[extropy-chat] Global warming news

Martin Striz mstriz at gmail.com
Sat Mar 25 03:51:30 UTC 2006

On 3/24/06, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> > bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Martin Striz
> ...
> >
> > The US and Europe are responsible for 40% of the
> > CO2 output (China accounts for another 15% -
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_emissions)...
> > Martin
> These calculations are based on carbon burning, but it looks like it does
> not account for a really large source of carbon going into the atmosphere:
> the clearing of forest lands for agriculture.  If the calcs did account for
> deforestation, Brazil should show up much more on the list of CO2
> contributors.
> A forest draws down a lot of carbon.  Do the calcs yourself: go to the
> nearest forest, measure the distance between a number of adjacent trees,
> estimate or measure their height and diameter at the base, assume them to be
> roughly conic, calculate their volume (~1/12*pi*d^2*h) and assume about 800
> kg per m^3 is carbon.  Whenever I do this, I find we can draw down as much
> carbon as we want, and get some really cool forests in the deal, if we just
> supply the continental interiors with fresh water.

While it's obviously beneficial to preserve the rain forest, the
amount of biomass that is being cleared away has an insignificant
effect on CO2 levels compared to the stuff we're pumping out. 
Consider that the amount of biomass that disappears during the winter
in the northern hemisphere is orders of magnitude more than what has
been cleared from the Amazon rain forest, yet produces miniscule
fluctuations in CO2 throughout the year.  According to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Atmosphere the
fluctuations are 5 microliters per liter of CO2, or 0.0005% (the total
CO2 fluctuations are larger for other reasons).

Since the current CO2 levels are rising by 3 ppm on top of 380 ppm, or
about 1%, we'd need a biomass 2,000 times that of the deciduous parts
of the northern hemisphere to keep up.  Maybe if the trees were a mile


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list