Pollen has bigger influences on optical properties of the atmosphere than previously known

From Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung something that could be a possible negative feedback to CO2. As plants proliferate more due to increased CO2, it follows that pollen load in the atmosphere would also increase.

Laser measurements show: pollen has considerable influence on air quality

This is a pine pollen corona on May 1, 2011, at near Herzberg (Brandenburg, Germany). The pollen of flowering pines forms a halo around the sun, which should be observed only with protective glasses as at a solar eclipse. Typically for pine pollen is a corona that is not circular but stretched vertically. Credit: Photo: Manfred Heinrich, Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany. Pollen reflects more sunlight than previously known, and makes up to one third of the total amount of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Aerosol particles influence optical depth which provides a measure of the opacity of the atmosphere. These results, reported by scientists of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea and the Leibniz-Institute of Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), are published in the research journal Atmospheric Environment. This study is the first to investigate the optical properties of natural pollen with a laser operating at 532-nm emission wavelength.

Pollen spreads in the air and is considered to be one of the main causes of allergies – and its impact on human health may increase due to climate change. For that reason, there is great interest in the research of pollen and its spread and distribution in the atmosphere. In addition, pollen is a considerable natural source of pollution in the atmosphere where it scatters sunlight – so-called corona effects have been known about for a long time.

Due to the extremely short measurement times in the near field of the laser, it is difficult to measure close to the ground where pollen is usually found. Furthermore, specific measurements are needed to separate man-made air pollution from natural sources of pollution such as pollen. The first person to use lasers from the ground to investigate pollen is Prof. Kenneth Sassen of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, USA. He collected pollen emissions data over Alaskan forests in 2008.

The results presented in this new study are the first investigations of this kind outside of North America. By using more sophisticated laser measurement techniques, the results also measure some properties of airborne pollen. “For the first time different optical properties of pollen in the air were measured. Of specific interest is the light-extinction coefficient, as this parameter allows us to determine the so-called optical depth of the atmosphere. The optical depth determines how much sunlight from space arrives on the Earth’s surface, and this measurement has a major influence on our planet’s temperature”, summarizes Dr. Young Min Noh from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST).

A polarization lidar, a tool used to observe particles in the atmosphere with a laser beam, was used by the South Korean–German research team to observe the vertical distribution of pollen in May 2009 at GIST in Gwangju (South Korea). The tool measures the difference in time between the emission of a laser pulse and receiving the back-reflected laser pulse, which allows the distance between the instrument and the reflecting object to be computed – similar to the way in which radar works. Scientists can determine physical properties of the reflecting objects by measuring the polarization changes of the back-reflected laser light. The measurements showed that pollen can be found at the highest point in the atmosphere during noontime due to air convection. Strong changes in polarization were reported during the morning at around 9 am local time at up to 500 m above the ground; at heights from 1.5 to 2 km above the ground between noon and 2 pm local time; and near the ground after 5 pm local time. These results are described by the research team in another publication that was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics which is an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). “In this study we report on the backscatter coefficient of pollen for the first time. We were able to determine this parameter by using the so-called lidar-depolarization technique. For this, we separated the laser light that is reflected by pollen from the reflection signal of the total atmospheric aerosols”, emphasizes Dr. Young Min Noh. “The pattern of the backscatter signals shows that pollen particles from trees are distributed in the lower part of the atmosphere of cities. This is caused through small-scale convection, air updrafts and downdrafts, and, if there are good weather conditions, high temperatures and wind speed as well as low relative humidity.”

IMAGE: This is the Lidar in use at the TROPOS in Leipzig. With the portable mini-Raman lidar “Polly ” a fully automatic system has been developed here, allowing the daily aerosol observations…

Click here for more information.

The month of May is the main pollen season in Korea. Simultaneous with the laser measurements, the scientists also collected pollen with pollen traps so that measurements at the ground could be compared to the data taken in the atmosphere. The Sun’s irradiation was measured with a photometer. From the results the researchers concluded that pollen can be a significant natural source of aerosol particles during times of strong pollen emissions. “We assume that the strong pollen emissions in densely wooded areas of the Northern Hemisphere, such as Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia, may significantly influence the optical properties of the atmosphere, particularly at the start of the growing period in spring. Although our observations only represent a small portion of the overall large-scale effects, they nevertheless highlight the importance of pollen emissions”, Dr. Detlef Müller reports.

