United Bank of Carbon

LEAF Launches!

UBoC’s academic partners at the University of Leeds, the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) research centre, officially launched on the 24th November 2014 with an event held in the School of Earth and Environment.

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The aim of LEAF is to bring together all the forest-related research being conducted across the University of Leeds. By linking researchers across faculties, LEAF will strengthen existing collaborations and encourage new inter-departmental partnerships, establishing the University of Leeds as a leading national centre in forest research.

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The potential for solar cooking

Using wood for cooking leads to deforestation and air pollution that can cause or exacerbate health problems. For many poor people, obtaining wood is either time-consuming or expensive. Where conflicts have led to displaced people, wood shortages can become acute, leading to often violent clashes between locals and refugees. For many refugee women this makes collecting wood a high-risk activity.

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Trees help to form atmospheric particles

trees_sun UBoC scientists contributed to a new study, published in the journal Science, indicating that molecules emitted by trees are helping to form particles in the atmosphere.

The distribution of particles in the atmosphere controls various properties of clouds and the Earth’s climate. Therefore it’s vitally important to understand the processes by which these particles form, and how this could change in the future.

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Bettys & Taylors commit to Kenyan forest conservation for a second year

Bettys & Taylors agree to work with Nature Kenya for second year to promote forest conservation and reforestation activities in South Nandi, western Kenya.

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The project’s principle aim will be the restoration of 235 acres (95 hectares) of cleared forest in South Nandi, which is part of a forest complex that is home to an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and the endangered Turner’s Eremomela (Eremomela turneri).

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UBoC helps plant 4000 trees in the Lake District

Over the weekend of 8th and 9th March, volunteers from UBoC, the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) research centre, and academics from the University of Leeds joined forces with the Forestry Commission and successfully planted 4000 oak trees in the Lake District.

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The tree planting was part of a push by the Forestry Commission to restore cleared felled upland commercial woodlands back to semi-natural woodlands.

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Bigger is better for carbon accumulation

Contrary to the widely held view, a recent study has demonstrated that old trees continue to sequester carbon at a greater rate than their younger counterparts.

big_little_tree An international team of scientists collated data on tree growth from 403 species across the world, including tropical, sub-tropical and temperate trees.

The team found that carbon accumulation does scale with size; the largest trees in the study were growing at a rate of over 600 kg per year! This happens because the increase in total leaf area, with increasing tree size, proves to be more important than the declining productivity of leaves as trees age.

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How cool are trees?

New research from UBoC scientists indicates that molecules emitted by plants may be having a cooling effect on the planet.

acp_paper_2014_copycrop Trees take in carbon dioxide, and give out oxygen – but they also emit other, highly reactive, gases into the air (such as monoterpenes). These gases react with other compounds, like ozone, forming more complicated molecules which are able to stick onto particles in the atmosphere, helping them to grow larger. This is important because particles have to reach a certain size before they are able to interact with sunlight in the atmosphere or form cloud droplets.

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Call for information to identify engineering challenges for off-grid isolated communities in the developing world

The United Bank of Carbon (UBoC) is working with partners and seeks information on engineering challenges for off-grid communities in the developing world to help aid the design of green technologies that can make a real difference to people’s lives.

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Double whammy for Cicada at the Yorkshire CIPR PRide Awards

Congratulations to Cicada for taking home gold and silver at the Yorkshire Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Awards.

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Tree rings, water isotopes and the Amazon hydrological cycle

A new project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council will improve our understanding of past and ongoing changes to the hydrological cycle in the Amazon. The project will combine novel and existing data, with complimentary modelling techniques to understand ongoing and past trends of the Amazon hydrological cycle in order to help predict what to expect in the future.

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