amazon drought nearing climate tipping point
July 25, 2006 12:05 AM   Subscribe

The Amazon rainforest becomes "a desert" after three consecutive years without rain - the trees die. Next year would be the third year of an ongoing drought. The forest contains 90 billion tons of carbon (or about 45 years of stored human emmisions at current rates) - 3/4's of the carbon is released within a year of dieing. The Amazon is "headed in a terrible direction".
posted by stbalbach (80 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
more recent article on the drought which has returned in 2006 (2005 was the first year).
posted by stbalbach at 12:12 AM on July 25, 2006


Brazilian politicians say their country has so many other pressing problems that the destruction is unlikely to be brought under control, unless the world helps.

Calculations by Hylton Philipson, a British merchant banker and rainforest campaigner, reckon that doing this would take US$60 billion ($80 billion) a year - less than a third of the cost of the Iraq war.


So we're out scrabbling for drops of oil while over in Brazil the whole system is on the verge of going catastrophic? The human race is going to win the ultimate Darwin award, isnt it?
posted by vacapinta at 12:20 AM on July 25, 2006 [3 favorites]


This fills me with dread.
posted by furiousthought at 12:34 AM on July 25, 2006


This fills me with furiousthought.
posted by shoepal at 12:49 AM on July 25, 2006


This fills me with shoepal.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:08 AM on July 25, 2006


Well hopefully these global warming "Skeptics" (read: lunatics) will just fucking die.
posted by delmoi at 1:15 AM on July 25, 2006


Oh the Mefites ! I mean come on will all the money the rich will move to colder countries or something., only the poor get the shaft. Ehehe...

...wait a minute ? Global warming ?

It's all liberal treehugging bullshit like DDT..I mean the radiated heat will just be dissipated in space ehehe

...wait a minute ? Greenhouse what fucking greenhouse ? C02 will be radiated in space...wait a minute it is NOT radiated ?

Well then the phitoplancton will eat that CO2 , and the plants as well

...what ? The Amazon forest is in drought ? Damn Brasilians and their samba, must be their fault ! Stop razing the rainforest !

Damn spoiled brats can't they just live in misery like they did ?

..what ? They took example from my lifestyle ? Look we invested in mass transporation ! Well not really, we had to sell the freedom of car ..you know the oil lobby and all the rest, mass transportations stinks anyway ! Plus now it is too late you must keep people busy hopping on their cars not realizing they're spinning like frigging bees.
posted by elpapacito at 1:31 AM on July 25, 2006


dying?
posted by lundman at 1:35 AM on July 25, 2006


We is fucked.
posted by Justinian at 2:48 AM on July 25, 2006


ah, that the USG is trying to unload Johnston Island now makes a bit more sense (given that its "Summit Peak" is all of 5m above sea level).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:50 AM on July 25, 2006


Hm... I can only imagine what they're saying at the Heritage Foundation in coming up with a way to spin this:

"Don't trees produce CO2? Wait, isn't CO2 production the cause of global warming? This could be just what we're looking for! This will cause global warning (which really doesn't exist, btw) to subside!"
posted by psmealey at 3:21 AM on July 25, 2006


It's the other way round. Trees (and other photosynthesizing plants) take in C02, and give off 02. We need more green, literally.

I just saw another article , BTW which said that the percantage of oxygen in the atmosphere has been declining for centuries. It's under 20% now and when it reaches 15% humans suffocate.
posted by jam_pony at 5:04 AM on July 25, 2006


It's under 20% now and when it reaches 15% humans suffocate.

What did it used to be? And can we have a footnote? Thanks in advance
posted by IndigoJones at 5:07 AM on July 25, 2006


Meanwhile back in the bat....some Foundation for Amelioration of Sinus and Cosinus

jam_pony writes "We need more green, literally."

"More green ? Dammit the dude has the way to more gubment money ! "

But wait weren't we anti gubment ?

"Yeah , but not anti gubment money ! "
posted by elpapacito at 5:08 AM on July 25, 2006


fucking ozone layer anyway...
posted by quonsar at 5:14 AM on July 25, 2006


delmoi: Well hopefully these global warming "Skeptics" (read: lunatics) will just fucking die.

