Archive for the ‘trees’ Category

Amazon_forest

Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus [image credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT @ Wikipedia]

Which is more likely: nature has got it wrong, or ‘scientists’ (which ones) have got it wrong?
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The Global Warming Policy Forum & AFP reporting:

The Brazilian Amazon released nearly 20 percent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the last decade than it absorbed, according to a stunning report that shows humanity can no longer depend on the world’s largest tropical forest to help absorb man-made carbon pollution. [Talkshop comment – ‘carbon pollution’ is a man-made fiction].

From 2010 through 2019, Brazil’s Amazon basin gave off 16.6 billion tonnes of CO2, while drawing down only 13.9 billion tonnes, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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As climate obsessives in the UK demand the cancellation of plans for a coal mine in Cumbria, the spotlight falls once more on the far more relevant issue of industrial-scale biomass burning, which produces more ’emissions’ of carbon dioxide than coal but rakes in fortunes in subsidies. The world must wait decades for new trees to grow enough to fully replace the ones burnt. The illogicality of it all won’t go away.
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A former vice chairman of the United Nations’ climate advisory body has called on the British government to review its policies surrounding the burning of wood for energy, reports Sky News.

Jean Pascal van Ypersele, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, has told Sky News he believes subsidies given to the industry by the UK government are “contradictory” to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – signed by countries in 2015 to try to limit global warming.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial strategy says subsidies are only given to biomass which complies with strict sustainability criteria and biomass is a “valuable” part of the National Grid.

Trees are a natural way to tackle climate change [Talkshop comment – or so the theory goes] and soak up carbon.

But Mr van Ypersele, who was vice chairman of the IPCC – the body which assesses science on climate change – says burning wood pellets creates a ‘carbon debt’ and accounting rules don’t properly take into consideration the time it takes for replacement trees to grow back.

He said: “We release the CO2 now hoping that future woods will absorb the CO2 in the future. But that’s a very strong assumption. Burning wood doesn’t make much sense if you want to reduce CO2 emissions.”

The UK is the world’s biggest importer of wood pellets. In the move away from coal over recent years there has been a switch towards burning biomass to generate power.

Continued here.

Credit: klimatetochskogen.nu


Contrary to most current thinking, the net effect of planting – or cutting down – trees could in theory be zero, or somewhere near that, depending on local factors.
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New research by Christopher A. Williams, an environmental scientist and professor in Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography, reveals that deforestation in the U.S. does not always cause planetary warming, as is commonly assumed; instead, in some places, it actually cools the planet, says Phys.org.

A peer-reviewed study by Williams and his team, “Climate Impacts of U.S. Forest Loss Span Net Warming to Net Cooling,” is published today (Feb. 12) in Science Advances.

The team’s discovery has important implications for policy and management efforts that are turning to forests to mitigate climate change.

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Looks like another setback for those looking for solutions to imaginary problems.
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Planting huge numbers of trees to mitigate climate change is “not always the best strategy”—with some experimental sites in Scotland failing to increase carbon stocks, a new study has found.

Experts at the University of Stirling and the James Hutton Institute analysed four locations in Scotland where birch trees were planted onto heather moorland—and found that, over decades, there was no net increase in ecosystem carbon storage, reports Phys.org.

The team—led by Dr. Nina Friggens, of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Stirling—found that any increase to carbon storage in tree biomass was offset by a loss of carbon stored in the soil.

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Credit: klimatetochskogen.nu


They may be chasing their own tails here. The carbon cycle is a natural process, but now climate-obsessed humans assume they can achieve something by attempting to tinker with it. But they also promote so-called ‘carbon capture and storage’, which in the unlikely event it was successful would reduce growth rates of CO2-dependent trees and other vegetation.
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Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions—a sort of climate investment, says Phys.org.

But as with any investment, it’s important to understand the risks.

If a forest goes bust, researchers say, much of that stored carbon could go up in smoke.

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Austria’s Pyramidenkogel: ‘at a height of 100 metres it is the tallest wooden observation tower in the world’ says Wikipedia [image credit: Rollroboter @ Wikipedia]


Another case of jumping on the climate bandwagon to promote a product? The term used is ‘mass timber’, or engineered wood. Sweden has already built the first wooden wind turbine tower, made of modular laminated wood.
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Architects and engineers are working on ways to swap steel and glass for strong, sustainable wood-based materials, says Discover Magazine.

