Community Briefs

Aug 032010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU prof. finds link between climate change and the carbon cycle

Taka Ito, an assistant professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department, has studied how the level of atmospheric winds that blow over the Southern Ocean can affect the carbon cycle for years.
His latest project resulted in a high-resolution computer model of the process.

The project, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied carbon sinks in the ocean that absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and how they slow down the rise of the gas in the atmosphere.

“For example, when we burn 10 gallons of gas and emit the carbon into the atmosphere, about its half, 5 gallons equivalent of carbon, stays in the air and the other half disappears,” Ito said.

The winds affect the size of the carbon sink, he said, which is why climate change has an impact on the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

“Now we know that land and oceans are about equal in the magnitude of the carbon sink,” Ito said, ”But we still don’t really know how the carbon sinks work and what will happen to them in changing climate.”

Ito studies ocean currents and the cycling of carbon and nutrients and formerly did research for the University of Washington and MIT.

Colorado dog returns from Iraq with PTSD

Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has found that human soldiers are not the only ones who can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from war, according to the Associated Press.

There’s a condition in dogs that’s “almost precisely the same, if not precisely the same, as PTSD in humans,” said Nicholas Dodman, head of the animal behavior program at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, according to Tuesday’s AP article.

Gina went to Iraq as a highly trained bomb-sniffing dog who helped conduct door-to-door searches and was witness to noisy explosions.
Before she left, she was a playful 2-year-old German shepherd, according to the article.

When Gina returned home to Colorado, she cowered in fear.
She would stiffen her legs and resist when her handlers took her into a building, and she’d hide under furniture or in a corner to avoid people.

After a military veterinarian diagnosed Gina with PTSD, she received special conditioning. Master Sgt. Eric Haynes, the kennel master at Peterson Air Force Base, says after a year of TLC, Gina is on the mend, according to the article.

 Posted by at 3:27 pm

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