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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 74129 times)

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #840 on: April 08, 2017, 02:35:06 pm »

The forests won’t fix our CO2 problem — in fact, they’ll scrub less than we assumed

Alexandru Micu March 7, 2017

Carbon dioxide absorption by growing biosphere may have been overestimated up to now, a new study concludes. This is due to previous estimates not taking into account the limiting factor of essential nutrients on plant development.

Image via Pixabay.

One effect of rising concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere is that plants have more of the gas — a prime source of carbon — to metabolize, improving growth rates. It also raises average temperatures in cold areas, promoting plant growth. Satellite imagery has shown that while growth has declined in some areas, our planet is getting greener overall.

Climate scientists have pointed out that this increased quantity of plants will be able to scrub even more CO2 out of the atmosphere, forming a natural carbon sink, and helping mitigate our emissions. But they have overestimated just how much the biosphere will grow, and thus how much more carbon it will soak. By testing the effect of higher CO2 levels on forests growing in tropical and subtropical soils, a team from the Western Sydney University in Australia has found that the biosphere will likely grow less than what previous estimates have projected.

Plenty of carbon, scarce phosphorus

The team, led by David Ellsworth of Western Sydney University in Australia, says that forests will absorb around a tenth less CO2 than previously expected, meaning CO2 levels will rise even faster than our current models predict. The main limiting factor opposing CO2’s fertilizing effect is the lack of phosphorous in tropical and subtropical regions, they explain.

To determine how much the biosphere will grow, the team artificially raised CO2 levels in six plots of a mature eucalyptus forest near Sydney, which were growing in characteristically phosphorus-poor soil. The plots were covered in a mix of individuals of diverse species and ages.

ALSO READ  NASA satellite spots mile-long iceberg breaking off from Antarctic glacier

Previous similar work in temperate forests (whose soils are much richer in phosphorus) found that CO2 increase could boost growth by as much as 20%. Ellsworth’s team found no evidence of growth boost in their plots at all. They attribute this difference to the limiting effect of phosphorous (a key nutrient) on growth. The results are backed by previous results, showing plant growth in the past 30 years didn’t see as much an increase as we estimated.

Another (very) limiting factor is human activity. Although some forests will grow faster if left to their own devices, we have a pretty consistent habit of cutting them down. Martin Brandt et al. show that while there’s overall more woody vegetation in Africa, the effects of warmer climate and rising levels of CO2 are offset by deforestation for raw materials and arable land in highly populated, humid areas, leading to a decrease in woody vegetation for these regions. The biggest increase in forests was seen in dry areas with low human populations, but it’s unclear if this makes up for the losses in vegetation elsewhere.

Ellsworth also points out that an increase in plant growth doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in CO2 absorption and storage by plants.

Where does this leave us? Well, while it would be a nice turn of events it seems unlikely that the trees will clean our mess. So overall the situation takes a turn for the worse. Our best bet, as up to now, is to limit emissions and find ways to sequester CO2. In the meantime, we should also try as much as possible to mitigate the damage.

The full paper “Elevated CO2 does not increase eucalypt forest productivity on a low-phosphorus soil” has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


Agelbert NOTE: The above is objective scientific reporting. Unfortunately for those of us in the reality based community, the probability of seeing or reading about this in Fox News (and most other media in the USA   :P ) is about 7%.

You say that ain't so? You say that was way back in 2012 and "people are better informed by the media today". 

Most Americans believe climate change is real but the media war on science clearly shows its teeth

Tibi Puiu April 7, 2017

On Wednesday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) gave his 163rd “Time to Wake Up” address on climate change in front of his colleagues from Congress informing them that most Americans believe climate change is real. Whitehouse cited a recent study released by Yale University scientists to highlight the gap between what lawmakers say and do in Congress and what their constituents really think and expect from their elected representatives.

According to the Yale study, 70% of Americans believe in climate change. That might sound like good news but there are a couple of caveats that we need to pay attention to. For instance, the same study found only 53% of Americans believe climate change is caused by human activity. In other words, one in two people thinks the direction climate is heading is completely natural or impossible to influence, which is just borderline better than outright climate change denial.

Counties where adults discuss global warming at least occasionally. The west part of the country is far more involved in the climate change conversation. Credit: Yale University.

Agelbert NOTE: Vermont is, like much of the west, part of the reality based community.   

What can explain these stats in light of an overwhelming scientific consensus? It’s the media war on science, of course. The Yale survey found 49 percent of people thought that “most scientists think global warming is happening,” when in fact 97% of climate scientists agree climate change is not only happening but is caused by humans. It reminds me of the confusion around the health risks of smoking tobacco. Despite the fact that ever since the freaking 1950s an overwhelming majority of doctors cautioned patients that smoking can kill, the general public was polarized by Big Tobacco marketing campaigns and bogus cherry-picked studies made by ill-intentioned scientists or no real scientists at all, for that matter. Almost everyone nowadays knows smoking kills and it would be silly to think otherwise because you just can’t keep the lid on this kind of thing for too long — but just a few decades ago things weren’t that clear in the eyes of the general public.

So the confusion among the general public is understandable when you realize the country’s biggest broadcast networks collectively aired shows or news covering climate change for no more than 50 minutes for the whole year of 2016. That’s how much time the planet and the livelihoods of millions of species are worth to them. When they do talk about climate change or events under a climate change lens, often there are no real scientists invited to the discussion or, worse, they air climate denialism.

With half the population of the country dazed and confused, this Presidential Administration feels legitimized to undo policies that were actually helping the environment and enacting policies that will make it worse. The most recent attack on climate and science, in general, was last week’s executive order to destroy the Clean Power Act under which hundreds of new power plants would have been closed and replaced with renewable energy. The idea is to make ‘coal great again’, you know, last century’s tech which has been getting killed by the market for years. Reviving coal use is like trying to put back horse drive carriages on the road. Pure lunacy, just like one of the most embarrassing anti-science hearing ever that took place recently. Last week was a ‘good one’.

“Typical for this insider friendly administration. It’s a polluter’s wish list that’s terrible for the American people. ‘Sad,’ as the President would say,” Sen. Whitehouse spoke in front of Congress colleagues.

“The question of carbon dioxide as a polluter has been settled by the Supreme Court. So you have as a matter of law a dangerous pollutant and under the law it must be regulated. So this performance by the Trump show is a waste of time because ultimately lawyers and courts will give ‘the law’ — the final say,” he later added.

Yet again, it seems policy makers act with total impunity against the wishes of their constituents. The Yale study found 82 percent of respondents said the country should fund research into renewable energy sources. Moreover, 75 percent said the government should regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

ALSO READ  Trump orders media blackout at the EPA, tells employees to 'cut climate change webpage'

If you feel justifiably underrepresented by these recent developments, don’t stand idle. Write to your senator letting him or her know that what you care about stands in stark contrast to Congress and Oval Office action. But before you do that, talk to your friends and family about this. A previous study found two-thirds of Americans are worried about climate change but rarely talk about it publically.   


ANOTHER Agelbert NOTE: The REASON Americans don't talk about their worries on climate change publicly is BECAUSE of the media propaganda blitz funded BY THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY. It's called Cognitive dissonance through AGNOTOLOGY.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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