When the empire state building was completed in 1931, the 102-story skyscraper ranked as the tallest in the world, a beacon of American progress as well as a lightning rod for Midtown Manhattan.

And the material that made it possible was steel — or so people believed until 2015, when Canadian architect Michael Green showed that an identical structure could be fabricated out of timber.

Green was not proposing replacing the 20th-century icon. His plans are far more radical. Green wants the global construction industry to replace steel and concrete with high-tech plywood.

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Some more inconvenient data and discussion from an experienced and well-known meteorologist. Planting more trees may as he proposes be useful, but so might chopping down fewer of them for biomass burning and wind turbine land clearances.

I believe that as the COVID-19 situation diminishes, a major pivot to man made climate change as the major driver of impending doom will come front and center, says Joe Bastardi.

Perhaps I will be wrong, but the naming of AOC by Joe Biden as an advisor on how to fight climate change, to me, was the first signal this is going to happen.

This is an insensitive tactic, since the misery of Covid-19 is real, immediate, and loaded with great uncertainty. Future generations can opine on the result of the measures taken to combat it. Yet, as I wrote back in March:

Covid-19 and climate false equivalencies

Climate change accused of being deadlier than Covid 19 — Fact check

and the foundation for this was being set for the turn we are seeing now.

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If trees could be grown as fast as they’re used up, maybe – but they obviously can’t be. Obsession with carbon dioxide continues to distort rational thinking. Any idea that wood can replace all petroleum products, for example, is nonsense. Wooden road surfaces instead of asphalt?
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Wood is the resource the world is relying on for its low carbon future, says DW.com.

It’s touted as a replacement for concrete and steel, fossil fuels, power and plastics. But is there enough of it to go around?

The harvesting machine takes just one second to fell the towering spruce, and another to strip the branches and scan its trunk for defects.

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Most things the UK CCC suggests are likely to be a bad idea, but that’s another story. If this is all they can think of, they’re scraping the barrel. How long does the list of experts trashing tree burning policies have to get before the government takes any notice?

A suggestion by the UK Committee on Climate Change to burn more wood and plant replacement trees as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels has drawn criticism from think tank Chatham House (reports OilPrice.com), which says this is hardly the best approach to reducing emissions.

“Expanding forest cover is undoubtedly a good thing, if you’re leaving them standing,” energy expert Duncan Brack told the Daily Telegraph.

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You couldn’t make it up. Having for years rejected claims that industrial-scale burning of wood was not sustainable, climate obsessives now discover…exactly that. At least the media waited until the COP conference in Madrid ended, to avoid upsetting the delegates.

Experts horrified at large-scale forest removal to meet wood pellet demand, says The Guardian.

A few snippets from the article:

Climate thinktank Sandbag said the heavily subsidised plans to cut carbon emissions will result in a “staggering” amount of tree cutting, potentially destroying forests faster than they can regrow.

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Science Goes Up In Rainforest Smoke

Posted: August 30, 2019 by oldbrew in alarmism, atmosphere, Critique, trees
Tags:

Amazon near Manaus [credit: Wikipedia]


If journalists, politicos, celebs and the Pope can fall for scientific myths and get the facts so wrong, why should we believe them on other climate issues? – asks Climate Change Dispatch.
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The idea that the Amazon rainforest is the lungs of the world is so embedded in our minds that few questioned its widespread use when news about fires in the Amazon was reported this summer, writes Dr. David Whitehouse.

The idea is everywhere—so it’s obviously true. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (bad), don’t they, and give off oxygen (good), and there are billions of trees in the Amazon, so surely it makes sense.

Responding to the fires in the Amazon the Pope has said that the “Lungs of the forest are vital for the planet.”

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Get ready: “In June 2019 the Earth will approach within [0.06 AU or 9 million km] of the center of the Taurid swarm, its closest post-perihelion encounter with Earth since 1975”. Is there a Tunguska link?

Spaceweather.com

May 24, 2019: In November 2032, Earth will pass through the Taurid Swarm, a cloud of debris from Comet 2P/Encke that makes brilliant fireballs when its gravelly particles occasionally hit Earth’s atmosphere. Previous encounters with the Swarm in 2005 and 2015 produced showers of bright meteors observed around the world; in 1975 the Swarm contacted the Moon, making Apollo seismic sensors ring with evidence of objects hitting the lunar surface. If forecasters are correct, we’re in for similar activity 13 years from now.

