Saturday, January 14, 2006

Global Warming - Plants Are a Major CAUSE

If you visit here regularly, you know I'm a skeptic of the whole global warming thing. My primary beliefs are that the ecosystem is far too complex to determine; if we are in a period of global warming; whether we can extrapolate what is now happening in any meaningful way into the future; what the causes are; and that we have no chance of reversing it, in any case. Our best hope is to adapt to it, if it is real.

Now this as reported in Junk Science:

Max Planck Institute researchers reported their discovery that living plants emit into the atmosphere methane (natural gas), the third most important greenhouse gas behind water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Until this discovery, scientists thought the methane in the atmosphere was largely produced by bacterial processes not involving oxygen. But the Max Planck researchers report that living plants -- two-thirds of which are in tropical rainforest regions -- produce 10 to 30 percent of annual global methane production.

The implications of this study are stunning. Previously, it was thought that the net effect of growing plants was to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, therefore, to reduce global warming. But in the words of New Zealand climate researcher David Lowe, “We now have the specter that new forests might increase greenhouse warming through methane emissions rather than decrease it by being sinks for carbon dioxide.”

Like I said . . .

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