Friday, January 06, 2006

Trees not helping

Just when you thought that we know the scientific answers to world problems, you get smarty pants researchers from back woods universities like Stanford

      Canada's forests may actually worsen global warming rather than cool the planet, says a controversial study by a Stanford University physicist and environmental scientist.

      This doesn't mean we should bulldoze forests to fight global warming, says Ken Caldeira. Forests are still valuable ecological features in many ways.

      But he says it's "premature at least," and maybe even dead wrong, to plant new forests and maintain existing ones in the belief that this will cool the Earth. If we want to stop global warming, he says, we'd better begin by burning less fossil fuel.

And of course our own Oregon State University

      The study, to be published Friday in the journal Sciencexpress and later in Science, comes as conservationists and the timber industry battle over a bill in Congress to speed up the process of evaluating whether to harvest burned trees and plant new seedlings on the millions of acres of national forests that burn every year.

      "These results surprised us," said Dan Donato, a graduate student in forest science at Oregon State University who was lead author of the study. "Even after a huge high-severity fire in a place that is really tough to grow trees we are finding abundant natural tree regeneration."

Just goes to show that there are very few absolute proven truths in science, just theories that everyone is pretty sure are true.  Well, at least they line up pretty well with all the data collected so far.  Well…most of the data.

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