The newest climate change research tool may be in your pantry
by Chris Patrick
Tea bags are no longer merely a means of brewing an aromatic beverage. They’ve now found purchase in environmental research, providing a more efficient way to measure how fast things decay—and how well wetlands store carbon.
Lisa Schile, a postdoc in the biogeochemistry lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), said she’s a “guinea pig” for tea bag research. Schile puts tea bags into wetlands not because she’s vying for the record of World’s Largest Cup of Tea, but because tea bags are essentially mini litter bags, buried mesh sacks of leaves and other plant parts that tell researchers how fast plants decompose in an area. Click to continue »