Dr Müller worked at TROPOS until recently and, since late 2008, has also been leading the lidar group based at GIST in South Korea. Dr. Müller brought 15 years’ experience in the development of lidar instrumentation from Leipzig to Korea and helped in developing a special instrument customized to handle the complicated air pollution within East Asia. In this region, desert dust from Central Asia mixes each spring with strongly polluted air produced by East Asian mega cities like Beijing and Seoul. For a long time, the complex mixture of different types of air pollution made it difficult to clearly separate the different sources of air pollution.

The daily pattern of the influence of pollen on the optical depth of the atmosphere, as observed by the Korean-German research team, can help to improve data of Earth observing satellites like CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol-Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) and other aerosol sensors that do not adequately take into account the influence of pollen in their data analysis algorithms. In addition, the researchers hope that these new results can improve pollen forecasting to give a better quality of life to allergy sufferers in the future.

Pollen is not the only biological source of airborne particles that raises many research questions. Novel lidar measurement methods are planned to help investigate the effects of bacteria, spores, and fungi on human health and crop yield. “Dust is known to act as carrier of bacteria. We observed an increase of the number of people being hospitalized after large dust outbreaks over South Korea, suffering from problems of the respiratory tract, eye inflammations and other strong allergic reactions. Similar conditions have been observed in other regions around the world, such as in the Sahel Zone of Africa, where cases of meningitis may have been caused by bacteria carried by dust”, explains Dr. Müller who recently joined the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. He is funded by the Royal Society through the Wolfson Research Merit Award which is given to outstanding scientists in the UK. Dr. Müller continues to develop and improve lidar technology for climate research, and also for investigating the spread of spores and fungi in agriculture in order to find new ways of reducing crops loss. It is estimated that approximately 16% of the global crop yield is lost each year due to fungal diseases.

###

Publications:

Y. M. Noh, D. Müller, H. L. Lee, T. J. Choi (2013): Influence of biogenic pollen on optical properties of atmospheric aerosols observed by lidar over Gwangju, South Korea, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 69, pages 139-147, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.12.018 

This research was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and the Korea Polar Research Institute.

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46 thoughts on “Pollen has bigger influences on optical properties of the atmosphere than previously known

  1. Hmmm Right out of left field.
    And here I thought that the entire climate science field was already a dead issue, with the only remaining subject being how to best punish America, Europe, and Can-Aus-NZ.

  2. It is amazing what great and interesting use can be judiciously made of the latest technology to find out interesting stuff like this. We kind of take pollen for granted. I didn’t realize just how much there really is and what impact it can have.

  3. “In addition, pollen is a considerable natural source of pollution in the atmosphere…”
    Then shouldn’t the EPA pass laws to minimize pollen pollution as it did with CO2? …Oh…that’s right, CO2 is not natural. \sarc

  4. Following recent EPA endangerment finding on pine tree pollen, CARB introduce new regs to call and end to DIRTY pollen.

    Massive tree kull to begin in January.

    Prominent climatology professor and Nobel prize winner M.E. Mann has promised find at least one or two trees and invert the data as required to up date his famous hockey stick climatology.

  5. So, does the pollen also act as a condensation nuclei and therefore cause more clouds/albedo? What other negative feedbacks?

  6. I think a more interesting correlation to look at might be how measured pollen levels track with solar activity.

  7. “Laser measurements show: pollen has considerable influence on air quality”

    Anyone with respiratory allergies could have told you that. This is just another dispatch from the office of Captain Obvious.

  8. Some years back I recall a person proposed that plants are a natural negative feedback to anything that threatens their growth. It wasn’t that plants were intelligent and said to each other, “I say old chap, the sunlight seems a tad thin today, what do you say to you and I going out and altering the atmosphere a tad before teatime?” Rather it was by accident that those plants that produced emissions that bettered their chance of survival were the ones that survived.

    The subject under discussion, as I recall, was trace amounts of bromine swept right up to the stratosphere by giant ocean storms, and the fact the bromine (and iodine as well) was reducing the levels of ozone slightly. The source of the bromine in the swept-up sea-spray was plankton of some sort, and that plankton also happened to benefit from the changes in sunlight caused by lessened levels of ozone. It was only natural that some fellow would suggest the plankton was “doing it on purpose,” and also it was only natural that the fellow got laughed at and called a fruitcake.

