We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Forests and Global Warming
The arguments here are a bit much. However the major opportunity is
to increse global forest cover as much as possible. Forest cover
absorbs much more solar energy which means that far less solar energy
is lost back into space. Thus the global heat bank actually
For the past several thousand years, human activity has actually
seriously cut into that global heat bank, mostly through
inappropriate deforestation. Some minor reversal has taken place and
the eastern USA can be particularly noted as likely Europe also.
A good first step in the process is merely to replace wood as fuel.
That is mostly done and as the remaining global economy arises from
subsistence wood fuel will disappear. From there the forests
themselves will largely begin to revive. I will note that this is
the most important step anyway and requires no management or
I am personally an advocate of managing near natural forests to
optimize their health and productivity. Finding economic models and
developing best practice is an achievable goal and can provide a
satisfying life way for hundreds of millions of families. Recall
that the northeast Indians largely managed their forests on an
ongoing basis. This was partly driven to by the need to eliminate
ground cover for enemies and to provide ample food trees close to
Care consists of little more than getting out in the spring to chip
out the dead falls and pull a few stems in the process and perhaps
some obvious thinning. Obviously more could be done, but that is the
least and that soon produces a park-like woodland. Send in goats,
deer and cattle and all the brush will be cropped back and a very
diverse ecology will arise. This has been done for centuries in
isolated cases and needs to simply become mandated as an ownership
Fertile soils in U.S.
forests could release vast amounts of carbon dioxide due to global
warming, creating a "vicious cycle" of heat increases,
Research led by the
University of California, Irvine, found heating of soil in
northeastern U.S. forests by 10 to 20 degrees increased the release
of carbon dioxide by as much as eight times.
"We found that
decades-old carbon in surface soils is released to the atmosphere
faster when temperatures become warmer," Francesca Hopkins of
UCI's Earth system science department said. "This suggests that
soils could accelerate global warming through a vicious cycle in
which man-made warming releases carbon from soils to the atmosphere,
which, in turn, would warm the planet more."
Soil, containing large
amounts of carbon in decaying leaves and roots, stores more than
twice as much of the element as does the atmosphere, scientists said.
woodlands that were once farm fields are currently one of Earth's
largest carbon sinks, holding nearly 26 billion tons, but climate
scientists are concerned that with ongoing warming trees and soils
could become sources, rather than repositories, of greenhouse gas
"These are carbon
dioxide sources that, in effect, we can't control," Hopkins
said. "We could control how much gasoline we burn, how much coal
we burn, but we don't have control over how much carbon the soil will
release once this gets going."