The Winner of Global Warming?


Due to acid rain caused by human activities, the drastic reduction of red spruce which is an important timber species in America has attracted general attention. However, in the study of acid rain’s effects and whether trees stored less carbon as a result of winter injury, an interesting result was come up with—red spruce has done quite well in the past 30 years. Researchers found that diameter grows fastest in ever records of red spruce, suggesting that it is now growing at almost two times the average for the last 100 years.

Scientists are eager to know whether it is given a credit by the Clean Air Act of 1990, which helped reduce sulfur and nitrogen pollution, or global warming has done a favor to it because for red spruce, warmer winter means less damage.

As far as I’m concerned, it is not the winner of global warming because other kinds of evergreen trees don’t benefit from a changing climate, which doesn’t make sense if red spruce is the only developing story. Nevertheless, what I’m sure is that the growth of red spruce trees did reduce the carbon dioxide produced by burning 280 million gallons of gasoline.

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2 Responses to The Winner of Global Warming?

  1. sgetz2013 says:

    In fact, higher CO2 emissions has increased plant growth all around. For instance, corn and bean crops have steadily increased with the heightened ratio of CO2. Also, in the Carboniferous age when there was 2 times as much carbon in the atmosphere plants were enormous compared to right now, eventually resulting in the amount of oil in the ground today (due to lignification and the lack of bacteria to break it down). There were ferns and rushes growing up to 60 feet! Yes, a lot of gas is burned but plants are not adversely affected physiologically. Climatically is a different matter.

  2. jnmllr says:

    Still the question seems to be (if I understand the post correctly): why has this particular tree exhibited unusual growth characteristics? Is it a CO2 glutton (compared to other, similar trees)? If C02 is driving plant growth generally (and consistently) then there is no “red spruce story” — only a story about “this way to 60 ft. tall corn stalks…..” etc.

    [oh that’s when giants roamed the earth anyway and a 60 ft tall fern was just like a well-manicured lawn to us.]

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