Study: "Wrong" kind of trees in Europe Exacerbating Global Warming

The Scots Pine - cones (Pinus sylvestris), near Boronów, Poland, By Pleple2000 - Own work, GFDL,
The Scots Pine – cones (Pinus sylvestris), near Boronów, Poland, By Pleple2000Own work, GFDL,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A study claims that the shift from broadleaf to conifer trees in managed European forests has caused 0.12c (0.21F) of warming in Europe, by reducing the albedo of large areas of land, causing more sunlight to be absorbed.


Afforestation and forest management are considered to be key instruments in mitigating climate change. Here we show that since 1750, in spite of considerable afforestation, wood extraction has led to Europe’s forests accumulating a carbon debt of 3.1 petagrams of carbon. We found that afforestation is responsible for an increase of 0.12 watts per square meter in the radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere, whereas an increase of 0.12 kelvin in summertime atmospheric boundary layer temperature was mainly caused by species conversion. Thus, two and a half centuries of forest management in Europe have not cooled the climate. The political imperative to mitigate climate change through afforestation and forest management therefore risks failure, unless it is recognized that not all forestry contributes to climate change mitigation.

Read more:

Study author Dr Kim Naudts speaking to the BBC;

Removing trees in an organised fashion tends to release carbon that would otherwise remain stored in forest litter, dead wood and soil.

Choosing conifers over broadleaved varieties also had significant impacts on the albedo – the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space.

“Even well managed forests today store less carbon than their natural counterparts in 1750,” said Dr Kim Naudts who carried out the study while at the Laboratory of Climate Science and Environment in Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Speaking to Science in Action on the BBC World Service, she said: “Due to the shift to conifer species, there was a warming over Europe of almost 0.12 degrees and that is caused because the conifers are darker and absorb more solar radiation.”

Read more:

To me this study drives home how ridiculously overblown the whole global warming issue is.

If this study is right, if opening the wrong packet of tree seeds can cause a 0.12 degree shift in temperature, over a large region of the Earth, what else have climate scientists missed?

The assertion that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for most of the warming since pre-industrial times, now looks even more preposterous than it did before.

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eric mullner
February 5, 2016 6:35 pm

Have a good look at this​ Senator, it might influence your way of thinking about Co2
On 6 February 2016 at 12:27, Watts Up With That? wrote:
> Eric Worrall posted: ” Guest essay by Eric Worrall A study claims that the > shift from broadleaf to conifer trees in managed European forests has > caused 0.12c (0.21F) of warming in Europe, by reducing the albedo of large > areas of land, causing more sunlight to be absorbed” >

Patrick MJD
February 5, 2016 6:36 pm

Oh FFS. This is like British Rail blaming delays on the wrong kind of leaves on the rails!

Steve Crook
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 5, 2016 11:20 pm

No, not at all. Albedo changes caused by land use are actually pretty important, and, as the study suggests, may actually be a significant factor in the warming we’ve see. A bit like water abstraction has been to sea level rise.
Also, consider, the crops grown next to an otherwise rural weather station. What impact are they going to have on the readings taken there? Possibly a rural version of UHI?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 6, 2016 12:48 am

Thousands of passengers on both sides of the Channel were scrambling to get home in time for Christmas last night after Eurostar blamed the closure of their train network on the wrong type of snow.
More than 55,000 people have been stranded following a three-day cessation of the vital rail link between Britain and France which began on Friday evening when six trains became stuck in the tunnel because melted snow shorted vital electrical circuits inside the 186mph trains.

Nick Mercer, its commercial director, said: ‘The amount of snow was higher than we experienced before, it was lighter than normal, fluffier, and the temperature inside the tunnel and the humidity was higher than normal.’
Its head of operations Nicolas Petrovic blamed the problems on ‘exceptional factors,’ saying dry, powdery snow unusual in northern France had been sucked into the trains’ engines, where it sparked a failure on the electrical circuit.
The very dry snow got past the train’s snow-screens and into the locomotives, where it turned into condensation and caused the trains’ electrical circuits to fail. Snow on in the Calais region tends to be ‘wet and heavy’, he said.
But the Met Office cast doubt on the theory. A spokeswoman said the sub-zero temperatures experienced around Calais on Friday would have prevented such snow forming adding: ‘You only get fluffy big flakes of soggy snow when the temperature is near freezing.
‘At lower temperatures it becomes very dry, hard and crystalline, not sticky, more like little lumps of ice.’
Eurotunnel said that the temperature of the tunnel was not the problem and added:’They are wrong to blame us.’
Eurostar claim the snow got through a filter fitted behind vents on the sides of the power cars at the front and rear of the train because they were smaller than the holes in the filter.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  simple-touriste
February 7, 2016 3:31 am

And a few years ago when snow shutdown the 750v/dc ground level 3rd rail power system for the rail network. A newly built A4 Pacific class 4-6-2 COAL burning STEAM locomotive kept the network open.

Crispin in Waterloo
February 5, 2016 6:37 pm

Causing sunlight to be absorbed….well that explains why those species of trees grow so quickly!
So they tripped upon a big secret I have been suppressing for years: trees gather energy more efficiently per $ than solar PV panels and store solar energy better and more cheaply than lithium batteries from Tesla!! On top of that it can be released on demand at any scale from a match to a power station. What will they think of next.
And it is as green a solution as anyone can imagine. We owe it all to Dr St Barbe Baker.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 5, 2016 9:13 pm

In all fairness, I think that they mean absorbed by the ground, thus heating it, not by the trees.

Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
February 5, 2016 11:10 pm

Nope, I heard it on the radio and it was mentioned that the darker leaves of coniferous trees is the cause of the warming.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
February 6, 2016 8:53 am

Paul of Alexandria – Evergreen forests shade the ground all year round, unlike deciduous trees. It is the trees that would absorb the sunlight, not the ground, in any forest.

Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
February 8, 2016 1:39 am

Difference is that coniferous are green all year around, darkening winter landscape. Just look on winter satellite pictures of Siberia. It is hardly white. There is never 10+ meters of snow to cover all pine trees.

February 5, 2016 6:53 pm

.21F … Really?? I can see those Polar Bears sweating already.

Anne Ominous
February 5, 2016 6:55 pm

“‘Even well managed forests today store less carbon than their natural counterparts in 1750,’ said Dr Kim Naudts who carried out the study while at the Laboratory of Climate Science and Environment in Gif-sur-Yvette, France.”
Yeah, that’s partly why we have fewer enormous forest fires these days, spewing all that carbon right back into the air.

Reply to  Anne Ominous
February 5, 2016 9:34 pm

Yep, that’s why the carbon sink is 150% bigger today than in 1965. And about 3000% bigger in 1965 than the entire period from 1860 to 1875. And that’s in spite of deforestation; and a warming ocean as they claim. And the forests storing less carbon. That logic must be related to global warming causes it to snow more.

February 5, 2016 6:55 pm

If the trees are so bad then they should all be cut down and burned.

Reply to  willhaas
February 5, 2016 8:52 pm

Just the non-carbon bits though.

Reply to  willhaas
February 5, 2016 11:43 pm

Nature has designed trees so that healthy ones are more fire resistant and dying ones/diseased ones less so. Nature will rid the world of unhealthy trees very efficiently……

February 5, 2016 7:14 pm

In the modern interpretation of things, all change is bad.

Richard M
February 5, 2016 7:18 pm

Don’t these kinds of trees release aerosols that cool the local area?

Old England
Reply to  Richard M
February 6, 2016 1:55 am

I think the aerosols act as a nucleus which causes water droplets to form around them and then localised precipitation – they help the forest gather water.

February 5, 2016 7:57 pm

When will this end?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  tomwtrevor
February 6, 2016 6:53 am


February 5, 2016 7:59 pm

I wonder what is the effect of Yogi Bear stealing pikkanik baskets?
Surely if he were to return to his natural diet, this would decrease global warming?
Maybe one of those soon to be unemployed “scientists” from the CSIRO can look into this?

Reply to  William
February 6, 2016 8:03 am

I wonder what is the effect of Yogi Bear stealing pikkanik baskets?
Pissing off Ranger Smith.

February 5, 2016 8:21 pm

The article is on the right track. Of course their model is incorrect, any mature forest will eventually be a net carbon emitter through some combination of events (fire, disease, old age, insects). We reforested a huge chunk of Northern Hemisphere as fossil fuels replaced wood and as agriculture became more efficient. More biomass will eventually lead to higher carbon dioxide emissions. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if dissolved carbon dioxide was liberated out of ground water from tree roots.

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  John
February 5, 2016 8:43 pm

“Has not led to cooling since 1750” – anybody remember what it was like in 1750? Little Ice Age maybe? Who wanted more cooling? Maybe these guys knew what they were doing…

Reply to  John
February 5, 2016 11:41 pm

FFS, trees/plants convert carbon dioxide into starch, cellulose etc. They don’t magically store it all as carbonic acid. The steady state (which rarely lasts for that long) occurs when the levels of carbon dioxide drop to a level that just maintains the forests without there being an excess to expand growth……

February 5, 2016 8:34 pm

This is a wonderful example of green tree fraud!!
The do anything for a global warming buck study grant researchers are inherently dishonest. The grant givers and the grant takers know what the end result will be before the ink on the cheque drys. A first class Ponzi scheme rip off the taxpayers, who as usual foot the bill.

Reply to  TG
February 5, 2016 11:42 pm

I disagree with you here: I don’t know if the study’s conclusions are accurate, but it’s certainly an important area of study to consider……

Henry chance
February 5, 2016 9:02 pm

Conifers take in CH4 methane.

February 5, 2016 9:05 pm

If governments get as good at managing nature as they are at managing economies then we’re doomed no matter what the climate does.

Donna K. Becker
February 5, 2016 9:16 pm

Wouldn’t conifers replacing deciduous trees indicate cooling?

Reply to  Donna K. Becker
February 5, 2016 10:51 pm


Reply to  Donna K. Becker
February 6, 2016 5:22 am

If it occurs naturally, yes. But this is about planted forests.

John F. Hultquist
February 5, 2016 9:28 pm

This is old news, so not news at all. Works in summer and winter.
About 10 years ago there were articles about this and the big push for planting millions of trees in the mid-latitudes went bye bye. I’ve looked for the article recently but haven’t found it.
This is easy to see when a dark fence post brings about snow melt near its base.
So it works with just about any tree except Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera).

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
February 5, 2016 9:33 pm

April 10, 2007 (in SciAm)
More Trees, Less Global Warming, Right? — Not Exactly

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
February 5, 2016 9:57 pm

Yeah, I recall an article in the Economist about it (from back in the days before the Economist lost their marbles over global warming).
Canadians were very disappointed to learn that they could not plant tons of trees in order to fight global warming. That’s OK I said, we can cut the forests we have down instead. Make money from selling the lumber AND get carbon credits for NOT growing new trees. It was fun watching the environmentalist spinning in circles trying to figure out what position they should take.

