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  (Source: Take Pride in Utah)
Sending carbon to their roots to become soil carbon could sequester it for centuries

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers claim that global warming can be fought through the use of genetically altered trees and plants.

The leaders of the study – Christer Jansson, Stan D. Wullschleger, Udaya C. Kalluri, and Gerald A. Tuskan – believe that creating forests of genetically altered trees and plants will remove "several billion tons of carbon" annually from the atmosphere, ultimately helping in the battle against global warming.

Researchers plan to increase the efficiency of these trees and plants' natural processes that allow them to remove carbon dioxide from the air by transforming it into "long-lived" forms of carbon. They would like to do this first in vegetation, and eventually in soil. 

Genetically altering trees and plants' absorption of light isn't all these researchers are looking to do, though. In addition, they'd like to make it so that these plants send more carbon into their roots as well, which would transform some of it into soil carbon. This could stifle the carbon and keep it from the air for centuries. 

Researchers are also genetically altering plants to "better withstand" the complications of growing on marginal land in order to produce improved food crops and bioenergy. This could increase the amount of carbon plants take in from the air significantly. 

The combination of genetically altered trees and plants sending carbon to its roots to be put to rest for centuries along with improved bioenergy and food crop production could yield results that are beneficial to fighting global warming and its consequences. 

This study was published in Bioscience.



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By dobermanmacleod on 10/1/2010 5:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
"Leemans and Eickhout (2004) found that adaptive capacity decreases rapidly with an increasing rate of climate change.

Their study finds that five percent of all ecosystems cannot adapt more quickly than 0.1 C per decade over time. Forests will be among the ecosystems to experience problems first because their ability to migrate to stay within the climate zone they are adapted to is limited.

If the rate is 0.3 C per decade, 15 percent of ecosystems will not be able to adapt. If the rate should exceed 0.4 C per decade, all ecosystems will be quickly destroyed, opportunistic species will dominate, and the breakdown of biological material will lead to even greater emissions of CO2. This will in turn increase the rate of warming"

Reference: Leemans og Eickhout, 2004, Another reason for concern: regional and global impacts on ecosystems for different levels of climate change, Global Environmental Change 14, 219–228.

By the way, a 0.3 degree C. increase is predicted for the period 2004-2014 alone by Smith, Cusack et al, 2007.




By JediJeb on 10/4/2010 7:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the rate is 0.3 C per decade, 15 percent of ecosystems will not be able to adapt. If the rate should exceed 0.4 C per decade, all ecosystems will be quickly destroyed, opportunistic species will dominate, and the breakdown of biological material will lead to even greater emissions of CO2. This will in turn increase the rate of warming


Well we better just give up then, because according to Dr. Roy Spencer, former NASA Scientist and global warming proponent the temperatures have already risen 0.5c in the last decade or less

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/august-2010-ua...

So if what he says is true, and the Leemans and Eickhout report is also true, then our forest will be gone in a year or two.

Funny how the global warming/climate change people's predictions never seem to coincide or come true. Looking at these two reports together it would suggest that either one or the other must be incorrect, otherwise if they are both correct then we should be rapidly losing our forest right now. If a rise of 0.4c per decade causes all ecosystems to be quickly destroyed per Leemans and Eickhout, what happens at 0.5c per decade as Spencer is showing us has already happened? According to this we might as well just quit our jobs and go home and get ready to die because very soon the entire ecosystem of the earth will be dead.

These are the very things that make me take all reports, predictions, and research on climate change with a very large grain of salt. To listen to the two extreme sides of this debate you see that we either have absolutely nothing to worry about, or the planet should be dead in a few years. If either side would be honest about the debate they would have to say that the climate is not behaving within the narrow limits man has experienced in say the past century for which we have good data, but that period has really been a sweet spot for us as far as climate is concerned and we are trying to hold a vastly dynamic system to the standard behavior we are comfortable with. It may very well be that our world will become either warmer or colder as part of a natural cycle over the next century to millennium and instead of trying to place blame or control nature, we should be looking on how best to adapt to the coming changes.

Who could make a profit from scaring people into thinking the end is coming, well think if it this way. If you developed a cure for the common cold, then convinced everyone who gets a sniffle that they have a cold you will make a fortune selling your cure. But what if everyone actually had the flu instead of a cold, well you still got rich by misleading them and they still suffered because they had to go through having the flu instead. If the global warming people can convince the world man is causing the warming, and can sell them on raising taxes to curb CO2 emissions, and force those that need to emit CO2 into purchasing Carbon Credits, or otherwise stall the economy in the name of saving the planet, then those who sell Carbon Credits or the ones receiving the taxes and the ones selling the process that emit less CO2 will reap the benefits even if it is a natural process and those things do nothing to change the outcome. All the while everyone else still suffers twice because of the natural change that wasn't prepared for and being duped into wasting time and money on things that were never needed. On the other hand if per chance it is something that can be negated by changing our way of doing things and we are convinced not to worry about it, those who would have lost money by the changes would continue to make money through the period we waited while everyone still suffers in the end after it happens.

The only way the world as a whole benefits, is to put efforts into adapting to what ever change comes along with an open minded, honest study of the phenomena to learn exactly what is happening and how best to approach it. Right now the data is very inconclusive and contradictory, and many of the variables we need to have in our models are completely unknown. Keep the politicians out and find some true unbiased scientist to study this and then we may see the truth.


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