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Carbon dioxide

Analysis and Comment (22)

Enjoy the color while you can before climate change makes a mess of this too. Enjoy the color while you can before climate change makes a mess of this too. chensiyuan

Fall foliage in the crosshairs of climate change

One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays in the eastern United States…
A new study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. A new study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. Jason Samfield/Flickr

Plants absorb more CO2 than we thought, but …

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures. But not all the CO2 released from burning coal, oil…
Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement-making reached 36 billion tonnes in 2013. Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement-making reached 36 billion tonnes in 2013. Shutterstock

Mapping global carbon emissions

The latest report on global carbon emissions released this week revealed that carbon dioxide emissions will likely reach 40 billion tonnes this year. Growth in emissions continues to match the worst-case…
Phytoplankon: blooming marvellous. Phytoplankon: blooming marvellous. Norman Kuring

Saharan dust feeds the ocean and locks away carbon too

The Saharan dust that clogged air and dirtied cars recently may seem like a nuisance, but in fact contains some essential nutrients – if, that is, you’re phytoplankton. The dust and sand blown from Africa…
New source of making chemicals. New source of making chemicals. fahrertuer

Carbon dioxide from exhaust fumes used to make new chemicals

To stop global warming, most governments are advocating reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂), a greenhouse gas, put into the atmosphere. But some argue that such action won’t be enough – we will…
Is this a sunset, or sunrise, for fracking? Is this a sunset, or sunrise, for fracking? danielfoster437

Shale gas: make polluters pay for the social cost of fracking

While the prime minister has shown unequivocal support for exploiting Britain’s shale gas reserves, stating the country should “go all out for shale gas”, more cautious voices point to possible effects…
Steel: red hot and dirty. Steel: red hot and dirty. John Giles/PA

Using iron to clean steelmaking, a very dirty business

Iron and steel are components of an almost limitless number of infrastructure and consumer goods. From forks to tanks, syringes to satellites, cars to computers, from buildings to the power stations that…
Solid plastic made from gas. Solid plastic made from gas. Novomer

Explainer: what is carbon capture and utilisation?

Carbon and carbon dioxide are found all around us. All living things contain carbon - it’s one of the essential building blocks of life and is fundamental to many chemical processes. Carbon dioxide (CO2…
Why does the atmosphere over Tasmania record lower levels of CO2 than that over Hawaii? Why does the atmosphere over Tasmania record lower levels of CO2 than that over Hawaii? Ula Majewski

How is atmospheric CO2 measured in the Southern Hemisphere?

Last week the greenhouse gas monitoring site at Mauna Loa in Hawaii recorded daily levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that approached the 400 parts per million molar (ppm) benchmark. Annual mean Southern…
The extreme rate at which greenhouse gases and temperatures are rising is leading to extensive fires. The extreme rate at which greenhouse gases and temperatures are rising is leading to extensive fires. AAP Image/Kim Foale

As carbon dioxide hits a new high, there’s still no Planet B

On May 9, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US recorded CO2 levels in the atmosphere at of 400 parts per million. This signifies a return to the atmospheric conditions similar…
Measurements in the skies over Hawaii show we’ve reached a carbon dioxide milestone, but geo-engineering won’t get us off the hook. Measurements in the skies over Hawaii show we’ve reached a carbon dioxide milestone, but geo-engineering won’t get us off the hook. J.S. Nawati

Carbon dioxide hits a new high, but geo-engineering won’t help

This week, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere finally crossed the 400 parts-per-million mark. The last time that happened was 3-5 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch, several million…
The porous structure of metal-organic framework materials makes them perfect for storing and separating gases. The porous structure of metal-organic framework materials makes them perfect for storing and separating gases. justus.thane

MOF the chart: why a record-breaking surface area matters

You may not immediately think of world records when you consider chemistry, but that’s exactly what some chemists are thinking about during their research. Many, working on something called metal-organic…
Behind the times: Europe already had carbon taxes in 1992 back when Vanilla Ice topped the Australian charts. Behind the times: Europe already had carbon taxes in 1992 back when Vanilla Ice topped the Australian charts. AAP/Musicbiz

Start a carbon tax? That’s so 1991. Clean innovation and partnerships is where it’s at

We price carbon. This is nothing new. The first time this explicitly happened, Vanilla Ice hit number one in Australia, and Bryan Adams was topping the global charts with “(Everything I do) I do it for…
This is carbon. The carbon you keep hearing about on the news is probably carbon dioxide. It doesn’t look like this. This is carbon. The carbon you keep hearing about on the news is probably carbon dioxide. It doesn’t look like this. Rui Costa

What is ‘carbon pollution’ and why are we trying to stop it?

You’ll doubtless have heard Australia is introducing a “carbon tax” this Sunday to reduce “carbon pollution”. What is being controlled is not just any carbon but emissions of a specific gas, carbon dioxide…
We need a more intelligent discussion about how to use our finite carbon, and it needs to be about metal. We need a more intelligent discussion about how to use our finite carbon, and it needs to be about metal. AAP

Treasure your metal: why we need to respect embedded energy

The recent furore about the carbon tax in this country has not been a celebration of enlightened debate. I think much of the debate misses a vital aspect of carbon use, namely, that using carbon to make…
Removing CO₂ from a power station is very different from removing it from the atmosphere. Removing CO₂ from a power station is very different from removing it from the atmosphere. ianrthorpe

There’s more than one way to capture carbon

In his latest article for The Conversation Dr. David Karoly reports on the proceedings of a recent Canberra symposium on “Geo-engineering the Climate”. In his article, Dr. Karoly presents an insightful…
Energy production worldwide has become even more reliant on coal. Energy production worldwide has become even more reliant on coal. Joost J Bakker IJmuiden

The emissions juggernaut rolls on, and everybody is on board

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: A paper published yesterday shows global industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, overwhelmingly from fossil fuels, jumped by 5.9% from 2009 to 2010. This is a big increase…
Sequestration of carbon dioxide is safe, effective and it’s happening right now. Sequestration of carbon dioxide is safe, effective and it’s happening right now. CO2CRC

Carbon capture and storage – a vital part of our climate change response

One of the biggest challenges in our fight against climate change is reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the energy sector. Approximately 87% of current global primary energy supplies (and 67…
Planting the idea: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opposes a carbon tax. Planting the idea: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opposes a carbon tax. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Australia should delay a carbon tax until the rest of the world acts

The big question about the carbon tax is not whether it’s a good or a bad idea in theory. The major issue is whether it makes sense for Australia to implement it at a time of great uncertainty, both in…
The move away from nuclear energy may be counterproductive. The move away from nuclear energy may be counterproductive. Greenpeace Finland

We can’t abandon nuclear now

It won’t surprise many people that world carbon emissions have failed to slow down, but the fact we’re now at risk of surpassing targets set for nine years hence, intended to limit the global rise in temperature…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (33)

CO2 levels reach record high

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations reached record levels last year according to the UN World Meteorological Organisation. The…

Mapping methane across America

Researchers in the US have done the first ever whole-country study of methane emissions. In some cases they found higher…

Where do emissions come from?

Country-by-country estimates of CO2 emissions typically include only those emissions produced from the burning of fossil…

Carbon released from forest growth

Dead plant material known as litterfall provides energy to soil microorganisms, leading to a release of stored soil carbon…