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Planting trees ‘no magic bullet’ for climate change

Posted by Lindy on June 20, 2011

By Margaret Munro, Postmedia News June 20, 2011

Planting trees may help appease travellers’ guilt about pumping carbon into the atmosphere. But new research suggests it will do little to cool the planet, especially when trees are planted in Canada and other northern countries, says climatologist Alvaro Montenegro, at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.

“There is no magic bullet” for global warming, says Montenegro, “and trees are certainly not going to be providing it.”

The idea is that while tress will undoubtedly remover CO2 from the atmosphere, it will NOT lead to temperature cooling. Why? Because of the albedo effect. In Northern latitudes, as temperature rise, the ice will melt. Thus the albedo effect will lessen. Add to this the kind of trees that grow there – conifers – and the leaves will absob even more heat than the scrub it replaces would, and thins will add to global warming, not detract from it. Dr Montenegro estimates that even if we covered ALL the farming land, we would only lower the temperatures by 0..45 deg centigrade by 2100!


2 Responses to “Planting trees ‘no magic bullet’ for climate change”

  1. The only magic bullet involves shooting oneself in the head for believing in such nonsense.

    • Lindy said

      Hey – they are not saying that trees will not help reduce atmospheric CO2 – just that reducing temperatures is not just about CO2 as the albedo effect needs to factored in as well. What is so controversial about that? We never thought solving this thing would be straight forward. OK maybe these guys are placing a tad too much credence on the impact of upper latitude forestry, but it is an issue that needs consideration.

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