Diseased trees may be a source of global warming

Posted by Mark Raby

A recently published study has concluded that rising methane levels may not all be due to human activity.

Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies found that emission rates from the university's forest are the equivalent of burning 40 gallons of gasoline per acre per year.Diseased trees may be a source of global warming

And in a concentrated area of diseased trees in Connecticut, they recorded methane levels 80,000 times higher than normal ambient levels.

Of course, the fact that the planet's average temperature is increasing has pretty much been accepted by everyone except the most radical skeptics.

Where the real divide in this country lies is with the question of whether or not this is because of human activity. Much of the debate is needlessly focused on the climate numbers when it should be exclusively on what the cause is.

After all, this planet went from being covered in ice to being completely thawed out thousands of years ago, and we didn't even have internal combustion engines back then.

"These are flammable concentrations. Because the conditions thought to be driving this process are common throughout the world’s forests, we believe we have found a globally significant new source of this potent greenhouse gas," said Yale doctoral candidate and lead author Kristofer Covey.

"If we extrapolate these findings to forests globally, the methane produced in trees represents 10 percent of global emissions. We didn’t know this pathway existed," wrote co-authors Xuhui Lee and Shallenberger Brown.