From Kansas State University's:

Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases



Charles W. Rice, K-State Soil Microbiology, National CASMGS Coordinator

(785) 532-7217

Scott Staggenborg, K-State Extension Northeast Area Crops and Soils

Specialist (785) 532-5833

Kent McVay, K-State Soil and Water Conservation Specialist (785)


Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications (785) 532-7105




March 4, 2004

No. 31


This week's issue:



* Carbon Flux In Native Pasture Affected By Drought, Seasons: K-State Research



* NYMEX Interested In Emissions Trading Market

* Chicago Climate Exchange Announces Record February 2004 Trading Results

* U.S. Likely To Limit Carbon Emissions

* AEP, Cinergy To Detail Cuts In Carbon Dioxide



* Canada Seeds To Enhance Carbon Sinks On Agricultural And Forest Land






Carbon Flux In Native Pasture Affected By

Drought, Seasons: K-state research


K-State researchers have been measuring carbon flux between the surface and the atmosphere over native pastures near Manhattan, and in a cedar forest north of Randolph (near Manhattan) since 1999. The measurements are being taken by sensors mounted on "eddy flux towers."


The native grasses and other forages in the pasture accumulate carbon through photosynthesis, followed by the decomposition of plant materials into organic matter. The pasture ecosystem also releases carbon from microbial respiration and burning of plant materials. The goal of the research is to find out the nature of the natural cycles of carbon accumulation and release, whether native grass pastures are a source or sink for carbon, and whether management factors affect the carbon balance in long-term native pastures.


To date, the measurements on grazed (average grazing intensity) and ungrazed plots has shown that carbon accumulation in pastures is affected more by environmental factors than grazing, says Jay Ham, K-State professor of agronomy.


“We're seeing a big decrease in carbon accumulation under drought conditions and during winter months when the plants are dormant. Otherwise, we're not seeing any significant differences in net carbon accumulation or release between the grazed and ungrazed plots,” Ham says.


Some new, over-grazed plots were added to the test last year. It's too early yet to say whether over-grazing will have an effect on carbon accumulation in the pasture, Ham says.


Burning the pasture in the spring causes a net carbon loss for the year in which the burn occurs, compared to unburned plots, he adds. More data are needed to determine the long-term impact of fire on carbon sequestration.


Overall, the carbon flux readings made over the past four years show that the native grass pasture in this study is neither a source nor a sink for carbon, Ham says. Seasonal and environmental variations in carbon accumulation and release occur, but averaged over time this long-term native pasture appears to be in equilibrium regarding carbon.


Ham, along with Clenton Owensby, professor, and co-workers Emily Benson, Lisa Auen, and Fred Caldwell, are also working with a new measurement system -- autochambers. The autochambers are small enclosures that automatically set down over a small area of ground for a brief period and measure the gaseous composition of the air. Autochambers may give a more complete and accurate indication of greenhouse gas fluxes at night and during the dormant season, periods when the eddy flux towers are subject to errors.


-- Steve Watson






NYMEX Interested In

Emissions Trading Market



The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) believes emissions trading will be big business and is open to the idea of launching its own emissions contracts, NYMEX President Robert Collins said recently.


"We believe it's going to evolve to be big business," he said. "We don't have any specific designs," but he added that NYMEX was waiting to see which of the various emissions contracts "develop gravity" before deciding on its own strategy.


A European Union-wide emissions trading scheme is to launch in January 2005, under which companies which exceed carbon emissions quotas set by their governments will be able to buy extra pollution rights from those which undershoot their targets.


A traded market in the permits is expected to emerge and some forward deals are already taking place.


Trading in the EU is expected to pick up by April once countries have submitted their national allocation plans detailing how they plan to share out permits between different industrial sites covered by the scheme.


-- Reuters News Service, Feb. 19, 2004






Chicago Climate Exchange Announces

Record February 2004 Trading Results


The Chicago Climate Exchange has announced trading results for the month of February 2004. The total February volume was 479,500 metric tons carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to January’s volume of 82,800 metric tons CO2. A record week of trading was established during the week of February 23 when 403,200 metric tons CO2 were traded.


Total average daily trading volume of Carbon Financial Instruments (CFIs) for February was 25,237 metric tons CO2. February trading volume was concentrated in 2005 Vintage CFIs (last trade $0.71 per metric ton CO2), followed by 2004 Vintage CFIs (last trade $0.91 per metric ton CO2). For the first time since continuous electronic trading started in December 2003, there was trading activity in the 2006 vintage (last trade $0.91 per metric ton CO2). The month of February saw a continued expansion in the number of market participants, as well as an increase in the size of the lots exchanged. The table below summarizes total trading activity for February 2004.


