Soil microbes burp carbon dioxide after drought-breaking rain


An unpredictable source of carbon emissions in areas of sporadic rainfall, is the carbon dioxide released from soil when rain falls after drought. The emissions come from soil microbes, and as Catherine Osborne explains, these critters are very difficult to study. But recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have made things easier. In her work at the University of California Berkeley, Catherine investigated soil microbes and makes a wonderful link with the music of Beethoven!

She notes the structure and emotion of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony mirrors her work on soils. We hear the London Symphony Players performing Beethoven’s Symphony No.6, the Pastoral Symphony.

Science and music once more enlarge our concepts, our minds – and open our hearts, hopefully.

Saturday 23 July 2016 12:30PM (view full episode)