His argument is based upon that forest biomass is shrinking and therefore forest are causing CO2 emissions:
"When you add up both the absorption and emission, Canada's forests haven't been a net carbon sink since 2001. Due largely to forest fires and insect infestations, the trees have actually added to our country's greenhouse gas emissions for each of the past 15 years on record."
Forest only reduce CO2 when they photosynthesising, so if the forests are being killed by fire or insects, then the forests are not ingesting CO2 but are expelling.
They way this article is titled leads one to believe that forests are causing the problem and that it is implicitly okay to be reducing forest biomass. I think the title is misleading and disingenuous.
I'll try! something like this would be my offer:
> Canadian forests net carbon emitters due to biomass loss
vs the original
> Canada's forests emit more carbon than they absorb
close enough for me
So sure taking a million acres of trees and cutting them down, burning them, and putting building on them releases significant carbon... once. Similarly taking a million acres of desert and turning it into a forest will consume CO2 for 50 year or however long it takes to reach a steady state.
I understand where you are coming from, but that title is pointed, topical, and expanded upon in detail throughout the article.
The title should be changed, as it could be doing more damage than good...
There's a net loss of planting new trees, but then as you say you get stasis.
Why not suggest the whole planet is carbon neutral at that point? It is meaningless because we only care about the carbon in the atmosphere.
In some situations you can get net carbon storage which is how we got fossil fuels in the first place, but this is really slow. On the order of 1 Billionth the total fossil fuels stored per year.
update: found some answer https://www.amentsoc.org/insects/fact-files/respiration.html
I never considered that.
Also, how unlikely that this CO2 is reabsorbed by the plants (granted that can only occur after winter when leaves are back) ?
CO2 + sunlight is again converted into organic material by plants (and some bacteria). It really doesn’t matter if it’s the „same“.
This is the basic carbon cycle.
We have found shells, made of Calcium carbonate, still relatively intact more than 3000 years after the death of the animal. Some shells had last for 500000 years (See Nature 2014-dec-03)
Under the sea there are entire ecosystems based in dead shells.
The way you keep a forest expanding is by logging it.
Is logging carbon negative?
Interestingly, they account for carbon emission from the wood produced by logging ("sawnwood"):
Sawnwood decay is approximated with an exponential decay [with a half-life of] the normal distribution truncated at zero with mean equal to 30 and standard deviation equal to 15, according to IPCC guidelines. So far, no life cycle analysis has yet been done for woody products in the tropics and adapting the framework developed in Europe and North America in tropical countries remains challenging.
So they assume that the average bit of timber lasts thirty years before giving up its carbon, and only about one in six lasts longer than 45 years. I suppose the lifecycle of wooden manufactured items tends to end with them being burnt when they're worn out.
If i am reading the graphs correctly, then wood going to the sawmill is only a small part of the carbon emitted by forestry, and they mention that only one-third of the wood entering a sawmill leaves as sawnwood, the rest being lost as sawdust, so even if you could preserve wooden items for ever, it might not move the needle much.
On the other hand, if you could collect all the sawdust from the mill and bury it, or make it into biochar and then use it as a soil amendment, that might.
Anyway, that is one paper amongst many, go forth and read if you're interested!
That seems like a pretty bizarre set of assumptions. Wood doesn't just disappear in 45 years unless you leave it in the open untreated.
But hey, don't take my word for it - in the paper, that bit references this:
Penman J, Gytarsky M, Hiraishi T, Krug T. Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), chapter 3, Appendix 3.A.1.3. UNEP; 2003. p. 268–70.
Which you can read here:
So dive into the gory details of harvested wood products, and the basis for their future methodological development to your heart's content!
Makes me wonder just how much polymer use we could replace with wood, and what kind of disposal techniques for it we could develop to increase carbon sequestration (e.g. instead of burning it, bury it deep?).
"Old growth forests tend to exist in a carbon steady state; younger, growing forests tend to be net carbon uptakers. This situation is due to natural disturbance regimes in forests, like fire and pine beetle, having historically signifiant impacts in large part because of climate change."
Since it only was a semi-serious question I'll assume you knew this, but I still think the balance is a good argument to have when you run into deniers.
This is a good intro to the broad issue of volcanoes and climate: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/volcanoes/vclimate.html
A more in-depth treatment of sulfur aerosols in the upper atmosphere: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratospheric_sulfur_aerosol...
Here’s a breakdown of all the gasses typically releases during eruptions and their various effects: http://volcanology.geol.ucsb.edu/gas.htm
If there’s anything else I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Here’s one with more technical analysis along with the exact chemistry:
Here’s a broad overview with historical perspectives from the American Chemical Society: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry...
I hope this helps.
Turning trees into charcoal is one way to slow down the processes of the wood turning back into CO2, but it would be difficult to do it on a large enough scale.
You can still bury the wood in an environment that does not allow it to (quickly) decay, or you can simply make a lot of stuff out of wood. (If you go the second route, you'll want to ensure that your wood structures last a long time, you'll want to increase the total wood sitting around in the world, and once you reach a new plateau in the amount of wood products in semi-permanent existence, you'll stop sequestering new CO2 via the process of consumerism, new products and structures will just be re-sequestering the carbon lost from old structures and products as they decay or are destroyed.)
But if you are turning trees into coal, and burying them, why on Earth are you also digging up coal, to burn it?
Sequestration is going to be far more work then simply not generating emissions in the first place.
An advantage of sequestration is location. Something like you can emit the CO2 in a distributed manner (think car tail pipes) and then sequester it nearby but in aggregate (think a facility just outside city limits)
Coal can be mined for $30/tonne. That's 3 cents/kilogram. At that price point, it's nearly free. How can you keep up with sequesteration, when you are competing with nearly-free?
Sequestration makes sense when we are talking about an economy that derives ~5-10% of its energy from liquid fossil fuels, and everything else from renewables. It doesn't make much sense when 50% of energy generation comes from fossil fuels. It's just too labour intensive to make it work.
That is a good question regardless.