Dec 23, 2005

Earth: 1, Envirofascists: 0

Careful Where You Put That Tree
Forget planting trees to negate your SUV's contribution to global warming -- according to Stanford University atmospheric scientist Ken Caldeira, forests in the wrong location can actually make the Earth hotter.
Plants absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, so scientists and policy makers have long assumed new forest growth helps combat global warming. At an American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco earlier this month, however, Caldeira rolled out a provocative new finding: Trees may be good at capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but their dark leaves are also very efficient at soaking up sunlight, which is later released as heat. At certain latitudes, the net effect of these two processes is warming, rather than cooling.
Another nail in the coffin of the envirofascists. Next thing you know, someone will discover that carbon dioxide actually is better for breathing than oxygen. Good times.

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