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, as reported by Phys.org. “We now need to develop models and methods that take into account the significant role played by trees in wetland methane emission.”

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What’s next for the Line 5 court battles?


A mock eviction notice is secured to the fence of Enbridge's pumping station.

Michigan Democrats have just one legal track left in their fight to decommission Line 5, which has transported oil under the Straits of Mackinac for decades.

What’s next for the Line 5 court battles? is an article from Energy News Network, a nonprofit news service covering the clean energy transition. If you would like to support us please make a donation.

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Pfizer Says Booster Neutralized Omicron but Variant May Elude Two Doses

Pfizer and BioNTech said that a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine neutralized the Omicron variant in lab tests but that the two-dose regimen was significantly less effective at blocking the virus.

Political and Business Leaders Share Views on Covid-19, Inflation, China, and Biden’s Social and Climate Bill

Tesla Founder Elon Musk,  Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and others across industries spoke at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.

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Vicious Cycle of Increasing Wealth Gaps, Disproportionate Climate Harms Is Worsening Globally, Report Finds

As another year of extreme weather disasters draws to a close, a new report from the World Inequality Lab shows how disproportionately culpable the world’s richest people and nations are for climate pollution.


This inequality is perhaps best illustrated by the equivalence between the climate pollution produced by one billionaire’s nine-minute joyride into space and the lifetime carbon emissions of 1 billion people. The world’s richest people have become more, and disproportionately more, wealthy in recent decades and that trend has accelerated during the pandemic.

“Global inequalities seem to be about as great today as they were at the peak of western imperialism in the early 20th century,” the report said. The uneven impacts of climate change will “exacerbate global inequalities, which are already very high,” Lucas Chancel, lead author of the report, told Yahoo News. “Poorest countries like Bangladesh or Small Island States will be hit very hard by rising sea levels or extreme weather events.

In rich countries, the poorest groups of the population are also more vulnerable to floods or forest fires induced by climate change, because they have fewer resources to recover after their homes are destroyed.”

As reported by Yahoo News:

It’s easy to understand why these big discrepancies exist. Richer people have larger homes with more high-energy amenities like air conditioners. They are more likely to own cars, to have bigger cars and to take airplane trips. They buy more new products, from smartphones to clothes, that each have their own carbon footprint.

It’s also unsurprising that the average American produces more emissions, adjusted for income, than their European counterparts: Americans tend to have larger homes and to drive more and in less efficient cars. That’s largely because of different government policies. Gasoline taxes in the United States are the second-lowest, after Mexico, of any country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The average American pays $0.56 per gallon in gasoline taxes. In the United Kingdom, the average gasoline tax per gallon is $2.82; in Japan it’s $1.91, and in Germany it’s $2.79.

For a deeper dive:

WIL report, climate: Yahoo News, E&E, The Hill, Fortune, The Seattle Times; WIL report, wealth: BBC, CBS, Fast Company; Year of disasters: National Geographic; Commentary: The Guardian, Lucas Chancel op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.