Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Dead trees spewing greenhouse gases

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:04 AM
Original message
Dead trees spewing greenhouse gases
Katrina's surge up the Pearl River damaged or killed many thousands of trees, and the tons of debris left to rot is slowly spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to new research released Thursday by Tulane University.

The scientists, led by Tulane ecologist Jeffrey Chambers, hand-counted trees along the river and compared satellite images from before and after the storm to identify damage hot spots. From their data, published in the journal Science, Chambers said trees felled in just a few hours in a small area would decay, eventually releasing enough carbon gases to erase what every healthy forest in the United States could suck up in a year.

It was surprising, he said, "that one storm could essentially offset the gains for an entire year."

Should climate-change predictions of stronger and more frequent hurricanes be true, and more trees suffer Katrina-level beatings, the role of forests as a moderator of greenhouse gases could reverse, he said. Healthy forests are a "carbon sink," pulling in more greenhouse gases than they release during natural decay. Katrina's damage has had the opposite effect, Chambers said.

Large swaths of decaying trees could one day add to global warming.

Read More ...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. oh my ... this has gone too far now....
Natural things happen like swamps and storms and volcanos. This is just getting ridiculous now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sorry, not buying it
Do they mean to tell us that trees dying because of a storm is causing Global Warming?

Thousands of trees can't possibly begin to equal the CO2 emissions from cars and industrial processes.

And besides, this is part of the natural release of CO2 into the atmosphere that has been happening ever since trees have been growing on Earth.

This is another "volcano" story with a different twist.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. no surprise
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 08:45 AM by frogcycle
decay is oxidation - slow burning - but note they say "eventually releasing..."

as long as the biomass in trees planetwide is not INCREASING, then the global carbon cycle w/respect to trees is at best at steady-state. Only if the dead trees/plants/animals get buried away and eventually sequestered as coal or oil is there an actual net removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

Having a bunch of trees killed at once, as with Katrina, or Hugo, creates a minor blip. If the deforested areas are regrowing trees, then over time that event is nothing.

but as long as we continue taking that sequestered carbon and releasing it back into the atmosphere, then we are driving the planet back to its primordial atmosphere of high-CO2 and low-O2.

Stories like this are lame attempts to say that greenhouse gases are natural - like when reagan said smog was from trees - to marginalize the real issue.

they are all smokescreens.

edit: or, as others seem to have interpreted, alarmist bullshit.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. "There's nothing in my Bible about this." - Republicon homelanders
"So I don't BELIEVE it. It's probably just another lie from the Lib-rul Media. Thank heavens I have Rev. Holy Pat Robertson and Rush "Anal Pimple" Limbaugh to tell me what to think."

- Republicon homelanders
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. I find this believable, but only to an extent that should be looked
at in a realistic time frame. It takes quite a few years for a tree to break down to the point where accumulated carbon is released completely. Thee are other variables as well, are some of these trees being "harvested" and in a situation where the wood that is gathered being used in any form of construction?,(or will they be in the relatively near future). I find it difficult to believe that if there is a value in these trees, there is no one that is trying to make a buck off it.

But the real problem is, it is the "non-natural" addition of CO2 that is the real problem, as it builds upon the "natural" CO2 and the whole issue rests on the exponential factor that humans add to the problem. If CO2 emissions are x, and humans take that to the say 3rd power, we have, by our very practices added immensely to what is natural, and thereby have had a dramatic effect. it is not the # of tons we put into the atmosphere, st is the # of tons we should not be putting into the atmosphere because there are ways to slow down, and in some cases eliminate, what we out into the atmosphere. CO2 "scrubbers", as well as many other noxious gas "scrubbers" are out there, it is an added cost, and there is the problem. SO2 is a serious problem w/coal fired plants, but the credits given to power companies were used for expansion of existing plants, and grant money as well as other incentives, were used by power plants not to place "scrubbers", because the requirement was for new plants. It was a terrible oversight, and never corrected. Power companies gained immensely in profits, while they actually polluted more!

I am willing to bet that Limbaugh and Glen Beck are drooling over this piece, and it will be on the air come Monday... :(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Jan 16th 2018, 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC