Tea Time

Citizen Scientists Needed for Carbon Storage Experiment




RZhay/Shutterstock.com

Australian scientists have launched a project to bury tens of thousands of teabags in wetlands around the world to discover how efficient different kinds of wetlands are at capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Already, more than 500 citizen scientists are involved on every continent but Antarctica. The bags will be monitored over a three-year period, and then dug up and measured at intervals of three months, six months and each year after that.

Wetlands are important for carbon capture and storage, a process known as carbon sequestration, holding up to 50 times as much carbon as a comparable area in a rainforest; some are better than others. There are hundreds of thousands of wetlands around the world, and a standardized technique for monitoring the carbon sink is needed for accurate comparison—but monitoring devices can be expensive to install.

Faster decay of the tea inside the bag means more carbon is being released into the atmosphere, while a slower rate means the soil is holding the carbon. Once researchers can establish which wetlands are most effective at carbon sequestration, work can begin on protecting and restoring them, and ensuring they are not disrupted.


Volunteers that contact BlueCarbonLab.org will receive a kit containing teabags and information on how to bury them.


This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bringing Up Kitty

Adorable as new kittens are, they need the right conditions, from bedding to food to scratching surfaces—and a proper introduction to their new home—to thrive.

Loving Nature

In a time in which digital devices often rule, kids will happily head outdoors for adventures involving gardens, bugs and birds that spark their interest and creativity.

Potluck for the 21st Century

Using phone apps as well as workplace and neighborhood contacts, friends and strangers are coming together to share healthy, home-cooked meals.

Household Cleaning Products Affect Babies’ Guts and Weight

Canadian toddlers in households that used chemical disinfectants at least once a week had disturbed gut microbes and higher body mass index scores than toddlers in households that used vinegar or other eco-friendly cleaners.

Smoking Bans Lower Blood Pressure

Non-smokers in areas that have banned smoking in public space have lower systolic blood pressure.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Gain Insights into Nutrition, Wellness and Your Health

Kalohe Dick Keller, M.D., a retired physician and practicing wellness coach, is forming a monthly conversational series.

Real Love Retreat with Sharon Salzberg

Those that want to move beyond the standard definition of love as intense affection, romance, adoration, strong attachment and personal attraction may instead increase awareness and a sense of deep connection with self and others.

Dr. Chi Returns with Tongue and Fingernail Analysis

Dr. Tsu Tsair Chi, an international expert in the Eastern medicine art of tongue and fingernail analysis, will present a free lecture and book signing from 7 to 9 p.m., June 16, at Christian Hills Church, in Orland Hills.

Purple Sprout Offers Much More Than Fresh Juices

The Purple Sprout Café and Juice Bar, which opened in November, serves an organic, vegan menu of cooked and raw foods, juices, smoothies, elixirs, bakery goods and raw desserts.

Organic Roots Eco Salon Creates Beautiful, Healthy Hair

As the owner of Organic Roots Eco Salon, in Skokie (formerly Upstairs Hair Affair, in Morton Grove), Lori uses only products that are organic and free of harsh toxins, such as ammonia and phenylenediamine (PPD), that are found in traditional hair dyes and shampoos.

New Kick It Up Coaching Group

Paige Ritchie, an ICF certified life coach and licensed speech pathologist in Rhode Island, is conducting Kick It Up!—a five-week coaching telephone workshop.