Warming forests produce CO2 according to an article in ABC News in Science 23 July 2013. Forests can act as “carbon sinks”, i.e. they take in more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they release because it is used to build the structure of the trees. Environmentalists hope that planting new forests will help remove carbon dioxide from the air, and therefore help in the fight against climate change.
An international team of scientists have studied the relationship between fluctuations in global atmospheric CO2 between 1959 and 2011, as well as short-term fluctuations in temperatures in the tropics to see if warmer temperatures change the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by tropical forests. As described by the ABC: “Using data from a global network that measures atmospheric carbon concentration, and changes in precipitation, they found that tropical temperatures were the main driver of global CO2 levels: the higher the temperatures, the higher global CO2 levels”.
Pep Canadell of the Global Carbon Project based in Canberra, Australia, commented: “When they get warmer than average, forests in the tropics do not like it, and overall, they tend to put more CO2 into the atmosphere than they take out”. After running a computer model of earth’s systems the researchers concluded that “at warmer temperatures photosynthesis of trees actually fell, while the respiration of microbes in the soil increased”.
Editorial Comment:Yet another study showing that warmth and CO2 go together, but the warming is actually increasing the CO2 and not vice versa This is not surprising. Warm moist environments are just what microbes, along with fungi and small invertebrates thrive in – and when they are alive and active they produce CO2. This study is another reminder that carbon dioxide is a natural product of many biological and geological processes – most of which are out of control of human beings. How long will the politicians continue to ignore the truth so they can play gods over the environment and charge us for living on earth. (Ref. environment, greenhouse gases, rainforests)
Evidence News 31 July 2013