March 17, 2016

"The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change..."

"... according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought."
In addition to taking in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, plants also release it through a process called respiration. Globally, plant respiration contributes six times as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as fossil fuel emissions. Until now, most scientists have thought that a warming planet would cause plants to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn would cause more warming....
IN THE COMMENTS: Rick said:
I recall an alarmist once responding to the point that some warming doesn't seem like an existential crisis by asking if I'd "ever heard of a feedback loop." I found it revealing alarmists believe being able to think of a way warming might harm the planet is proof it will do so. Decades in and these so-called scientists are only now testing the theories they included in their models. So how could the science be settled?

People get tremendous emotional satisfaction from believing they are opposing evil, it makes them heroes. But we live in a time and place where there isn't much, and what does exist is hard to find. So people satisfy this need by overreacting to lesser issues, thus global warming goes from something to keep an eye on to something justifying a complete reordering of society. And Trump goes from a buffoon to Hitler.
Meade says:
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."

Reagan was wrong.
Then he was right.
Now he's wrong again, right?
Meade also notes the correction —  "An earlier version of this article misstated the temperature to which some trees were exposed to test their reaction to warming. The temperature was about 6 degrees warmer than ambient temperatures, not 38 degrees warmer." — and says:

55 comments:

damikesc said...

Hmm, I see the logic in making massive fundamental changes in society due to calls for it made by a science that doesn't fully understand the variables involved.

Even if the scientists were 100% honest, which they are not, they lack enough information to make these suggestions.

rhhardin said...

Man is an oak Nature contains nothing sturdier. - Lautreamont

David Begley said...

What?! I thought the science was settled!

Here's some heresy. CAGW is the biggest scam and Keyensian hole digging project of all time. Academics predict a crisis. Paid well to study it. Government must spend other people's money to stop the disaster in 2100. Money shifted to new energy creators in MA and CA ; all given tax credits. Enemies in TX punished. Coal companies BK. Giant Peabody Energy next on the list.

And all for what? To maybe prevent an increase of 0.019 C in 2100. That's the official EPA estimate. The same crew that poisoned that CO river.

A complete scam.

rhhardin said...

There are a lot of bent-over birches in the years after an ice storm.

Tank said...

David Begley said...

What?! I thought the science was settled!

Here's some heresy. CAGW is the biggest scam and Keyensian hole digging project of all time. Academics predict a crisis. Paid well to study it. Government must spend other people's money to stop the disaster in 2100. Money shifted to new energy creators in MA and CA ; all given tax credits. Enemies in TX punished. Coal companies BK. Giant Peabody Energy next on the list.

And all for what? To maybe prevent an increase of 0.019 C in 2100. That's the official EPA estimate. The same crew that poisoned that CO river.

A complete scam.


Loretta Lynch take note. Begley to jail.

Meade said...

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."

Reagan was wrong.
Then he was right.
Now he's wrong again, right?

John A said...

This is probably good "news" - recognition that, say, pines and oaks, live from the Gulf of Mexico through the Arctic Circle.

Meade said...

Correction: March 16, 2016
An earlier version of this article misstated the temperature to which some trees were exposed to test their reaction to warming. The temperature was about 6 degrees warmer than ambient temperatures, not 38 degrees warmer.


Missed it by that much.

Rick said...

Until now, most scientists have thought that a warming planet would cause plants to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn would cause more warming.

I recall an alarmist once responding to the point that some warming doesn't seem like an existential crisis by asking if I'd "ever heard of a feedback loop". I found it revealing alarmists believe being able to think of a way warming might harm the planet is proof it will do so. Decades in and these so-called scientists are only now testing the theories they included in their models. So how could the science be settled?

People get tremendous emotional satisfaction from believing they are opposing evil, it makes them heroes. But we live in a time and place where there isn't much, and what does exist is hard to find. So people satisfy this need by overreacting to lesser issues, thus global warming goes from something to keep an eye on to something justifying a complete reordering of society. And Trump goes from a buffoon to Hitler.

Sebastian said...

Too bad humans just bend and break at the slightest whiff of change.

Where, oh where, are the administrative law judges that will prevent warming from offending our fragile bodies?

David Begley said...

Tank.

Correct. The Left intimidates, ridicules, silences and then tries to jail its political opponents. Senator Whitehouse of RI is the leader of that crowd. Loon.

