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California's redwood forests capture massive amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide


Redwood forest

(NaturalNews) Americans – especially the Millennial generation – have been brainwashed by the political Left into believing that carbon dioxide is some "greenhouse gas" that is destroying the world, when in fact any rational scientist will tell you that CO2 is essential for life on planet earth to exist.

But that said, there are still those who say that we must rid the planet of excess carbon dioxide, and fortunately there is a place on our planet where an ecosystem exists that appears to be tailor made for that task: California's ancient redwood forests.

According to a new study, the forests are not just beautiful to behold and among some of the oldest living things on earth. They are a very potent absorption mechanism for excess CO2 and that makes them prime tools in the battle against global warming.

As reported by The Mercury News, the tall trees are capable of removing and storing more carbon from the atmosphere than any other forests anywhere in the world, and that includes the lush tropical rain forests, say researchers who believe their finding may influence a raft of activity including logging and how parks are preserved, even as California lawmakers grapple with climate change.

'It was very satisfying'

"The story of the carbon is huge," noted Robert Van Pelt, a research scientist at Humboldt State University who helped head up the study. "The carbon part of a redwood may be more important than the lumber part in the coming decades."

Redwoods grow to enormous heights and scientists have long known that they are capable of capturing vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, since they live more than a millennium. The accomplish this through normal processes of photosynthesis, a natural phenomenon whereby plants utilize energy from the sun to change carbon dioxide into water and sugars that assist them in growth, while simultaneously releasing oxygen.

However, a team of researchers from Humboldt State and the University of Washington launched a study to tediously measure just how much carbon the huge, towering trees – some of which are more than 300 feet tall and began growing during the Roman Empire – are vacuuming out of the atmosphere.

Beginning in 2009 the research team, in tandem with scientists from the University of California-Berkeley and the conservation group Save the Redwoods League, selected 11 forested regions between Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near the border with Oregon, and UC's Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve in Big Sur, some 500 miles away.

Forested areas in the north part of Jedediah Smith state park stored 2,600 metric tones of carbon per hectare, which covers an area of about 2.5 acres, according to the study. That is more than two times the 1,000 metric tons estimated to be held by ancient conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest and the massive eucalyptus forests of Australia and Tasmania, the paper reported.

Painstaking research and record-gathering

What is equally complex and exhausting is the manner in which the research team measured the CO2. In each of the studied regions the team established a scientific station and recorded every tree that was more than two inches in diameter. Researchers counted and measured every single leaf, branch, shrub and log in every one of the 11 plots. Time- and resource-consuming, to say the least.

"We finally got the numbers," Van Pelt told the paper. "No one has ever gotten them before. It took an army of people seven years to get all that. It was very satisfying."

Not every leaf was counted by hand. Rather, the research team devised 180 formulas for the different kinds of trees and shrubs, measuring height and diameter of each one. After plugging those figures into a formula they were able to obtain the number of leaves on each.

Samples of leaves from each were then taken to an elemental analyzer at UC Berkeley's Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry, which is a machine that is designed, in part, to measure what percent of a substance consists of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements. Then they simply did the math and came up with the amazing results.

The team also concluded that Redwoods hold more carbon because they live longer.

What is also good for the environment is growing your own food, because it places far less carbon in the atmosphere than commercial farming.

Sources:

http://www.reference.com

http://www.mercurynews.com

http://growbox.naturalnews.com

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