    However it does make me think. Maples drop leaves that make the soil basic while pines drop needles that make soil acidic, as each tries to create an environment conducive to the growth of their seedlings. It doesn’t require brains or theory; they just alter their environment. And if they can alter the soil, why not the air?

    OK, I said it. Now you can say it: Yes, I’m a fruitcake.

  9. pollen is such a small thing. it cannot have any effect. its the sun stupid. the sun is big. big things matter. small things and trace gases dont matter. sheesh. and sun spots, they look small but they are big too. Its the big sun. the science is settled.

    /sarc off

  10. In addition, pollen is a considerable natural source of pollution

    natural pollution
    natural pollution
    natural pollution

    If you say it enough times in a row, does it stop being an oxymoron?

  11. The same phobic anti-logic is being used to demonize the dreaded PM-2.5.

    The very interesting image illustrating this article is a perfect example of the Narrative Fallacy and a thousand words of nonsense. Somebody says the halo is caused by pollen. Really, won’t a fingerprint on the lens falsify that just-so story?

  12. davidmhoffer says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:53 am
    “natural pollution

    If you say it enough times in a row, does it stop being an oxymoron?”

    Poll-ution. Poll-en. Notice the similarity? Of course it causes pollution. Pollution means covered by pollen. I think.

  13. Steven Mosher says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am
    “the science is settled.”

    Mosher; BEST (land only) has a far higher trend from 1980 to now than RSS (global) and HadCRUT (global) – the two of them have nearly identical trends since the last HadCRUT re-adjustment.

    This implies, if BEST is correct, that land warms far faster than sea, and that as a consequence, coastal winds and storms must be becoming stronger. Do you agree?

    Why do we see no evidence of this in wind speeds and storm energies?

  14. Caleb says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am
    “And if they can alter the soil, why not the air?
    OK, I said it. Now you can say it: Yes, I’m a fruitcake.”

    Of course they alter the air; Earth’s 20% oxygen atmosphere has been created by plants. Plants co-evolved with animals to breathe each other’s exhaust.

  15. Well, pollen collection and close study could explain why there are so many CAGW assassins.

    Assassin, derived from ‘Arabic ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish’; fanatic Nizaris, secret agents who performed sudden assassination of those they oppose.

    The ḥashshāshīn were called such because they were reputed to ingest hashish prior to their raids giving them a feeling of the paradise reward they were going to receive, felt little pain and unshakeable fanaticism.

    Hashish, at the time, was a collection of pollen and resin collected by runners swathed in leather who ran through the fields of cannabis sativa and then scraped the residue off of the leather. ḥashshāshīns ate the collected goo or imbibed a potion made for them.

    Many of the reports about suicide killers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria indicate that this physical yet spiritual inoculation still occurs.

    It would not surprise me if the next place they want to study pollen is in SE Asia or old Persia.

  16. I remember Lord May leaning over and assuring me: “I am the President of the Royal Society, and I am telling you the debate on climate change is over.”

    Roger Harrabin, BBC Environmental Correspondent.

  17. This topic is very timely. There is (was) a full moon this morning. It amazed me how much brighter that it was than last summer. As I looked at it I wondered “Does the lack of pollutants, aerosols, and humidity in the atmosphere make the full Moon appear brighter. And if the clearness of the atmosphere has that effect on the Moons light what does it have on radiation both up and down.”
    Are factors like this taken into account in the various models?

  18. “…Pollen affects the atmosphere, lasers say so” (paraphrasing)

    OK, question – does pollen reflect or absorb SW radiation? Just because light from the laser is not reflected back, I don’t think you can really determine what caused the attenuation. I know pine pollen is yellow and all pollen is irregular shaped… ???

    Just some thoughts,
    Jeff

  19. Bloke down the pub says:

    December 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

    So cutting down trees in the US to put into European power plants will…..
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Significantly reduce pine pollen in the area the pines are being cut. During the couple weeks the pines are pollenating. Significant air pollution from pines but, like most trees, the pollen is only present for a couple weeks or so. Around my house everything turns yellow-green.

    The press release(?) mentions in passing seasonality of pollen and the loss of atmospheric pollen when it rains. Seems a little hit or miss.

  20. AtheoK
    Assassin, derived from ‘Arabic ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish’; fanatic Nizaris, secret agents who performed sudden assassination of those they oppose.
    ====

    Assassins (from Arabic: حشاشين‎ Ḥashshāshīn,[1]) is a misnomer for the Nizari Ismailis applied abusively to them by the Mustali Ismailis during the fall of the decaying Ismaili Fatimid Empire when the two streams separated from each other. In 1122 the Mustalian dynasty Fatimid caliph al-Amir referred to the Nizaris separated from them and “now firmly established in Persia and Syria”, abusively as the hashishiyya “without any explanation” and “without actually accusing them of using hashish, a product of hemp“.[2]

    The term hashishiyya or hashishi as used by Muslim sources is used metaphorically in its abusive sense (i.e. “irreligious social outcasts“*, “low-class rabble”, etc.). “The literal interpretation of this term in referring to the Nizaris (as hashish consuming intoxicated assassins) is rooted in the fantasies of medieval Westerners and their imaginative ignorance of Islam and the Ismailis.“[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassins

    ===============
    The ignorance is not limited to medieval westerners at all.
    Modern crusaders are equally ignorant.

  21. There is one very important implication of this research that seems to have escaped notice – global warming makes hay fever worse!

    We must curb CO2 emissions for the sake of victims of hay fever. The deniers obviously have no sympathy with the victims.

  22. Caleb says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am

    “ . . . pines drop needles that make soil acidic, . . .

    Not really the topic of this post so I will simply object and say both pro and con statements are found on the web. Suggest contacting the AG schools, say the UCONN Agricultural Research Station or ones in other states.

  23. Khwarizmi says:
    December 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The term hashishiyya or hashishi as used by Muslim sources is used metaphorically in its abusive sense (i.e. “irreligious social outcasts“*, “low-class rabble”, etc.). “The literal interpretation of this term in referring to the Nizaris (as hashish consuming intoxicated assassins) is rooted in the fantasies of medieval Westerners and their imaginative ignorance of Islam and the Ismailis.“[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassins

    ===============
    The ignorance is not limited to medieval westerners at all.
    Modern crusaders are equally ignorant.

    There aren’t any “modern crusaders.” Western policy in the Middle East has frequently been misguided, but the intentions have been good, in marked contrast to that of the leaders of many countries in that part of the world. Even the Wikipedia article that you quoted confirms that the founder of the Assassins was an evil fanatic who spent his time waging war against other Moslems and Christians. If the Assassins had taken hashish as well, that would have been the least of their crimes.

    I don’t know how increasing CO2 levels would affect the growth of cannabis in the Middle East but it seems reasonable to suppose that it would increase production since plants need CO2. If that happens the industrialised West will probably get the blame for the consumption of hashish in the Arab world!

  24. I do not want to interfere with anyone’s fun but if you suffer from pollen allergies, as bazillions do, then you watch pollen counts and you choose your place of residence to avoid pollen. Lots of people who have pollen allergies suffer from migraines. Pollen allergy sufferers treat pollen as one of the worst kinds of pollution. Maybe we should call it something other than pollution. Any suggestions?

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

    pollen is such a small thing. it cannot have any effect. its the sun stupid. the sun is big. big things matter. small things and trace gases dont matter. sheesh. and sun spots, they look small but they are big too. Its the big sun. the science is settled.

    /sarc off
    +++++++++++++
    Steven, do you think so poorly of us at WUWT, that you throw all writing principals (capitalization) out the window when comment here ?
    I notice you don’t do the same when writing at:

    http://judithcurry.com/

    So, what is that about ?

    Why even comment here, if you’re not going to try ?
    Personally, I’d rather not read it.

  26. Khwarizmi says:
    December 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    “The ignorance is not limited to medieval westerners at all.
    Modern crusaders are equally ignorant.”

    The vast majority of Westerners are ignorant of what you just explained. I enjoyed your explanation. Your reference to “crusaders” seems out of place. You will find very few here, no one actually, who affirms ideas held by the Europeans who engaged in what they called crusades during medieval times.

