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 increases.

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 particular intervention.

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 home.

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 responsibility.

Forests could be global warming factor

by Staff Writers

Irvine, Calif. (UPI) Jun 11, 2012

Fertile soils in U.S. forests could release vast amounts of carbon dioxide due to global warming, creating a "vicious cycle" of heat increases, scientists say.

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.

Northeastern 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 emissions.

"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."

1 comment:

F. said...

The entire premise of this article is wrong. Forests are not the major CO2 repositories on earth, the oceans are. Furthermore, the millions of acres of forest that have been cut down to create room for farming, haven’t made the earth warmer, they’ve made it cooler. The reason for this is that wheat, and other light colored grains, reflect more solar energy back into space than dark forests which absorb more heat.

If they understood this, the alarmists might then think that planting more trees was wrong because they could cause more warming, but in reality, the warming effect is good, because warming isn’t and never has been a threat to life on earth. Planting more trees is also good because trees produce oxygen. If you look at history, most of mankind’s greatest achievments occurred during warm periods. The Minoen & Roman civilizations reached their peak during times that were significantly warmer than we are now. In fact, in relation to earth's temperature history, the planet isn’t even warm now. The warming which has occurred since the end of the little ice age has been minimal. Even during the middle ages, about 900 years ago, it was so much warmer than it is today that lush vineyards were thriving in Northern Scotland.

The theory that rising levels of greenhouse gasses play a major role in warming our planet is simply bogus. It’s been proven that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 can only raise temperatures by about 1°C. Our current CO2 levels aren’t even high. It’s all a lie. Of the current level, approaching 390ppm, only 4% comes from human activities. That comes to 16 parts per million. That’s one part CO2 (a clear, colorless & odorless gas) for every 62,500 parts of the atmosphere. CO2 levels in a typical nightclub usually run about 6,000ppm. In submarines, CO2 levels are even higher. Submariners suffer no ill effects from living in such high CO2 concentrations for months at a time. CO2 is NOT carbon, and it leaves no footprint. The alarmists want us to think of CO2 in the same terms as the coal dust we see in old photos of the faces of coal miners. Coal and graphite are minerals that are forms of carbon, but so are diamonds. Using modern technology, coal is a clean and inexpensive source of energy. Obama’s war on coal, is one very clear part of his plan to destroy our country’s economy.

Since we know that solar energy varies in cycles of predictable durations, we know that the earth is currently poised to enter a prolonged period of cooling. Within the next 25 to 35 years, we’ll see the climate alarmists screaming about the coming ice age just as they did in the 1970’s.

It’s all bull#%*! CO2 is NOT a pollutant, & warming is caused by the sun…. and WARMING IS GOOD!