R E S E A R C H   N O T E S

Global warming

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 vegetation.

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.

Unwed parents

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 together.

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 Wellbeing.


September 24, 2001
Vol. 91, No. 3
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In the news
Paying Tribute, seeking understanding
Financial aid improvements help achieve more diversity
Special events mark installation celebration
Building was booming on campus this summer

Trustees grant faculty promotions
Biologist has an artistic alter ego
Princeton Prep Program

Celebration set for Oct. 6
Office is resource for community
Center brings together community service efforts
University shares knowledge through auditing program
By the numbers: Community commitments

Calendar of events
Nassau Notes
News briefs
Research notes

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