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Recent Nasa Report: Humans Are Causing The Greening Of The Earth


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#1 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 02:43 AM

Over the last two decades, the Earth has seen an increase in foliage around the planet, measured in average leaf area per year on plants and trees. Data from NASA satellites shows that China and India are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.

 

Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

 

“When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere...But, now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” Nemani said.

 

 

https://www.nasa.gov...asa-study-shows


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 02:44 AM.

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#2 exchemist

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 02:58 AM

Interesting article.

 

The takeaway seems to be the final paras:

 

"The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. The consequences for sustainability and biodiversity in those ecosystems remain.

 

Overall, Nemani sees a positive message in the new findings. “Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.”

 

It seems to be the case that greening in China from efforts to reforest areas to avoid soil erosion etc is a real +ve. Growing more food crop, as in India, on the other hand is merely neutral in climate change terms, as they are harvested and the bound carbon in them returns to the atmosphere as CO2. So one cannot draw a simple conclusion that more "greening" automatically means better control of climate change. But very interesting to see further evidence that China is capable of acting responsibly. 


Edited by exchemist, 01 March 2019 - 02:59 AM.


#3 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 03:13 AM

Growing more food crop, as in India, on the other hand is merely neutral in climate change terms, as they are harvested and the bound carbon in them returns to the atmosphere as CO2. 

 

Not really.  It's just a short term cyclical thing which sustains itself.  When the crops are harvested, more are then planted.



#4 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 03:28 AM

Interesting article.

 

The takeaway seems to be the final paras:

 

"The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. The consequences for sustainability and biodiversity in those ecosystems remain.

 

 

I don't really understand this sentence.  The phrase "does not offset" seems to misconstrue the situation.  Granted that foliation elsewhere does not change conditions thousands of miles away, the fact remains that:

 

"Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase."

 

"Taken all together," there is more than a mere "offset."  There is a substantial increase.  They should have said "does not repair the damage," rather than "does not offset the damage."


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 03:33 AM.


#5 exchemist

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 04:07 AM

I don't really understand this sentence.  The phrase "does not offset" seems to misconstrue the situation.  Granted that foliation elsewhere does not change conditions thousands of miles away, the fact remains that:

 

"Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase."

 

"Taken all together," there is more than a mere "offset."  There is a substantial increase.  They should have said "does not repair the damage," rather than "does not offset the damage."

The way I read it, they mean that the extra greening does not increase the net rate of capture of CO2 by more than the decrease in the rate caused by deforestation elsewhere. So "offset" seems OK to me, given that they have in mind the overall CO2 balance for the planet. 



#6 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 04:17 AM

The way I read it, they mean that the extra greening does not increase the net rate of capture of CO2 by more than the decrease in the rate caused by deforestation elsewhere. So "offset" seems OK to me, given that they have in mind the overall CO2 balance for the planet. 

 

 

Well, I dunno.  They say:

 

Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. 

 

They are talking about "leaf area on plants and trees," not just raw acreage or square miles.

 

Over the last two decades, the Earth has seen an increase in foliage around the planet, measured in average leaf area per year on plants and trees.

 

 

 

Here, again, although the article make some references to square miles, it explicitly says that is not what they are using to measure the increase.


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 05:27 AM.


#7 exchemist

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:54 AM

Well, I dunno.  They say:

 

 

They are talking about "leaf area on plants and trees," not just raw acreage or square miles.

 

 

 

Here, again, although the article make some references to square miles, it explicitly says that is not what they are using to measure the increase.

I don't think it should be too hard to understand. The area of green leaves on the planet in a given season is not enough, by itself, to tell you what the effect on CO2 absorption and emission is going to be. That obviously depends on what happens to the plants. So long as they continue to grow, in situ, they lock up more and more carbon, which is all to the good. But that is untrue of plants grown as food crops, as these are cut down, the edible part eaten and metabolised to CO2 again and the residue generally burnt or composted, releasing CO2 again, leading to no net change in CO2.

