Global Warming and Trees

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Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator

Trees Reach The Highest Heavens And Penetrate The Deepest Secrets Of The Earth… William Wordsworth

We all are aware of the air pollution and how the People are suffering. How this problem was raised and how we can solve it together?

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases traps more heat, increases the average temperature of the atmosphere and our mother earth becomes hotter and hotter, and this is called Global warming. Trees are being cut to pave way for roads and buildings, which is leading to deforestation, increasing carbon dioxide levels and causing global warming. The Industrial Revolution has pointedly enhanced the greenhouse effect triggering the earth's average temperature to rise by almost 1°C. Excess greenhouse gas released forms a thicker layer in the atmosphere. This layer absorbs more sunlight and releases more heat, and as a result we have to suffer from the high temperatures. The lowest atmospheric layer is Troposphere (6-16 kilometers from earth), where the weather occurs and it protects us. Stratosphere (48-56 kilometers from earth), where the ozone layer is present, protects us from harmful Ultra Violet (UV) radiation. Greenhouse gases deplete the protective ozone layer and allow harmful UV rays to reach the earth. Global warming is affecting the globe. Global warming leads to melting of ice sheets and glaciers, which is causing average sea levels to rise. It is also changing weather patterns and precipitation in many different places wetter, with stronger storms and increased flooding making some places dryer, with more intense periods of drought and at the same time making other places dryer.

Photosynthetic process efficiently reduces CO2. All the photosynthetic organism’s viz., photosynthetic bacteria, cyanobacteria, micro and macro algae and trees are the best CO2 sinks and they sequesters the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Planting of new forests can help to mitigate climate change by sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Combined with the sun's energy, the captured carbon is transported into leaves, branches, trunks, and roots through the process of photosynthesis. Captured carbon can be stored in the biomass till being reverted back into the atmosphere, whether through human interference or natural processes, thus carrying out the carbon cycle. A single tree can sequester approximately 22 kgs of CO2 per year or 0.06 g of CO2 per day. Younger trees absorb CO2 quickly while they are growing. Trees can also have a warming effect because they are green in color and absorb a lot of sunlight, holding heat near the ground level.  Trees are key weapon for global warming and a step to reduce Global warming, plant more, more, and more plants.

Author: Rajesh Kona, CSIR-Senior Research Fellow, Bioengineering and Environmental Science Lab, EEFF Department, CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad.


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