Rivers, lakes impact ability of forests to store carbon

Below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

Forests help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing it in trees, but a sizable amount of the greenhouse gas actually escapes through the soil and into rivers and streams. That’s the main finding of a paper to appear Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s the first study to comprehensively look at how carbon moves in freshwater across the entire U.S. 

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Dating historic activity at Oso site shows recurring major landslides

Sean LaHusen

The large, fast-moving mudslide that buried much of Oso, Washington in March 2014 was the deadliest landslide in U.S. history. Since then it’s been revealed that this area has experienced major slides before, but it’s not known how long ago they occurred. University of Washington geologists analyzed woody debris buried in earlier slides and used radiocarbon dating to map the history of activity at the site. 

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Oxygen provided breath of life that allowed animals to evolve

It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to a study co-authored by two University of Washington scientists and led by the University College London. Before now, it was not known how quickly Earth’s oceans and atmosphere became oxygenated, and whether animal life expanded before or after the rise in oxygen. 

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