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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Can trees offset carbon footprint?

Global Warming
USA Today (Magazine)
6/1/2007

How effective are new trees in off-setting the carbon footprint? A study by Lawrence Livermore (Calif.) National Laboratory suggests that the location of the new growth is an important factor when considering such carbon offset projects. For instance, planting and preserving forests in the tropics is more likely to slow down global warming. However, the study also concludes that planting new trees in certain parts of the planet actually may warm the Earth.

New forests in mid- to high-latitude locations could create a net warming effect. Specifically, more trees in mid*latitude locations like the U.S. and most of Europe only would create marginal benefits from a climate perspective, but those extra trees in the boreal forests of Canada, Scandinavia, and Siberia could be counterproductive, maintains atmospheric scientist Govindasamy Bala.

Forests affect climate in three different ways: absorbing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help keep the planet cool; evaporating water to the atmosphere and increasing cloudiness, which also helps keep the planet cool; and absorbing sunlight (the albedo effect), thus warming the Earth. Previous climate change mitigation strategies that promote planting trees only have taken the first effect into account.

"Our study shows that only tropical rain forests are strongly beneficial in helping slow down global warming," Bala notes. "It is a win-win situation in the tropics because trees in the tropics, in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide, promote convective clouds that help to cool the planet. In other locations, the warming from the albedo effect either cancels or exceeds the net cooling from the other two effects"

The study concludes that, by the year 2100, forests in mid and high latitudes will make some places up to 10[degrees]F warmer than would have occurred if the forests did not exist. However, the authors caution that the cooling from deforestation outside the tropics should not be viewed as a strategy for mitigating climate change.

"Preservation of ecosystems is a primary goal of preventing global warming, and the destruction of ecosystems to prevent global warming would be a counterproductive and perverse strategy," concludes study co-author Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C.

COPYRIGHT 2007 Society for the Advancement of Education
This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

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My Rant

The claim that climate change is direct result of man's energy consumption is simply unproven and politically motivated. While they propound lies that certain lightbulbs or cars will destroy the earth and raise ocean levels as much as 20 feet within the next century, fascists, like Al Gore, fly around in their Gulfstream jets and live in homes that use 22 times the energy of an average American's home! Their propaganda is outrageous and potentially catastrophic for the economies of United States, the developed world and developing world.

The proof of global warming or man's influence on climate change is not settled science. Just consider the source of the big lie: the proselytizing hypocritical high priest of the pagan environmental religion Al Gore or the other Kool-Aid drinking climateers from the left such as Learjet liberals, Hollywood high school drop-outs, billonaire elitists, the left-leaning mainstream media, the United Nations, academia, environmental radicals, socialists, other anti-capitalists and so called "researchers", "experts" and/or "scientists" whose paychecks depend upon the apparent existence of the "issue".

United States energy conservation and independence is a worthy goal that should be supported by Republicans, the Democrat Party, true Democrats, Independents and environmentalists. Energy independence is a major national security concern. However, lying to our people, implementing the cap & trade boondoggle which will crush our economy or doing anything that will cause the United States to transfer an portion of its sovereignty to the United Nations is idiotic. Not in my name!