A new study led by Josep Peñuelas and published in Nature Ecology and Evolution reveals that CO2 abundance in the atmosphere no longer has a powerful fertilizing effect on vegetation. The greening that has been observed in recent years is slowing and this will cause CO2 levels in the atmosphere to rise, thus increasing temperatures and leading to increasingly severe changes in climate.
In an article in the journal Science, Josep Peñuelas warns that we must immediately begin studying the changes we are causing in the microbial world, improve water treatment systems, and change crop fertilization practices.
An extensive review of studies and databases reveals that drought and an increase in temperature are already causing species substitutions, greater aridity, higher forest fire risk, lower soil fertility, and lower water availability, among other negative impacts.
The COP21 set the maximum temperature increase for 2100 at 1.5° C. The only scenario which would allow achievement of this goal would require vastly reducing human CO2 emissions, significantly increasing the prominence of renewable energies, and the use of some type of artificial carbon sequestration technology.
Freshwater ecosystems near densely populated areas have levels of phosphorus which are very high and out of balance with nitrogen levels. This has resulted in altered ecosystem functioning, lower water quality, and has made water conservation more difficult.
An international team of researchers co-led by Josep Peñuelas (CSIC and CREAF) has developed a new method for monitoring changes in the photosynthetic activity of perennial conifers throughout the year. This new technique, based on the analysis of remote sensing images captured by satellites, will improve global models of atmospheric carbon capture and permit more precise predictions about climate change.
The journal Nature has today published a study which had the participation of CSIC scientists at CREAF, Marc Estiarte and Josep Peñuelas, which demonstrates the relationship between the release of carbon from soils and the acceleration of climate change.
CSIC and CREAF researcher Josep Peñuelas has received an honorary doctorate degree from the Estonian University of Life Sciences for his studies on global change. The university council considers his studies as excellent, and also values his international collaboration with Estonian researchers. The presentation of the award took place on September 23rd in the city of Tartu.
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), an important atmospheric phenomenon affecting the meteorology of the whole of Europe, impacts the quantity and timing of seed production in the continent's forests. When the NAO favors a dry and warm spring, most of the studied forests produced more seeds and this is also done in a more synchronized manner.
In the prizes to the trajectory of a scientist, people say , the hardest is to begin, because after the first award, the winner can be pretty sure that others will come. Maybe, but there are different categories of prizes. Josep Peñuelas is starting to get the big ones, those that he deserves by his contributions to ecology, his dedication and his ability to empathize in order to establish fruitful relationships with scientists all around the world.
We interview Catherine Preece, PhD in biological studies and specialist on sub-arctic vegetation. Dr. Preece carried out her first post-doc at the University of Sheffield on agriculture-related themes. The Marie Curie grant awardee is currently doing her second post-doctoral stay in Catalonia, where she is now focusing on drought effects in Mediterranean forests. Our conversation covered a number of topics, including: what is the role of climate change? What does the future hold for our forests, and how can we contribute to their conservation?
The forest treeline shifts upward slower than temperature increase, and it can be hindered by densification of shrubs. A number of factors influence upward forest expansion, including the particular plant species growing near trees, climate change, human activity, and terrain morphology. The Tibetan Plateau, practically devoid of human pressures, offers a pristine area for study
Since 1982, Earth has become greener in an area covering 36 million km2, close to two times the size of the United States. Above all, this seems to be the result of a fertilizing effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on plants. The study was carried out with satellite images which can capture this increase in terrestrial leaf area.
The worst scenario occurs when NAO and EA are in opposite phases. This ocurred in the first few years of the previous decade and during this period, the CO2 uptake was below average. Recently, NAO and EA were in the same phase and ecosystems have been able to remove more carbon from the atmosphere.
Understanding ecosystem dynamics can lead to greater benefits in forest management, species conservation, and carbon sequestration. A new study puts forward results which can be generalized for the whole globe and to 53,000 tree species thanks to the large quantity of data gathered and analyzed.
CREAF has participated in an international study which has estimated the total biomass production of all planetary ecosystems. These data can be used to improve accounting of the global supply of natural resources and plan strategies for boosting the sequestration of atmospheric carbon.
The response of leaf unfolding phenology to climate warming has significantly reduced in Central Europe23 de September 2015CREAF
Leaf unfolding occurred on average about 4 days earlier every one degree increase in spring temperature between 1980 and 1994, whereas this value dropped to -2.3 days C-1 between 1999 and 2013, a decrease of over 40%. According to this study recently published in the jorunal Nature with the participaction of Josep Peñuelas, researcher from CSIC at CREAF, warmer winters and photoperiod are forcing plants to control their phenology calendars.
A study led by a CREAF-CSIC researcher has outlined a new methodology for describing changes in the life cycle of plants caused by planetary warmingwith higher precision. Daytime, rather than nocturnal temperatures determine phenological changes. The increase in temperatures, leading to an earlier spring, alters the global functioning of ecosystems.
CREAF participated in a study which proposes that in order to understand the full impact of climate change, it is not enough to study just protected natural areas, which are mature and able to handle change; instead, it is important to focus on the study of those ecosystems which have been altered and are still recovering.
Scientists identify the 13 most important research challenges to face global change in the Mediterranean region3 de February 2015J.Luis Ordóñez
Scientists consider it key to understand why droughts kill so many trees and the influence of local forest histories on tree mortality. They also warn that we know very little about the joined effects of different disturbances on each ecosystem, and highlight the necessity to plan research projects covering more time and space.
According to the study in which CREAF participated, China contributes 43% of this amount. For decades it had been thought that human activities were responsible for only around 5% of atmospherically-circulating phosphorus. More phosphorus in the air means more phosphors deposited on the ground. This can boost plant growth and the capacity to sequester atmospheric CO2; for that reason human activities may be altering the phosphorus and carbon cycles to a degree which was previously unknown
A new study led by Josep Peñuelas, research professor at CREAF and the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), has shown that if we do away with fungi and bacteria which live on flowers, the quantity and composition of their perfume will be changed entirely.
Researchers from CREAF, CSIC, and the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Estonia have found that flowers are becoming more fragrant as the global mean temperature rises. In addition, intense heat provokes changes in the composition of floral aromas, transforming the odors of natural areas. This could lead to pollinizers mistaking the identity of flowers, especially specialist species whose flower visits are guided by their own innate olfactory preferences.
The team of Josep Peñuelas, researcher of CREAF and lecturer of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), was selected for a Synergy Grant, the prestigious grant offered by the European Research Council to projects by research groups of renowned excellence with interest in jointly solving vanguard research problems in the field of science.
A study conducted by researchers at the CREAF and the Autonomous University of Barcelona demonstrates that many pine populations of the Iberian Peninsula are in decline. The study foresees a very unfavorable scenario for some pine species with predicted climate change, which would see the pines negatively affected by both the expansion of the holm-oak, as well as an increase in drought and fire.
A study carried out by scientists at the CREAF and the CSIC has shown that the reflectance PRI index allows for the quantification of gasses emitted by plants in order to communicate or in situations of stress. This index is calculated by measuring the light that vegetation reflects with the help of photosensors on planes or with satellite images.
Nightime temperatures on the planet have increased 1.4 times faster than daytime temperatures. This asymmetry alters carbon fluxes and plant growth in the northern hemisphere, according to a study in which the CREAF is participating.