A number of the thermal vents in Yellowstone release high levels of carbon dioxide, the very gas that is building up in our atmosphere.

Carbon dixoide is a crucial element for photosynthesis, and some have argued that the growing levels of this gas will make the world greener, better. Unfortunately they tend to work for energy companies. Now scientists are checking out the plants that grow next to the vents. Preliminary evidence is that they photosynthesize less efficiently and lose more water to the air.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. Park is a crystal ball for CO2 emissions. Yellowstone researchers study plants near vents for insight into future of life on earth. By Corey Hatch.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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December 2006


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey