Thursday, October 13, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters 13th Oct 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Trees are vital to our planet. Recent figures show that trees absorb as much as a quarter of all the carbon dioxide (CO2) that we put into the atmosphere. Without this process taking place, the level of CO2 would rise more rapidly and because the gas traps heat from the sun, the planet would warm more quickly.

Scientists are worried that the very warming that the trees are helping to mitigate is causing them to become victims of the various effects of climate change. All plants rely on CO2 to produce their food but even mature forests have responded to the extra supplies by showing a growth spurt. But while the trees have responded to the extra CO2, they have become victims of insect infestations and raging forest fires caused by the warming climate.

A worse scenario would occur if many more trees were to die. Not only would they stop absorbing CO2 they would probably start to decay at such a rate as to release large amounts of the gas back into the atmosphere causing further warming and unlocking carbon stored in the Arctic.

Apart from looking after our forests and planting as many trees as possible, we need to limit the amount of fossil fuel that we burn. Investment in green technologies is vital, both economically and environmentally.

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