February 5, 2016 9:28 pm

0.12°K : 2 decimal places : since 1750 ?
Climatology, the gift to satire that keeps on giving.

G Mawer
Reply to  fos
February 5, 2016 9:38 pm

“To me this study drives home how ridiculously overblown the whole global warming issue is. ”
I agree and call it a lot of mental masturbation!

Reply to  G Mawer
February 6, 2016 12:39 pm

Masturbation is not bad [necessarily; chap I knew – reportedly – masturbated (many years ago, like in the 70s or 80s) in the bar of the Harlequins club house: if true, wrong!!)

Reply to  fos
February 5, 2016 10:38 pm

AGW is making a total mockery of itself.!!!!
The instigators of the scam have to step in soon and bring this farce to an end.

Reply to  fos
February 6, 2016 9:17 am

Out of somewhere around 288K . that’s really 5th decimal place . But they are really not certain even about the 3rd .

Robert O
February 5, 2016 9:32 pm

Going from historical times there has been an increase in agricultural land at the expense of the forest. Most of Spain was forested when the Romans went there with open decidous forest, oak, beech, willow, holly etc. with some pine and fir as well. Not much left now, except in the wetter regions, but people still harvest cork and collect pine nuts in the south. So I guess more absorption of the sun’s energy and less reflection.

February 5, 2016 9:52 pm

Owing to positive feedbacks a single El Hiatus event can trigger mass starvation in an entire cult. If there are not enough scraps of global warming news to feed on the members can be triggered into frantic rampages through forests, restaurants and journals looking for straws to grasp at in their desperate hunt for funds. The French government has just passed a law compelling scientific journals to re-distribute unsold, mis-shapen or out-of-date theories to starving newspaper journalists in their neighborhoods. /s

February 5, 2016 10:51 pm

Why does Europe want it colder ?

Reply to  Bob Armstrong
February 6, 2016 1:16 am

Because extreme cold is evidence for global warming.
This is now a convincing argument in the minds of the populace.
Warming causes cold stormy weather and only right-wing skeptics fail to grasp the subtlety of such a viewpoint. This obviously explains why the little ice age was a pleasantly balmy period, and why each year the most unpleasant weather arrives during the summer when the ocean has warmed.
Oh wait, that seems to be completely the reverse of reality.
Maybe computer modellers should go outside once in a while!! 🙂

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Bob Armstrong
February 6, 2016 8:03 am

Bob, that questions is easy to answer. If Europe gets colder again, the glaciers will stop melting back and as a result, the evidence of Medieval villages at high elevations, now being uncovered, will disappear into the ice.
One of the greatest proofs that Europe was significantly warmer 1000 years ago is the evidence of human settlements in places that are now frozen and inhabitable, the same as Greenland. If the gentle warming of the Alps continues, it will continue to uncover these most inconvenient facts.

Reply to  Bob Armstrong
February 6, 2016 6:01 pm

Because they want to emigrate to Syria where it will be warmer and less snow to stop the trains.

Tom Harley
February 6, 2016 12:00 am

How much difference does it make after those broad-leaf trees drop their leaves in the Autumn?

Reply to  Tom Harley
February 6, 2016 11:10 am

That probably depends on how much snow collects and how long it remains.

February 6, 2016 1:32 am

Having explored all the sensible avenue in search of support for CO2 climate Alarmism, CAGW Climatologists are now exploring some of the silliest areas imaginable in their final desperate search.

Old England
February 6, 2016 1:57 am

Odd thoughts ….
Questions about broadleaf trees – they are able to control their leaf temperature within a fairly narrow band to achieve optimum photosynthesis rates. Largely, I think, by leaf orientation. There may have been similar studies on leaf temperatures in conifers but I haven’t read any.
I haven’t seen the study in the article and I wonder if they looked at variations in broadleaf albedo through leaf orientation in response to temperature? Would be interesting to know what effect that has.
Changing agricultural processes from the mid 20th century in the UK (and elsewhere) led to autumn sowing of cereals – meaning that fields were covered in growing crops through the winter rather than bare soil followed by a spring planting. That will have caused a significant change in albedo to earlier decades. I don’t think that the EU directive which ended stubble burning in the 1980s will have made much difference to albedo although it did reduce CO2 emissions from burning and the incorporation of the stubble into the topsoil led to improved soil structure.
I think that Dr. Christie made very valid points in saying that it is not the temperature at localised surface locations that is important but the air temperature up to 50,000 feet recorded by satellites and weather balloons. That, unlike some surface records, has shown no increase and on occasion slight decline in temperature.
Albedo changes clearly can have a strong but very localised effect at ground level; however the satellite evidence seems to suggest, very much as Willis has hypothesised, that there are very efficient mechanisms for transporting that heat back out to space.
All tends to point to ground based temperature records being good at creating an illusion of global warming – and particularly when past decades records are routinely adjusted downwards – but in reality these are fairly irrelevant.

Reply to  Old England
February 6, 2016 4:35 am

‘Questions about broadleaf trees – they are able to control their leaf temperature within a fairly narrow band to achieve optimum photosynthesis rates.’
I never heard of such. Leaf temperature is not controlled. Trees don’t move their leaves on any short time scale. Size and location of leaves is controlled to optimize available sunlight. This occurs during WEEKS of growth in the spring.

Reply to  Gamecock
February 6, 2016 11:28 am

Trees control their local temperature through transpiration. There was a fad in the Southwest that had streamside trees being removed because it was assumed they were “using up” the water. Studies showed that the cooling effect of trees reduce water loss from direct evaporation. Kind of a wash, though hotter water and lack of shade can also kill the resident fish.
But some folks just can’t leave well enough alone. Their jobs depend on intervention.

Reply to  Gamecock
February 7, 2016 8:26 am

Subtropical to boreal convergence of tree-leaf temperatures
“We show a remarkably constant leaf temperature of 21.4 plus/minus 2.2 °C across 50° of latitude, from subtropical to boreal biomes.”

February 6, 2016 1:59 am

If this study is right, if opening the wrong packet of tree seeds can cause a 0.12 degree shift in temperature, over a large region of the Earth,

Pielke Sr. would agree that land use affects the local climate in an important way.

what else have climate scientists missed?
The assertion that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for most of the warming since pre-industrial times, now looks even more preposterous than it did before.

Folks with PhDs are generally poor at context; ie. they can’t see the forest for the trees. They focus intensely on their own research area and ignore the big issues that point to the error of what they think they are proving. Judith Curry calls these Pink Flamingos. She raises the following questions:

I am still waiting for a robust explanation for the substantial global warming from 1905-1945, why the globe has been warming overall for the past 400 years, and what caused the little ice age.

Of course the real alarmists have a solution to such questions; simply adjust the inconvenient facts out of existence.

Gard R. Rise
February 6, 2016 2:05 am

Wow…there was a whole lot of nonsense in that study abstract. “Europe’s forests accumulating a carbon debt” and so on. It is a distressing sign of the times that such absurd notions are taken even semi-seriously in some circles.
However, a study of the change of distribution between conifer forests and broadleaf forests in terms of albedo should potentially be able to bring interesting fruits? As Steve Crook noted above Feb 5 at 11:20: “Albedo changes caused by land use are actually pretty important, and, as the study suggests, may actually be a significant factor in the warming we’ve see”.
While I understand the author’s point: “what else have climate scientists missed?” I rather thought that changing the albedo of the land is one of the very few ways mankind can (in any noticeable degree) alter the climate of the earth?

Bob Burban
Reply to  Gard R. Rise
February 6, 2016 8:57 am

Bearing in mind that 70% of Earth’s surface is water and a large portion of land is not under cultivation (e.g., Antarctica, desert regions such as Sahara, Gobi, Arabian Peninsular, Atacama, Kalahari, Mojave, Central Australia, etc.; mountainous regions such as the Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Cascades, Atlas, European Alps, Urals, etc.; and most of the Canadian and Siberian tundra), the land under cultivation is not that large in the grand order of things. But what the heck, many have this towering image of themselves as Masters of the Universe who make the very stars and constellations quake and tremble in their awesome presence.

February 6, 2016 2:27 am

“Even well managed forests today store less carbon than their natural counterparts in 1750”
Well, let’s see:
1750 A very thundery year, with severe thunderstorms & hail causing flooding on the 11th & 24th July in this year. 8
(10 years) 1751-1760
In England, the summers of this period were the wettest in a record that began in 1697. These 10 wet summers in a row produced an overall anomaly of 127% of the modern-era mean.
1751 in particular is regarded as a notably wet year, at least in the London/SE region. It included a wet March, a wet first two-thirds of May and some severe thunderstorms & flooding in November.
The 1752 summer (London/SE) was noted as ‘cool & damp’.
More wet summers for London/SE in 1755, 1756 & 1758.
More here:
Not much changed, as far as I can tell (despite having warmest year since yesterday).

michael hart
February 6, 2016 2:49 am

“…if opening the wrong packet of tree seeds can cause a 0.12 degree shift in temperature, over a large region of the Earth, what else have climate scientists missed?”

Their derrière, with both hands tied behind the back?

February 6, 2016 3:06 am

‘We found that afforestation is responsible for an increase of 0.12 watts per square meter’.
Are they actually serious about this? How in hell do they get that resolution?
That is so wrong. I can’t ……………forget it.

The Original Mike M
February 6, 2016 3:20 am

A 0.12C difference from the kind of tree is oh sooo important but UHI bias of several degrees in temperature data … not so much. The only cure for these people is their unemployment.

Ian W
February 6, 2016 3:32 am

Like all papers that try to raise panic about global warming only one part of the system is considered. The pine forests have leaves that are adapted to retain water and not transpire water into the atmosphere very fast. Broad leaf trees on the other hand transpire a considerable amount of water. into the atmosphere (figures in the hundreds of liters per hour). Water as we all know is the most abundant GHG (sic) and in the AGW conjecture it is the increase in water vapor – the ‘water feedback’ to CO2 warming – that actually causes the atmospheric temperature to rise. So their claim that darker conifers absorb more heat therefore add to global warming, does not take into account that the conifers transpire considerably less therefore reduce global warming by not transpiring a GHG.
There is one other aspect. I am not convinced that fast growing conifers are always darker than broad leaf trees. The conifer forests replanted around Mount St Helens are very pale green whereas beech and oak often have very dark leaves.
A typical climate science paper, make an assumption on a restricted set of variables – disregarding or discarding others. Then multiply up the figures based on the partial basic (mis)assumptions to ‘global’ using ‘physics’ formulae – thus multiplying up the error of the basic assumption. If anyone queries the paper the physics formulae and maths are defended rather than the incorrect and partial (mis)assumptions being fed into them.

February 6, 2016 3:44 am

Naturally the BBC have given this headline prominence in their ‘science’ section. Stark-raving bonkers.

