By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Environment
Forests in the eastern United States are actually growing faster than they have in the past 225 years in response to climate change, according to a new study.
Forests in the eastern United States are actually growing faster than they have in the past 225 years in response to climate change, according to a new study.
For more than 20 years, ecologist Geoffrey Parker has been tracking the growth of 55 mixed hardwood forest plots at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland. According to his research in a newly published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the forest is growing at a much faster rate than expected -- two tons per acre, per year.
While that doesn't sound like much to call home about, Parker says the unexpected growth is actually a natural response to the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, higher temperatures and longer growing seasons.
In other words, climate change.
Forests and their soils store the majority of the Earth's terrestrial carbon. That means minor changes in their growth rate can have major effects on weather patterns, nutrient cycles, climate change and biodiversity -- though exactly how is still unknown.
Parker and researcher Sean McMahon measured the growth by creating a "chronosequence," or a series of forests plots of the same type that are at different developmental stages. Using forest plots ranging from five to 225 years old, Parker and McMahon were able to verify that there was accelerated growth in forest stands both young and old.
According to their measurements, more than 90 percent of the stands grew two to four times faster than predicted from the baseline chronosequence.
(How do they know it's a recent phenomenon? The age groupings allow the researchers to determine that -- if the rate of growth recorded was sustained for a tree's lifetime, it would be much larger.)
Parker estimates that he and his colleagues have taken some 250,000 measurements since 1987, calculating the biomass of a tree with knowledge of its species and diameter. When the faster growth rate was discovered, the scientists were able to rule out all but the three reasons tied to climate change.
According to the scientists, in the past 22 years, carbon dioxide levels at the research center have risen 12 percent, the mean temperature has increased by nearly three-tenths of a degree and the growing season has lengthened by 7.8 days.
Parker says his study results are representative of the Eastern deciduous forest. The researchers are waiting to see if other forest ecologists find similar results in other areas of the country.
Feb 2, 2010
LOL! We'll probably clash again the next time they post something on climate change here. My only faith is that scientists in general and climate scientists specifically are sincerely trying to better understand the world we live in. In the absence of my detailed knowledge of a subject I'll go with the people who are studying it daily. BTW, did you see that Penn State exonerated Michael Mann (of hockey stick graph fame) in the CRU emails. They found no indication of any impropriety by him. Of course you will say that the fix was in. (I put this part in just to tick you off). Sigh...
Just as I said and expected, you will turn a blind eye to anything that directly or indirectly opposes your commitment to your global warming religion. Ten years from now when the 2010's have become the warmest decade on record (as were the 1980's, then the 1990's, then the 2000's) Weren't the 1980s supposedly going to be warmest decade on record? Weren't the 1990s also predicted to be the warmest ever? Weren't the 2000s? In fact, the global warming junk "scientists" and "blind supporters" are still claiming that the 2000s were the warmest in recorded history. Yet, the real temperature records indicate that the planet has actually cooled in the last 12 years. Who to believe, the junk scientists or the real observations? All predictions ever made by the junk science have not come true. And now, you're making your own prediction about the 2010s becoming the warmest decade ever? If you and I are around 10 years from now, I'm 100% sure that your prediction will just turn out to be another one in the trash heap of global warming predictions that never came true. will you still be denying that global warming is happening? I don't have to deny it. The proof is out there. There has been no warming in the last 12 years and whatever warming may have existed prior to that was so minimal as to be completely inconsequential. And, even when warming has occurred in the past, people have adapted and so has animal and plant life in general. The only adaptation that the junk scientists and the "consensus" scientists want is for the people to get "acclimated" to more government intervention in their lives that would come as a result of unnecessary and very expensive "climate legislation". Probably, some people are stubborn that way. On my side, it cannot be termed "stubborness". It can rightly be called a "rebuttal of a lie". Everybody should always stand up to the people who would lie to the with an agenda in mind. The only stubborn people are the new "deniers" who in the face of proof that invalidates their "set of beliefs", would continue to perpetrate and advance their big fraud. The jig is up and it's time to let the big lie go to its well-deserved grave. People like you, if you "really" believe in the fraud, would have a hard time giving up on the fraud even if all of the so-called "scientists" of global warming came forth and admitted to YOU that their science was truly junk and that they're giving it up. Your irrational enthusiasm for the fraudulent science should have you asking yourself what kind of values you really have. In ten years if there has been significant cooling, not caused by a large volcanic eruption or similar catastrophic event, I'll say maybe you're onto something and be interested in the scientific insights as to the reason. In ten years time, whether there has been cooling or warming, it will be just as inconsequential as all other periods of warming or cooling. People and animals and plant life will adapt just like in the past. No human intervention needed. And, it's not a matter of scientific insights. It's a matter of the historical record of fluctuating climate on the planet. The planet has had innumerable climate changes, some of the very catastrophic and some not so much. Yet, we now have a lot more life and a much bigger variety of it than ever before in the history of the planet. Life adapts. But, the only life form on the planet that isn't adapting to reality are the people whose religion was dealt a death blow by real science and by the exposure of their "science" as being nothing more than just a big fat fraud. And, if it is true that your last post will really be your last, then neither I nor anyone else should expect to hear anything else from you concerning "global warming". But, if I'm around and you're around in 10 years time, then I'm pretty confident that I will be the only one of the two of us who will be able to say "I told you so!".
