Warmist: Stop Planting Trees, You’re Making Global Warming Worse

Um, OK. Here’s Nadine Unger in the NY Times

To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees

Deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide. The assumption is that planting trees and avoiding further deforestation provides a convenient carbon capture and storage facility on the land.

That is the conventional wisdom. But the conventional wisdom is wrong.

In reality, the cycling of carbon, energy and water between the land and the atmosphere is much more complex. Considering all the interactions, large-scale increases in forest cover can actually make global warming worse.

Of course, this is counterintuitive. We all learn in school how trees effortlessly perform the marvel of photosynthesis: They take up carbon dioxide from the air and make oxygen. This process provides us with life, food, water, shelter, fiber and soil. The earth’s forests generously mop up about a quarter of the world’s fossil-fuel carbon emissions every year.

So it’s understandable that we’d expect trees to save us from rising temperatures, but climate science tells a different story. Besides the amount of greenhouse gases in the air, another important switch on the planetary thermostat is how much of the sun’s energy is taken up by the earth’s surface, compared to how much is reflected back to space. The dark color of trees means that they absorb more of the sun’s energy and raise the planet’s surface temperature.

Climate scientists have calculated the effect of increasing forest cover on surface temperature. Their conclusion is that planting trees in the tropics would lead to cooling, but in colder regions, it would cause warming.

As Don Surber notes

She’s losing it. Temperatures have leveled off for 15 years. Having hung all their rationalization for seizing industry from capitalists on global warming, liberals are stuck with a planet that is not getting warmer. Or cooler. Or anything any time soon. They are stuck with it and they are lashing out.

Back to Miss Unger

In order to grow food, humans have changed about 50 percent of the earth’s surface area from native forests and grasslands to crops, pasture and wood harvest. Unfortunately, there is no scientific consensus on whether this land use has caused overall global warming or cooling. Since we don’t know that, we can’t reliably predict whether large-scale forestation would help to control the earth’s rising temperatures.

Interesting. She’s making a big call for land use as being a big cause of warming.

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3 Responses to “Warmist: Stop Planting Trees, You’re Making Global Warming Worse”

  1. John says:

    Teach so far in the first six months of this year the temps have been the warmest ever recorded
    How is this not shown on Monckton’ graphs?
    If we do beak all historical heat records might thus indicate that the planet is continuing to get hotter?

  2. I’m all for trees, Jeff. Just pointing out the wackiness from the folks who hold the same beliefs you do.

    No one is saying we aren’t in a warm period, John. The argument is on causation. And the Pause invalidates the assumption from your side that we are Doomed from trace amounts of CO2.

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