Twin Cities Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

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

Letter from the Publisher

We wait all winter to enjoy the longer, warmer days of summer, only to have them disappear far too soon. I think back to when I was a child and summer seemed to go on forever. We were so excited to go back to school, meet up with our friends and get back to the busy-ness of the school year.

Exhibitor Space Still Available at Healthy Life Expo

MediaMax Events, St. Louis Park, announces the availability of select exhibitor space for the 31st Healthy Life Expo, being held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on November 17 and 18, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

37th Annual Women and Spirituality Conference in Rochester

The Women and Spirituality Conference, to be held September 22 to 23, will be hosted for the second year in Rochester at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Largest American Tributary to the Great Lakes is On the Mend

Leo Tolstoy opened his epic tale Anna Karenina with this powerful observation: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same could probably be said about rivers. Happy rivers are healthy, clean, teeming with fish and fowl, abundant with life, responsive to the seasons and beautiful to behold.

Moving Sale at Crystalline Light

Jennifer Salness, owner of Crystalline Light, in St. Paul, will be holding a large moving sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on August 11, to clear out inventory in preparation for moving into her new location this fall.

Add your comment: