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Geoscientist finds beavers play a role in climate change
Phys.Org ^ | 07-18-2013 | Bob Yirka

Posted on 07/18/2013 1:55:09 PM PDT by Red Badger

Ellen Wohl, a geology professor at Colorado State University, has published a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, describing the role beavers play in climate change. In a field study she undertook, she found that carbon is sequestered when beavers build dams and is released after the beavers abandon the dams they've built.

Most people are aware that beavers build dams. They're responsible for river and stream blockage across many parts of North America. What has not been known, until now, is what sort of impact beaver dams and their backed up water have on carbon sequestering.

Carbon of course, exists in the wood of trees. When trees die and decompose, that carbon is released into the atmosphere. But what happens when the wood of a dead tree becomes submerged beneath the water of a dam built by a beaver? That's what Wohl set out to learn.

In a field study in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, Wohl took samples from areas known as beaver meadows—the land that has become submerged or wet due to dams backing up flowing rivers or streams. She collected 29 sediment samples from the wet areas around 27 streams in the park. Upon analysis, the sediment turned out to be harboring 12 percent carbon by weight. This was in stark contrast to sediment samples she and colleagues collected last year in beaver meadows where the dams had been abandoned allowing the land to dry. There the samples revealed carbon content of just 3.3 percent. Wood buried beneath water and sediment decays more slowly than wood left on dry land. Thus, by building dams, beavers cause the carbon in the wood to be sequestered—at least until they abandon the dam and allow the water behind it to dry up.

Wohl's data suggests that if all the beaver meadow land now dried due to abandoned dams were still wet, the amount of additional carbon sequestered would add up to 2.7 million metric tons. Much of that carbon was released in the years shortly after the North American continent was colonized—trappers significantly reduced the population of beavers leaving millions of dams abandoned.

Carbon sequestered by beaver dams hardly registers on a global scale of course—almost ten billion tons of it is added to the atmosphere worldwide each year. Nonetheless, Wohl's study shows that at least some of those emissions can come from some surprising places.


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: beavers; globullwarming

It wasn't my fault! Honest!..............

1 posted on 07/18/2013 1:55:09 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Save the planet! Eat a Beaver!


2 posted on 07/18/2013 1:55:57 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Red Badger

And they make nice coats too — although prickly around the face. Sheared beaver is nicer around the chin.


3 posted on 07/18/2013 1:57:01 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Red Badger

Bob Costas will be devastated.

4 posted on 07/18/2013 1:57:38 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Red Badger
But what happens when the wood of a dead tree becomes submerged beneath the water of a dam built by a beaver?

This is so exciting!

If beavers can sequester this much carbon by building dams and keeping dead trees under water, then just think how much carbon humans can sequester by turning dead trees into lumber and keeping it under paint or siding!

5 posted on 07/18/2013 1:59:54 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Red Badger

I was at the Berlin Zoo today and thought I saw a beaver but was told it is a water pig. Thing was huge. I wanted to shoot half the animals in the zoo.


6 posted on 07/18/2013 2:01:15 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Not Guilty by reason of sanity.)
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To: Red Badger

Yep. Beavers make men buy fast cars. Fast cars use more gas and produce more greenhouse gases. Some beavers are so hot that they create their own climate change. Of course, some beavers are cold as hell, but they just get ignored and really don’t offset the hot ones at all.


7 posted on 07/18/2013 2:02:00 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Red Badger

Who would have thought that beavers impact the environment/S

I wonder how much she was paid to find this startling information.


8 posted on 07/18/2013 2:02:02 PM PDT by riverrunner
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To: Red Badger

This isn’t going to end well.


9 posted on 07/18/2013 2:02:16 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: PGR88

End? Hell it didn’t even START WELL!.............


10 posted on 07/18/2013 2:02:57 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Red Badger

Idiotic.

Most beaver dams have a lifespan of decades at most, making essentially no difference in the carbon cycle.


11 posted on 07/18/2013 2:04:14 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Red Badger
BEAVERS CHANGE CLIMATE by +/- 0.000000....00001%, an amount impossible to measure, much less verify.
But we have to get rid of beavers... or get more. Not clear which.
We need more costly regulations, that much is certain.

12 posted on 07/18/2013 2:05:44 PM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Red Badger

I heard that there is an exit 69 off of an interstate highway, which leads to Big Beaver Road.


13 posted on 07/18/2013 2:06:04 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Red Badger
End? Hell it didn’t even START WELL!.............

Thanks! (I think...)

14 posted on 07/18/2013 2:07:05 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Berlin_Freeper

“I was at the Berlin Zoo today and thought I saw a beaver but was told it is a water pig. Thing was huge. I wanted to shoot half the animals in the zoo”

Have to explore that. You wanted to shoot them because: A) They would make a great BBQ, B) They were freakishly big, and just needed killin’, C) They gave you stink-eye and forgot you were the alpha-dog, or D) All the above.


15 posted on 07/18/2013 2:07:52 PM PDT by Made In The USA (I'm not yelling, just... just talking enthusiastically..)
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To: Red Badger

Now they are blaming beavers.

Next they will be blaming the intern.


16 posted on 07/18/2013 2:17:40 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: Red Badger

And the classic “Ward, weren’t you a little hard on the Beaver last night?”


17 posted on 07/18/2013 2:17:49 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: Made In The USA

There actually was a mid sized donkey that needed killing at the petting zoo. Place was a madhouse with so many kids. My wife said pet the little goat but I didn’t want to pet the goat. Then a boy let the donkey out of its gate and it charged the goat, bit it on the back and pinned it to the ground.

The goat was screaming, then a large woman clapped her hands and the donkey let go and went in circles kicking its back legs like crazy. We left that part of the zoo and then I didn’t trust any of them.