February 6, 2016 3:59 am

Albedo does impact the climate.
In the last 20,000 years, the Earth’s Albedo has decreased from about 33% at the height of the last ice age to about 29.8% today. The Earth’s average temperature has increased by about 5.0C as a result. There is 11 w/m2 less of sunlight getting reflected away from the Earth now than at the LGM. (Compare that to the calculated forcing of CO2 doubling of 3.7W/m2).
The vegetation cover also changes Earth’s Albedo just like glacier versus no glacier impacts the Albedo.
If they can measure the change from decades ago, the temperature change can be calculated as well.
There is less “magic” required in this process than in the CO2. Warming theory.

February 6, 2016 5:17 am

Hmmmm! ground coverage change causes a change in temperature causes a change in ground coverage causes a ……
Seems we have discovered another negative feedback in the climate system on earth.
Why negative?
If it were positive feedback, the temperature would have spiralled to a maximum or minimum and stuck there.
This obviously does not happen.
Could it be the case that natural ground coverage (forests, woods, heathland etc) depends upon the local climate? (temperature and rainfall)

Reply to  steverichards1984
February 6, 2016 5:44 am

Hmmmm! ground coverage change causes a change in temperature causes a change in ground coverage causes a ……

Don’t forget the 100s of thousands of miles of Highways built since the 1950s.×510/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2013/08/01/1375361962000-chinaheat080113-008-1308010900_4_3.jpg

Reply to  co2islife
February 6, 2016 11:30 am

That’s an amazingly heat-resistant plastic bag.

Reply to  co2islife
February 7, 2016 8:36 am

“That’s an amazingly heat-resistant plastic bag.”
Not really. We cook food by raising its temperature, but if that’s not a very great rise in temperature, then cooking takes longer. Really nice pork shoulder recipe here takes 36 hours at 150ºF (65.6ºC).
I doubt whether there are too many plastics in use that melt at that temperature.

Reply to  co2islife
February 7, 2016 10:41 am

Yes, the egg would eventually cook in 140F oil. But, as I suspected, the photo is from an old AGW scare story from the AP, with Seth Borenstein, Andrew Dressler, and Jonathan Overpeck contributing:
Cooking in the streets was due to “the worst [heatwave] in at least 140 years in some parts” of a nation where the oldest weather station operating in 2013 didn’t open until 1951.
Methinks the writers should have egg on their faces.

Reply to  steverichards1984
February 6, 2016 6:44 am

All this hysteria about it being warm overlooks the issue of the Ice Ages: why do they happen over and over again and why do all of them end very suddenly and why the warm periods are one tenth as long as the cold periods.
Until this is figured out, making predictions about the far future is futile.

February 6, 2016 5:38 am

It was only a matter of time before reality smacked the field of climate science in its face. The N Hemi has become much much much more green in the last 60 years through fire prevention programs. Forests are much more dense then they used to be. Trees alter the albedo but more importantly they undergo a process called transpiration. They pump huge amounts of H2O into the atmosphere. Precipitation in the N Hemi has dramatically increased over the past few decades, and it isn’t due to CO2, it is due to H2O. If we really want to get serious about global warming we should be thinning out our forests. BTW, dense forests are also the cause of the falling Spotted Owl population. It is hard to catch a mouse flying through a highly dense forest.

Mike th skeptic
February 6, 2016 6:13 am

Scientists/Environmentalists playing God with nature again? They do it all the time in California with cutting down the Eucalyptuses, a grand tree, and replacing them with scrubbrush, other trees, and poison oak

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Mike th skeptic
February 6, 2016 9:15 am

Mike the skeptic – Eucalyptus is not native to California, and it grows like a weed. Sounds like they are trying to restore native species.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 6, 2016 11:33 am

So we’ve altered our environment so much that native species are no longer viable, but we’re ripping out successful species and putting the others back anyway?

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 6, 2016 11:38 am

verdeviewer – What makes you think the native species are no longer viable? Eucalyptus is an invasive species that was introduced. “Invasive” means that it crowds out the native species. If you take away the eucalyptus, the native species should rebound.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 6, 2016 3:44 pm

Monna Manhas,
Should “invasive” humans descended from Europeans who introduced themselves to the Americas and crowded out natives be mercilessly annihilated and breeding pairs of native offspring “restored” in a radically-altered habitat their own ancestors once invaded?
There may be good reason to remove Eucalyptus from some locations, but doing so for no other reason than the fact they were introduced by humans isn’t one of them.
Sadly, humanity-hating eco-terrorists may have maliciously introduced pests to kill California’s Eucalyptus:

Reply to  verdeviewer
February 6, 2016 6:04 pm

More to the point.
the eucalyptus cannot “crowd out” native plants (trees) because there were almost no native trees present. The “Golden Gate” is so named (well before the gold rush) because of its uniform gold color of dried low-topped brushes and grass across ALL of the landscape. What trees could grow across the 6 months of absolute dry weather between April and October were crowded around the very few springs present. The creeks (now fed by dams and released fresh water from above) were either dried up across the summer dry months every year, or were back-flooded by the brackish tidal water as far up the Sacramento (and the equally low-flowing rivers down south) to nearly as far up the delta as Sacramento’s present location.
So, what trees across the plains of CA would have been pushed out by eucalyptus? Oak? Pine further up the slopes? Show the “range” that eucalyptus “likes”?

