We were measuring it wrong

Two reports this week letting us know that we should be measuring something better when it comes to earth system science in the tropics:

– We often aren’t surveying large enough areas to figure out how trees in the Amazon respond to and recover from big disturbances like storms and droughts.  If you do a landscape-level survey using a combo of field work and remote sensing, like these guys did (Chambers et al., 2013), you might find 9-17% more tree mortality than we would otherwise expect.

– We should have also been looking at the Indonesian peatland carbon getting exported in streams (Moore et al., 2013). This study shows that accounting for carbon that’s no longer locked up in peatland soils and is now being lost to the stream system could increase the total GHG emissions post-land use/land cover change from peatlands by more than 20%. Plus, that carbon being lost is crazy “ancient” and implies an inherent instability in the peatland carbon dynamics post-deforestation.  Bad news bears.

And the slow steady march of getting progressively better at answering questions (and at deciding which questions to ask) continues…

2013-02-03 10.31.29

Anta (tapir) sez: science!!!

2 thoughts on “We were measuring it wrong

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