Friday, 1 April 2011

Friday Fungus: Don't worry about that climate change folks!

I know how you’re all losing sleep over climate change which I suppose is why there’s no outcry at Bradford Council maintaining an eighteen strong “Environment & Climate Change Unit” while closing libraries and swimming pools.

But you don’t have to worry – the mushrooms have it covered:

The fight against climate warming has an unexpected ally in mushrooms growing in dry spruce forests covering Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and other northern regions, a new UC Irvine study finds.

When soil in these forests is warmed, fungi that feed on dead plant material dry out and produce significantly less climate-warming carbon dioxide than fungi in cooler, wetter soil. This came as a surprise to scientists, who expected warmer soil to emit larger amounts of carbon dioxide because extreme cold is believed to slow down the process by which fungi convert soil carbon into carbon dioxide.


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