Increasing forested areas could reduce a significant amount of global warming
For[edit | edit source]
- According to commentary by the journal Nature, "The IPCC suggests that boosting the total area of the world’s forests, woodlands and woody savannahs could store around one-quarter of the atmospheric carbon necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels."
- The IPCC report this commentary cites (likely chapter 4) probably draws such a conclusion from Griscom et al. (2017) Another Nature article cites Griscom, stating "One widely cited 2017 study estimated that forests and other ecosystems could provide more than one-third of the total CO2 reductions required to keep global warming below 2 °C through to 2030."
- According to an article in Nature, despite some doubts about climate effects of some forests, "Most scientists agree, however, that tropical forests are clear climate coolers: trees there grow relatively fast and transpire massive amounts of water that forms clouds, two effects that help to cool the climate."
- With regards to comments by Nadine Unger skeptical of the climate cooling affects of forests, "A group of 30 forest scientists wrote a response" to Unger saying "We strongly disagree with Professor Unger's core message."
- "Pangala and Gauci both estimate that the cooling effect of trees taking up carbon greatly outstrips the warming from tree emissions of methane and nitrous oxide."
Against[edit | edit source]
- According to an article in Nature, despite the fact that trees decompose CO2 from the air and incorporate the carbon, "That doesn't mean that all forests cool the planet, however."
- "Researchers have known for decades that tree leaves absorb more sunlight than do other types of land cover, such as fields or bare ground. Forests can reduce Earth’s surface albedo, meaning that the planet reflects less incoming sunlight back into space, leading to warming. This effect is especially pronounced at higher latitudes and in mountainous or dry regions, where slower-growing coniferous trees with dark leaves cover light-coloured ground or snow that would otherwise reflect sunlight."
- "Atmospheric chemist Nadine Unger, then at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, conducted one of the first global studies examining one part of this exchange: the influence of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, emitted by trees."
- "Unger ran an Earth-system model that estimated the effects of chemical emissions from forests. Her results suggest that the conversion of forests to farmland throughout the industrial era might have had little overall impact on climate."
- "She acknowledged that her study was a first step, and called for increased monitoring of forest chemicals and their atmospheric interactions."
- "Subsequent studies have both supported and contradicted Unger’s 2014 analysis."
- "New work suggests that trees could be another conduit for that microbial methane." The article cites Pangala and Gauci.
- "Kristofer Covey, an environmental scientist at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, has found methane leaking from non-wetland trees in temperate forests, and argues that such emissions could, in some places, diminish the climate benefits of trees more than researchers and environmentalists realize."
See Also[edit | edit source]
- Cutting emissions alone is not enough to avoid dangerous climate change
Citations[edit | edit source]
- Restoring natural forests is the best way to remove atmospheric carbon
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Global Warming of 1.5 °C (IPCC, 2018)
- Griscom et al. - Natural climate solutions
- How much can forests fight climate change?
- Unger - Human land-use-driven reduction of forest volatiles cools global climate
- Pangala - Large emissions from floodplain trees close the Amazon methane budget
- Gauci - Tree stem bases are sources of CH4 and N2O in a tropical forest on upland soil during the dry to wet season transition
- Covey - Elevated methane concentrations in trees of an upland forest