Ok...so we all know that corn-derived fuels are a great alternative to fossil fuels but a recent study suggests that corn may really be turning on the heat in its own little war against carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Not only may corn someday replace traditional petroleum based fuels, scientists are actually using corn to detect the CO2 emissions that these fuels emit.
A recent study shows how corn leaves can be used to map local CO2 emissions over the course of an entire growing season. So, you ask...aren't there instruments that can do this? While gas-sniffing gadgetry can directly record CO2 emissions, the low cost and abundance of corn throughout North America can greatly facilitate the process of tracking where CO2 emissions are the worst. It's a clever and relatively inexpensive way to sample emissions region wide, without sending a bunch of lab coats into the field. Corn may be an even bigger player in the reduction of greenhouse gases than traditionally thought.
So, where are the CO2 hotspots in the US? Sampling from 67 sites in 2004, this method showed that southern and central California and the Ohio Valley are the major CO2 emitting regions.
In the fight against global warming - Round #2 goes to corn.