Navigation Links
Tropical forests -- Earth's air conditioner

Planting and protecting trees—which trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow—can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But a new study suggests that, as a way to fight global warming, the effectiveness of this strategy depends heavily on where these trees are planted. In particular, tropical forests are very efficient at keeping the Earth at a happy, healthy temperature.

The researchers, including Ken Caldeira of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology and Govindasamy Bala at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, found that because tropical forests store large amounts of carbon and produce reflective clouds, they are especially good at cooling the planet. In contrast, forests in snowy areas can warm the Earth, because their dark canopy absorbs sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space by a bright white covering of snow.

The work simulates the effects of large-scale deforestation, and accounts for the positive and negative climate effects of tree cover at different latitudes. The result, which appears in this week’s early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes a strong case for protecting and restoring tropical forests.

"Tropical forests are like Earth’s air conditioner," Caldeira said. "When it comes to rehabilitating forests to fight global warming, carbon dioxide might be only half of the story; we also have to account for whether they help to reflect sunlight by producing clouds, or help to absorb it by shading snowy tundra."

Forests in colder, sub-polar latitudes evaporate less water and are less effective at producing clouds. As a result, the main climate effect of these forests is to increase the absorption of sunlight, which can overwhelm the cooling effect of carbon storage.

However, Caldeira believes it would be counterproductive to cut down forests in snowy areas, even if it could help to combat global warming. "A primary reason we are tryi ng to slow global warming is to protect nature," he explains. "It just makes no sense to destroy natural ecosystems in the name of saving natural ecosystems."
'"/>

Source:Carnegie Institution


Related biology news :

1. Finding Cures For Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source An Answer?
2. Tropical Deforestation affects rainfall in the U.S. and around the globe
3. Tropical dry forests receive international recognition
4. Tropical Atlantic cooling and African deforestation correlate to drought, report scientists
5. Tropical forest CO2 emissions tied to nutrient increases
6. Live fast, die young true for forests too
7. U.N. mulls the protection of Earths forests
8. Expanding forests darken the outlook for butterflies, study shows
9. Emerald Spectre haunts Ontarios ash forests
10. Scientists must offer solutions for conserving tropical forests in a rapidly changing world
11. New book on rain forests, slash-and-burn agriculture

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... YORK , May 26, 2016 ... today that it will be a featured presenter at the ... in New York City at the ... Denis Corin , Q BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to ... will cover the company,s business strategy, recent developments and outline ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), ... developments that position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ... Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s ... in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, ... discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) responded ... Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach to interoperability that focuses ... and where it was needed. The organization of health informatics professionals said a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: