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THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 06 Aug 2015, 15:58:00

http://www.globalpost.com/article/66260 ... ds-forests
Just a story that makes one want to shout with exasperation. Chinese culprits in deforestation around the world just so they can have fancy furniture. God help us. :shock: :-x :(
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 02 Sep 2015, 20:54:36

there are 46 percent fewer trees on Earth than there were before humans started the lengthy, but recently accelerating, process of deforestation


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ener ... y-thought/
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dolanbaker » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 01:34:20

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34134366
There are just over three trillion trees on Earth, according to a new assessment.

The figure is eight times as big as the previous best estimate, which counted perhaps 400 billion at most.


It has been produced by Thomas Crowther from Yale University, and colleagues, who combined a mass of ground survey data with satellite pictures.

The team tells the journal Nature that the new total represents upwards of 420 trees for every person on the planet.

The more refined number will now form a baseline for a wide range of research applications - everything from studies that consider animal and plant habitats for biodiversity reasons, to new models of the climate, because it is trees of course that play an important role in removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

How do they believe that the previous estimate is out by a factor of eight?
Or "There are just over tree trillion trees on Earth" as we say in Ireland. ;)
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 09:39:44

dolanbaker wrote:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34134366
There are just over three trillion trees on Earth, according to a new assessment.

The figure is eight times as big as the previous best estimate, which counted perhaps 400 billion at most.


It has been produced by Thomas Crowther from Yale University, and colleagues, who combined a mass of ground survey data with satellite pictures.

The team tells the journal Nature that the new total represents upwards of 420 trees for every person on the planet.

The more refined number will now form a baseline for a wide range of research applications - everything from studies that consider animal and plant habitats for biodiversity reasons, to new models of the climate, because it is trees of course that play an important role in removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

How do they believe that the previous estimate is out by a factor of eight?
Or "There are just over tree trillion trees on Earth" as we say in Ireland. ;)


I think the main issue is when they made the first calculation they didn't get the density of trees per unit of area correct. If you are talking about a forest of Redwoods compared to a forest of Hickory trees clearly there will be more of the smaller trees per acre or hectare. To get anything like an accurate estimate you have to know what the mix of tree species is and how much land they extend over, one size most assuredly does not fit all.

I also wonder about that 46 percent figure dohboi cited, not because I suspect nefarious motives but because like so many other things what do you use as a start date? The area I grew up was part of the Eastern Woodlands when Europeans arrived in North America, but the first peoples living here are known to have set small fires to create clearings for their own reasons. So do we count back to the time before the First Peoples made it here over the land bridge from Siberia? But if we do that the area I grew up was underneath a gigantic glacial lake, it was not a forest then. Earlier than that it was under a couple kilometer thick glacier. Some time between when the glacial lake drained and the Europeans arrived it turned into forest land which the First People used as hunter gatherers and later as partially sedentary hunter farmers.

So where does the clock start on size of the forest, the first forest that had hunter gatherers living in it that used fire for heat and cooking? Even then accidents happen and there would be accidental forest fires ignited by human action. Every time the climate shifts even a little bit it changes the size and type of forest that can grow in a particular spot, from nothing all the way to dense primordial forest. Figuring out exactly what caused deforestation at different times is extremely difficult unless it is recorded history. For example where I grew up we had a state history class and one of the lessons was on when the farmers flooded in from 1800-1850 when the Erie canal made it easy to get to this end of Lake Erie. They went through and harvested tens of thousands of acres of trees for fire wood, for building materials, and to clear the land for farming all in a span of about 50 years. There were even a number of pictures from the 1840's onward and written records for many of the farms as to when they were cleared and converted to agricultural land.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 12:48:10

Good points, as usual, T.

I wonder how big they decided something had to be before they categorize it as a 'tree.'