18 posted on 07/18/2013 2:21:25 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Not Guilty by reason of sanity.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
I heard that there is an exit 69 off of an interstate highway, which leads to Big Beaver Road.

That's in Troy, Michigan. Know it well.


19 posted on 07/18/2013 2:21:51 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Sherman Logan
Most beaver dams have a lifespan of decades at most, making essentially no difference in the carbon cycle.

In the long run, nothing makes any difference to the carbon cycle. That's why they call it a 'cycle'. ;-}

20 posted on 07/18/2013 2:22:32 PM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Is John's moustache long enough YET?)
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To: DaxtonBrown

There was some comedy movie years ago, in which it appeared that Leslie Nielsen was looking up a woman’s dress and said it was a nice beaver. But the woman was pulling a stuffed beaver from a high shelf or attic space. Was supposed to be double entendre I’m sure.


21 posted on 07/18/2013 2:37:18 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Naked Gun.

22 posted on 07/18/2013 2:38:22 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Sheared beaver is nicer around the chin.

Uhhh...Ummmm...Uhhhh...Yeah...

23 posted on 07/18/2013 2:43:08 PM PDT by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
This led to the Michigan expression “get off on big beaver”

http://www.getoffonbigbeaver.com/story.asp

24 posted on 07/18/2013 2:43:28 PM PDT by detective
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To: dfwgator

Ya, thanks, it was the Naked Gun movie. Couldn’t recall that. Thanks.


25 posted on 07/18/2013 2:44:45 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: dfwgator

Nice beaver.


26 posted on 07/18/2013 2:45:55 PM PDT by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: Paine in the Neck
In the long run, nothing makes any difference to the carbon cycle. That's why they call it a 'cycle'. ;-}

Yep.

Beavers build dam; carbon is sequestered.

Beavers abandon dam; carbon is released.

Net change = 0

It doesn't take a rocket surgeon.

27 posted on 07/18/2013 2:47:41 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: Red Badger

28 posted on 07/18/2013 2:48:40 PM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
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To: Red Badger
Since beaver dams hold water at a higher altitude that it would be normally they increase the earth's moment of inertia and therefore decrease the earth's rotational speed. Thus beavers make the night last longer.
29 posted on 07/18/2013 2:49:03 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (This message has been recorded but not approved by Obama's StasiNet. Read it at your peril.)
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To: detective
This led to the Michigan expression “get off on big beaver”

Do I? You betcha!

Primus - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver

It's the stuff of song and legend.

30 posted on 07/18/2013 2:52:44 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: KarlInOhio

Some beavers don’t make the night longer.......it just seems that way................


31 posted on 07/18/2013 2:53:23 PM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Yo-Yo
Save the planet! Eat a Beaver! Michael Douglas approves this message!
32 posted on 07/18/2013 2:58:23 PM PDT by DFG ("Dumb, Dependent, and Democrat is no way to go through life" - Louie Gohmert (R-TX))
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To: Red Badger
This scientist wants to stop beavers, Sen. Graham wants to stop pootin! What's next!?
33 posted on 07/18/2013 3:26:37 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: Yo-Yo

Shave them!,,,,,


34 posted on 07/18/2013 3:33:16 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. - Tacitus)
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To: Bryanw92
Beavers make men buy fast cars.

Sadly, you have mixed up your beavers.
35 posted on 07/18/2013 3:46:07 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: Yo-Yo

Eat a Beaver - Queer Nation is trying to make that legal.

:-(


36 posted on 07/18/2013 3:49:40 PM PDT by GladesGuru (Islam is antithetical to, and Islam is irreconcilable with, America. Therefore - Islam Delenda Est)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

37 posted on 07/18/2013 3:51:01 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: Red Badger

I volunteer to do more beaver research.


38 posted on 07/18/2013 3:53:25 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: JSteff
Sadly, you have mixed up your beavers.

I'd argue that it's still arguably in context. The headline says "beavers play a role in climate change", and the whole "climate change" debate was invented by the global-warming p*****s.

39 posted on 07/18/2013 3:54:34 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Red Badger

Because there hot?


40 posted on 07/18/2013 4:10:00 PM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken .)
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To: Red Badger

I bet they fart, too.


41 posted on 07/18/2013 4:31:00 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: KarlInOhio

That is tooooo funny!


42 posted on 07/18/2013 4:51:28 PM PDT by abclily
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To: Sacajaweau

I wonder if Ellen did a follow-up study on how the proximity of Musk Rat Nests affects the overall CO2 concentrations near beaver dams. I would be real interested in that. I am sure if she contacted one of the California Midgets she could arrange another 20 million for this study. I still can’t get over the study about field mice moving 200 yards further uphill to avoid global warming, I’m sure glad that was funded


43 posted on 07/18/2013 4:52:39 PM PDT by spawn44 (MOO)
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To: Red Badger

OK!! Everybody pay attention!

Lesson for today:

1. The sun is 1,300,000 times as big as the earth.

2. The sun is a ball of fire that controls our climates.

3. The earth is a rock.

4. The earth is a speck in comparison to the size of the sun.

5. Inhabitants of the earth are less than specks.

Study Question: How do less-than-specks in congress plan to control the sun?


44 posted on 07/18/2013 4:54:04 PM PDT by abclily
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To: Red Badger

One problem with this theory, beavers tend to cut down live trees and brush to make their dams. Not dead ones.


45 posted on 07/18/2013 5:49:39 PM PDT by digger48
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To: tacticalogic
Yeah, and when they tried to lick one they were turned off to the whole wildlife ecology thing when they got bit for their efforts.
So instead they wrote an anti global warning hit piece to take down the beaver that bits when licked.
46 posted on 07/18/2013 6:12:35 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Red Badger.


47 posted on 07/18/2013 6:21:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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