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View Diary: Huge Dam Removed, Fish and Critters Happy, Union Jobs Saved (112 comments)

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  •  Hard to see how that could be true and the trees (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, ban nock, catwho, RainDog2

    still accumulate biomass - trees are mostly carbon and mostly from the carbon dioxide in the air. Did the study claim that young trees accelerate soil decomposition or something?

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 05:27:44 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I was startled myself, Wee Mama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, whaddaya

      There some other references in another context about to how trees support lots of microbes and such that exhale carbon dioxide, maybe when they are young they don't sequester carbon as fast as the bugs breathe it out.

      •  But even the microbes need to eat something that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, happymisanthropy, ban nock

        was fixed. If they are eating what the trees fixed, there still needs to be enough left over for the tree to grow.The only way it makes any sense is if young trees stimulate the existing microbes in the soil to degrade the existing carbon- conceivable but odd to my ear.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 06:04:23 PM PDT

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        •  If you are curious, Wee Mama (4+ / 0-)

          look at the first link, and see what you can figure out.  I'm already slinging BS above my pay grade on microorganisms.

          •  Ok, I think I know where it came from now: (1+ / 0-)
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            …three years after being logged, a hectare of regenerating Douglas Fir seedlings, far from capturing carbon, was releasing 22 tons of it over a year. Even 18 years after being logged, another area was still releasing 5 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare.
            So, a hectare of seedlings is releasing more carbon dioxide than it is sequestering, but the seedlings by god are net sequestering - otherwise they wouldn't be growing larger. The carbon dioxide released by the hectare of seedlings is the soil microbes that would be releasing carbon dioxide whether the Douglas Firs were seedlings or century old plants.

            It's a complicated question, and it's worth it to read the whole article. An example of nuance: the urban waste wood as fuel would otherwise end up in a landfill releasing methane, so burning it is the better choice.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 08:29:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is pretty simple for once. (5+ / 0-)

      If you burn a ton of wood and you grow a ton of wood, of the same species, there has been no net increase of carbon in the environment. That other processes may be emitting carbon is irrelevant since those carbon sources were not fossil sources.

      The problem is burning fossil carbon that has been sequestered from the ecosystem for hundreds of millions of years not simply carbon cycling through the system.

      •  It takes a long time to grow a ton of wood (0+ / 0-)

        but only a short time to burn biomass 24/7.

        •  So? (0+ / 0-)

          As long as it isn't carbon that wasn't already in the ecosystem then it really isn't an issue. The assumption is that it is being done sustainably. If it isn't then that is a problem.

          •  If it's done sustainably (1+ / 0-)
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            you are basically continually extracting the energy gathered through photosynthesis and converting it to heat to spin turbines.

            This process is anywhere from 30-300x less efficient than solar PV, depending on the type of vegetation you choose. Trees are closer to the less efficient end of things.

            To supply current world energy usage with solar PV would require an area about the size of Spain.

            To supply our current energy usage with biomass would take 30-300 Spains, all dedicated to growing plants for us to burn.

            The pollution from that would kill millions each year, no thanks.

            •  We're not discussing what would be ideal. (0+ / 0-)

              And solar PV is impractical in the PNW where it rains something like 300 days a year. In this case the pulp paper mill is already there so using its own waste to partially power its operations makes a limited amount of sense if it gets rid of an environmentally damaging dam.

        •  Depends on the trees (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, foresterbob

          Disclaimer: I work for a timber company.

          Hardwoods take a long time to reach maturity.  But in the South, the forestry cycle is a mere 20 years, thanks to fast growing loblolly pine.  The biomass used for power production is all waste product from logging activities.   The trees are replanted in about twenty years.  In most cases, stands are not clear cut all at once, but undergo thinnings at 5 year cycles before the final harvest.

          The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

          by catwho on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 06:15:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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