Call for Teatime4 Science: Contribution to Citizen Science Project

Become part of a world wide research project and find out what role soil plays for climate change. All you need are two teabags, a good scale and a spoon to dig. Scientists developed a simple and cheap method to measure decay rate of plant material by using tea. The method consists of burying tea bags with Green tea and Rooibos and digging them up ca. three months later. In this period, the tea will decay, and will therefore show what will happen with normal plant material in the soil.

Image: MiKa / Fotolia

The scientific value of this new method has already been acknowledged and experiments are currently running in countries all over the world. Many school children and other citizen scientists joined. The idea is to use this new method to collect data on decay rates from all over the world. With this data we will make a global soil map, and consequently improve global climate models that use these maps.

This method was developed and tested by a team of researchers from the University of Utrecht, Umeå University, The Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Ltd.