I imagine that there are lots and lots of sprouting tree seeds that never make it to full sized trees. Does each one count as a 'tree'?
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 13:35:36

Question for Dohboi and Tanada
Hypothetically speaking is their a chance to re-grow most of the trees that have disappeared on a human time-scale?
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dolanbaker » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 14:47:16

Get rid of the humans first!

Then, If Pritvyet (Chernobyl no man's land) is anything to go by, the vast majority of forests would have recovered after a century or two. Some areas may take much longer due to soil erosion and climate change may result in some areas never recovering while other places become forested for the first time.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 15:19:57

"Hypothetically speaking is their a chance to re-grow most of the trees that have disappeared on a human time-scale?"

This is the kind of massive effort that we should now be engaging in (especially in the tropics and lower latitudes where trees don't have the effect of lowering albedo in the winter and so increasing local temps).

There are some practical problems here because a good portion of that once-forested land has gone over to farm and pasture land (much of it to raise cattle--I wonder what might be a solution to that leeetle problemo?? :roll: ).

But that is not what we are doing. Instead we're building more cars, and building more factories to build more cars, and building more coal-fired plants to power those factories...even though we need to stop ALL production of ANYTHING that burns ANY fossil-death-fuels if we want to have ANY chance to keep within the way-to-high limit of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels (and even that is based on impossibly optimistic models with no carbon feedbacks).

dolan wrote: "Get rid of the humans first!"

Are you sharing any details of your plans for this?? :-D

Pritvyet, iirc, is showing some rather...odd behavior. Besides wild life coming back strongly (in spite of high rates of malformed newborn creatures), the trees that fall don't seem to be decaying normally. The fungi crucial to turning old trees fully back into soil for new trees to grow in don't seem to have recovered from the radiation. So you may end up with a kind of zombie 'undead' or at least 'unrotted' forest. Something to look forward to globally as more and more of these ticking timebombs go Fuku.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 03 Sep 2015, 23:18:17

onlooker wrote:Question for Dohboi and Tanada
Hypothetically speaking is their a chance to re-grow most of the trees that have disappeared on a human time-scale?


Absolutely, if by human timescale you mean a lifespan of 65 years plus. All over my region if you let a field just sit and do not do anything the birds drop seeds all over it, the wind blows seeds into it and in 5 years you have a scattering of trees and brush springing up all over at random. As the field matures into new growth forest it starts out with trees and brush crowding together, but the faster or taller growing trees will win out in 10-15 years and the under story will thin out as the available sunlight thins out. Seen from a road a patch of woods looks choked with brush, and along the edges where sunlight penetrates they are, but if you force your way in through the brushy edge it thins out pretty quickly.

The great thing is no matter how degraded the soil if there is water and sunlight and warm temperatures even pure yellow playground sand will grow weeds and grass that will stabilize the surface. As the years go by bushes and trees will colonize and grow to dominate pretty much everywhere east of the Mississippi valley where natural rainfall exceeds 28 inches a year.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 04 Sep 2015, 06:20:16

dohboi wrote:Good points, as usual, T.

I wonder how big they decided something had to be before they categorize it as a 'tree.'

I imagine that there are lots and lots of sprouting tree seeds that never make it to full sized trees. Does each one count as a 'tree'?

They called it 10 centimeters thick at breast height.
Also in the article they say we are cutting 5 billion more trees each year then are being replaced so If 3 trillion is correct we have sixty years left before the whole planet is one big Easter island.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 04 Sep 2015, 06:37:07

Maybe alot less if the effects of GW continue unabated and worsen.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 04 Sep 2015, 09:25:41

Thanks for the info, vt. That's 60 years if the rate does not accelerate! As we run out of (or decide to move away from) ffs, I expect more and more areas will be using wood for fuel again.
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Re: THE Deforestation Thread pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 04 Sep 2015, 13:05:42

dohboi wrote:Thanks for the info, vt. That's 60 years if the rate does not accelerate! As we run out of (or decide to move away from) ffs, I expect more and more areas will be using wood for fuel again.

