Saturday, December 16, 2006

Plant a tree heat the Planet

As we mentioned here there a fallacies arising from carbon neutrality from forest sinks and the effects of comparison on pastoral farming and mature forestry.

The perspective is that our national parks and the mature plantation forests are sequestoring carbon and are productive carbon sinks is already accepted as a nonsense,Once the forests reach maturity the sequestion of carbon turns slightly negative,and with heterotrophic respiration of various microflora it has a further negative effect on the GHG emmission budget.

The models assume that croplands and managed farming conversion have a negative balance on the carbon budget,This is not the case plant growth from various arable crops actually outperform forests by 2-6 times due to enhanced growth rates,now further benefits have been identified.

Further papers were released at the AGU meeting on the value of forestry to enable a cooler planet.

In the first study to investigate the combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation in a fully interactive three-dimensional climate-carbon model, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Carnegie Institution and Université Montpellier II found that global forests actually produce a net warming of the planet.

Forests affect climate in three different ways: they absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help to keep the planet cool; they evaporate water to the atmosphere and increase cloudiness, which also helps keep the planet cool; and they are dark and absorb a lot of sunlight, warming the Earth. Climate change mitigation strategies that promote planting trees have taken only the first effect into account.

“Our study shows that tropical forests are very beneficial to the climate because they take up carbon and increase cloudiness, which in turn helps cool the planet,” Bala said.

But the study concludes that by the year 2100, forests in mid and high latitudes will make some places up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than would have occurred if the forests did not exist.

“The darkening of the surface by new forest canopies in the high latitude Boreal regions allows absorption of more sunlight that helps to warm the surface. In fact, planting more trees in high latitudes could be counterproductive from a climate perspective,” Bala said.


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