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Scientists: Trees Cause Global Warming

From those defenders of the (increasingly complicated) faith at the BBC:

Photo

A view of the Canadian Rockies in the Banff National Forest. A recent study reveals that planting new trees in snow-covered northern regions may actually contribute to global warming as they have the counter-effect of tropical forests.

Snowy forests ‘increase warming’

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The report suggests deforestation is not always harmful

Planting trees in snowy areas may worsen global warming as their canopies absorb sunlight which would otherwise be reflected by the snow, a study says.

The report in US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says the pine forests of Europe, Siberia and Canada may contribute to warming.

Only tropical forests effectively cool the earth by absorbing carbon dioxide and creating clouds, the report says

Scientists have long argued that planting and preserving forests helps reduce global warming because trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen.

Trees also absorb water from the ground, helping to form clouds that shield the earth from sunlight.

But the report’s findings, discussed last year at an American Geophysical Union meeting and now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest planting forests indiscriminately may be counter-productive.

Rainforests do help stop global warming, the report says

Our new study shows that only tropical rainforests are strongly beneficial in helping slow down global warming,” Govindasamy Bala of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says.

In cooler areas of the earth, tree cover helps store sunlight reflected by snow on the ground and this “cancels or exceeds” the net cooling effect, Mr Bala told the AFP news agency…

Computer models produced by the report’s authors suggested deforestation in higher latitudes could reduce global warming…

Mind you, this report isn’t just from any crackpot organization. This is from the vaunted National Academy Of Sciences.

So get out your chainsaws.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, April 10th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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