Program 42

AIRDATE:12/09/01

PROMO: Dr. Bill Gunter, Distinguished Scientist and Group Leader, Applied Geochemistry, Climate Change Technologies, Alberta Research Council
Dr. Steve Cumming, Forest and Fire Ecologist, Boreal Ecosystems Research Ltd.

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ITEM:1

TITLE: Dr. Bill Gunter, Distinguished Scientist and Group Leader, Applied Geochemistry, Climate Change Technologies, Alberta Research Council
SUBJECT: #42 Coal Bed Methane
SYNOPSIS: Methane is the deadly gas that causes explosions in coal mines. Its also a potential fuel for the future. Dr. Bill Gunter of the Alberta Research Council is researching enhanced coal bed methane technology. Methane gas could be used to fuel power generating plants with new processes that would bring methane from coal beds out of the ground, much as we now recover oil and gas by drilling wells. However, instead of letting emissions from power plants which contain carbon dioxide and nitrogen go up the stack into the atmosphere, they could be pumped back into the ground. The pressure from the CO2 would push more methane up the pipe into the plant, thus creating a closed circuit system that would have environmentally positive results for the atmosphere

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ITEM:2

TITLE: Dr. Steve Cumming, Forest and Fire Ecologist, Boreal Ecosystems Research Ltd.
SUBJECT: #42 Modelling Forest Fires
SYNOPSIS: When Dr. Steve Cumming attended a recent meeting of the Ecological Society of America, a debate arose over whether or not fire suppression is effective. The year 2000 was marked by large, intense fires in the United States, fuelling concerns that putting out fires over the last few decades has actually contributed to worse fires down the road because of fuel overload. It was a debate that rested on claims and beliefs, but no hard evidence. So Steve came back to Edmonton where he specializes in modelling forest ecosystems, including forest fires, and set about collecting and analyzing the data that would put the argument to rest.

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