Environmental Sciences virtual series introduces carbon puzzle


Cady Stribling
Features Editor

The department of earth and environmental sciences will continue its fall 2020 environmental sciences virtual seminar series with the presentation “Where does all the carbon go? Piecing together the North American carbon puzzle.”

Associate professor Bassil El Masri chose this presentation, which is delivered by Rodrigo Vargas from the University of Delaware and Daniel Hayes from the University of Maine.

El Masri said the seminar is a synthesis of the latest scientific information from the North American Carbon Budget as reported in the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report. The North American carbon puzzle refers to different components of the carbon cycle, including emissions from fossil fuels and carbon sequestration by vegetation, soils and water, El Masri said.

“It is important our Earth and environmental sciences students learn about the carbon sources and sinks and the role North American ecosystems have in offsetting carbon emissions to the atmosphere,” El Masri said. “Also, they will learn about drivers of carbon emissions and storage.”

El Masri said he chose this presentation because it is important in understanding our daily link to the carbon cycle, which will be essential for any future mitigation policies. 

“It will provide the audience with necessary information about the current state of the carbon cycle and will increase their knowledge and awareness about the carbon cycle,” El Masri said. “I hope this will start a positive dialogue among people that will lead to better understanding of science and environmental policies.”

El Masri said the carbon cycle is invisible in our daily activities, but people are reliant on carbon for things they might not realize, such as transportation and food.

“We should all care about the environment we live in and understand ecosystems around us function,” El Masri. “In addition, it is important to understand the carbon puzzle since we contribute to this and will have consequences on our lives as a result of changing climate, such as droughts, floods, etc.”

The presentation is on Friday, Oct. 23, at 1:30 p.m. Join the Zoom meeting here: murraystate.zoom.us/j/99973983232

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