The Treeflights blog

Two chaps with a passion for trees in dotcom startup drama

Friday, December 15, 2006

The tree that changed the world

New research using climate modeling by Ken Caldiera has come up with a new theory;

That trees in the northern hemisphere actually do more harm than good, by heating the earth more than than the cooling effect of their absorption of Carbon Dioxide (C).

Fine- But consider this. Most of the land surface of the Earth is in the northern hemisphere, and when the deciduous trees in North America, Europe and Asia all 'breathe in' in spring, (an effect talked about in 'An Inconvenient Truth') they inhale a vast amount of C, which they proceed to fix. Measurements of atmospheric C in winter and again in summer show the enormous effect they have.

Does Ken propose to chop these forests down because they're heating the planet?
Because, if you follow his argument through, thats what we should be doing..

The Carboniferous period was dominated by trees, specifically Archaeopteris, the first true tree. Its unique qualities created a thick layer of coal and oil over MILLIONS of years- The one we're mining now and spewing into the atmosphere.

Stephen Scheckler, a professor of biology and geological sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, says, "When [Archaeopteris] appears, it very quickly became the dominant tree all over the Earth. On all of the land areas that were habitable, they all had this tree".

This ancient tree played the major role in creating a breathable atmosphere, the oxygen that has enabled me to write this piece.
The point is that what Archaeopteris started, modern trees can do again, It's just a question of scale!



At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that the worlds temperature is rising concurrently with us losing our planetary forest.Logic would dictate that trees therefore help to cool the planet.Also in the past when the whole planet was covered by trees it wasn't subject to the warming that we see now. Maybe trees are good for the planet after all.Caldiera needs to go back to his drawing board and check his calculations.

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific, that' s exactly what I was seeking for! You just spared me alot of work

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for spreading the word about this.


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