Alas, and sad to say, the most likely cause will be one of the myriad consequences of global climate change.

Unless, of course, they're rich skeptics. Then they just go to the Biodome.
posted by lodurr at 5:17 AM on July 25, 2006


What is this going to do to Amazon.com's business model?
posted by grobstein at 5:29 AM on July 25, 2006


They'll put more emphasis on ebooks.
posted by lodurr at 5:52 AM on July 25, 2006


The forest contains 90 billion tons of carbon (or about 45 years of stored human emissions at current rates) - three-fourths of the carbon is released within a year of dying.

I'm having trouble backing this assertion up. How much carbon is released when you turn into compost?

This drought is the worst ever recorded (records going back to 1902). We're in new territory.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:34 AM on July 25, 2006


Then they just go to the Biodome.

I hope they like Pauly Shore.
posted by Pendragon at 6:52 AM on July 25, 2006


Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable

This sounds sad. Anyone have some happy news?
posted by bumpkin at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2006


Global warming is scary yes, but don' forget Ocean Acidification.


We sure will be fucked unless we do something now. Drop everything else and worry about this problem. Wind farms, solar panels, biodiesel, renewable life styles, mass transport, city planning, population control, aggressive charity, the sole reason anyone should be getting up should be to save the human race from its dumb ass self.
posted by stilgar at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2006


end o'the worldfilter
posted by MotherTucker at 7:18 AM on July 25, 2006


Is this the liberal apocalypse?

Or is it peak oil?

Either way, it'll make much better books than Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" pieces of Armageddon crap.
posted by nofundy at 7:24 AM on July 25, 2006


it's hot outside
posted by johnny novak at 7:30 AM on July 25, 2006


What we need is a global sprinkler system so as the polar ice caps melt we can pump the water to areas like the rain forest that need a good watering. Ace Hardware has 10 packs of 50’ garden hose on sale for $80, how much do you think we should buy?
posted by paxton at 7:31 AM on July 25, 2006


.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:38 AM on July 25, 2006


We're boned!
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on July 25, 2006


Effective yesterday, Cargill has put a moratorium on buying soybeans from newly deforested land.
posted by nickmark at 7:55 AM on July 25, 2006


I'm going to run up all my credit cards to their limits, except for one, which I'll leave enough on to buy a gun with which I shall bloweth off my cranium right as the hellfire comes raining from the sky.

I think that should happen around... Thursday.
posted by AspectRatio at 8:04 AM on July 25, 2006


wtf, you can't even buy tofu now? What the hell are you allowed to eat now?
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on July 25, 2006


This time next year, empath, you'll have plenty of dead ocelots all ready for the barbecue.
posted by Iridic at 8:13 AM on July 25, 2006


There are actually two stories here: (1) the current drought in the Amazon, (2) the results of scientific research on the possible effects of drought in the Amazon. The Independent mixes the two together in a very misleading way, topped up with some scary speculations of its own ('catastrophic consequences .. alarming research .. as early as next year .. spinning out of control .. world becoming uninhabitable ..').

Here, for those who are interested, is a fuller report of the scientific research on which the Independent article is based. It recognises that a long-term drought could have a potentially disastrous impact, but it's also quite reassuring about the forest's ability to survive a drought. ('We have been impressed by the great tolerance that our forest presented in the face of the severe drought we created.')

Just for the record -- no, I am not a climate-change denier, I just dislike shoddy journalism, and I can't stand the Independent's scaremongering rhetoric on global warming.
posted by verstegan at 8:15 AM on July 25, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
posted by keswick at 8:18 AM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm as worried about global warming as anybody out there, and I do absolutely everything I can to reduce my CO2 footprint. But I have to say, this is the kind of alarmist reporting that plays right into the hands of the skeptics.

The Amazon is an incredibly complex system, and while it's certainly true that there's a serious drought and it's certainly true that there's some evidence that, if the drought doesn't abate, the consequences could be serious. But the fact is that nobody actually knows what's going to happen, and it's absurd to report something like: "Dr Nepstead expects "mega-fires" rapidly to sweep across the drying jungle. With the trees gone, the soil will bake in the sun and the rainforest could become desert."

It seems very unlikely to me that that's what was said to the reporter; rather, I'd hazard a guess that Dr. Nepstead would have said, "Well, the worst-case scenario is that..." etc. and the reporter just went with that. (And I can tell you, as a scientist who works in a field that seems to draw similar doomsday coverage, this kind of journalistic hyperbole happens all the time.)

My point is that articles like this, that make dire assertions without any room for uncertaintly, lead directly to skeptics saying: "These scientists clearly don't know anything. I mean, just they other day they were predicting the demise of the Amazon rain forest, and has that happened? No! Global warming is clearly a myth!" This story would be vastly more persuasive it the angle was that the demise of the rain forest appears to be accelerating rapidly, rather than that the rain forest will become a desert within one year.
posted by dseaton at 8:19 AM on July 25, 2006


See what happens when you don't preview enough? What I should have said is: "what verstegan said."
posted by dseaton at 8:20 AM on July 25, 2006


Thanks, dseaton. I might actually be able to crawl out from under my desk and get on with my life now.

I'll just write a few letters to the Prime Minister and the Environment Minister, etc., first, though.
posted by jokeefe at 8:25 AM on July 25, 2006


Dseaton: I would say that if this was the only story about global warming say in the last ten years, ok lets not worry too much.

Taken as whole this is alarming news. Even if its not as bad as the story says, its still bad, and taken with all the other shit thats going on it paints a sad picture.

I would say that just to cover all of our bases we should still assume worst case scenario and plan accordingly. Even if we are wrong all we will end up with is a nice clean earth powered by renewable energy.
posted by stilgar at 8:45 AM on July 25, 2006


It'll be worth living through the end of the world just to know that Exxon shill/Potboiler hack Michael (State of Fear) Chricton will be going down with the rest of us.
posted by slatternus at 8:52 AM on July 25, 2006


WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Seriously, this is a non-issue. If ice caps begin to melt, reducing earth's ability to reflect sun radiation, we can just use nuclear weapons to turn all our deserts into big glass panels to reflect the sunlight. And we can even use the resulting nuclear winter to cool down the planet. Global warming solved.
posted by qvantamon at 8:54 AM on July 25, 2006


The forest contains 90 billion tons of carbon (or about 45 years of stored human emmisions at current rates) - 3/4's of the carbon is released within a year of dieing

I haven't read too much on the science of global warming but this strikes me as sloppy pop science. Since when did anyone measure forests by the amount of stored carbon? Doesn't every single organic molecule contain carbon? Hell, this pencil contains carbon. So do diamonds, and benzene and gasoline? If you burn the forest down, doesn't it still store the same amount of carbon in the form of soot and ash as it did in wood and leaves?

Shouldn't the proper analysis be to measure the annual level of carbon dioxide - oxygen exchange carried out by the forest on a per acre or hundred acre basis? That way we can then talk about replacing low exchange ratio plants with higher ones, etc.?

And how the hell does anyone know how much carbon dioxide is put out by industry vs how much we and the rest of the animal kingdom breathe out???
posted by Pastabagel at 8:59 AM on July 25, 2006


stilgar: You've missed the point completely. I agree, we should absolutely be working towards green energy and repairing the damage already done. But shrill, alarmist pieces like this the completely ignore the actual scientific conclusions play directly into the hands of those global warming deniers.

So yes, let's do something about this right away, but let's not give the "skeptics" any opportunity to take cheap shots at good science because of lousy reporting.
posted by dseaton at 9:01 AM on July 25, 2006


d'oh! the completely ignore = that completely ignore (of course)
posted by dseaton at 9:05 AM on July 25, 2006


Seriously, this is a non-issue. If ice caps begin to melt, reducing earth's ability to reflect sun radiation, we can just use nuclear weapons to turn all our deserts into big glass panels to reflect the sunlight. And we can even use the resulting nuclear winter to cool down the planet. Global warming solved.
posted by qvantamon at 11:54 AM EST on July 25 [+fave] [!]



Well, if the ice caps melt, would that mean there would be vegetation in places that don't currently have it now? I.e. wouldn't Canada's forests expand into the tundra?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:05 AM on July 25, 2006


If you burn the forest down, doesn't it still store the same amount of carbon in the form of soot and ash as it did in wood and leaves?

