Another surprise. The real carbon absorbers are the temperate and boreal forests. Tropical forests are too compromised by humans-

One of the best things that could happen to the future of our existence, IMO, would be the collapse of News Corps in the current scandal. Rupert Murdoch and crew have largely  taken Australia, the U.K. and the United States out of the battle to reduce the degree of climate change (stopping it is now impossible). This is by done by the billions of dollars spent over the years, mostly indirectly,by publishing the many slanted and false stories about climate change.

Free of the Fox News/News Corps taint, the Christian Science Monitor just ran an new article based on one in Science, with new information on the role of forests sucking up carbon dioxide from the air and storing it. Study: Forests absorb much more greenhouse gas than previously known. By Mark Clayton. Christian Science Monitor. The trouble is the Monitor, and other major news sources are often drowned out by the noisy, aggressive, mean, and false propaganda from News Corp media outlets.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

19 Responses to Study: Forests absorb much more greenhouse gas than previously known

  1. PointsWest says:

    So what happens when global warming gives us summers so hot and dry that most of Siberia’s boreal forests are burned off in massive forest fires? I think all that carbon is released into the atmosphere making releases from combustion of fossil fuels small by comparison.

    I thought that, by far, the largest carbon sinks were the oceans.

    • Pointswest,

      The oceans are the largest sink for carbon, about 1/3, and unfortunately, it appears the marginal ability of the oceans to absorb more carbon dioxide is on the decline.

      There have been quite a few articles on this recently, but it is hardly a surprising finding.You lean in basic chemistry that gases are usually more soluble in water at colder temperatures.

      Climate Change Reducing Ocean’s Ability to Absorb Carbon Dioxide. By Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California on 07.14.11
      Science & Technology.

      • PointsWest says:

        I read the ‘Climate Change Reducing Ocean’s Ability to Carbon Dioxide’ article but when I say the oceans absorb carbon (carbon dioxide) I mean the phytoplankton and the entire food chain in the ocean absorb it. The article does make the point that warmer water will absorb less CO2 but that does not quite make sense. A few degrees in temperature change does not affect the solubility of gases in water very much. Of course, as with weather, the temperature changes in some areas of the ocean might be significant. Phytoplankton seems to like cold water since you always hear the most about it in the north Pacific off Alaska and BC. Tropical waters are almost sterile when compared to the north Pacific.

        I find the news that boreal forests store a lot of carbon very frightening, however, since there were large forest fires in Russia last summer and I think we can expect more if the climate continues to warm. In fact, in a system, governed by differential equations, this would be known as a positive feed back loop…more CO2 —> rising temps —> more fires —> even more CO2.

        I wonder how significant were the releases of CO2 from last summer’s Russian forest fires. The fires were very large…record breaking.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          In addition, boreal forest is being destroyed in Alberta by strip mining for tar sands. The same general area near the pits burned late this spring in wildfires. I posted an article on it. The pine bark beetle is also killing boreal and temperate pine, not just whitebark pine. We have all seen the demise of lodgepole pine from the Yukon all the way to northern Arizona/New Mexico and other pine too. The winters are not cold enough to kill the beetle larva. We have a lot of positive feedback for more and more CO2, and very little negative except that the increased CO2 makes trees grow faster. The increase in tree growth rate over large areas is now measurable.

        • Woody says:

          According to an article I just read polar waters can dissolve twice as much carbon dioxide as those in eqatorial regions. Interesting site.

  2. Immer Treue says:

    Odd that the powers that be have finally started to put 2+2 together in terms of what was scrubbing so much CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Keeling’s study, which I believe continues, more or less had this pegged from the late 50’s(I believe I’m correct on the time) to the present. Most land masses are in the N hemisphere, logically during spring and summer when photosynthesis is at it’s height, global co2 levels go down. Fall and winter with very little photosynthesis, CO2 levels go up, regardless of the tropics.

    • Harley says:

      Have you melted yet? 🙂

      • Woody says:

        Summer has not arrived yet in the cool Pacific Northwest. Only two days so far this “spring” with temps above 80; none in the 90s. I like it!

        How much wool do you wear? I use it head to toe during rainy weather. Most Americans use very little any more.

        • Harley says:

          At this point, I limit my wool wear to winter and sweaters, I LOVE a well made sweater! I would really love to find a good wool coat but I have yet to find one that I can afford… lol!
          However….at the moment it’s still in the 90’s and it’s almost 9 pm here, so the thought of anything wool makes me sweat!

  3. Immer Treue says:


    Yesterday I sure did melt. Cycled in the am with a friend, then afternoon took the fencing down where the deer fawn got hung up. Today is a classic Northern MN day. 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and a breeze that brings the scent of the north along!

    How are things in the sweltering state of Illinois?

    Woody, Harley,

    Wool, and I might add natural fabrics. I’m slowly but surely making the transition to wool and cotton for outer wear. Perhaps a bit on the heavy side, but since my back packing days are largely behind me, I’m not concerned that about weight. Good fleece and synthetic base layers are still great, but synthetic outer wear just doesn’t cut it when working outside or camping in cooler/winter weather. Nothing like sitting around that campfire and have a vortex jacket look like it was peppered with shot.

    • Harley says:

      I am jealous of that breeze that brings the scent of the north! Lucky! It’s pretty oppressive here today but I thank God I don’t have to work outside. Currently it’s 97 with a heat index of 105.

      Years ago I bought my very first wool sweater at an Irish fest. I’ve since lost some weight, so it’s a tad bit big on me but I love the warmth of it. Sometimes, it’s too warm actually. I remember having a wool coat as my ‘Sunday best’ coat and it lasted from when I was in 7th grade until I got pregnant at 24 and couldn’t wear it anymore. I’ve heard nothing can beat the natural fibers. Cotton and I get along just fine as well until I have to iron the more dressy things.

      • Woody says:

        Cotton is one of the worst fabrics for wearing when getting wet. It gets dripping wet in short order and dries very slowly. Wool can hold about 80% of its weight in water before getting drippy. Shake the water out and start absorbing water again. Scotch tams are great!

        • Harley says:

          Yes, but for the heat, the cotton is a tad bit cooler than the wool.
          And the Scotts needed something that was good in wet weather!

        • SEAK Mossback says:

          They say around here where it gets both wet and cold that “cotton kills” and there have been plenty of deaths to prove it. When I went took a boat trip on the Beagle Channel, a very similar latitude, climate and landscape to ours, and inquired how on earth the local coastal natives (Yahgan or Yamana) became extinct (except for one woman in Puerto Williams), the guide said it was mostly disease but one of the big problems was the missionaries insisted they wear (cotton) clothes. They had lived there for 7,000 years 600 miles from the Antarctic continent, stark naked year-round (except for being smeared down with sea lion fat). When the main missionary (Bridges) had finally cataloged enough of their language (something like 30,000 words), one of the first questions he asked was how on earth they tolerated the cold without clothes (there was fresh snow down the mountainsides almost to town when we arrived there in the middle of summer — late December). The answer was “My whole body is like your face.” That’s tough — but wearing cotton clothes apparently did some of them in.

  4. Immer Treue says:

    There is a place for everything. I agree that cotton clothing in cold wet weather is inadvisable. The point I wanted to make about cotton is, for an outer shell, in deep cold, a cotton or canvas anorak is fine. It breathes as well as gortex, and one need not worry about tearing it up, or burning it.

    The secret, as I’m sure all are aware is layers, and taking the time to adjust. I ask my students how to stay warm in the winter. Two simple rules: 1. Don’t get cold (sounds rather obvious, but once you start getting cold, it might be tough getting warm. 2. Don’t get wet! Blue jeans, forget them.

    Up here at times gortex is referred to as leaktex. It’s great for high altitude mountaineering and when weight is prime consideration. Yes, it’s foolish to wear cotton on cold and damp, but don’t discount the value of good cotton outerwear in cold weather.

    • Harley says:

      No jeans… than what is a good replacement?

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        They would probably not be too popular with some folks on this site, but I use Cabela’s berber fleece pants — about the only color they come in is “outfitter camo”. I have found they are relatively cool in very hot weather and quite warm in cold weather. Another popular pant in Alaska that comes in regular colors is made by Sporthill.

        Wool is also good, but it really soaks up water — you will come back reasonably warm but weighing a lot more after creeping around in wet woods for a day. I didn’t get wool pants until I came here, and really found out what I had missed in the Rockies — scratching noisily through brush in blue jeans, not to mention blue’s the color that most jumps out at members of the deer family. Switching to wool, I felt like I could move through the woods like a vapor. If you are a Wyoming cowboy guide, you may never switch to anything else in any weather cuz you are tough & traditional . . .

  5. Immer Treue says:

    I bounce back and forth between fleece and wool pants in the winter. Kind of depends on what I’m doing. Just out hiking or walking, fleece. Working around the place, wool.

    Had some great TNF fleece light weight, kind of performance stuff called ultra wick. Should have bought 10 pairs of them, as they are not made anymore. Now use some by I think sportiff. With some good wicking long underwear, great for hiking, walking, back country skiing.

    Wool: most satisfied with Johnson Mills. Have tried stuff from Filson, very pricey, but made in US, and well made. Anything from Filson, try on if at all possible, because I find their sizing in some departments to run either very large, or a bit snug. Otherwise you may be sending stuff back and forth until you/they get it right.

    • Harley says:

      I wonder how many sheep it takes to make a wool garment? How many shearings? Of course, then you would need a wool carder, a spinning wheel, some dye… Yeah, can you tell I’ve given this some thought? heh heh!


July 2011


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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