RESOURCES: Eco Data Cache

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 713
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5620.713a

Climate scientists probing the soil's role in carbon cycling and hydrologists studying river flow will find plenty of useful information in this archive of ecological and geochemical data sets from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The nearly 700 databases hold measurements recorded by satellites and earthbound scientists, as well as results of computer modeling. Many center around efforts to understand carbon storage in ecosystems, a matter of great interest because plants help soak up humanmade carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

For example, you can look up data from a global network of towers detecting carbon dioxide flows in and out of various ecosystems, from Canada's boreal forests to the Amazonian rainforest. Other data sets include carbon dioxide emissions by soils in southern Africa, the nutrient content of plant roots, biomass measurements of forests in the eastern United States, and global temperatures and precipitation dating back to the 1750s. The site requires free registration before you can download data.

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