  27. It must have been a different kind of hashish in mediaeval times, too. The modern variety, I am reliably informed, causes the ingester to “chill out, man” rather than embark on a murderous rampage.

  28. Steven Mosher says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am
    pollen is such a small thing. it cannot have any effect.

    Yep Steven, you got it, pollen is not magnetic.
    It is proliferation of the human beings, the red blood cells’ haemoglobin contains iron, which as you know is highly magnetic. More humans around, more they interfere with the solar magnetic cycle. Haven’t you compared the BEST’s trend line with the global population increase?
    :)

  29. Gaia at work? The biosphere has been greening in recent decades. More pollen? I am increasingly of the opinion that these Calamastrologists don’t have a proper working computer model. 17 years of a surface temperature standstill and we don’t know why. Negative feedbacks stronger than we previously thought?! Arctic sea ice up in September 2013 over 2012 by 50%!. Antarctica sea ice near record levels. Global sea ice back to ‘normal’? Polar bear numbers upidy up since the 1950s. Children ins Jerusalem know what snowfalls is. ALL CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING, we must act now!!!!!

    Abstract
    Alexander W. Cheesman & Klaus Winter – Journal of Experimental Botany – July 19, 2013
    Growth response and acclimation of CO2 exchange characteristics to elevated temperatures in tropical tree seedlings
    ….. Seedlings of 10 neo-tropical tree species from different functional groups were cultivated in controlled-environment chambers under four day/night temperature regimes between 30/22 °C and 39/31 °C. Under well-watered conditions, all species showed optimal growth at temperatures above those currently found in their native range. While non-pioneer species experienced catastrophic failure or a substantially reduced growth rate under the highest temperature regime employed (i.e. daily average of 35 °C), growth in three lowland pioneers showed only a marginal reduction….
    doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert211

    Abstract
    Carlos Jaramillo & Andrés Cárdenas – Annual Reviews – May 2013
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests: A Historical Perspective
    There is concern over the future of the tropical rainforest (TRF) in the face of global warming. Will TRFs collapse? The fossil record can inform us about that. Our compilation of 5,998 empirical estimates of temperature over the past 120 Ma indicates that tropics have warmed as much as 7°C during both the mid-Cretaceous and the Paleogene. We analyzed the paleobotanical record of South America during the Paleogene and found that the TRF did not expand toward temperate latitudes during global warm events, even though temperatures were appropriate for doing so, suggesting that solar insolation can be a constraint on the distribution of the tropical biome. Rather, a novel biome, adapted to temperate latitudes with warm winters, developed south of the tropical zone. The TRF did not collapse during past warmings; on the contrary, its diversity increased. The increase in temperature seems to be a major driver in promoting diversity.
    doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105403

  30. Steven Mosher says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

    pollen is such a small thing. it cannot have any effect. its the sun stupid. the sun is big. big things matter. small things and trace gases dont matter. sheesh. and sun spots, they look small but they are big too. Its the big sun. the science is settled.

    /sarc off

    No, /Mosher off, hit and run as usual. Can’t you stand the heat? I thought you were a Warmist. Co2 is a trace gas and man has helped raise this trace gas by a trace amount. Do you agree??? Can you answer this simple question? Answer this first then we can move onto more questions because you can’t handle more than one question at a time.

    By the way you say “pollen is such a small thing” and comically compare it to the size of the co2 molecule. Which is smaller???

  31. Theo Goodwin says:
    December 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    “You will find very few here, no one actually, who affirms ideas held by the Europeans who engaged in what they called crusades during medieval times.”

    When it was decided to reclaim the holiest land of Christianity that was lost to Islam, Islam was at the same time regularly raiding Southern Italy. For Rome, it was the only way to survive – carry the war back to the lands lost to Islam, or defend in Italy. It was war either way.

    The people who see the crusades as an act of aggression forget that Islam was aggressively expanding at the time. Well actually they don’t forget; they never got told and never thought about it.

    ALL of the mediterranean coasts were Christian before they were lost to the Caliphate. And not in a peaceful way.

    And yes, I share the idea of defending my country. If you’re American, you can likely relate. I hear you are big in patriotism.

  32. DirkH says:

    December 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm
    —-
    I probably have the time-line wrong, but I think the Mongol’s played a big part, when they weren’t so focused on the China battles ?

