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New global warming villain fingered
#1
Quote:New global warming villain fingered: Trees

BOB WEBER

Canadian Press

October 31, 2007 at 6:21 PM EDT

Forests have long been thought of as an ally in the fight against global warming, but a new study suggests that Canada's boreal forest may in fact be releasing more greenhouse gases than it absorbs.

“The boreal forest, at least in the north-central part of Manitoba, has gone from a weak carbon sink to a weak carbon source,” said Dr. Tom Gower of the University of Wisconsin, whose paper is being published Thursday in the journal Nature. “It is now contributing to atmospheric (carbon dioxide) concentration.”

Dr. Gower and his fellow researchers studied a million-square-kilometre stretch of forest around Thompson, Man. The team took field measurements of how carbon moved between the forest and the atmosphere and then used computer modelling and forestry records to suggest how that cycle has changed since the 1950s.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they burn or decompose.

Although results varied for individual years depending on the severity of the forest fire season, Dr. Gower found that the forest once absorbed, on average, slightly more carbon than it emitted — about five or 10 grams per square metre of forest per year.

Now, however, the direction of that flow has reversed. On average, the forest actually emits about two grams per square metre per year.

“(The forest) is actually contributing to rising carbon emissions,” Dr. Gower said.

The cause, he said, is forest fires. Climate change, according to most models, leads to increased forest fires because it creates hotter and drier conditions.

“The warmer climate has increased fire frequency and extent,” said Dr. Gower. “Those wildfires have caused this transition in the boreal forest from a carbon sink to a carbon source.”

Not only do the fires themselves release vast quantities of carbon dioxide, they expose soil to sunlight, which speeds decomposition and more carbon dioxide release. If enough warming occurs to melt permafrost, that may release more carbon yet.

In fact, Dr. Gower said we may already be in a feedback loop of increased carbon emissions from the boreal forest.

“Climate change is what's causing the fires,” he said. “If it was left unchecked, it could become a feedback.”

Boreal forests around the world are second in size only to tropical rainforests. They cover the upper latitudes of every Canadian province, as well as the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Alaska, Siberia, China and Scandinavia.

The size of the forest, as well as the fact that those regions are expected to experience the most severe climate changes, suggests that even a small shift in the carbon cycle of that ecosystem could have serious effects on the entire planet.

If carbon concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase, Dr. Gower said, climate change will become an increasingly important contributor to forest fires.

“Based on our current understanding, fire was a more important driver than climate was. But if carbon dioxide concentration really doubles in the next 50 years and the temperature increases four to eight degrees Celsius, all bets may be off.”






They should have given the Nobel Prize to Pierre-the-Lumberjack.
The true purpose of democracy is not to select the best leaders — a clearly debatable obligation — but to facilitate the prompt and peaceful removal of obviously bad ones. 
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#2
So the next year California fires will be started by environmentalists?
Government is necessary because people left unchecked will do evil.

The government is composed of people left unchecked


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#3
Last night, while working late, I was tuned to National Geographic's Naked Science. On one of the programs, they were explaining the cause of the snowfall at the bottom of the ocean. Huge white flakes were falling, and it was a blizzard.

The explanation was that animals.organisms, as they died, deteriorated and broke up into carbon, which eventually bonded together and settled onto the ocean floor. I can't remember the total annual amount, but it was several billion tons, I believe. That is a tremendous amount of carbon, which settles on the floor, and it eventually lowered by the subduction zones, as it slides into the earth's mantle. That is how carbon is actually sequestered, and reprocessed into such things as hydrocarbons(as in oil, natural gas). It's a constant cycle.

On the earth, the largest carbon sink is most likely grasslands, where nodules of carbon are stored by the grass root systems on an annual basis. Grasses have always been greater carbon intakers than trees, IMO.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
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#4
mv Wrote:So the next year California fires will be started by environmentalists?
Only if they're as poor a reader as yourself. The article say:
Dr. Tom Gower Wrote:“The boreal forest, at least in the north-central part of Manitoba, has gone from a weak carbon sink to a weak carbon source,” said Dr. Tom Gower of the University of Wisconsin, whose paper is being published Thursday in the journal Nature. “It is now contributing to atmospheric (carbon dioxide) concentration.”

“The warmer climate has increased fire frequency and extent,” said Dr. Gower. “Those wildfires have caused this transition in the boreal forest from a carbon sink to a carbon source.”
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#5
Yep, we need scientists to tell us that wildfires release CO2. Why are they not searching the link between Global Warming and al Queda?

John, I'm pleased to see
Quote:The explanation was that animals.organisms, as they died, deteriorated and broke up into carbon, which eventually bonded together and settled onto the ocean floor. I can't remember the total annual amount, but it was several billion tons, I believe. That is a tremendous amount of carbon, which settles on the floor, and it eventually lowered by the subduction zones, as it slides into the earth's mantle. That is how carbon is actually sequestered, and reprocessed into such things as hydrocarbons(as in oil, natural gas). It's a constant cycle.
you're back to good science of how fossil fuel is produced. Just a small step now to realise GW is man made.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#6
quadrat Wrote:Yep, we need scientists to tell us that wildfires release CO2. Why are they not searching the link between Global Warming and al Queda?

John, I'm pleased to see
Quote:The explanation was that animals.organisms, as they died, deteriorated and broke up into carbon, which eventually bonded together and settled onto the ocean floor. I can't remember the total annual amount, but it was several billion tons, I believe. That is a tremendous amount of carbon, which settles on the floor, and it eventually lowered by the subduction zones, as it slides into the earth's mantle. That is how carbon is actually sequestered, and reprocessed into such things as hydrocarbons(as in oil, natural gas). It's a constant cycle.
you're back to good science of how fossil fuel is produced. Just a small step now to realise GW is man made.

Yeah right "Q". Nice try,...............AGAIN!!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
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#7
John Wrote:Yeah right "Q". Nice try,...............AGAIN!!
Well Q is quite right, you clearly have disavowed the late Dr Gold's abiotic theory on the origin of oil.
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#8
Someone will probably revive the call to build factories that will take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and pump it into the oceans. This would probably make the earth the only planet in the universe with carbonated soda pop for an ocean. I wonder how fishies would like the fizzies!
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#9
Dammmmit. I was going to plant some trees next spring.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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