NICCR Coast Center at Tulane University
About the Coastal Center
  Request for Proposals  
  Funded Projects  
  Research Highlights  
  Contact Information  

Two investigations that were partly funded by the NICCR Coastal Center appeared in PNAS in the late Spring of 2009. Adam Langley (Smithsonian Institution) and colleagues presented the intriguing, counter-intuitive finding that coastal marshes may be more capable to keep pace with accelerated sea-level rise than commonly believed, by virtue of their finding that elevated atmospheric CO2 increases biomass productivity and surface elevation gain. Their study was covered by various news outlets, including a Research Highlight in Nature Reports Climate Change and a News and Views story in Nature Geoscience. Meanwhile, Hongcheng Zeng (Tulane University) and co-authors expanded their recent work on damaging hurricane impacts on coastal forests to a larger temporal and spatial scale. Their study suggests that past as well as future hurricane strikes along the US Gulf and Atlantic Coasts can play a significant role in the carbon balance of US forests. This work was highlighted in the Nature Journal Club.


The first publication that resulted partly from NICCR Coastal Center funding appeared in Science on November 16, 2007. The study, led by ecologist Jeff Chambers at Tulane University, showed that powerful hurricanes can cause more widespread damage in coastal forest ecosystems than previously thought, with potential implications for carbon cycling under conditions of future climate change. Specifically, the authors estimate the biomass loss due to Hurricane Katrina at ~100 teragrams of carbon, which corresponds approximately to the net amount of carbon that is sequestered annually in U.S. forests. Once respired into the atmosphere, this could provide a positive feedback to global warming. A nice illustration of this work, including a video, is provided by NASA. This study caught widespread attention from the news media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as television and radio coverage, including a report by National Public Radio.



TULANE UNIVERSITY DOE National Institute for Climatic Change Research

©2007 Tulane University | All Rights Reserved.


DOE National Institute for Climatic Change Research Tulane University Tulane shield