While there's extensive intrest in learning more about how no-till can help solve global warming concerns, some of the latest information on carbon sequestration may be coming from trees. That’s because a 3-year study in western Canada being conducted by a Wisconsin scientist will hopefully demonstrate the favorable impact that trees can have on global warming.
In a small portion of a forest near Thompson, Alberta, University of Wisconsin ecologist Tom Gower has placed heating cables in the ground to mimic the conditions of global warming. “We can re-create a whole eco-system warming experiment and that’s never been done before,” he says. With a $750,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant, he’s looking for changes in the amount of carbon dioxide released by the trees.
Gower will heat a half-acre section of forest to a temperature that’s 5 degrees warmer than the surrounding air temperature. Preliminary studies that he conducted in Sweden indicate that warmer conditions do not thaw the ground to the point of leading to large releases of carbon dioxide by trees. While scientists don’t understand why that didn’t happen, Gower expects his research to challenge some of the more dire warnings about global warming.
Entries in the college scholarship conservation tillage essay contest sponsored by Phoenix Rotary Equipment are due prior to Nov. 15, 2002. See page 13 of the August, 2002, issue of No-Till Farmer for more information. Details on the program, which will award $5,000 in college scholarships, are also found on the…