I think they will quickly run into the hard reality that the forest are already being over utilized.
Also I think that once a forest develops a canopy of leaves dense enough to shade the ground sufficiently to prevent brush growth there are all the leaves present that those acres can support. That canopy may grow taller but it does not matter if it is supported by a thousand five inch trunks ,twelve feet tall or a hundred three footers soaring two hundred feet.
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The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 09:02:08

http://robertscribbler.com/2015/11/30/b ... ment-58728

Brazil’s Great Amazon Rainforest Burns as Parched Megacities Fall Under Existential Threat


One need only look at today’s satellite image of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest to notice something’s terribly wrong. A vast 1,000 mile swath of what should be some of the wettest lands on the globe running south of the world’s largest river is covered by a dense pall of smoke. Scores of plumes boil up out of the burning and sweltering forest. Pumping dark clouds into the sky, the fires’ tell-tale streaks out over a drought-parched Brazil, across the Atlantic, and over to Africa where the plume is again thickened by yet more wildfires...

First, human-caused warming of the globe is pushing the great rainforest to slowly heat up and dry out. Alone, such warming would be enough to take down the great rainforest if the Earth warmed by between 2 and 4 degrees Centigrade. Since we’ve already seen Earth System warming on the order of 1 degree Celsius above 1880s values, the great forest is now feeling the stress of this added heat. But the forest is now also suffering the insults of what amounts to a half century of slash and burn agriculture...
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby dolanbaker » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 09:35:25

Terraforming the planet for agriculture does more harm to the Earth's environment than the entire fossil fuel industry, yet all the talk is about the financial implications of reducing industrial use of fossil fuels.

This is where the climate change discussions should be centred.
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby Paulo1 » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 11:05:28

I was disgusted hearing Obama's sanctimonious speech in Paris where he says countries are now coming together "to save the world".

From who and what, Obama?

And in China today, (right now) some cities are so polluted people are advised to stay indoors and roads are closed.

And in every mall in the US, merchants are now adding up their profits and/or losses for Black Friday after selling Chinese made junk to an overextended shopping public.

Buy buy buy, and save the economy. Fly to Paris and save the World. Heady stuff for a valuless and bankrupt society. Don't follow our ways and we'll remove you from....oops, give you some democracy. I include all western countries in this statement including my home, Canada.
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 11:31:49

dolan, yes, ag, and especially industrial meat production, plays a huge role in ecosystem destruction, especially in the Amazon.

But iirc it was only one study that ag was as high on the list as you suggest, while all the others still show ff to be the leading contributor. Are there more studies that show ag as the major contributor that I'm not aware of? If so, I would earnestly like to see the references to them so I can show them to others.
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 11:47:16

I am wondering will not all these felled trees and drying out create a source of much new CO2 emissions and is that not what Dolan refers too?
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby WildRose » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 13:37:16

onlooker wrote:I am wondering will not all these felled trees and drying out create a source of much new CO2 emissions and is that not what Dolan refers too?


I'm not sure exactly what aspects dolanbaker is referring to, but deforestation means loss of carbon sinks to take up C02 emissions, meaning we need to cut our creation of C02 emissions even further in order to reduce emissions in the atmosphere. Although increased C02 in the atmosphere can lead to more plant growth, there is evidence that in the Amazon it may be causing trees to die younger. Also, there is evidence that as the levels of C02 rise in the atmosphere, trees are less able to remove it.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... -emissions

Brienen said the forests may also be experiencing an unanticipated consequence of higher CO2 levels. He suggests the accelerated growth is leading to trees dying younger. The dead trees decay, slowly releasing much of their stored carbon to the atmosphere.

The idea is consistent with a prediction by an Australian scientist in 2009 that the Amazon would lose much of its ability to absorb carbon as the air became more rich with it.
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Re: The World's Lungs are Burning

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 30 Nov 2015, 13:46:26

Yes Wild Rose, but even further as these trees burn they will release CO2 hence my point of being sources of carbon rather then sinks.
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