November 17, 2006

Something we didn't know about climate change

John Ray on his interestingly titled Greenie Watch has picked up a study of northern coniferous forests. Lo and behold, forest fires can help to reduce global warming.
In the long term the loss of trees means that more sunlight is reflected away from the Earth. This is because more snow, which is highly reflective, is able to cover the ground.

There is a similar effect when new trees start growing their light green leaves, which reflect better than dark foliage. "The reflectivity effect in the long run is larger than the carbon effect," Michelle Mack, of the University of Florida, said.

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