  33. u.k.(us) says:
    December 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    “I probably have the time-line wrong, but I think the Mongol’s played a big part, when they weren’t so focused on the China battles ?”

    Nope. Gengis Khan was later. Look for Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner on youtube. I’m out; wrong blog for this.

  34. Furthermore, specific measurements are needed to separate man-made air pollution from natural sources of pollution such as pollen.
    ==========
    What about pollen from crop, agriculture and tree farms? How is this natural?

  35. john robertson says:
    December 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    Funny how the more we learn, the less we know.
    ================
    The great fallacy in science is the belief by scientists that they know “most” of everything there is to discover about the subject.

    If that was the case then the rate of scientific discovery should be slowing down as we run our of things to discover. however, the rate of discovery is increasing, which suggest we have only scratched the surface. that while what we know is finite, what we don’t know is infinite.

    so what fraction of science do we know? finite/infinite = 0%.

  36. Caleb says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am
    And if they can alter the soil, why not the air?
    ++++++++++
    I agree with you 100%. Life that regulates the environment to suit itself will out compete life that does not have that ability. Over time the earth will be dominated by life forms that control the climate to suit themselves. These life forms are known as algae and they rule the earth.

  37. President Reagan was ridiculed by the enviros for pointing out that trees are very active in atmospheric chemistry and air quality. Funny how he was right and they are jerks.

  38. Roy said:
    There aren’t any “modern crusaders.”
    = = = = = = = =

    https://www.google.com/search?q=soldiers+praying&btnG=Search&hl=en&gbv=1&tbm=isch

    DirkH said,
    ALL of the mediterranean coasts were Christian before they were lost to the Caliphate. And not in a peaceful way.
    = = = = = = = =

    I got banned from commenting at the Melbourne Age (Fairfax) by the religious editor for quoting this from a Washington University history book:
    ====================
    “For the conquered peoples, the task of shifting from old to new rulers was not difficult. Most of them had long been alienated by cruel and corrupt Persian and Byzantine bureaucratic administrations. Moreover, In Egypt and Syria the Christian population was strongly opposed to the centralizing and Hellenizing tendencies of the Byzantine bureaucracy and the Orthodox Church.
    [...]
    European Christians claimed that the Muslims gave unbelievers, mainly Christians and Jews, the choice of conversion to Islam or death by the sword, but this was not the case. From a practical point of view, mass conversions to Islam would have meant abandoning the jizya, a considerable source of revenue.(p.261)
    -The World To 1500, John A. Garrety & Peter Gay (1972)
    =============================

    Where did you get your version of the history, Dirk?

    The article was really about the optical properties of pollen. Atheok was evidently looking for any angle to exploit as a springboard to catapult some irrelevant propaganda. He decided to use pollen as a substitute for hashish, to justify a strange rant about drug-addled Arab assassins in Iraq.
    Hashish isn’t pollen – it’s the resin from the female flower. Dolts.

  39. Khwarizmi says:
    December 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm
    “Where did you get your version of the history, Dirk?”

    Reading comprehension takes you a long way.

  40. DirkH says:
    December 18, 2013 at 10:29 am
    Caleb says:
    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am
    “And if they can alter the soil, why not the air?
    OK, I said it. Now you can say it: Yes, I’m a fruitcake.”

    Of course they alter the air; Earth’s 20% oxygen atmosphere has been created by plants. Plants co-evolved with animals to breathe each other’s exhaust.

    Plants evolved to breathe the oxygen their protoplants forerunners created, they breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide as we do – photosynthesis is their feeding time when they still breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen to convert to sugars for growth and build up their carbon bodies. Animals get their carbon from eating plants or eating other animals which eat plants. Carbon dioxide is the basic building block food of all carbon life form through plants making carbon direct from the Sun’s energy, water and carbon dioxide.

    Plants then developed various methods of spreading which included requiring fauna to aid pollination and seed dispersal and so leading to the fun conclusion among biologists that we were created by plants to suit their ends. A variation on intelligent design..

  41. u.k.(us) says:
    December 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Steven, do you think so poorly of us at WUWT, that you throw all writing principals
    out

    Who are they? In principle, I doubt he’s strong enough to throw them out.

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