R E S E A R C H N O T E S
Princeton NJ -- An international consortium of scientists
has issued a revised estimate of the U.S. role in the
worldwide accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
a major cause of global warming.
The study, published this summer in Science, reconciles
what had appeared to be sharply conflicting measurements
about the size of the U.S. "carbon sink" -- an effect that
drains carbon from the air and stores it in the land.
The Princeton-led research group found that the
continental United States is currently absorbing one-third
to two-thirds of a billion metric tons of carbon per year.
The main reason is that U.S. trees and shrubs, which are
recovering from past clearing, are drawing great volumes of
carbon dioxide from the air and using the carbon to build
massive tree trunks, branches and foliage. The suppression
of natural forest fires also is causing an increase in
The study is the work of 23 scientists who initially held
strongly differing views about the size of the carbon sink.
Stephen Pacala,, the Frederick Petrie Professor of
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton, is the lead
author of the study.
A recent study of "fragile families" in New York City
concludes that most new unwed parents have stronger and more
committed relationships than commonly believed, and that
public policies should be adjusted to keep such families
Nearly one-third of all births now occur outside
marriage, yet programs for these families often are based on
unsubstantiated myths and anecdotal evidence, the
researchers note. The study, part of the multi-year "Fragile
Families and Child Wellbeing" research project at Columbia
and Princeton universities, provides reliable data for
policymakers as they address welfare reform at the state and
national levels. It is co-directed by Sara McLanahan,
director of Princeton's Center for Research on Child
September 24, 2001
Vol. 91, No. 3
In the news
aid improvements help achieve more
Special events mark
Building was booming
on campus this summer
Biologist has an
artistic alter ego
Celebration set for
Office is resource
together community service efforts
knowledge through auditing program
numbers: Community commitments
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