You are here

University 100 class assisted with work on the Cade Wetlands Research Center

Top Stories

CO2 levels now higher than any time in the last 23 million years

One of the most pressing messages that climate scientists attempt to convey to the public is how today’s CO2 levels compare to those of the Geologic past. Such comparisons can provide public context for current CO2 rise, as well as important information on the response of global temperatures to rising CO2. A new study published in Geology suggests that present-day CO2 levels (412 ppmv) are now likely higher than at any time in at least the last 23 million years!

In this newly published study, a team led by Brian Schubert, Associate Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, used the remains of dead plants to produce a new record of atmospheric CO2 that spans 23 million years of uninterrupted Earth history. Their findings relied on the nearly continuous record of terrestrial photosynthesis provided by organic matter accumulated from partially decomposed plants.

“When plants grow, the relative amount of the two stable isotopes of carbon, carbon-12 and carbon-13, changes in response to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,” says Schubert. “One can therefore measure the relative amount of these two isotopes and calculate the CO2 concentration under which the plants grew.”

The remains of land plants can be used to calculate the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere. Photo credit: A. Hope Jahren

Read More ➝

Two Graduate Students win the GSA Graduate Research Grant

Please join us in congratulating two of our graduate students who recently won a GSA Graduate Research Grant for 202

Read More ➝

The School of Geosciences wins prestigious Field Camp Award

As our 2020 virtual field camp is kicking off today, our School has just been informed that we are this year's recip

Read More ➝

As part of their community service effort, Mr. Jim Forret's University 100 class assisted with work on the Cade Wetlands Research Center. The students learned about the project at Cade from Dr. Visser and got to see the freshwater wetlands and the recently installed liners for the brackish wetlands. After that, they assisted with filling pots with soil, separating clumps of marsh grass to target species, and planting target species in pots. Approximately 200 plants were potted during the volunteer event. Once soil is returned to the brackish wetlands, these potted plants will be transplanted to their final location in the wetlands research area. Maybe with volunteers from the next UNIV100 class.