 

So if you cut down some Amazon rainforest on the one hand and on the other you plant double the green area you cut down, but all in the form of food crops, the planet gets greener but CO2 increases.   



#8 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 09:58 AM

I don't think it should be too hard to understand...But that is untrue of plants grown as food crops, as these are cut down, the edible part eaten and metabolised to CO2 again and the residue generally burnt or composted, releasing CO2 again...

 

 

Forever?  Permanently? NEVER to be replaced by another plant which will, in it's turn, absorb co2 from the atmosphere again, you mean?

 

Or is the effect of replacing the plant just to be ignored?  You didn't respond to this post, which had already addressed this contention of yours, which you now repeat here:

 

It's just a short term cyclical thing which sustains itself.  When the crops are harvested, more are then planted.

 

I'm afraid that I do find what you are saying to be "hard to understand."


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 09:41 PM.


#9 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 10:25 AM

I'm afraid that I do find what you are saying to be "hard to understand."

 

 

Let's say you start with a planet with 100 units of c02 in the air and zero plant life.   Then you plant enough plants to absorb 50 units.  Now there are only 50 units in the atmosphere.  

 

Now you cut them all down, and you're back to 100 in the air.  But then you replant, and there's 50 taken out of the atmosphere again, and so on, indefinitely.

 

Over time, the AVERAGE amount of co2 in the atmosphere will never reach 100 again.  Roughly speaking, you could say the average has been reduced to 75 units.  That is not a "neutral" effect.  Nor is it merely temporary.


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 09:04 PM.


#10 fahrquad

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 10:30 AM

Speaking for myself, I welcome global warming. Warmer. wetter weather and a high CO2 level means more plant growth so the planet can recover quicker after we are gone.



#11 Moronium

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 11:12 AM

Speaking for myself, I welcome global warming. Warmer. wetter weather and a high CO2 level means more plant growth so the planet can recover quicker after we are gone.

 

 

Which is something you appear to be rooting for, eh?  In another thread you said:

 

Assuming the human race is finally successful in eradicating itself, the planet should recover quickly on its own.  It is time for this failed experiment to end. 

 

 

 

The human species eradicating itself would be a success, eh?

 

Yet another suicidal (sometimes homicidal) eco-extremist, eh?

 

“The FBI said that 1,100 criminal acts have been committed since 1976 by the Animal Rights Movement and that "animal rights and eco-extremists" are "the FBI's No. 1 domestic terrorism priority."

 

 

http://abcnews.go.co...=1680849&page=2

 

Best be careful.  The FBI may pull a Roger Stone on you any day, ya know?


Edited by Moronium, 01 March 2019 - 11:14 AM.


#12 fahrquad

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 11:52 AM

Which is something you appear to be rooting for, eh?  In another thread you said:

 

The human species eradicating itself would be a success, eh?

 

Yet another suicidal (sometimes homicidal) eco-extremist, eh?

 

Best be careful.  The FBI may pull a Roger Stone on you any day, ya know?

 

I am rooting (no pun intended) for nature to survive unmolested by man, and I am neither suicidal nor homicidal.  The wife and I have no kids, so I have "no horse in this race", so to speak.  The human race appears to have an innate desire for self destruction at the same time it has a desire for self-preservation. 



#13 fahrquad

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 12:40 AM

The list of plant and animal life that has been eradicated by man is too long to post here.  Imagine Dodo for thanksgiving dinner...

 

maxresdefault.jpg



#14 fahrquad

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 12:55 AM

In the never ending discussions regarding CO2 and "global climate change", the fact that is ignored is that the total amount of carbon on the planet is unchanged.  We have all the carbon we have ever had and will ever have.  It is inconvenient to humans that there is extra carbon in the atmosphere just because using the sequestered carbon is so convenient.



#15 Moronium

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 07:30 AM

The list of plant and animal life that has been eradicated by man is too long to post here. 