No. Wood is mostly made up of cellulose. When cellulose burns in the presence of oxygen, it produces carbon dioxide and water, with no solid byproducts. Soot and ash are the carbon products made when the non-cellulose parts of wood burn, along with whatever cellulose burned without access to oxygen. You can find the science here.
posted by Iridic at 9:24 AM on July 25, 2006


Sorry, that came out a little too tech-babbly. What I meant to say is that most of a tree--along with most of its accumulated carbon--becomes carbon dioxide and steam when it burns.
posted by Iridic at 9:37 AM on July 25, 2006


Pastabagel: The tundra is very likely a greenhouse time bomb waiting to go off. Much tundra sequesters large quantities of greenouse gases in permafrost. And for the relatively short period when it's in bloom, tundra is actually a pretty lush environment.

There's a good probability that some deserts will flourish, as you point out. There's also a really good probability that much currently flourishing farmland will become radically less productive, leading to mass starvation as the current networks of food production and distribution fail to compensate quickly enough. How quickly can we adjust? Quickly enough to prevent 50 million deaths? 100 million? 200? 400? A billion?

Climate science is still in its infancy, and different models get you different results, and some of those results are diametrically opposed. And some results that appear to be diametrically opposed are actually consistent, if you take other factors into consideration. The apparent interaction of global dimming and global warming, for example, appears to be counter-intuitive: As less light hits the surface, the energy is getting absorbed by the atmosphere. So while there's less light for crops, we get a net temperature increase.

The unexpected behaviors of complex systems often get used as an excuse to ignore bad news, and discredit findings that researchers have a high degree of confidence in. At such a stage, I think we have to apply the Gorean maxim: If the people who believe that global warming and its related climate changes are real, are wrong, they look silly; if the skeptics are wrong, they look...dead.
posted by lodurr at 9:48 AM on July 25, 2006


A few interesting facts I recently read on cnn: I also just today read this in 2 Peter 3:10:

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Actually, the whole chapter is a "chilling" read.

I make no declarations. I merely wish to submit this as food for thought.
posted by rinkjustice at 10:03 AM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Think I'll plant a tree this week.
posted by interrobang at 10:03 AM on July 25, 2006


For those who want some pretty graphs:

Global Warming Art
posted by vacapinta at 10:04 AM on July 25, 2006


when [oxygen in the atmosphere] reaches 15% humans suffocate

Not for healthy humans at sea level. 15% oxygen at sea level would be the same concentration of oxygen as 20% oxygen at about 7300 feet, and there are plenty of people who live at that altitude or above today without suffocating.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:08 AM on July 25, 2006


Since when did anyone measure forests by the amount of stored carbon?

Pastabagel, for a good long while. It's called forest biomass. Very standard measure.
posted by beatrice at 10:48 AM on July 25, 2006


Pastabagel, you might be interested in this recent AskMe discussion about carbon and trees.

The carbon cycle has a lot of complicated details, but the bottom line is very simple. Plants use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into wood with the by-product of oxygen. When plants decompose or burn, the process is reversed -- oxygen is consumed to convert wood into carbon dioxide and water. To determine rates of carbon transfer you simply measure the change in the amount of wood -- how fast trees grow or decay. There are literally hundreds of scientific studies that have done exactly that -- calculate the tons of carbon per acre absorbed or emitted by forests and other plants.

As you pointed out, all living organisms contain carbon and can be considered as temporary storage containers of carbon dioxide. Coal and oil are the buried remains of plants and animals accumulated over millions of years, thereby isolating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fuel burning reverses the process, taking stored carbon and returning it to the atmosphere. The earth once had much more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These buried plants and animals over a period of millions of years created an atmosphere more amenable to humans by removing carbon dioxide. We are now reversing the process.
posted by JackFlash at 10:54 AM on July 25, 2006


This is the effect of putting corporations that only think quarter to quarter in charge of the world environmental policy.
posted by any major dude at 10:58 AM on July 25, 2006


interrobang writes "Think I'll plant a tree this week."

