The Greenhouse Effect & Photosynthesis | Sciencing
The production and consumption of fossil fuels have increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and contributed to global warming. Some assert rising CO2 levels benefit plants, so global warming is not in our atmosphere would aid photosynthesis, which in turn contributes. The reverse way from your question, (the effect of photosynthesis on global warming) as far as they go, but they are one-way, and the relationship is two- way.
At the same time there were much larger fires burning in the boreal forests of Siberia in the USSR, some covering an area of 2 million ha. In total, up to 50 fires in Siberia in are estimated to have consumed approximately 10 million hectares of forest. Forest fire incidence in Canada has been extensively studied, and detailed fire statistics have been collected since The data show that the annual fire frequency has increased steadily over the last six decades, from about 6, fires annually in the period, to almost 10, fires annually during the s.
The increasing numbers of fires have been ascribed to the impact of a growing Canadian population and increased forest use, as well as to an expanded capability for detecting fires in more remote areas. The number of fires does not necessarily give an indication of the area burned, and in fact that area fluctuates tremendously each year.
From tothe area burned by forest fires in Canada actually decreased; however, it increased dramatically during the s, primarily as a consequence of periods of short-term extreme fire weather in western and central Canada. The annual average number of fires and area burned in Canada for the period were 9, and 2. Inthe worst fire year on record, there were more than 11, fires in Canada and the burned area was greater than 6.
Much of the hectarage lost in was in Western Canada, with the Yukon and Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan accounting for Manitoba, which was the location of enormous fires inrecorded fires and a total of 16, ha burned. As is typical in forest fire scenarios, a relatively small number of fires accounted for the bulk of the area burned: The relationship between forest fires and multiple uses of the forest by Canadians is reflected in the statistics on causes of fires: This delays detection of the fire and makes access difficult for fire-fighters, thereby frustrating quick initial attack and allowing the fire to become well established before mitigation efforts can be brought to bear.
Over the past seven decades, the percentage of smaller fires has increased steadily while the percentage of larger fires has declined, a tribute to the success of fire-management programs.
In many jurisdictions in Canada decisions have been made to allow fires in low-priority areas to run their course, priority being defined on the basis of human values assigned to the forest resource.
In Ontario in the s, this resulted in an increased number of larger fires in such areas. The decision has been based partly on economic considerations; remote fires are extremely expensive to fight.
Also, fire, as stated earlier, is a natural component of the boreal ecosystem and plays a dynamic role in forest reproduction and renewal. It should also be noted that when a forest burns in a wildfire, not all of the organic carbon stored in the trees is released to the atmosphere. Before the onset of very favourable conditions for fire in the last decade, it was generally believed that damage from fires would continue to decline in this country with improved forest fire management and control.
That this has not happened is a portent of what might take place should fire conditions continue to worsen under a new climate regime. There is now a general awareness within the scientific, and even the political, community that the global burning of biomass has a significant impact on the composition of the atmosphere and on climate warming.
While most world attention is focused on the destruction of forests and biomass burning in tropical regions, research is also underway to determine the impact of biomass burning in the northern hemisphere.
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One result of this research has been the characterization of smoke chemistry associated with fires in the boreal forest. The following figures, expressed as grams of gas released per kilogram of carbon burned, have been estimated: This equates to releases of Tg of carbon dioxide; These figures have to be viewed in the context of total global emissions of greenhouse gases from biomass burning.
The most recent estimate of global biomass burning indicates that 2, Tg of carbon are released each year, the primary contributors being savannah tropical grassland burning and the deforestation of tropical areas. Thus, forest fires in the northern circumpolar region contribute about 1.
Obviously, this is an enormous, and enormously difficult, proposition, given the immense hectarages involved and the large number of species of trees and other plants. Nonetheless, the carbon balance of Canadian forests has been estimated, using data from Two points should be kept in mind, however.
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Second, a change in forest conditions, such as the very severe fire situation that developed inwould change the balance to that of a net carbon source. Slashburning In the context of the burning of forest biomass, it is appropriate to consider the matter of slashburning, also known as "prescribed fire," which is used in silvicultural programs to prepare harvested forest sites for replanting.
Prescribed burning of slash wood residue and litter on the forest floor after harvest releases significant quantities of carbon dioxide and other gases to the atmosphere.
The practice is well-established in British Columbia and Ontario, with the former being by far the greater user of the technique. Trees and other plants store carbon and significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants in tropical regions have the greatest impact on the greenhouse effect.Global Warming Alarm - Fact or Fiction? - Who can you trust? - Climate Change
Because they get more sunlight than plants in temperate and sub-polar regions, they photosynthesize more. Carbon Cycle When plants die, the carbon they contain is returned to the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is always moving from the atmosphere into the soil and oceans and back into the atmosphere. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels contribute extra carbon to this cycle.
Installing LED lightingfluorescent lightingor natural skylight windows reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Energy efficiency has proved to be a cost-effective strategy for building economies without necessarily growing energy consumption. For example, the state of California began implementing energy-efficiency measures in the mids, including building code and appliance standards with strict efficiency requirements.
During the following years, California's energy consumption has remained approximately flat on a per capita basis while national US consumption doubled.
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As part of its strategy, California implemented a "loading order" for new energy resources that puts energy efficiency first, renewable electricity supplies second, and new fossil-fired power plants last. Examples of conservation without efficiency improvements would be heating a room less in winter, driving less, or working in a less brightly lit room. As with other definitions, the boundary between efficient energy use and energy conservation can be fuzzy, but both are important in environmental and economic terms.
This is especially the case when actions are directed at the saving of fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agencyimproved energy efficiency in buildingsindustrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases. For an equivalent amount of heat, burning natural gas produces about 45 per cent less carbon dioxide than burning coal.
While the system efficiency of a gas furnace may be higher than the combination of natural gas power plant and electric heat, the combination of the same natural gas power plant and an electric heat pump has lower emissions per unit of heat delivered in all but the coldest climates.
This is possible because of the very efficient coefficient of performance of heat pumps.
In areas like Norway, Braziland Quebec that have abundant hydroelectricity, electric heat and hot water are common. The economics of switching the demand side from fossil fuels to electricity for heating, will depend on the price of fuels vs electricity and the relative prices of the equipment.
The EIA Annual Energy Outlook suggests that domestic gas prices will rise faster than electricity prices which will encourage electrification in the coming decades. Since thermostatically controlled loads have inherent energy storage, electrification of heating could provide a valuable resource to integrate variable renewable resources into the grid. Alternatives to electrification, include decarbonizing pipeline gas through power to gasbiogasor other carbon-neutral fuels.
Some of the plans include building pumped storage or continental super grids costing billions of dollars. However instead of building for more power, there are a variety of ways to affect the size and timing of electricity demand on the consumer side. Designing for reduced demands on a smaller power grid is more efficient and economic than having extra generation and transmission for intermittentcy, power failures and peak demands.
Having these abilities is one of the chief aims of a smart grid. Time of use metering is a common way to motivate electricity users to reduce their peak load consumption. For instance, running dishwashers and laundry at night after the peak has passed, reduces electricity costs.