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Science: Climate Change: Global Warming

Why burning wood is not 'green' or 'Carbon Neutral'

Black Carbon Pollution Emerges As Major Player In Global Warming Science
ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2008) "emissions of black carbon are the second strongest contribution to current global warming, after carbon dioxide emissions" Nature Geoscience 1, 221 - 227 (2008) Published online: 23 March 2008 | doi:10.1038/ngeo156, V. Ramanathan1 & G. Carmichael2

"Controlling Soot Might Quickly Reverse a Century of Global Warming" published by Wired, July 29, 2010; the title says it all.  This dramatically illustrates that when considering wood burning or any combustion carbon neutral is very different from Climate Neutral, indeed.

Tiny Airborne Particles Found To Be A Major Cause Of Climate Change: "They observed the duality effect on clouds: As total aerosols increase, cloud cover increases; and as radiation absorption by aerosols increases, cloud cover decreases – for all locations, for all seasons. Backed up with a mathematical analysis, it becomes harder to deny that it is, in fact, aerosols that have the major influence." Science News: Dr. Ilan Koren, July 2006

Heavy Wood Smoke Chokes Clouds. NASA: During the August-October 2002 burning season in South America's Amazon River basin, scientists observed cloud cover decreased from about 40 percent in clean-air conditions to zero in smoky air.

Climate Change Particles can prevent rainfall.

Reasons not to install a wood chip boiler. by By Jim Merkel, Global Living Project Director    October 25, 2006: Sustainability Coordinator, Dartmouth College

May 14, 2007: Deforestation:
"The hidden cause of global warming "In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis?"

Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat

Sun Dimming

Emphasize Climate Neutral rather than Carbon Neutral.

Plants 'not to blame' for potent greenhouse gases.

from New Scientist Environment, 02 May 2007 by Rowan Hooper

They are off the hook after all. Last year a paper appeared that suggested, to widespread amazement, that plants are major emitters of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas (New Scientist, 14 January 2006, p 13). Now a trial in a gas-tight greenhouse has negated this. Plants do not, it turns out, contribute to climate change by emitting methane.

Tom Dueck at Plant Research International in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and colleagues grew six species of plants - maize, tomato, wheat, sage, evening primrose and basil - in air in which the carbon in the CO2 was the heavy isotope carbon-13. The only gases in the greenhouse were pumped in from cylinders, ensuring that if the plants produced any methane it would contain carbon-13. Despite using a sensitive laser measuring technique called photo-acoustic spectroscopy, Dueck's team failed to detect methane containing the heavy isotope (New Phytologist, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02103.x).

This was the first test of last year's claim, which was made by Frank Keppler, now at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. "If it was true, it would be revolutionary," Dueck says. "But no one can think of a logical explanation." Bacteria in soil may produce methane when breaking down organic matter in oxygen-starved conditions, but Keppler's experiment was conducted in air. Dueck, who grew his plants hydroponically, speculates that Keppler's study might not have allowed enough time for residual methane in the soil, and in the intercellular spaces in plants, to be flushed out of the system, making it look as though it had been emitted by the plants.

"We still have absolute confidence in our results and cannot support the conclusion that vegetation does not produce methane," insists Keppler, though he says he has no explanation for Dueck's results. Using carbon-13-grown plants is an artificial approach that cannot be used to derive natural rates of methane emission, he claims.

Dueck and Keppler both say they look forward to seeing the results of other groups who are repeating the experiments.
From issue 2602 of New Scientist magazine, 02 May 2007, page 8

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