adornoe, I've already spend too much time responding to you so this will be the last time. And as you say, neither of us will convince the other. Most of your links are just more denialist talking points that have little science in them but I'll comment on a couple of them that you wouldn't use if you really understood what they said. First the RealClimate link on CO2 in ice cores. If you looked at it at all you obviously didn't read past the first paragraph. The very next line says "Does this prove that CO2 doesn?t cause global warming? The answer is no." and it goes on to explain that statement. At the bottom of the post is an update that points to a more recent post that goes into more detail. Suffice it to say the post supports the assertions about the CO2 lag issue in my previous post. Second the ScienceDaily link. The headline was spectacularly bad but do you understand what the term "Airborne Fraction" means? It is the percentage of human released CO2 that remains in the atmosphere permanently (it's not really permanent on geologic time scales but might as well be considered so on human time scales). Of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels about 45% of it will remain in the atmosphere for at least several hundreds of years if not thousands of years. So they're not saying that CO2 levels in the atmosphere aren't rising, just that the fractional part (about 45%) that remains in the atmosphere isn't changing. Many in the climate science community thought it would be increasing so this is an interesting finding but other research has shown a slow rising trend. The level of uncertainty is big enough that we don't have a definitive answer yet but it should become clearer in the next decade or so. Ten years from now when the 2010's have become the warmest decade on record (as were the 1980's, then the 1990's, then the 2000's) will you still be denying that global warming is happening? Probably, some people are stubborn that way. In ten years if there has been significant cooling, not caused by a large volcanic eruption or similar catastrophic event, I'll say maybe you're onto something and be interested in the scientific insights as to the reason. Bye.
Climate Change Panel Claims Based on Student Dissertation and Magazine Article http://habledash.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=486:climate-change-panel-claims-based-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article&catid=45:the-nook&Itemid=59
The following is a recap (not complete) of recent events that you are apparently unaware of: A Blizzard of Climate Scandals: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/02/a-blizzard-of-climate-scandals See also: 'Climategate': Cooking data in UK since 1990? http://www.economicvindicator.com/2010/02/climategate-cooking-data-in-uk-since.html See also: India to 'pull out of IPCC' India to 'pull out of IPCC' India has threatened to pull out of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and set up its on climate change body because it "cannot rely" on the group headed by its own Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr R K Pachauri. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7157590/India-to-pull-out-of-IPCC.html See also: IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/ipcc_international_pack_of_cli.html Here's more: Climategate chapter 10--no apology from IPCC on false information http://www.examiner.com/x-37620-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m2d3-Climategate-chapter-10no-apology-from-IPCC-on-false-information Regarding the complicity of the media in the scandal: Change of Climate http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=M2QyM2E1MTk2N2FiNWVlYzA0ZTI0MDgzZThkNmE2NzQ= This one talks about people like you (riverat1:) Global warming extremists silence doubters with charges of 'terracide': http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m2d1-Global-warming-extremists-silence-doubters-with-charges-of-terracide More truth that you're unaware of: Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told': http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5067351/Rise-of-sea-levels-is-the-greatest-lie-ever-told.html More regarding the complicity of the American media: Global warming science implodes overseas: American media silent http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/global_warming_science_implode.html How stupid can the junk science "scientists" get?: UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article Regarding CO2: Is the Airborne Fraction of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Increasing? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm Well wha-da-ya-know?: Five Decades Of Cooling Ahead http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=516286 Regarding CO2 from warming and its feedback effect: What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming? http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/ More on CO2 and how it lags warming periods: Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/carbon-rises-800-years-after-temperatures/ -------------------------------------------- In the end, I'm pretty sure that no matter how much proof there is to refute the "global warming" junk science, or how much proof there is to discredit the "science" as a complete fraud, you will never let it go. You seem to be committed to prolonging the lie and lying to yourself. Even when the whole fraud is dropped and long gone from the headlines, you will no doubt continue to believe in your religion.
@LarryPTL I agree with you that the idea of global warming as dangerous is wrong (and might even be beneficial; more trees seems good to me). But to say that it's unexpected? C02 is tree food. More food = bigger trees. Not so unexpected, at least to me.
Forest sequestration of CO2 only has a net removal when you have a forest where there wasn't one before. Otherwise, it's a steady state storage and just removes and replaces the same amount. The big problem is that forests in the Northeast reached their maximum extent around 1960; when new growth replaced inactive farmland. However, starting after WWII, housing and new construction began re-deforesting the land. Destruction of forest began outpacing regrowth around the '60s. Every new houselot carved out of the woods destroys one half to a full acre of forest to put a house, septic, and a "reasonable" sized yard in. Let's not even go into people who carve out 5 to 10 acre manicured lawns to go with their McMansions. Which means each house built dumps 50 to 100 tons of wood, and the carbon sequested in it, back into the atmosphere (assuming it's burned and not suitable for lumber, less than half the wood is usable as lumber.)
If we hadn't cut down most of the trees, the forests might do a lot to offset our CO2 emissions. However, the temperate zone forests which are the subject of this study have been greatly reduced from what they were formerly. Also, in other climate zones the story is likely to be different. In the tropics, higher temperatures will be more apt to reduce growth due to heat stress.
adornoe, And what specific evidence do you have that the evidence was manipulated to achieve a desired result? What specific evidence do you have the the science was flawed from the beginning? The absorption of infrared radiation by CO2 is easily demonstrated in the laboratory. The situation when it is mixed with other gases in the atmosphere is certainly more complex but CO2 doesn't all of a sudden magically stop absorbing IR there. That's the beginning science. Can you refute that? I don't think "CO2 always follows global warming." is a justifiable statement. The only evidence you have of that is the record of the past 800,000 years, where we have accurate measurements of CO2 from ice cores, not the other 4.99 billion years. Warming does cause CO2 levels to rise (largely because warming oceans release it) but that acts as an amplifying feedback that causes even more warming until a new equilibrium is reached. For the recent ice age cycles the explanation is that Milankovitch cycles (changes in Earth's orbit around the Sun) started the warming which caused CO2 to be released. The CO2 acted as an amplifying feedback causing temperatures to get warmer and even more CO2 to be released than otherwise would have happened from just the Milankovitch cycles alone. In other words CO2 caused some global warming. There is evidence that the Permian-Triassic extinction event (the greatest in Earth's history) 251 million years ago was at least partially caused by massive volcanoes increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere thereby increasing global temperatures. You still have to refute my first point to show that CO2 can't cause warming. I don't have to explain why global temperatures have fallen in the last 12 years because they haven't. While Britain's Hadley/CRU has 1998 as the warmest year on record the NASA/GISS record (which covers a bit more of the Earth's surface) shows 2005 as the warmest year on record and 2009 tied for the 2nd warmest year on record with several others including 1998. Every year since 2001 has been warmer than any other year in the temperature record other than 1998. The temperature has leveled off sort of during the past decade but it's still the warmest decade on record and if you look at the whole temperature record it's something that has happened a number of times before. The scientist that deniers lifted the "30 years of cooling" meme from has stated they have misinterpreted his results and he implied nothing of the sort. He says his research doesn't say anything about climate past 2015 and he expects global warming from increased CO2 to continue in the future.
Please watch my video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7I_eFoIk64 It's about climate change, earth catastrophe and our planet as we lives in. Thank you.
The science is fraudulent or flawed as soon as any of it is manipulated in order to arrive at desired results. No matter what conclusions they arrive at, those conclusions are damaged goods because the science was flawed from the beginning. And it doesn't matter how many "scientists" sign on to the belief in the science when what they're viewing or studying has been presented from the beginning with flawed data, flawed analysis and flawed models. Most of those "scientists" didn't do their own work and are just signing on to something that somebody else produced. There are a lot more scientists signing on to the opposite side of the debate than to the "global warming" side. In fact, many of those now on the opposite side are "scientists" who had signed on to the "global warming" science but later withdrew their support after reviewing the sloppy methods and the sloppy science that was conducted. Now, which came first? CO2 or global warming? CO2 is a result of global warming; CO2 always follows global warming. There are those that want to blame CO2 for the warming and they've been able to convince many that, because CO2 happens to be more prevalent in the atmosphere during warming periods, that it must be the CO2 that is causing the warming. But, the opposite is true. Warming causes the CO2 levels to rise. However, how do you explain that in the last 12 years or so, that the world's average temperature has actually fallen? Twelve years in a row! In fact, there are scientists predicting a lengthy period of cooling that might last some 30 to 40 years. Should we then still worry about global warming or should we start worrying about global cooling? The evidence for global warming is not there and the science is a complete fraud. There science is more in favor of the "deniers" than in the proponents side.
adornoe, As a species Homo Sapiens has existed for around 200,000 years. The genus Homo has existed for a bit over 2 million years. 2 million years out of the 4.5 billion years of Earth's existence is equivalent to less than 45 seconds out of a 24 hour day. Scientists are pretty sure that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are now higher than they've been in the last 15 million years which is long before humans showed up on the planet. It's true that humans or their progenitors have existed through several glacial(ice age)/interglacial cycles in the past million years but never with the kind of complex civilization and infrastructure we currently have that is built around the climate conditions that have existed for the past several thousand years. The question is will it be easier/cheaper for us to respond now or wait until it becomes urgent to respond. Almost always the answer is better to start earlier. Global warming doesn't mean more areas become greener. Some areas do and others don't. For example there is evidence that changes in atmospheric circulation in causing the sub-tropical dry zones (part of why the Sahara Desert is where it is) to expand. That means southern Europe and the southern US are likely to become dryer and more drought prone in the future. In other words they would become less green. The agenda and fraud are all on the your side of the issue. The possibility of CO2 in the atmosphere causing warming was first postulated over 120 years ago. In the 1950s/1960s the potential for added CO2 to be a real problem started to come into scientists minds. President Lyndon Johnson received a briefing on it in 1967. It's ridiculous to contemplate that the tens of thousands of scientists who have and are studying this could all be in a big conspiracy just for the sake of more government control and a socialist future. If you think the CRU emails prove a fraud then lets throw all of the evidence connected to them out. It still wouldn't change the conclusions even a little.
The idea that we can just ignore "global warming" and it will go away is absurd. During the 4 billion years or so that our planet has been in existence, it has gone through countless periods of warming and cooling. Humans have been around for many of those warming periods and those same humans ignored the warming periods and they went away on their own. No intervention needed. But, whether we ignored them or showed concern, those global warming periods happens and so does global cooling. More people die as a consequence of deep freezes than during warming periods. Shouldn't we be preparing more for the ice ages which also happen periodically? From the looks of things, if tree growth is a result of global warming, then it would seem logical that people should be rooting for more global warming. During global warming, more areas become greener with more vegetation which are life-sustaining substances for animal life and other forms of life.. So, instead of animal and plant life being endangered, the opposite is true. On the opposite side, deep freezes and ice-ages kill more vegetation and thus, the world becomes less capable of sustaining life. I'll take global warming any time over ice-ages. But, the fact is that, all the talk of global warming in the last 20 years or so is just garbage. It's been junk science. It's been more about an an agenda being advanced by the global warming consensus activists, including a bunch of "scientists" who have given up their scientific credibility for the agenda. It's been more about trying to convince people to give up more control to government over their lives. You sound like you're part of that consensus trying to advance the agenda. Either that or you haven't been paying attention to how the whole thing has been exposed as a complete fraud.
It's great that these trees are growing faster, but it's not going to make any immediate difference. The idea that we can just ignore "global warming" and it will go away is absurd.
CO2 levels are up 39% from where they were before 1830 (280 ppm vs. 390 ppm). There has been a slight but measurable reduction in the level of oxygen in the atmosphere because of fossil fuel burning but at 21% (or 210,000 ppm) we can't burn enough fossil fuels to make a serious dent in the oxygen level. A bigger danger is that climate change shuts down the mechanisms (oceanic phytoplankton and forests) that replenish the oxygen enough to be significant. For those that think this is an example of "Mother Nature" healing itself, it is. But it's a mechanism that operates on geologic time scales, not human. Over thousands of years the excess forest growth will make a difference. Over the next couple hundred years, not so much.
So the CO2 level is up 12% - what is happening to the Oxygen level? We're burning that to create the CO2. When will we start depleting our supply of that because at that point global warming will probably be completely irrelevant. Pete_K.
Is this a bad thing?? I agree with Larry, we are seeing Mother Nature's equilibrium mechanism in action. Too much CO2, and Mother Nature tries to remove it from the atmosphere by increasing the forests. Basic biology at work.
For publishing this story. It shows the Earth has counter-balancing mechanisms in play when CO2 levels rise. This unexpected phenomena will certainly act as another nail in the coffin in the idea of how dangerous global warming is.