Are Forests “Lungs of the Planet?”


This is a sequel to the reblogged ” Big Lungs and Big Liars ” from ‘justmeint’ .

Some interesting contradictory factors are presented.

Without going into the science of plants/trees and their relative usefulness and importance, which would require research results which may or may not exist, in which case my comments could be assessed, my thoughts are as follows:

Regarding the CO2 production aspects, I believe that one will find that a tree will produce a much greater amount of CO2 to O2 conversion than any agricultural venture using the same area of soil. For example, an established  oak tree has acres (or hectares) of leaf area and is a full-time (relatively),  ‘operator’.

Regarding the need to destroy forests to create agricultural land area, this has been the case in South America and maybe a few other places, but Australia and North America were blessed with very large areas of grassland. Timber felling is more likely filling a need for timber as lumber or firewood.

Regarding the fertility of soil, any soil will fail to continuously produce edible  plant growth without either fertilizer, resting or rotational cropping. It would surprise me if rainforest soils able to grow giant, hundred(s) feet trees is incapable of efficient food growing if treated in the same manner as other soils.

Regarding the loss of rainforest trees resulting in more CO2 and therefore increased tree growth elsewhere. True, but did we need to cut down the trees in the first place, and is there ever a return to the original balance?

The argument about methane production from rainforest decaying matter is valid, but has it been shown, even given that methane is a much more potent GHG, that the net gain of CO2 absorption is offset to a meaningful degree?

Finally, does it really matter if we, nature and humans, adapt to a slightly higher atmospheric CO2 level which is better for the plants and may not matter all that much to humans.

JustMEinT's General Blog

Since posting about therain forests yesterday,I have had my attention drawn in another direction by two independent sources. As I already wrote in that article, everyone has a bias, now it is very important to locate what that might be and report it accurately.

I do believe I was correct in stating that in years past we were taught that the Amazon Forest was named the ‘lungs of the planet’. I do believe I am also correct in reporting that many organizations are claiming the deforestation taking place is dangerous for planet Earth.

What was brought to my attention was that land which is cleared of trees and made into farmland for growing crops, is also returning oxygen to the ‘cycle’ and absorbing carbon dioxide. Of course there is always the question of methane emissions from cattle to be considered, as methane is another greenhouse gas.

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About Ken McMurtrie

Retired Electronics Engineer, most recently installing and maintaining medical X-Ray equipment. A mature age "student" of Life and Nature, an advocate of Truth, Justice and Humanity, promoting awareness of the injustices in the world.
This entry was posted in AUSTRALIA, ENVIRONMENT, FOODS, natural, Nature, outdoors, World Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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