How Rising Temperatures will reduce Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by River Ape, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    The word biome was invented well under a hundred years ago and was unknown to me in my schooldays, but I believe it is familiar to students of geography these days. However, biome’s classification words go back a long way and are mostly familiar rather than technical. I like the Wikipedia sentence “Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate.” The key word is “response”. It suggests that climate determines biology, which does not sound unreasonable. (Classifications of physical climate tend to be more technical and go back until at least 1884.)

    When it comes to climate change, some biological responses may be fast. Drought may cause desertification pretty fast. However, an evolutionary response may be reckoned a gradual process requiring many generations. Human intervention may make a difference.

    A problem with biomes is that the world is a more complicated place than seventeen biomes -- or whatever number the preferred classification stipulates. In what follows, I shall be referring to tundra; and to taiga and boreal forest as separate classifications -- not merely as Russian and American terms for the same thing.

    I take forest in it usual sense to mean an extensive wooded area of some density. By taiga I am referring to the areas of patchy, scrubby and sometimes stunted growth found between the boreal forest and the tundra. However, there is much more vegetation in the taiga than the thin “reindeer food” of the tundra. Taiga deserves its Russian name because it is a much greater feature of the Asian continent than of the North American continent. Siberia tends to have the more extreme low temperatures and less precipitation.

    At present, there is much concern over the warming of the tundra, the melting of the permafrost, and the belching of methane into the atmosphere. This warming does not turn the tundra biome into taiga. The warming of the taiga does not turn it into boreal forest. But with time -- and human intervention, particularly in the form of afforestation -- this “response to physical climate” can take place; may even be expected to take place. But speed is a vital necessity.

    Global warming brings the chance for the greening of not less than a million square kilometers in Northern Asia -- possibly much more; the total area would depend on climatic changes in precipitation. The creation of this massive lung would suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and prevent runaway global warming.

    Whether or not I am right, whether or not I have explained it well, this aspect of global warming needs an airing and does not seem to be getting one -- or have I missed it?
     
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  3. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Well your very first statement is wrong, which is not a good start.

    Don't worry global warming might take care of itself is a less than desirable approach, imo.
     
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  5. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    According to usage charts, biome made its appearance c.1925 but you are quite right apparently. Someone used it about a decade earlier. However, no one seems to have told the sciforums text editor which underlines the word in red each time I type it.
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    The largest unbroken temperate forest on earth is the Siberian Taiga. It produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than all of the tropical rainforests combined. The Taiga contains one-third of all trees on earth.
    Perhaps one-fourth of the oxygen we all breathe is produced by the Taiga.

    One place where forests will benefit from warming is in the far north, where Russian forest researcher Viacheslav Kharuk, of the Sukachev Forest Institute in Krasnoyarsk, Russia shows how taiga forests are racing toward the North Pole.
    In the widespread "ribbon" forests of the region, Siberian pines are filling in gaps and surging northward. Thanks to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the growth rate for 50-year-old trees has doubled since the start of the 20th century, he said.

    The taiga was once known as the “land of the little sticks” in Russian

    During the lgm, species that now constitute the taiga were displaced as far south as 30° N latitude by the continental glaciers of Europe, Asia, and North America and by the hyperarid and extremely cold environments of unglaciated Asia and North America. As the glaciers began to retreat gradually about 18,000 years ago, species of the taiga began to move northward .............

    and:
    about 9,000 years ago in western Canada, white spruce spread rapidly northward across 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of newly deglaciated land in only 1,000 years.
    wow 1.24 miles per year---------------and that was without our help
    and now, we have
    afforestation
    yes
    there seems to be much interest in afforestation lately

    HSS may indeed be sometimes "the problem", we may also be the solution!
    Keep a good thought.
     
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  8. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    1,135
    This is what I had most particularly in mind.
    Yes indeed. But at the present juncture I am very much in favour of giving nature a helping hand!
    Your information is most useful and encouraging. Thank you.







    t
     
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    here's another: (though, maybe ... exaggerated)
    A 100 year old oak tree with 130,000 leaves, their biological cells, binds about 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to organic substances such as wood, leaves and bark each year and gives off up to 4,500 kilograms of oxygen, which is the annual requirement of eleven people. At the same time, the tree works as an air conditioner. The roots of that oak absorb about 40,000 liters of water from the soil every year, then "sweats out" via the leaves again. The generated evaporative cooling ensures that the forest even on hot summer days remains pleasantly cool. In addition, it filters about one tonne of dust and pollutants from the air, thus acting like a giant vacuum cleaner.
    https://en.reset.org/knowledge/forests-our-green-lungs
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    16,108
    Yep.

    It will also melt billions of tons of permafrost and release all the methane and CO2 it contains, adding to runaway global warming.
    It will also kill forests in areas that will become deserts, adding to runaway global warming.
     
