"Global warming makes trees grow at fastest rate for 200 years"

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toddsschneider
"Global warming makes trees grow at fastest rate for 200 years"

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/global-warming-makes-trees-grow-at-fastest-rate-for-200-years-1886342.html

Forests in the northern hemisphere could be growing faster now than they were 200 years ago as a result of climate change, according to a study of trees in eastern America.

The trees appear to have accelerated growth rates due to longer growing seasons and higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists have documented the changes to the growth of 55 plots of mixed hardwood forest over a period of 22 years, and have concluded that they are probably growing faster now than they have done at any time in the past 225 years – the age of the oldest trees in the study.

Geoffrey Parker, a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in Edgewater, Maryland, said that the increase in the rate of growth was unexpected and might be matched to the higher temperatures and longer growing seasons documented in the region. The growth may also be influenced by the significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, he said ...

remind remind's picture

It is something we have noticed around here for the last coupe of years.

 

The deciduous trees have taken real spurts in growth, not seen before, as have the  formerly low bush berry bushes. And so too with the natural start pine seedlings.

 

However, all that has meant with the pines is that the beetles inhabit them quicker/sooner.

 

But we think/thought it is because they is more ground and drain off water available to them now that the pine trees are all dead and not sucking 100's of gallons a day.

George Victor

Some early cl ch deniers claimed CO2 increases would result in greater crops. I have not seen it put forward for some time since the theory was not proven to anyone's satisfaction after it was challenged. 

Policywonk

George Victor wrote:

Some early cl ch deniers claimed CO2 increases would result in greater crops. I have not seen it put forward for some time since the theory was not proven to anyone's satisfaction after it was challenged. 

 

There is some truth to the idea of carbon fertilization, but controlled experiments showed that the effect is short-lived, and in any case applied only in isolation as temperature and moisture are also limiting factors, to say nothing of catastrophic events (for some crops) such as hailstorms.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/co_2-fertilization/

remind remind's picture

Well George, I do not think there is more  carbon here, however there is way more water available. In our yard alone we have taken out 50 odd trees which means there is 10's of thousands of gallons of water available that was not before.

The blueberry bushes, which were basically ground cover and never grew taller than 3 or so inches,  in the areas where there used to be huge pines in our yard until they died, might actually reach a low bush status next season.

Nowadays I do not even have to drive anywhere to  get berries, as I have cranberries, blueberries, and saskatoons all about me, the only thing I need is to get blackberry canes. Think they will grow really well at the bottom of my property as it is part of the marshlands.

 

Of note though, the ground is not frozen here, and perhaps it is the first time ever, so I do not know how that will affect the berry bushes growth. As the snow has almost all melted and what is left will run off quickly through the glacial till, as opposed to standing and slowly perculating through so the bushes can pick up more.

Transplant

Policywonk wrote:

There is some truth to the idea of carbon fertilization, but controlled experiments showed that the effect is short-lived, and in any case applied only in isolation as temperature and moisture are also limiting factors

 

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_law_of_the_minimum]Liebig's Law of the Minimum[/url] states that plant growth is limited not by the total of all resources available, but by the resource in scarcest supply.

That's not usually CO2.

As you mention, several research studies have shown that although CO2 fertilization can promote increased growth, that growth may not produced increases in crop yields or nutrient levels, or in the case of forests, quality of wood fibre.

It's often mentioned by climate change septics that greenhouse operations boost CO2, but greenhouse operations also boost soil nutriant, water, light, and temperature levels, allowing higher CO2 levels to be fully utilized, plus they control pests and eliminate the physical stress effects of wind, hail, etc.

In other words, it ain't as simple as higher CO2 levels will be good for plants.

G. Muffin

George Victor wrote:

Some early cl ch deniers claimed CO2 increases would result in greater crops. I have not seen it put forward for some time since the theory was not proven to anyone's satisfaction after it was challenged. 

Aren't trees a "crop," George?  Not trying to pick a fight, just wondering if we can get this thing working for us.

G. Muffin

Quote:

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_law_of_the_minimum]Liebig's Law of the Minimum[/url] states that plant growth is limited not by the total of all resources available, but by the resource in scarcest supply.

Isn't this the same as "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link"?

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

The theory of Global Warming has been the only thing that has brought into governments of the World any measures to reduce burning of fossil fuels.
I have hoped that if and when it is decided that global warming is not a direct effect of the actions of humanity, it will not be a ticket to go ahead with smoking out the skies with petroleum exhaust. 

I think that the other reasons (such as poisoning of the air and water) for reducing the burning of fossil fuels must be recognised before any benefits of Global Warming are proven. 
I am not debating that Global Warming is better than Global Cooling and that there is not benefit to the flora in the world by having more carbon-dioxide available to them.
I worry that if the threat of Global Warming is removed, the laws finally coming into place to limit the amount of carcinogenic exhaust being released into the atmosphere will be forgotten...

George Victor

Very astute (if somewhat convoluted) observations. I'm counting on science to solve the riddle.