Now that's some putting air where one's mouth is going to need some !
posted by elpapacito at 11:12 AM on July 25, 2006


South America is a MESS! Zoom out and pan around. It boggles my mind.
posted by tomplus2 at 11:22 AM on July 25, 2006


Pastabagel, you have good questions, and answers are readily available. This is probably the best single-page article on global warming (contributed to by experts in the field it is trusthworthy).

One key concept to keep in mind is that carbon takes many forms (trees, gas in the atmosphere, etc..) and it cycles back and forth between those forms - but the total net amount in the atmosphere generally remained stable. However with burning of fossil fuels in the industrial revolution, we introduced new carbon into the atmosphere that was not there before.
posted by stbalbach at 11:30 AM on July 25, 2006


Thanks for the info, everyone. Now another question - why not replace undeveloped marshes with sugarcane fields, assuming that sugarcane actually contains sugar which has way more carbon than cellulose. Wouldn't this be a more effieicnt use of those areas?

And to spin it another way, how many of what kind of tree would one have to plant in a .25 acre backyard to compensate for their industrial CO2 contribution? IS there ad additional benefit to planting more vegetaion in denser areas, or spreading it out?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:39 AM on July 25, 2006


You should buy rural land and leave it alone or plant longlived trees on it; you'll hold more carbon in the soil as it develops than even in the trees; as long as the trees aren't harvested and hauled away, they continue to sink more carbon even after they die and are turned into other plants and animals.

"... The average American family needs to plant 30 trees to offset the CO2 produced by their daily energy use. "

http://www.americanforests.org/campaigns/ikea/ikea.php

> "sugarcane actually contains sugar" -- true.
> " which has way more carbon than cellulose" -- false.

http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewer.php?mid=61
posted by hank at 12:00 PM on July 25, 2006


assuming that sugarcane actually contains sugar which has way more carbon than cellulose

Sugar and cellulose are pretty nearly the same % carbon--in fact, cellulose is a polysaccharaide, meaning it's just a bunch of sugar units stuck together.

hank: How to make a link
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:08 PM on July 25, 2006


pastabagel: I can't point you to links, but my short gut reaction would be that for sugarcane, even if it did bind more carbon, you'd have to plant a shitload of it to make a difference. Enough that you're radically destabilizing the biome in which you're fostering cane growth.

Which leads to the next question: It depends on who you ask. Some trees grow faster than others, some process more CO2, etc. There's an open argument about whether grasslands or trees are "better". And the trees in a healthy forest are part of a large system that is essentially a large organism. Start messing with the balance of species, and you destablise the system. That's one of the things that's going on in the Amazon right now. Or, for that matter, in any eastern marsh that's been taken over by Purple Loostrife.
posted by lodurr at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2006


Oops, polysaccharide.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2006


Very interesting, thank you all. IT sounds like it's best to plant some trees and let the forest gorw into whatever it will naturally.

On the subject of climate change, do long term global warming models account for astronomical effects such as precession and tilt (discussed here)?

The Earth's spin wobbles, causing a slow 2.4° change in the tilt of the axis (obliquity). This precession of the axis follows a cycle of approximately 40,000 years. When the tilt increases to 24.5 degrees, the winters become colder and summers are warmer than at 22.1 degrees, when with less tilt the winters are milder and summers are cooler.

Presently the Earth is tilted at 23.44 degrees from its orbital plane.Cooler summers are suspected of encouraging the start of an ice age due to their melting less of the previous winter's ice and snow.

posted by Pastabagel at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2006


oops, I meant 'discussed here'
posted by Pastabagel at 12:58 PM on July 25, 2006


The Indonesian earthquake reportedly has altered that tilt - read here.

So I wonder how that is affecting global climates if at all.
posted by ninjew at 1:11 PM on July 25, 2006


“For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.” - Isa 28:27

Just something to think about while eating carmels.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:13 PM on July 25, 2006


The death of a huge forested area, and it's quick procession to an equally large desert in a matter of only a few years would be remarkable. Most organizations that work to mitigate climate change focus on the problem of the advance of existing deserts, such as the well known problems in sub-Saharan Africa. Deserts advance observably, but slowly, by standards of human activity. Only recently have poorly understood phenomenon such as global dimming been implicated as major causes for the changes in rainfall patterns driving the growth of desert in Africa. If the Amazon basin were actually to suffer the widespread death of the rainforest suggested by this FPP, it is still beyond our ability to predict the final results for all the biomass there. Some of it might go up in smoke and fire, some of it might be washed down the Amazon and its tributaries, decaying and becoming fertilizer on its way to the sea, and still other parts of it might give rise to parts of the current rainforest undergoing ecological progression to temperate forest or grass savannah.