 

 

Yeah, so?  It's too bad that we haven't eradicated more disease-transmitting vermin, parasites, deadly bacteria, etc.  Like rats carrying black death and malaria-spreading mosquitoes, ya know?  Anyone who sides with and prefers other species over our own, or who worships a hunk of rock like "earth" to the point of wanting to exterminate the human species to "serve" it is a traitor.

 

Thousands of species have come and gone without man having a thing to do with it.  It's survival of the fittest, Baby!

 

If we had to extract every last resource from the planet to survive and then move to Mars, well, then, that's what we'd have to do.  Tough luck, earth.  Though luck, other species.


Edited by Moronium, 02 March 2019 - 07:37 AM.


#16 fahrquad

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 08:42 AM

The rat didn't carry the Plague, the fleas on the rats carried the Yersinia Pestis bacteria.  In our wisdom we killed the cats because they were "witches familiars".  Killing the cats meant that the rat population went unchecked which allowed the fleas to spread and to spread the plaque bacteria.  If there had not been large concentrations of humans there would not have been large concentrations of rats and a lower probability of transmission of the bacteria. 

 

800px-Yersinia_pestis.jpg

 

https://en.wikipedia...Yersinia_pestis



#17 fahrquad

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 09:05 AM

Yeah, so?  It's too bad that we haven't eradicated more disease-transmitting vermin, parasites, deadly bacteria, etc.  Like rats carrying black death and malaria-spreading mosquitoes, ya know?  Anyone who sides with and prefers other species over our own, or who worships a hunk of rock like "earth" to the point of wanting to exterminate the human species to "serve" it is a traitor.

 

Thousands of species have come and gone without man having a thing to do with it.  It's survival of the fittest, Baby!

 

If we had to extract every last resource from the planet to survive and then move to Mars, well, then, that's what we'd have to do.  Tough luck, earth.  Though luck, other species.

 

We are frequently finding new cures for disease from plant and animal sources.  What possible cures have we thrown away because we wiped out a species?  One of the first treatments for Malaria (quinine) comes from a plant and so does aspirin (salicylic acid).

 

"Quinine is a medication used to treat malaria and babesiosis.[2] This includes the treatment of malaria due to Plasmodium falciparumthat is resistant to chloroquine when artesunate is not available.[2][3] While used for restless legs syndrome, it is not recommended for this purpose due to the risk of side effects.[2] It can be taken by mouth or used intravenously.[2] Malaria resistance to quinine occurs in certain areas of the world.[2] Quinine is also the ingredient in tonic water that gives it its bitter taste."

 

Quinine was first isolated in 1820 from the bark of a cinchona tree.[2][5][6] Bark extracts have been used to treat malaria since at least 1632.[7] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[8] The wholesale price in the developing world is about US$1.70 to $3.40 per course of treatment.[9] In the United States a course of treatment is more than $200.[10]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinine

 

precursor to aspirin found in leaves from the willow tree has been used for its health effects for at least 2,400 years.[6][7] In 1853, chemist Charles Frédéric Gerhardt treated the medicine sodium salicylate with acetyl chloride to produce acetylsalicylic acid for the first time.[8] For the next fifty years, other chemists established the chemical structure and came up with more efficient production methods.[8]:69–75 In 1897, scientists at the Bayer company began studying acetylsalicylic acid as a less-irritating replacement medication for common salicylate medicines.[8]:69–75[9] By 1899, Bayer had named it "Aspirin" and sold it around the world.[10] Aspirin's popularity grew over the first half of the twentieth century leading to competition between many brands and formulations.[11] The word Aspirin was Bayer's brand name; however, their rights to the trademark were lost or sold in many countries.[11]

Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications globally, with an estimated 40,000 tonnes (44,000 tons) (50 to 120 billion pills) consumed each year.[6][12] It is on the World Health Organization's (WHO's) List of Essential Medicines, which lists the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.[13] As of 2014, the wholesale cost in the developing world is $0.002 to $0.025 USD per dose.[14] As of 2015, the cost for a typical month of medication in the United States is less than US$25.00.[15] It is available as a generic medication.[4] In 2016, it was the 38th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 19 million prescriptions.[16]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin