Skip to comments.Hurricanes [Katrina & Rita] produced largest forestry disaster [AND GW!!]
Posted on 11/16/2007 7:36:51 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
New satellite imaging has revealed that hurricanes Katrina and Rita produced the largest single forestry disaster on record in America - an essentially unreported ecological catastrophe that killed or severely damaged some 320 million trees in Mississippi and Louisiana.
The die-off, caused initially by wind and later by the pooling of stagnant water, was so massive that researchers say it will add significantly to the greenhouse gas buildup - ultimately putting as much carbon from dying vegetation into the air as the rest of the American forest takes out in a year of photosynthesis.
In addition, the downing of so many trees has opened vast and sometimes fragile tracts of land to several aggressive and fast-growing exotic species that are already squeezing out far more environmentally productive native species.
The new assessment of trees killed or severely damaged comes from a study to be released today in the journal Science, written primarily by researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans who studied images from two NASA satellites.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Got the numbers off google; sounds a little dense to me, too.
Most forests go up and down hills while most improved lots are graded so, without knowing the average tree size in question, it is still a guess.
My point is that there doesn’t seem to be a concern here beyond hype.
We do know that most of the flooding occurred in low-lying areas and the total area flooded was 2,100 sq. mi. which was populated along the shorelines and for miles inland.
But what happens when a tree dies, or even worse, is burned in a CaliforniKA wildfire
It “leaves” or “barks” ?????
The timber companies did a pretty good job of salvaging what they could of the downed trees. Almost all of the downed trees that could not be salvaged were put through chippers and then burnt. I can't find my pics of the debris sites but they covered acres with piles 20-30 feet high.
This was the scene for about 100 miles inland.
The picture is very helpful - both in seeing the damage, % of tree lost and the density of the forest. However, while 300 million sounds like a lot of trees it is in fact a minuscle % of what we have. Moreover, that carbon is only significantly released if the trees are burned.
Oh I know they are hyping it but living here and seeing the extreme damage was mind boggling. The timber industry was quick to clear the damage and replant. The majority of the trees commercially grown are loblolly or slash pine plus a few long leaf pines. They grow very fast. There was a lot of hardwood tree damage but many areas are already recovering nicely as it always does in nature. I understand more clearly why there are so many ancient live oaks. They barely lost their leaves and were still standing.
I am a great fan of live oaks as well. They helped turn the USS Constitution into “Old Iron Sides”!!
~~ AGW ping~~
Then those not burned have already been sequestered as stored timber and should not be counted in the report at hand.
320 million such trees could be managed within a 1,200 sq. mi. area prior to the storm and cut on schedule.
The fact that they were prematurely broken by the storm doesn’t add anything to the future load they represented before the event.
There are 48,000 square miles in the state of Mississippi alone.
We’re talking a matter of scale here- 320 million trees doesn’t amount to much compared to the land area of the continental U.S.
There are 320 million bacteria in a square inch of countertop in most kitchens - what’s the CO2 load of all the decaying bacteria worldwide?