Sunday, April 15, 2007

Planting Trees In Cooler Climates Could Be Hot Issue

National Academy of Sciences has published a study that makes note that planting trees in colder hemispheres could acerbate global warming. Researchers from Stanford University and Universite Montpellier II in France partnered with the Academy.

"Our study shows that only tropical rainforests are strongly beneficial in helping slow down global warming," Govindasamy Bala, an atmospheric scientist who led the research, said.

"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 [sunlight absorption] either cancels or exceeds the net cooling from the other two effects."

[...] "When it comes to rehabilitating forests to fight global warming, carbon dioxide might be only half of the story; we also have to account for whether they help to reflect sunlight by producing clouds, or help to absorb it by shading snowy tundra," study co-author Ken Caldeira said.

However, the authors did not endorse deforestation of the boreal forests as a measure against global warming.

"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," Mr Caldeira said.

Makes sense to me. Allowing sunlight to filter through in the wintertime is why Mother Nature provides deciduous trees.

Do you want to sing a song while planting trees? Try this one.

Killer Trees?

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