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 6, 2016 5:27 pm

verdeviewer – first of all, you do realize that all humans are exactly the same species regardless of race, right? We’re all Homo sapiens sapiens.
Second, last time I checked, people were not plants, and eucalyptus, scrub brush and poison oak were not people. So on both those counts, your example does not apply to this situation.
Third, I did not say whether I thought it was good or bad to remove eucalyptus and restore native plants – I only suggested what seemed to me could be the rationale for doing so.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 6, 2016 6:43 pm

Monna – actually the North American Natives already had “European” blood prior to the arrival of more Europeans by ship on the eastern shores. There is evidence they traveled east to North America (though some thought they may have gone west but until we invent a time machine, we’ll probably never know).
Our genetics is pretty mixed and will get more mixed in time.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 7, 2016 8:22 am

That cultures and racial types are not species is irrelevant. The term “invasive species” is no more neutral than d-nier, and it’s inappropriate to apply it to gum trees that are not “invaders.” Derogatory labels stoke vengeful behaviors. Eradication of “invasive species” has become a tax-funded industry.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 7, 2016 12:57 pm

You can’t be serious! Knapweed and purple loosestrife don’t have feelings that can be hurt by calling them the “invasive weeds” that they are. And do you really think that people will try to take revenge on a TREE because it is called an invasive species?
From the Invasive Species Council of BC:
“An invasive species is defined as an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has negative effects on our economy, our environment, or our health. Invasive species can spread rapidly to new areas and will often out-compete native species as there are no predators or diseases to keep them under control.
Not all introduced species are invasive – many ornamental plants won’t survive outside of gardens.
Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.
Invasive species also affect the economy by reducing grazing land and crop yields as well as limiting access to recreational areas. There are significant costs to government and private landowners to repair damage done by invasive species.
Most invasive species are unintentionally introduced by human activities. That’s why each of us has a part to play in preventing and controlling their spread.”
– See more at:

Reply to  Monna Manhas
February 8, 2016 9:47 am

“Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.”
Introduced species often thrive as a result of habitat alteration. “Invasive species” tree of heaven, salt cedar, and Arundo donax are all examples of this. Tree of heaven was seeded by air around the mountainside mining town of Jerome, AZ, to keep it from sliding down the mountain after the soil was rendered unsuitable for growth of Ponderosa pine (which was, itself, an “invader” after the last ice age, displacing Engelmann spruce). Salt cedar removes salts from soil, and thrives in streambeds rendered too saline for cottonwoods. Arundo donax sequesters heavy metals from soil and water, and grows in streams and soil polluted with mine waste.
“…no predators or diseases to keep them under control.”
It takes time for an ecosystem to adjust. Bass, catfish and carp were introduced into the Verde River generations ago. More recently, introduced crayfish began proliferating, supposedly due to lack of predators, thus providing an excuse to “reintroduce” oh-so-cute river otters from Louisiana, the local variety of which was extirpated in the 1950s.
I caught a catfish in the river a while ago with a stomach jammed full of crayfish. Meanwhile, the otters that supposedly craved crayfish have been decimating the fish population, including native roundtail chub and the carp that had become a primary food source for the local bald eagles. Humans are the only effective predator of river otters, which, on the Verde, are a protected species.
That plants and animals are “foreigners,” which, under some conditions, can out-compete the locals, does not make them evil. And yet, the article I linked to strongly suggests that, yes, “people will try to take revenge on a TREE because it is called an invasive species.”

Reply to  Mike th skeptic
February 6, 2016 5:34 pm

My wife is allergic to Eucalyptus, she’d support cutting them all down and shipping them back to Australia.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 7, 2016 8:43 am

Might be better off shipping them to UKLand to feed the power station at Drax. We have enough eucalypts in Oz already. Sadly the NW of Tasmania (the original source of California’s eucalypts) is burning brightly and has been for weeks. The February Dragon arrived early this season and no rain in the offing.

Richard T
Reply to  Ric Werme
February 9, 2016 5:48 am

There is a good reason to remove them from populated areas. They burn like crazy. There was the Oakland hills fire back in the 80’s(?) that was very destructive because of the their intense burning.

February 6, 2016 6:31 am

The fact that this ‘study’ claims the earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age and that this is TERRIBLE is proof these people are deranged. They really do want us to return to the Little Ice Age.

Gary Pearse
February 6, 2016 7:40 am

Bill Illis
February 6, 2016 at 3:59 am
“Albedo does impact the climate.”
Yes, but not in the simple linear way you think when the albedo is related to living things.
They plant pine for lumber in eastern Canada because it grows so fast. You can cut it down again in 30 years. Surely, the shade of pine on the ground and the shade of a broadleaf isn’t vastly different – indeed you can plant conifers closer together. The sun ISN’T REACHING THE GROUND in either forest. So, does the albedo difference means the pine canopy is getting hotter? No. What is happening is the tree is using that extra energy to grow faster! It probably explains why the taiga is covered with conifers – they are making more use of the sunlight they receive (courtesy of albedo) than a deciduous tree could. A second order effect is the physiological response of the tree – there is evapotranspiration (mentioned a few times in this thread) and emission of aerosols and even the remarkable feat of a tree leaf maintaining its own desired temperature.
Think of it this way, a square mile of solar panels has high albedo (they’ve been working on reducing this over time) but they shade the actual ground AND take the net absorbable energy and send it to California! They shade the ground whether they are turned on or not. If they are turned off, then you have a passive albedo factor and the surface of the panels partly warm up and emit IR upwards. There is a difference if they are turned on or not.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 6, 2016 8:44 am

The difference between broadleaf and conifer is that broadleaf trees are usually deciduous and shed their leaves in the winter, allowing sunshine to reach the ground whereas conifers other than larch create perpetual shade, they also acidify the soil. In England I saw populations of lady orchids which rely on alkaline soils and some sunshine wiped out by Forestry Commission conifer plantations. Today the Forestry Commission is grubbing out conifers and allowing natural regeneration of deciduous trees – and the lady orchids are reappearing from seed in some areas.