Paddy O said...

"So people satisfy this need by overreacting to lesser issues, thus global warming goes from something to keep an eye on to something justifying a complete reordering of society"

Yes! But there are two tiers of response. There are the true believers, who really are earnest and need to believe in something, in fighting for right causes, being a good person, etc. And with the breakdown in religion, this offers a supposedly noble goal.

And then there are those who take advantage of true believers, who believe in nothing other than themselves and take advantage of true believers to enrich themselves. Post-Constantine Christianity got this, as does every good cause where money and power is available.

That's why I don't take any cause or crusader seriously unless they are also very anti-corruption. The environmental cause is now rather pro-corruption. California is full of both tiers, and that's why we're falling apart here.

traditionalguy said...

This is Big News.

The Climate Science of Global Warming has for the first time in 35 years actually conducted a scientific test that reports measured data not faked before reporting to meet a predicted model's target that will Hoax everybody on earth.

Science is back, unless it is killed off by Globalists as quickly as Trump's nomination. Both are existential threats to the replacement of National governance with World Governance.

Owen said...

Wonderful stuff. Some thoughts:

(1) The NYT writer was in a big hurry. That "38 degrees" correction very likely came from her hasty reading of "3.8 degrees C" which is the 6 degrees F she used in the story for us metrically challenged type.
(2) Without drilling into the (paywalled?) Nature story it is hard to know what confidence intervals the researchers can offer on these results, so while this looks science-y it is really just Pop Sci. All that NYT readers want, I guess.
(3) That said, it is nice to see some empirical work finally being done to test the SWAG's used by the alarmists. And here it not just tests the SWAGs, it obliterates them. The alarmists said we'd be seeing 500% increases. Here? 5%.
(4) Unclear if this CO2 emission by the plants is net of the higher uptake by them as the atmospheric CO2 levels climb. Up to about 1000 ppm plants love them some CO2 and convert it to more biomass. So I think that they would become a sink, not a source, for CO2. But I appeal to the real science folks to inform us here.

MikeR said...

Caveat: I am as impatient of anti-AGW types eagerly latching on to some story that supports their narrative, without really checking the science, as I am of pro-AGW types eagerly latching on to some story that supports their narrative, without really checking the science. Both ways are anti-science, anti-reality.
Some of the comments here go that way: "Yes! Finally some decent science around here!"

MadisonMan said...

Until now, most scientists have thought that a warming planet would cause plants to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn would cause more warming.

...which I've never understood. If a plant is growing more in a warmer world (all other things equal), why wouldn't it be sequestering more carbon as it grew more? Maybe this why I'm not a botany person.

Ah -- the article refers to two past articles that show that increased respiration is not offset enough by increased sequestration. And then the present article argues that increased respiration doesn't increase that much.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Rick, you should have asked that alarmist if he had heard of Gaia. He'd probably have fallen all over himself expressing how much of a Gaia-believer he was.
Then you could have pointed out that Lovelock's original Gaia Hypothesis was that the Earth (and everything on it) formed a homeostatic system, self-regulating via NEGATIVE feedback loops, to maintain conditions appropriate for life.
But I forgot to caution you to step back a bit first, lest you get his exploded brain-matter on your shirt.

walter said...

"The best way to get your lab funded is to tie the research to global warming"
(overheard party chatter of UW-Madison botany dept. folk circa 2005 or so.)

Gusty Winds said...

We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business!

For no scientifically apparent reason! But we are the intellectuals.

Don't forget, Trump is the buffoon.




Fernandinande said...

Meade said...
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."


Trees don't emit any pollutants, 'cept maybe pollen.

Enriching the Air with CO2 Enables Plants to Sequester Carbon at Higher Temperatures Than They Do Currently

walter said...

Gusty, if Obama can promise to skyrocket electricity costs..

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Science must be tested with double blind controls and with experiments that are repeatable so the data is trustworthy. To date, climate systems have never been so tested. And the data used has been either assumed from computers programmed to give the desired result or deliberately faked by changing temperature readings.

So there has never been any Climate Science in reality, only in Theory.

Is a lawyer taking notice of that aspect of Climate Science to be forbidden because it scares the Scientists that they are being exposed as frauds?

Gusty Winds said...

MikeR said...

