Monday, January 25, 2010

A wonderful bit of non-news.












Reported in the Guardian Newspaper – Pink-footed goose is a CO2 villain. Apparently these geese contribute to global warming – not by the usual fashion of gaseous release – but via a mechanism of grubbing up moss in the arctic when returning to their breeding grounds.
When the geese arrive in the arctic plants have not yet started to grow so, in order to get something to eat, they dig down through the soil to get those bits of plants they can eat. By removing the upper moss layer the geese leave the under-soil open to warming and degradation followed by erosion due to wind and rain. The liberated carbon is then made available for utilisation by bacteria – subsequently finding its way into the atmosphere.
The average goose has been calculated to be responsible for 37kg of arctic carbon released per year. Multiply this by the number of geese (240,000 in the UK in winter alone) and the increased numbers as a result of conservation measures (
three-fold rise in the Svalbard population) and that’s a fair bit of carbon - however, in the global scale of things it’s nothing.So goose wont be on the menu just yet.Image taken from Guardian Newspaper /Alamy

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