Reply to  Peter
February 6, 2016 2:59 pm

The conifers also stay dark throughout the winter.
Conifer forest will have an albedo of about 10% versus fresh snow of 80%, glaciers 85%, winter grassland 40%.
The winter snow melts in the spring next to a conifer first before anything else.
The sunlight is absorbed and spends additional time in the Earth system versus the 0.2 seconds it spends in the Earth system if reflected immediately away by snow. In addition, if absorbed it actually contributes energy to the Earth’s molecules (ie temperature) versus zero energy and zero temperature if it just reflected back to space in 0.2 seconds total time from entry to on its way into the galaxy somewhere else.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 6, 2016 11:06 am

‘They’ plant conifers, in the northern latitudes because the conifers grow faster…
The ‘aging’ of forests is based on this fact. Where conifers grow faster and thicker than broad leaf hardwoods they shade out and block the hardwoods from thriving.
Indeed, northern latitude forests are described as majestic conifers, e.g. ‘Black Forest’, ‘Boreal Forests’, ‘Canadian forests’, Virgin Komi Forests (it is the largest virgin forest in Europe), Perućica…
So where are these planted ‘conifers’ actually replacing hardwood forests?

Reply to  ATheoK
February 6, 2016 5:41 pm

But… but… we have been clear cutting land and cutting down forests for ranch lands. Go look at Google Earth and look at forested versus logged versus grasslands. We must have been COOLING the Earth a lot if albedo (relative “darkness”) is as they say.
52°40’8.69″N 114°47’57.50″W eye altitude 15 to 20 miles. Farm land light coloured, coniferous dark, deciduous in between.
Now go to 54N and 124W and zoom out to 60 to 80 miles centred around Vnaderhoof. Light coloured areas are agriculture and recently logged areas and the dark areas are generally conifers. Looks to me like we may have more than offset the albedo warming in Europe …
Just kidding but it is something I have looked at for years. It would be nice to see an actual study. Ground temperatures won’t work. It would have to be above the canopy to have relative comparisons. Or maybe both.
Here is a study for some young PhD student (or sail plane pilot).

Reply to  ATheoK
February 6, 2016 7:56 pm

Wayne Delbeke:
And how far north is 54N Latitude? Around Edmonton Canada?
When I zoom out, using Google Earth, I see a location at the northern end of the Great Plains where buffalo loved to roam. Not historical virgin forest.
Checking the Annual Report 2014, “The State of Canada’s Forests” illustrates that 54N is nestled near Canada’s boreal forest, consisting mainly of pines, firs, spruces and local to the plains, poplars.
Poplars are one of the species that is quick to sprout and grow in open land. After Native Americans burned the prairies for thousands of years, it looks like the new Canadians have allowed many acres of prairie to revert to young forests.
Further into the ‘Annual Report 2014’ is an illustration of Canada’s forest eco-cycle, including tree harvest.
Canada’s tree harvest equals 0.05 million hectares of land deforested; out of a total 348 million hectares of forest, or 0.0144% of Canadian forests.
The report also includes a little note at the bottom of the page, “By law, All Forests Harvested on Public Land must be regenerated.”
Given that 8% of Canadian Forests are privately held, that means 92% of harvested forest must be regrown.
A substantial part of the 8% private land gets regrown too, as that is basic forest management.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  ATheoK
February 7, 2016 7:21 am

ATheoK – “And how far north is 54N Latitude? Around Edmonton Canada?”
Right latitude, wrong longitude. Wayne mentions Vanderhoof, a little town in central BC that is about 431 miles west of Edmonton as the crow flies. Although a lot of farming does happen in that area, there are plenty of forests around.

February 6, 2016 7:43 am

“Study: “Wrong” kind of trees in Europe Exacerbating Global Warming
What “global warming”?????
If we take an honest look at the planet’s temperature, there has been no global warming over the past 20 Fracking years. The temperature today is less than in the Roman Warming. What the more can one say? Well one could say that CO2 does not warm the surface any damn way. CO2, on net, cools the planet. When will this mindless heifer dust stop?
Jesus, Joseph, and Mary these con-artists “scientists” are stupid.

February 6, 2016 8:01 am

So albedo has a much greater effect on temperature and climate than previously assumed, much as I said in my paper. The paper has now been accepted for formal peer-review, so I hope the procedure runs smoothly.

Reply to  ralfellis
February 6, 2016 8:36 am

Congrats. Well done, hope it gets through. Downloaded the paper, will read later all 30+ pages

Reply to  ralfellis
February 6, 2016 9:40 am


So albedo has a much greater effect on temperature and climate than previously assumed, much as I said in my paper. The paper has now been accepted for formal peer-review, so I hope the procedure runs smoothly.

