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'Wrong type of trees' in Europe increased global warming

 
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 691
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: 'Wrong type of trees' in Europe increased global warming Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35496350

The assumption that planting new forests helps limit climate change has been challenged by a new study. Researchers found that in Europe, trees grown since 1750 have actually increased global warming. The scientists believe that replacing broadleaved species with conifers is a key reason for the negative climate impact. Conifers like pines and spruce are generally darker and absorb more heat than species such as oak and birch. The authors believe the work has implications for current efforts to limit rising temperatures through mass tree planting.

Management issues
Europe's green canopy was dramatically thinned between 1750 and 1850, when the forested area diminished by 190,000 sq km. Ironically the greater use of fossil fuels, particularly coal, slowed the timber rush, and from 1850 to the present day, Europe's forests grew by some 386,000 sq km and now cover 10% more land than before the industrial revolution. However, the form and content of these new woods differed considerably from what went before. In the distant past, these forests ran wild - but in the modern world, some 85% of Europe's trees are managed by humans. And over the past 150 years, foresters have adopted a scientific approach to woodlands - planting faster growing, more commercially valuable trees such as a Scots pine and Norway spruce. The rapid re-forestation of great swathes of Europe has generally been seen as a good thing due to the trees' ability to soak up carbon, something that has become particularly relevant in recent decades. But the new study questions the positive impact of all these new trees on the climate. The research team reconstructed 250 years of forest management history in Europe - and found that the way forests are controlled by humans can lead to far less carbon being stored than would have been the case when nature was in charge.

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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13022
Location: way out west

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have thought (in my non-scientific way) that the heat they absorb was not that much of an issue. Surely it's more about taking the carbon out of carbon dioxide to form their bulk? In which case, acreage isn't worth a lot as a measure: tonnage is more relevant.
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The human appears to have no idea what its ideal diet should be; has self-inflicted diet-related diseases; causes extensive environmental destruction through basic food production & creates pathogenic infestations that widely infect its food supply.
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