George Victor

remind wrote:

Well George, I do not think there is more  carbon here, however there is way more water available. In our yard alone we have taken out 50 odd trees which means there is 10's of thousands of gallons of water available that was not before.

The blueberry bushes, which were basically ground cover and never grew taller than 3 or so inches,  in the areas where there used to be huge pines in our yard until they died, might actually reach a low bush status next season.

Nowadays I do not even have to drive anywhere to  get berries, as I have cranberries, blueberries, and saskatoons all about me, the only thing I need is to get blackberry canes. Think they will grow really well at the bottom of my property as it is part of the marshlands.

 

Of note though, the ground is not frozen here, and perhaps it is the first time ever, so I do not know how that will affect the berry bushes growth. As the snow has almost all melted and what is left will run off quickly through the glacial till, as opposed to standing and slowly perculating through so the bushes can pick up more.

What trees will replace the pines, remind? I take it there is young pine growth, but is anything being planted to avoid a future monoculture?  Or will the beetle dictate?   I can't begin to imagine the changes in your landscape.

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

George Victor wrote:

Very astute (if somewhat convoluted) observations. I'm counting on science to solve the riddle.

 

Well give it time and there will surely be scientific studies to assure you that burning of fossil fuels will benefit the planet.

Might as well put your lips around the tailpipe now to get a jump on the health benefits that it will one-day bestow.

Breath deep - and soon enough everything will be a riddle.

Policywonk

remind wrote:

Well George, I do not think there is more  carbon here, however there is way more water available. In our yard alone we have taken out 50 odd trees which means there is 10's of thousands of gallons of water available that was not before.

Actually that's not how it works. Water taken up by the trees is largely lost to evapotranspiration, particularly on hot dry days, and without the trees the water may not stick around in the first place.

 

Noah_Scape

lonewolfbunn wrote:

The theory of Global Warming has been the only thing that has brought into governments of the World any measures to reduce burning of fossil fuels.
I have hoped that if and when it is decided that global warming is not a direct effect of the actions of humanity, it will not be a ticket to go ahead with smoking out the skies with petroleum exhaust. 

I think that the other reasons (such as poisoning of the air and water) for reducing the burning of fossil fuels must be recognised before any benefits of Global Warming are proven. 
I am not debating that Global Warming is better than Global Cooling and that there is not benefit to the flora in the world by having more carbon-dioxide available to them.
I worry that if the threat of Global Warming is removed, the laws finally coming into place to limit the amount of carcinogenic exhaust being released into the atmosphere will be forgotten...

 

Well ya lonewolf, now thats what I've been hoping for - even deniers should see the benefits of reducing emissions [of fossil fuel pollution].

 The oceans are becoming acidic from the CO2. That should be shocking - such a huge body of water and we are changing it. We learn that the acid level of the oceans is very delicate.

 

But if deniers don't feel a responsibility about  "humans upsetting the atmospheric balance" - even if it is just a remote possibility that we are doing something so potentially catastrophic there should be pause - then they probably don't see the importance of not acidifying the oceans either. These things are bigger than us, we depend on them utterly, we are messing with the future here folks, the risk is bigger than we want to take on, believe me.

Really, we are going at the oil like mad dogs under a hot sun, and we are going to pay a price for that in more than one way. We should slow it down by putting up as much renewables as possible - that just seems so obvious.

remind remind's picture

George, no there is nothing being planted in this area, but apparently in other areas pine has been heavily replanted, after massive clear cuts. This is in the less mountainous areas of course, as here, logging the standing dead is a lot more expensive than the flatter terrain. And of course they dare not clear cut anyway or mountain sides will be coming down, all they can do now is hope that there are no fires, and that the deciduous and natural pine regrowth happens fast enough to keep the mountains sides intact.

 

Mountains ranges are either  red/orange, and then other earlier hit patches are grey with the standing dead branches and trunks, the needles havefallen off leaving this gray depressing  mountain side, the deciduous trees do disguise it in the summer,

Some days here everything has a orangey haze on the remaining snow, as all the tees are orange, and ya know what is sad, some tourists think we have some kind of new coniferous trees going on where the needles change like deciduous trees do in the fall, I guess, and they think all the orange teees are pretty.

 

What is missing is IMV douglas fir, which has been missing from the replanting landscape in any significant amounts for a long time now.

 

The giant fir forests of old, will never be again it seems. Too long of regrowth for marketing the wood...

 

NDPP

The Dirty Truth Behind Clean Coal

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-dirty-truth-behind-clean-coal-by-josh...

"any concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with the 'planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.."

Transplant

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

"any concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with the 'planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.."

Never mind civilization, the current CO2 level of 388 ppmv is not compatable with the planet on which the human species evolved since 388 ppmv is higher than at any time in the last 3 million years at least, which was before the current glacial-interglacial cycle began, and perhaps in the last 15 million years, which was the mid-Miocene, when earth's average surface temperature was as much as 6C warmer than present.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I remember Obama's State of the Union address earlier this year where he said he is going to expand both 'clean coal' and nuclear power plants' because they are both essential to America's future. What an asshole.

remind remind's picture

my grass is already turning green.....and the trees are budding out too.