...without really checking the science

Theories of manmade global warming have never been based on science.

Gusty Winds said...

It is completely ironic that global warming alarmist are no more than modern day Don Quixotes who spend their heroic energies tilting at windmills.

Owen said...

"walter said...
'The best way to get your lab funded is to tie the research to global warming'
(overheard party chatter of UW-Madison botany dept. folk circa 2005 or so.)

3/17/16, 2:02 PM"

Request for Funding: "The Mating Habits of the Lesser Banded Cockroach." Amount requested: $5,000.

DENIED.

Request for Funding: "The Effect of Global Warming on the Mating Habits of the Lesser Banded Cockroach." Amount requested: $500,000.

APPROVED. PLEASE EXPEDITE AND REQUEST RESEARCHER TO APPLY FOR RENEWAL ASAP.

WisRich said...

To paraphrase Mark Twain:

There are three kind of science: real science, junk science, and Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Captain Curt said...

When you convert a temperature level from degrees C to degrees F, the conversion equation is:

T(F) = 1.8*T(C) + 32

However, when you convert a temperature difference from degrees C to degrees F, you would use this equation twice, subtracting, which cancels out the "32" term. So:

dT(F) = 1.8*dT(C)

The writer obviously used the first equation when the second should have been used, because they were off by 32 degrees F. It's a common mistake among the innumerate. But anyone who makes that mistake has absolutely no idea what he is talking about in this area -- just find an equation and plug in values without any understanding of context.

The biggest trouble I have with the study as presented in the abstract is that it does not say anything about how the CO2-gobbling photosynthesis process changes with temperature. A huge amount of the "unprecendented warming" arguments come from tree-ring studies that assume that greater tree growth (wider and denser rings) comes from increased temperatures. And greater tree growth absolutely requires increased photosynthesis with its sucking of carbon out of the atmosphere.

David Begley said...

Blogger Fernandinande said...
Meade said...
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."

Trees don't emit any pollutants, 'cept maybe pollen.

Wrong. Carbon dioxide is considering an "emission" and therefore "pollution"by the EPA per a 5-4 vote with Justice JP Stevens writing the opinion.

David Begley said...

A key element in the scam. Turn carbon dioxide into pollution.

We pollute as we exhale.

Smilin' Jack said...

"... according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures....

Actually, the experiment was done long ago:

Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were high: approximately 20 °C (68 °F). However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12 °C (54 °F). [13]....The cooling and drying of the climate led to the Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse (CRC). Tropical rainforests fragmented and then were eventually devastated by climate change.[10][14]

--i.e. the coal and oil we burn now are the remains of the vast forests of a much warmer world, which were destroyed by climate cooling.

jacksonjay said...


So Al Gore caused more "pollution" with the offset scams than his old man generated with the Commie. Whoda thunk?

Robert Cook said...

"We pollute as we exhale."

Well, some of us do, at least.

Achilles said...

This article is baffling. Plant use a lot more CO2 than they emit. During the day they create sugars through photosynthesis which requires CO2 from the atmosphere. They have other respiration cycles that burn sugar to transport nutrients and expand at growth sinks that emit CO2 but they soak up CO2 and emit O2 and H2O in general. Their peak respiration happens at 1500ppm CO2 and 88 degrees give or take some depending on species. I had growing operations that would supplement CO2. Plants grow faster and use more CO2 as temperature rises. They also require higher levels of nutrients and water in the growth medium and much of that water evaporates to create negative osmotic pressure as a function of moving nutrients from the roots to the growth sinks at the edges.

I guarantee all plant life on this planet would grow better with higher CO2/temperature levels. So would humans to be honest. Yields on crops would uniformly go up. This article has a really stupid premise.

And no at the net level trees do not produce more CO2 than automobiles. Ugh.

The global warmists are just dumb people who don't know what they are talking about and continue to act like religious zealots.

Achilles said...

I am going to point out there is one candidate in this campaign who is clearly correct about global warming and the ridiculous nature of it.

All of the climate change parasites are going to have to find another job when he eliminates the "Environmental Impact Statement" as a requirement. All those people at the EPA will have to get real jobs that reflect their value to society.

David Begley said...

Achilles

You assert the global warming crowd are "dumb people." They think we are deniers and "batshit crazy." We should be prosecuted by DOJ for not thinking correctly.

We don't believe science. We must be silenced and punished.

sunsong said...

I am for being good stewards of the earth. I am for clean air and water, non-toxic food, for national parks and as much beauty as possible.

Gahrie said...

the coal and oil we burn now are the remains of the vast forests of a much warmer world, which were destroyed by climate cooling.

The coal yes...the oil...it is becoming increasingly likely that oil is not a fossil fuel....

Bruce Hayden said...

The thing that I didn't get was the emphasis on plant respiration. Under normal circumstances, plants have photosynthesis centering around the middle of the day, where 6 CO2 + 6 H2O are combined using the energy of the sun for glucose (C6H12) + 6 O2. Then, throughout the day, this is reversed, with the glucose essentially being converted during respiration back into the CO2 and H2O, generating the energy that plants use to survive. Animals pretty much just use the glucose plus O2 for energy, again giving off CO2 and H20.

My problem is that what seems important to me is the net difference between photosynthesis and respiration. That utilizes a net amount of CO2 and water to generate the glucose and O2. It would seem to me that the net amount of CO2 stored that would be important, and not just the respiration leg of the cycle.

So, any help understanding why the CO2 generated through respiration is that important, more important maybe than the net amount of CO2 stored as a result of photosynthesis minus respiration. Thanks.

Terry said...

"the coal and oil we burn now are the remains of the vast forests of a much warmer world, which were destroyed by climate cooling."
Oil came from something like algae. Or that's the theory, anyhow. The best way to find oil isn't to find the site of an an ancient shallow sea or lake, but look for rock formations that trap oil.

Jonathan Graehl said...

If the climate is warming gradually, study and adjust.

If the climate is cooling gradually, study and adjust.

For some perspective, current temperature is 300 Kelvin (0 = absolute zero). The worst-alarmist 1 deg Kelvin (C) rise in 50 years is a relative increase of 1 part in 300. 0.3%. Imagined runaway feedback nightmares are fine, but come back to me when you've verified the hypothesis.

The enviro-religious movement is Underpants Gnome:

1. scale back to pre-industrial plus some 'renewable' energy. 'eat local'! 'canvas shopping bags'!
2. ???
3. 100 million humans worldwide, in perfect sustainable Gaian harmony

JamesB.BKK said...

The paper of record failed to identify the units properly. Not all "degrees" are equal.

Rhythm and Balls said...

It's possible to poison someone without having them die on you. Just like it's possible for someone to survive a stabbing.

So I don't understand these alarmists' concerns. Don't they realize that it's possible that this global CO2 experiment won't end in a bad way?

Why do they persist in their pessimism and skepticism? Would you discourage knife attackers? Don't you have any hope that their victims will make it? Are you trying to discourage their recovery, or something?

We need to have faith that our planet will never be harmed by anything we can do to it. Anything less is religious gaiaism.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Reagan was wrong.
Then he was right.
Now he's wrong again, right?


Reagan had alzheimers.

Only an idiot would look to Reagan for wisdom.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Robert Cook said...
"We pollute as we exhale."

Well, some of us do, at least."

Only the living, Cookie. The dead give off methane. At least for a while.

The 19th century saw an era called "The Great Awakening," in which there was a religious revival that included several new religions, like the Mormons. I was discussing this with a friend today and I commented that Global Warming is the modern Great Awakening. Religions no longer have God but have Gaia instead.

He agreed and thought it was an interesting idea.

Michael K said...

"Only an idiot would look to Reagan for wisdom."

I'm glad you found a friend.

ELC said...

@ Captain Curt: "The writer obviously used the first equation when the second should have been used, because they were off by 32 degrees F. It's a common mistake among the innumerate."

Indeed. One who follows "climate" "news" will see this error repeatedly.

JAORE said...

'asking if I'd "ever heard of a feedback loop".'

I have, I've spoken directly to climate scientists. The feedback loop they discuss is a theory. And they ignore other potential feedback factors such as increased cloud cover that are (likely) more powerful.

I became a skeptic (=/= denier) based on several factors. First, "The science is settled". Pure BS, of course, science is rarely settled and never with computer models with an extraordinary number of poorly understood variables with interdependence we understand little if at all.

Second a hallmark of science is a conversation like, "Hey lookie here." "Let me see that? Wow, How did you get that?" "Well I used these inputs and these conditions, put it through this process and there it was". "Let me see if I get the same result" "Sure, thanks".