-- For more information, see:






U.S. Likely To Limit

Carbon Emissions



The United States will eventually impose caps on carbon dioxide emissions, despite pulling out three years ago from Kyoto Protocol on climate change which seeks to curb greenhouse gas pollution, an official from U.S. utility American Electric Power said recently.


"We don't expect Kyoto timeframes to be enforced in the United States but we do expect international consensus on this issue (CO2 emissions) will prevail in the United States," Susan Tomasky, chief financial officer at AEP told a conference.


Proposals by some states in the Northeast to curb CO2 emissions were impractical but were a sign of pressure mounting on the United States to do more to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, Tomasky said.


"The difficulty is where the emissions are and where the regulatory push is. In the Midwest where most coal-fired plants are, regulators don't want anything to do with (Kyoto)," she said.


"This is not a local problem. You can't address it on a state basis."


President George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty in 2001, arguing he could not back any agreement that would damage the U.S. economy.


Kyoto aims to cut rich countries' emissions of carbon dioxide by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.


The United States is the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas which many scientists blame for causing global warming.


AEP, one of the biggest generators in the United States, is the largest burner of coal in the western hemisphere, Tomasky said.


The European Union is to launch a carbon dioxide trading scheme in early 2005 as part of its efforts to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.


-- Reuters News Service, Feb. 16, 2004






AEP, Cinergy To Detail

Cuts In Carbon Dioxide


In a nod to the notion that U.S. global-warming regulations are inevitable, two of the nation's major electric utilities say they will disclose details about what they are doing to prepare for them, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.


The Bush administration opposes calls for restrictions on emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases widely believed to be contributing to global warming. But the announcements by American Electric Power Co. (AEP, news) and Cinergy Corp. (CIN, news) (CIN, news) mark a strategy shift by the two companies amid signs that global warming is becoming a higher priority among both politicians and shareholders.


(Editor’s Note: AEP and Cinergy are two of the power companies most active in negotiating for carbon credits in the U.S., according to Environmental Defense, an environmental organization active in bringing buyers and sellers of carbon credits together. -- Steve Watson)


Still, the electric companies are likely to use the reports they produce to bolster their argument that stringent restrictions on global-warming emissions would impose huge costs on U.S. industry and on U.S. consumers. It is also unclear whether the numbers produced will be specific enough to satisfy the companies' shareholder critics.


AEP and Cinergy are among the nation's biggest carbon-dioxide emitters, both because they produce so much electricity and because they produce most of it by burning coal.


-- Dow Jones Newswires, Feb. 19, 2004






Canada Seeds To Enhance Carbon Sinks

On Agricultural And Forest Land


The Government of Canada has launched a new call for proposals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects under the Pilot Emission Removals, Reductions and Learnings (PERRL) initiative, seeking proposals to enhance carbon sinks on agricultural and forest land.


The first round of proposals, launched in 2002, secured commitments to achieve close to 900,000 tonnes of GHG emissions reductions from Canadian landfills by the end of 2007, at an average cost of just over C$3.30 per tonne. In the second round, PERRL called for proposals for renewable energy projects. These proposals are currently being reviewed and results will be announced shortly.


This latest auction round will provide $2.5 million to new carbon sink enhancement projects, split equally between agriculture and forestry. A final round of bids will be called later in 2004, inviting proposals for projects in all areas covered under previous rounds, i.e., landfill gas capture and combustion, CO2 capture and geological storage, renewable energy and carbon sinks.


-- PointCarbon, March 1, 2004






MEETINGS OF INTEREST (All dates are 2004 unless otherwise noted.)



March 22-24, 2004, GreenTrading Summit: Emissions, Renewables & Megawatts

New York


April 13-15

15th Annual Earth Technologies Forum

Washington, DC.

For details, see


April 20-21

Point Carbon: Carbon Market Insights 2004

Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Contact: Mrs. Marte Nordseth, tel: +47 907 71 668, e-mail:


April 21- 24

Latin American Symposium About Carbon Sequestration

Curitiba, Parana, Brazil



April 25-30

EGU - 1st General Assembly


The BG 12 Regional greenhouse gas budget of the terrestrial biosphere session is addressed to researchers working on surface fluxes of direct and indirect greenhouse gases.

Co-Sponsorship: CarboEurope


April 28-30

CleanTech Venture Forum IV

San Francisco, CA


May 2-6

Third Annual Conference on Carbon Sequestration

Alexandria, VA

Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy

For details, see


May 5-7

GHG Registries, Climate Policy, and the Bottom Line

San Diego, CA

For details, see




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