New study lends support to Makarieva et al Biotic Pump theory

Posted: February 1, 2013 by tallbloke in Clouds, general circulation, weather, wind

From Phys-Org news

Planting trees may not reverse climate change but it will help locally

forestAfforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions. Credit: Case study for the assessment of the biogeophysical effects of a potential afforestation in Europe Borbála Gálos, Stefan Hagemann, Andreas Hänsler, Georg Kindermann, Diana Rechid, Kevin Sieck, Claas Teichmann and Daniela Jacob. Afforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions finds a study in BioMed Central’s open access journal Carbon Balance and Management. Afforestation would lead to cooler and wetter summers by the end of this century.

Without check climate change is projected to lead to summer droughts and winter floods across Europe. Using REMO, the regional climate model of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, researchers tested what would happen to climate change in 100 years if land currently covered in non-forest vegetation was converted into deciduous forest. This equates to more than a doubling of forest in Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Northern Ukraine, Northern Germany and France. But in already heavily forested countries such as Sweden the increase is smaller, at less than 10%. The large leaf area and low aerodynamic resistance of these types of trees lends itself to enhanced evapotranspiration compared to other vegetation, cooling the surrounding air, and leading to cooler surface temperatures.

The model indicates that in the northern part of central Europe and Ukraine afforestation results in 0.3-0.5C decrease in temperature and 10-15% more summer rain by 2071-2090.

The effect of planting trees depends on the environment of each region. Dr Borbála Gálos, who led this study, explained, “While we realize that the amount of afforestation included in our model is unrealistic in practice, even a more modest program of planting trees could theoretically reduce the effect of climate change in Northern Europe. There is less of an effect in more southerly regions due to complex issues including soil moisture content. However, even in these areas, forest cover can provide localized benefits by making the surrounding air moister and cooler, sequestering carbon, protecting biodiversity and air quality, and preventing soil erosion.”

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  1. michael hart says:

    “Afforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions…”


    Of, relating to, or denoting a region or climate characterized by mild temperatures.

    I like trees. But why would I want to cool a temperate region? (Unless I wished to go skiing).

  2. Berényi Péter says:

    Trees may have a local cooling effect, that much is true. I myself for example prefer to sit in the shade in summertime and drink my beer there.

    However, as soon as one accepts the CO2 paradigm and thinks globally, the best policy seems to be to eradicate forests everywhere to save the planet. I’ll explain.

    0. Wood is biofuel, so burning trees is cool
    1. A tree may look like a carbon sink, but in fact it is only a temporary one, releasing the same amount back to the environment when the tree dies and decomposes
    2. Evapotranspiration is evil, because it increases atmospheric moisture, the concentration of the most potent GHG which serves as strong positive feedback to CO2 induced warming
    3. Land surface devoid of trees is exposed to erosion & weathering, which is good, because it sequesters carbon effectively by turning it into carbonates
    4. One can speed up this weathering process tremendously by the frequent use of explosives on bare ground, so a permanent war may help a lot
    5. As soon as a sufficient quantity of carbon is sequestered this way, tree re-infestation is prevented for good, because trees, being C3 plants, refuse to grow under low enough atmospheric CO2 concentration
    6. If it is CO2 indeed that keeps the planet warm, at this stage large clean continental ice sheets may develop and extend down to low latitudes, grinding rock to fine dust effectively, which keeps up increased weathering
    7. As soon as the low carbon environment is made permanent this way, warfare can be stopped
    8. Fortunately, one should add, because by this time the root cause of imbalance, human infestation is all but gone, making difficult to conduct any war
    9. Ensuing permanent peace is a collateral benefit

    A wonderful & heroic project it is, with the only ingredient missing at the moment being political will, to be supplied by proper world governance. An unelected one of course, because the electorate is dull, prefers beer in the shade to grand visions.

  3. Bloke down the pub says:

    Now where did I put my chainsaw?