[climatematters] FW: Guardian Unlimited: Planting trees to save planet is pointless, say ecologists

  • From: Leslie Coelho <lesliecoelho@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 09:10:48 +0000

Dear All,
An interesting article below form Bob. Looks like you need to ensure that any 
tree planting you fund for offsetting carbon emissions is not just ethical but 
tropical. I think that most people would agree that the priority needs to be on 
 Carbon reduction. To find out more about simple way to start reducing your CO2 
emissions take a look at http://www.cred-uk.org/
another good sites for advice is http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/default.ct
and for ideas at work http://www.theclimategroup.org/index.php?pid=429
Leslie> > bob shearer spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought 
you should see it.> > > To see this story with its related links on the 
Guardian Unlimited site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk> > Planting trees to 
save planet is pointless, say ecologists> Alok Jha in San Francisco> Friday 
December 15 2006> The Guardian> > > Planting trees to combat climate change is 
a waste of time, according to a study by ecologists who say that most forests 
do not have any overall effect on global temperature, while those furthest from 
the equator could actually be making global warming worse.> > "The idea that 
you can go out and plant a tree and help reverse global warming is an 
appealing, feel-good thing," said Ken Caldeira of the global ecology department 
at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Stanford, California, a co-author 
of the study. "To plant forests to mitigate climate change outside of the 
tropics is a waste of time."> > The carbon dioxide used by trees for 
photosynthesis helps cool the Earth by reducing greenhouse gases in the 
atmosphere. But forests also trap heat from the sunlight they absorb.> > 
Professor Caldeira and his colleague Govindasamy Bala, of the Lawrence 
Livermore National Laboratory, also in California, said that outside a thin 
band around the equator, forests trap more heat than they help to get rid of by 
reducing CO2> > Their research comes in the wake of criticism from scientists 
of forestry schemes to offset carbon emissions, which they argue let consumers 
carry on polluting with a clear conscience. The schemes are big business; 
within three years, the market is expected to reach &pound;300m.> > Dr Bala's 
study, the first simulation to link carbon dioxide and the heat-absorbing 
effect of trees, found forests had different effects on global warming 
depending on latitude. He is to present his findings at the American 
Geophysical Union's meeting in San Francisco today.> > "North of 20 degrees 
[latitude] forests had a direct warming influence that more or less 
counterbalanced the cooling effect of carbon removal from the atmosphere," said 
Prof Caldeira. Past 50 degrees, forests warmed the Earth by an average of 0.8C. 
But in the tropics forests helped cool the planet by an average of 0.7C.> > Dr 
Bala explained that forest canopies, because they are relatively dark, absorbed 
most of the sun's rays heating falling on them. Grassland or snowfields, 
however, reflected more sun, keeping temperatures lower. Planting trees above 
50 degrees latitude, such as in Siberia, could cover tundras normally blanketed 
in heat-reflecting snow.> > In the tropical regions, though, water evaporating 
from trees increased cloudiness, which helped keep the planet cool.> > John 
Coequyt, of Greenpeace USA, said: "We have always come down on limiting the 
credits you give to countries and companies that use forestry policy to 
mitigate climate change."> > Prof Caldeira said planting trees was a diversion, 
letting consumers pollute more. He said it would be better to transform the way 
energy was derived and used, for instance through investment in renewable and 
carbon-free electricity generation.> > > Copyright Guardian News and Media 
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.

Other related posts:

  • » [climatematters] FW: Guardian Unlimited: Planting trees to save planet is pointless, say ecologists