Skip to comments.A little air pollution boosts vegetationís carbon uptake
Posted on 04/27/2009 12:19:33 AM PDT by neverdem
Aerosols bumped up worlds plant productivity by 25 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, new research suggests
The worlds vegetation soaked up carbon dioxide more efficiently under the polluted skies of recent decades than it would have under a pristine atmosphere, a new analysis in the April 23 Nature suggests. The trend hints that relying on forests and other vegetation to sequester carbon may not be effective if skies continue to clear, researchers say.
Major volcanic eruptions throw large quantities of aerosols, such as small bits of fractured rock and droplets of sulfuric acid, high into the atmosphere. Those particles scatter incoming solar radiation, preventing some of it from reaching Earths surface and thereby cooling climate temporarily (SN: 11/5/05, p. 294).
That scattering also, however, boosts how much carbon vegetation takes in, says Lina M. Mercado, an ecosystem modeler at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford, England. Although aerosols, including many types of air pollution, decrease the overall amount of light falling onto a tree, the particles diffuse the radiation that reaches the ground so that it actually illuminates more leaves. In that case, leaves below the trees outer canopy are less likely to be shaded.
To estimate the way pollution and other aerosols affect the rate at which the worlds plants take up carbon, Mercado and her colleagues adjusted an ecosystem model to include...
It takes a long time for such effects to make their way into climate models, agrees Michael Roderick, an environmental physicist at the Australian National University in Canberra. This is a big advance. Researchers, he notes, could use the revised model to estimate the long-term effects of geoengineering of which artificially adding large quantities of aerosols to the atmosphere to ameliorate the effects of global warming would be one example.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
Geoengineering might give us the next Ice Age.
That frosts me!
Another example of the never-ending need for tweaking of the woefully inadequate climate models.
This is just some liberal genius’s set of suppositions. I won’t believe anything good or bad that is attributed to man’s ability to polute or clean-up.
It is what it is and mother nature’s models are too complex for climatologists.
The trend hints that relying on forests and other vegetation to sequester carbon may not be effective if skies continue to clear, researchers say.Heh... heads they win, tails we lose. Thanks neverdem.
I could have told them that certain plants like pollutants. Why do you think California and Florida put oleanders beside the highways?
And gardenias. I love those in CA.