Some researchers are beginning to wonder if there might be more to the Taurid Swarm than the pebble-sized particles that make fireballs–something, say, that could level a forest. On June 30, 1908, a forest in Siberia did fall down when a 100-meter object fell out of the sky and exploded just above the Tunguska River. Back-tracking the trajectory of the impactor suggests it may have come from…

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No let-up in sight in the ongoing biomass disaster.

sunshine hours

Burning trees produces more CO2 than coal. So if you are in the UK and your energy bill makes you want to cry, just remember it’s green!

A surcharge on UK energy bills is funding subsidies for biomass electricity generation that is making climate change worse, polluting communities, destroying forests and harming wildlife.

In 2017, the UK Government granted around £1 billion in renewable subsidies to power stations – including Drax Power Station in Yorkshire – to burn millions of tonnes of wood for electricity.

Drax alone received £729 million – around £2 million per day – in subsidies to burn wood pellets and is now the world’s largest biomass burner.

Biodiversity hotspots

Despite claims by the biomass industry that they mostly burn “low-grade wood residues”, US conservation NGOs have proven that a significant proportion of wood pellets for Drax and other UK power stations comes from the clearcutting of whole trees…

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Image credit: Biocarbon Engineering


This report is talking about coastal mangrove forests in particular. The target is over a billion new trees, but it’s claimed two operators with ten drones could plant 400,000 trees a day.

British engineers have created a seed-planting drone which could help restore the world’s forests, reports the London Evening Standard.

Biocarbon Engineering, a start-up based in Oxford, designed the drones to fire seed missiles across fields, planting hundreds of potential trees in a matter of minutes.

In September 2018, the drones were deployed in a field just south of Yangon, Myanmar.

The seeds they sowed have since grown into tiny mangrove saplings, about 20-inches tall.

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Credit: klimatetochskogen.nu


Climate models are known to have their shortcomings, whether due to use of faulty theories or shortage of computing skills.

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Tropical forests store about a third of Earth’s carbon and about two-thirds of its above-ground biomass.

Most climate change models predict that as the world warms, all of that biomass will decompose more quickly, which would send a lot more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But new research presented at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Fall Meeting contradicts that theory.

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California wildfire [image credit: NASA]


Buying electric cars, solar panels and the like isn’t going to make much of a dent in the ’emissions’ California likes to fret about, as long as current forestry practices – or lack of them – are allowed to continue.

According to data analyzed by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the 2018 wildfire season in California is estimated to have released emissions equivalent to roughly 68 million tons of carbon dioxide, reports Green Car Congress.

This number equates to about 15% of all California emissions, and it is on par with the annual emissions produced by generating enough electricity to power the entire state for a year.

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Did the BBC just say in this report: ‘if the recent warming is unusual’? Whether tree ring analysis can improve predictions, as suggested, is an interesting question but open to debate.

The “longest, continuous tree ring-based diary” is being created by scientists at the University of Cambridge to help map climate change, reports BBC News.

The diary documents climatic conditions going back centuries, using trees from across the world.

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The world has more natural carbon dioxide absorbers in the shape of trees than was thought, to the tune of an extra 2.2 million kilometers² relative to 1982.

A team of researchers from the University of Maryland, the State University of New York and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has found that new global tree growth over the past 35 years has more than offset global tree cover losses, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes using satellite data to track forest growth and loss over the past 35 years and what they found by doing so.

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We’re informed that ‘these findings definitely challenge the widespread view of trees as static, passive organisms’.

A high-precision, three-dimensional survey of 21 different species of trees has revealed an as-yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night, reports Phys.org.

Such ‘sleep cycles’ differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.

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Trees ‘remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues.’ – Wikipedia


If absorbing carbon dioxide is the idea, which is better value for money: big technology, or plain old-fashioned trees?

On May 31, 2017, the world’s first commercial atmospheric carbon-capture plant opened for business in Hinwil, Switzerland, reports Climate Change Dispatch.

The plant, designed and operated by a Swiss company called Climeworks, is different from existing carbon-capture facilities because it filters carbon dioxide out of the ambient atmosphere using proprietary technology, rather than from industrial exhaust, which is quite common.

Climeworks claims their facility will be able to remove 900 tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Furthermore, its modular design will allow it to be scaled up as the demand for carbon dioxide increases.

What do they plan to do with said carbon?

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