We don't get that with climate scientists. Instead we get, here are the results. Wow, what did you ud=-se for historic temperature data? Lots of thins. Let me see. Nope, I used some but not others, manipulated some numbers. Plus the dog ate my homework. And you just want to call me wrong (you big meanie).

Not good.

Third the lies and deceitfulness. Hiding the medieval warming period. Adjusting the NOAA records so the plateau disappears, the hockey stick being touted even after it became a subject of ridicule. Opening the windows of the hearing room in DC before one of the early hearings so the a/c could not catch up. The change from global warming to climate change. The multitude of dire predictions by XYZ date that vanish when the date passes.

Fourth the acts of those that scream the loudest, Decaprio, Prince Charles, Obama, the UN Committee members, Al Gore and more. Living the life of jet setting sultans while telling us peasants we have to sacrifice.

Finally, as noted above, I too knew researchers who had been turned down. Seemed they wanted research to determine IF... Oh no, not acceptable. Same research resubmitted to demonstrate THAT.... Ah, now we have something well worth funding. And these guys were wise enough to make sure the wording did not contradit the foregone concluions.



David Begley said...

Michael K "The 19th century saw an era called "The Great Awakening," in which there was a religious revival that included several new religions, like the Mormons. I was discussing this with a friend today and I commented that Global Warming is the modern Great Awakening. Religions no longer have God but have Gaia instead."

Great insight. It should be be popularized more.

The CACW crowd is religous in its fervor. The new zealots.

gadfly said...

"As continued research progresses we can already confidently state that the claims of the “CO2-is-a-pollutant-crowd” are insupportable in the face of life’s flourishing throughout a 95% decline in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This fact is documented in the scientific record.

Disaffected humans will just have to find something else with which to flagellate themselves. We can take comfort, however, in the knowledge that their need is great, their determination unabashed and their perverse imaginations sufficient to the task of finding another bad, unfixable thing human beings have done."

What a draft upon credulity that the august U.S. EPA, submitting to the blandishments of a gang of knee-jerk anti-establishment types abetted by political hacks and science-challenged postmodernists, would see fit to declare the origin of life, CO2, a pollutant."
~ James R. Fencil

Gahrie said...

We are once again graced by R&B, spawner of straw men and weak insults...along with weak thinking....

Terry said...

"We need to have faith that our planet will never be harmed by anything we can do to it. Anything less is religious gaiaism."
Once again R&B demonstrates that he is unable to consider a problem analytically.
If eliminating man-created CO2 emissions came at zero cost, of course it would be done. Not should be done, but would be done. That is what 'zero cost' means.
But of course, reducing CO2 emissions to zero, or by any significant amount, will have a non-zero cost. Money that is spent reducing CO2 emissions can't be spent on anything else. It can't be spent on investment (which returns > 1.0 * cost), or on other fancy things like reducing hunger or disease.
I could make a career out of explaining simple, textbook economics to liberals.

Rusty said...

Blogger sunsong said...
I am for being good stewards of the earth. I am for clean air and water, non-toxic food, for national parks and as much beauty as possible.

I find oil refineries particularly beatiful. And hot forging plants.

ganderson said...

Michael K- while conceding your general point allow me to be annoyingly pedantic- you are talking about the Second Great Awakening. The first was in the 18th century, before the French and Indian War, featuring such luminaries as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. There. I feel better now.

lllll Alaska Jack said...

Rick:

"People get tremendous emotional satisfaction from believing they are opposing evil, it makes them heroes."

Right. This is the fundamental organizing principle of half our population.

Progressivism NEEDS villains. If it's not the reactionaries it's the intellectuals; or the Jews; or the bourgeoisie; or the royalists. If none of them are available, other so-called Progressives -- who, really, aren't Progressive ENOUGH, are they? -- will do. The presence of such villains means YOU get to be the hero -- the wise, enlightened defender of equality and Everyone Being Nice to Each Other.

(This is, in a nutshell, the appeal of the Racist narrative. Racism is ideal for this purpose. It's unprovable, elusive, a menace lurking behind every closed door and motivating every sideways glance. Everyone is just a bunch of racist sheeple! I mean, except me, of course. I'm a Progressive. I can see the TRUTH!)