It's an interesting FPP, but until more is known, the actions to be taken by humanity don't seem as clear cut as we'd like. Even if we stop all activity now, there's no guarantee the current drought will end, and nobody suggests that all development in the Amazon will stop, or even slow.

And for all we know, this has happened in the past, and the Amazon rainforest burned slowly, and regenerated slowly, maybe even many times. We live short lives, we think small thoughts. We should be kinder to Mother Earth, but we are not her only children, her only enemies, or her only lovers.
posted by paulsc at 1:53 PM on July 25, 2006


global dimming

The IQ of the world is going down?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:53 PM on July 25, 2006


I also just today read this in 2 Peter 3:10

rinkjustice, that's a completely alarmist reading of the science.
posted by dhartung at 2:53 PM on July 25, 2006


We need massive desalinization plants to draw water from the rising sea and pipe to it the Amazon. And LA. And any number of other places in need of fresh water. Could this possibly work?
posted by crowman at 4:20 PM on July 25, 2006


Massive desalinization plants would require massive resources and energy.

And we're back to square one.
posted by dawiz at 6:14 PM on July 25, 2006


pastabagel: I'm not sure of the answer to your question, one assumes that, since sunlight is ultimately the driver of the system, someone has given some thought to these issues. But the link between sunspots, the solar constant, and global climate has been acknowledged for a long time. Read about the Maunder Minimum and Little Ice Age.
posted by dseaton at 6:37 PM on July 25, 2006


Massive desalinization plants would require massive resources and energy.

And we're back to square one.


We could use nuclear energy if need be, in the shorter term. If we don't, square one may be ten feet under water.

The bigger problem is the sheer volume of water we're talking about. The ocean surface is far larger than the land above sea level. But maybe it could work for a while??

Could we turn the world's deserts into inland seas? How many new problems would it create?

Sure is quite a pickle. Wonder how many plants could have been built with the money spent on the Iraq war...
posted by crowman at 7:05 PM on July 25, 2006


do long term global warming models account for astronomical effects such as precession and tilt

Yes. Human influence on climate dwarfs it though.
posted by stbalbach at 7:34 PM on July 25, 2006


Just to let you guys know one of the reasons that natural bioms store more carbon is because they are not mono-cultures (like a sugar cane field) the actual bacteria in the ground and the fact that a lot of bio-mass is trapped in a marsh and buried (which later becomes coal/oil/gas) is a great way to store carbon.
posted by stilgar at 7:37 PM on July 25, 2006


Yes. Human influence on climate dwarfs it though.

Reference please? The only energy input in the system is sunlight; very small changes in energy input in such systems can have cascading, catastrophic consequences.

I'd believe that over the last century or so human influence has been the dominant term in the equation, but in the long term, almost certainly not.
posted by dseaton at 8:30 PM on July 25, 2006


Pastabagel: drying out marshes causes very well understood soil changes which (of course) release stored carbon. And also cause subsidence- up to 30' in as many years in some places. Meaning that eventually they flood and then you lose the land entirely or you spend huge amounts of money on pumping the water out.
posted by fshgrl at 10:27 PM on July 25, 2006


I would say that just to cover all of our bases we should still assume worst case scenario and plan accordingly.
stilgar

1% doctrine anyone?
...is this not as important/relevant?

Immediate action, I say. A preemptive strike.
posted by jono at 11:10 PM on July 25, 2006


A preemptive strike it is then.

And anyone who disagrees is a coward and a traitor.

Let's fight global warming there so we don't have to fight it here!
posted by nofundy at 7:29 AM on July 26, 2006


If you burn the forest down, doesn't it still store the same amount of carbon in the form of soot and ash as it did in wood and leaves?

No.

When you BURN things you react them with Oxygen. The Carbon-Oxygen reaction is CO2. CO2 is a gas. The unburnt forest is not a gas.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:23 AM on July 26, 2006


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