  11. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    1,135
    Yep.
    But don't forget that this is a ONE OFF effect. If we can deal with it, whatever the expense, future generations will have an easier time. Whilst the enlarging of the Siberian forests (etc) will have a PERMANENT positive effect.
    Not if the hand of man can prevent it -- and we are learning more each year about how to combat and reverse the encroachment of deserts. Moreover, we may be assisted if the climate change models predicting a general increase in precipitation prove to be correct.

    Of course, I am looking on the bright side!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The models predict increasing variance and larger scale year by year shifting of precipitation regimes, the shifted patterns of extreme events predicted to be slower to remove themselves than they are now

    - so the net is - by prediction - boom and bust precipitation,

    with most of the extra rain falling as torrential storms in relatively small areas, while droughts become more severe and last longer than they do now in other places.

    It will last for a few centuries - at least two. Meanwhile, it will get very bad in a few places regardless of what we do now - our hope now rests on adjusting to new weather, rather than preventing it.
     
  13. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    The longer the process the less intense the effect.
     
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    You do not know this. You are speculating from a biased position.
     
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  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    16,108
    Nope. It is happening right now; it is not an assumption or a prediction. It will continue.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if you equate "hundreds of years of problems" to "one off effect" I guess that's true. Still probably something to avoid if we can.
    Yep. And loss of tropical forests will have a permanent negative effect.
    Sure. We could irrigate them. Oh dang - freshwater supplies are drying up due to climate change. I know - desalinators! But then you have to burn coal to power them, and you make the problem even worse. Or we could build reactors/renewable energy sources to power them. Oops - Trump just said it's all a Chinese hoax, and the deniers agree, so no money for that.
    Unfortunately, warmer temperatures worsen droughts in dry areas even if precipitation increases - because higher temperatures dry out soil much more quickly. And the precipitation increases are typically per storm. In other words, a given storm will drop more water during the rainy season, but will not result in more rain during dry periods.
     
  17. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    or
    "right now" could be weather ?
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    16,108
    Nope. Weather does not cause decadal changes in ice coverage or permafrost extent. From the NRDC:

    =============
    Earth's climate is already warming, and frozen ground has already begun to change. Scientists have found that there is now ten percent less frozen ground in the Northern Hemisphere than in the early 20th century. Ten percent equals more than five million square kilometers (two million square miles), about two-thirds the size of the continental United States.
    =============
    https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/climate.html
     
  19. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    1,135
    Well, actually there's quite a lot we could do -- and quite a lot being done.
    Searching YouTube on "reversing desertification" gives you plenty to watch.
     
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  20. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    and:
    2008: Joerin, U. E., et al. “Holocene optimum events inferred from subglacial sediments at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps.” Quaternary Science Reviews 27.3-4 (2008): 337-350. This study investigates the subglacial sedimentary archive at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps. Subfossil wood remains found at the retreating glacier tongue indicate that their emergence results from recent transport from an upvalley basin. A confluence-basin-like structure was found to exist by georadar measurements underneath the present glacier. In combination with high resolution age determinations based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating it is implied that a retreated Tschierva Glacier allowed vegetation growth and sediment accumulation in that basin. Three periods of glacier recession were detected, which occurred around 9200 cal yr BP, from 7450 to 6650 cal yr BP and from 6200 to 5650 cal yr BP. These periods are called Holocene optimum events (HOE). Accordingly, an equilibrium line rise >220 m compared to the reference period from 1960 to 1985 was inferred from digital elevation models of former glacier extents. Since glacier mass balance depends on summer (June–July–August) temperature and precipitation, an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) rise of 220 m implies a summer temperature increase of about 1.8 °C assuming unchanged precipitation during the dated HOE. Alternative calculations point to probable temperature increase in a broad interval between +1.0 °C taking into account a precipitation change of −250 mm/a to +2.5 °C with +250 mm/a precipitation change, supporting earlier paleotemperature estimates. It is proposed that higher mean summer insolation caused a stronger seasonality during the mid-Holocene as compared to late Holocene conditions.

    much like the weather,
    climate seems variable
    ............................
    meanwhile, the trees of amazon basin make their own weather
    hint
    transpiration water is heavier than evaporation water
    maybe they could teach us something?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Very much unlike the weather, it's trending - rapidly - the variation is around a trendline, not the former status quo.

    The time and space scale of global climate change is orders of magnitude different from that of weather, unless something like an artificial CO2 boost forces the pace.

    The G in AGW stands for Global.

    It's the rate of global change that the AGW researchers are warning us about - ten times as fast as anything in the geological record except very large meteorite impact.
    That's long familiar - recent research seems to indicate that the Amazon forest is crossing a tipping point and becoming a source - not as before a sink - for CO2.

    Or maybe you could tell us what you are attempting to hint at. Innuendo works poorly in these circumstances.
     
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  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Every time I look at this I shudder.
    https://www.worldometers.info/
     

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