Since the mid-50’s CO2 levels have risen conserably, and plant growth has (literally) exploded.
With everything above ground in the water growing 12% to 27% faster, quicker, taller, “greener” and earlier in the year, with more leaves growing from higher branches and over a wider area of each bush, shrub, and tree trunk .. is it any wonder that the Arctic tundra and arctic taiga are darker and are absorbing more heat earlier each spring and later each fall?
How much of the very little “arctic heating up” that has actually been measured is due to chlorophyll and CO2 and their feedback with darker albedoes of the ground and bushes and shrubs poking through the snow cover and melting that snow cover over dark ground faster; and how much is due to a claimed increase in CO2 re-radiating LW radiation onto a white snow-covered base coat?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
February 6, 2016 3:06 pm

How much “arctic heating” that has actually been measured is due to chlorophyll and CO2 and their feedback with darker albedoes of the ground and bushes and shrubs poking through the snow cover.
And how much of the Arctic ice loss is due to the dirty re-industrialisation of India and China?
The following paper claims that the majority of glacial retreat in the Alps was actually caused by soot deposits, not temperature. Needless to say, this paper was not championed by the BBC or the Grauniad. But if industrial polition can cause ice loss in the Alps, then it can also cause ice retreat in the Arctic. So how much of the Arctic ice retreat is due to soot from India and China? This would certainly explain the disparity betwwen the current Arctic sea ice retreat, and the simultaneous Antarctic sea ice growth.
Ice Sheet Mass Loss Caused by Black Carbon Accumulation.
And if all this is in any way true, then the primary cause of Arctic ice loss is Greenpeace. It was Greenpeace’s carbon campaigns that increased Western industrial costs, and prompted manufacturers to relocate to India and China. And it was the predictable lack of emissions regulation in India and China that INCREASED world pollution per unit of industrial production. So the reduced Arctic sea ice, and supposedly reducing Greenland ice, and therefore the increasing sea levels and reduced poly bear habitats, can all be firmly placed at the feet of Greenpeace. What an eviI bunch they must be.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
February 6, 2016 3:56 pm

Sorry, that was not the paper I wanted to highlight. It was this one:
Glaciers in the European Alps began to retreat abruptly from their mid-19th century maximum, marking what appeared to be the end of the Little Ice Age. However, Alpine temperature and precipitation records suggest that glaciers should instead have continued to grow until circa 1910. Radiative forcing by increasing deposition of industrial black carbon to snow may represent the driver of the abrupt glacier retreats in the Alps that began in the mid-19th century. Ice cores indicate that black carbon concentrations increased abruptly in the mid-19th century and largely continued to increase into the 20th century, consistent with known increases in black carbon emissions from the industrialization of Western Europe. Inferred annual surface radiative forcings increased stepwise to 13 – 17 Wm2 between 1850 and 1880, and to 9 – 22 Wm2 by the early 1900s.

End of the Little Ice Age in the Alps forced by Industrial Black Carbon

Reply to  ralfellis
February 6, 2016 5:56 pm

Thank you. More to study later.

Walt D.
February 6, 2016 8:09 am

Politically incorrect trees? Whatever next?

February 6, 2016 8:20 am

Ask Macbeth! Remember, the woods walked to him and killed him! =:[

February 6, 2016 8:21 am

Actually, the global warmists must be allies of Saruman. He, too, blamed the trees for being aggressive and angry.

February 6, 2016 8:42 am

Just proves that any given climate “solution” has a 50% probability of being wrong!

Warren Latham
February 6, 2016 8:58 am

Thank you for using the term “global warming” in your article instead of the dreaded “cl ch” expression.
You have made my day.
PS: keep exposing their nonsense please. Thank you.

February 6, 2016 10:17 am

Mr. Worrall, are you by any chance related to Terry Worrall?
Reason I ask is:
“The wrong type of snow” phrase originated in a comment by British Rail’s Director of Operations Terry Worrall on 11 February 1991 whilst being interviewed by James Naughtie. He explained that “we are having particular problems with the type of snow, which is rare in the UK”. Naughtie replied “Oh, I see, it was the wrong kind of snow,” to which Worrall replied, “No, it was a different kind of snow”.
It has to be ‘true’ if wikipedia says so.

February 6, 2016 12:04 pm

Woe is me! All along I thought that forest management increased European temperatures by 0.11 degrees Celsius.

February 6, 2016 12:45 pm

Those darned trees! Send in the chainsaws!

Alan Ranger
February 6, 2016 2:50 pm

“If this study is right, if opening the wrong packet of tree seeds can cause a 0.12 degree shift in temperature, over a large region of the Earth, what else have climate scientists missed? The assertion that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for most of the warming since pre-industrial times, now looks even more preposterous than it did before.”
And I guess that definitely puts me into the 97% who agree with whatever the IPCC tell me to agree with – :
I already knew Q1 was a “yes” and now Q2 is “settled”.
Funny how you can always get the required result by asking the right questions 🙂

February 6, 2016 6:53 pm

In the winter, it likely doesn’t matter a whit whether the trees are coniferous or deciduous – at least at northern and higher lattitudes.

Bill Illis
February 7, 2016 5:34 am

For a direct measure of the Earth’s Albedo, one can use the Earth Radiation Budget satellites
CERES’ latest estimates from 2000 to July 2015 (there is actually some decline in the most recent numbers). If you add ERBE’s data to this going back to 1985, there really isn’t any change except the Pinatubo eruption increased the numbers from 1991 to 1995, after that no change).

Gerry, England
February 7, 2016 5:43 am

Oh, no! I was wondering why it was 0.12 degrees warmer. Sheesh, is there no end to their stupidity? I note he says ‘the political imperative’ when it comes to climate change – so there is no scientific imperative.

February 7, 2016 11:47 am

I’m feeling like from another…. time and space: trees causing global warming, bored dogs because of global warming, hens that have problems with their eggs also because of global warming….. The way that I’m seeing that (no offence for anyone): stupid people who don’t make any difference between climate and weather (, who waste a lot of time and money studying dog’s depression instead of doing research, for example, on human impact on the oceans (i.e offshore wind farms…).

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