Surprise: Hurricanes create carbon sequestion – exceed carbon emissions by American vehicles each year

Hurricanes key to carbon uptake by forests

Increases in carbon uptake by southeast US forests in response to tropical cyclone activity alone exceed carbon emissions by American vehicles each year

This map shows the total increase of photosynthesis and carbon uptake by forests caused by all hurricanes in 2004. The dotted gray lines represent the paths of the individual storms. CREDIT Lauren Lowman, Duke University
This map shows the total increase of photosynthesis and carbon uptake by forests caused by all hurricanes in 2004. The dotted gray lines represent the paths of the individual storms. CREDIT Lauren Lowman, Duke University

From Duke University:

While hurricanes are a constant source of worry for residents of the southeastern United States, new research suggests that they have a major upside — counteracting global warming.

Previous research from Duke environmental engineer Ana Barros demonstrated that the regular landfall of tropical cyclones is vital to the region’s water supply and can help mitigate droughts.

Now, a new study from Barros reveals that the increase in forest photosynthesis and growth made possible by tropical cyclones in the southeastern United States captures hundreds of times more carbon than is released by all vehicles in the U.S. in a given year.

The study was published online on April 20, 2016, in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.

“Our results show that, while hurricanes can cause flooding and destroy city infrastructure, there are two sides to the story,” said Barros, the James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. “The other side is that hurricanes recharge the aquifers and have an enormous impact on photosynthesis and taking up carbon from the atmosphere.”

In the study, Lauren Lowman, a doctoral student in Barros’s laboratory, used a hydrological computer model to simulate the ecological impacts of tropical cyclones from 2004-2007. The earlier years of that time period had a high number of tropical cyclone landfall events, while the latter years experienced relatively few.

By comparing those disparate years to simulations of a year without tropical cyclone events, Lowman was able to calculate the effect tropical cyclones have on the rates of photosynthesis and carbon uptake in forests of the southeastern United States.

“It’s easy to make general statements about how much of an impact something like additional rainfall can have on the environment,” said Lowman. “But we really wanted to quantify the amount of carbon uptake that you can relate to tropical cyclones.”

According to Barros and Lowman, it is difficult to predict what effects climate change will have on the region’s future. Even if the number of tropical cyclones that form in the Atlantic increases, that doesn’t guarantee that the number making landfall will also rise. And long-term forecasts for the region’s temperature and rainfall currently show less change than normal year-to-year variability.

But no matter what the future brings, one thing is clear — the regularity and number of tropical cyclones making landfall will continue to be vital.

“There are a lot of regional effects competing with large worldwide changes that make it very hard to predict what climate change will bring to the southeastern United States,” said Barros. “If droughts do become worse and we don’t have these regular tropical cyclones, the impact will be very negative. And regardless of climate change, our results are yet one more very good reason to protect these vast forests.”


This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation Coupled Human and Natural Systems Program (CNH-1313799) and an earlier grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NA08OAR4310701).

“Interplay of Drought and Tropical Cyclone Activity in SE US Gross Primary Productivity.” Lauren E. L. Lowman and Ana P. Barros. JGR Biogeosciences, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/2015JG003279

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Tom Halla
May 2, 2016 2:25 pm

Oh wow! Rain grows trees! I never would have guessed 🙂

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 2, 2016 3:55 pm

In computer models…

May 2, 2016 2:28 pm

Interesting. <- not sarc
How did this study get funding? It's not worse than we thought. /sarc

Reply to  SMC
May 2, 2016 2:37 pm

I would say /sarc tags all the way down. Water growing trees is not interesting. It is extremely unsurprising that this got funding:
1. It uses models.
2. It is alarming: “If droughts do become worse and we don’t have these regular tropical cyclones, the impact will be very negative.”
3. It gives reasons for more government control: “..our results are yet one more very good reason to protect these vast forests.”

Reply to  Dan
May 2, 2016 3:12 pm

What is interesting is that Atlantic hurricanes are more common in La Nina years. La Nina causes the southeastern US to be warm and dry. And La Nina drops the global temperature. Another interesting fact: Usually, but not always, southeastern states need a tropical system of some kind just to reach so-called normal yearly rainfall. This is especially true during La Nina cycles.
(La Nina years are when the alarmists say “see! We told you global warming is real. Look how hot the eastern US is. Don’t pay attention to the global temperature.” And then when El Nino comes and the eastern US is cold and snowy, the alarmist shout “The US is not the world! Look at the global temperature!”)

Reply to  Dan
May 2, 2016 5:05 pm

Dan is exactly right.
This “research” primes the CYA pump for the AGW loons. It’s all a continuum of deception. The pause gave birth to the necessity of the AGW -> Climate Change shift in nomenclature. This research paves the way to making the short term memory challenged sheeple forget about the (false) claims of increased hurricane activity by pointing out that a decrease in hurricane activity due to climate change (cough cough) could also have catastrophic consequences.
Once again, having their cake and eating it too.

Reply to  Dan
May 2, 2016 7:11 pm

“It is alarming: “If droughts do become worse and we don’t have these regular tropical cyclones, the impact will be very negative”
There are no droughts in the South Eastern States currently, and AGW theory predicts MORE tropical cyclones and more severe ones…so it’s all good! All that carbon sequestered right? 🙂

Reply to  Dan
May 3, 2016 4:52 am

Aphan “and AGW theory predicts MORE tropical cyclones and more severe ones”
Current theory is that the most severe storms will get bigger, but there is certainly no consensus that there will be more storms.
Boulder Skeptic “How did this paper, contrary to the settled science, escape the pal review gauntlet?”
Two reasons. Because the idea that there is a pal review gauntlet that prevents the truth emerging is nonesense. Also it is not contrary to settled science.

Reply to  SMC
May 2, 2016 8:51 pm

How did this study get funding? It’s not worse than we thought. /sarc

Yes, quite a poser of a question. How did this paper, contrary to the settled science, escape the pal review gauntlet?
Expect the modern-day version of the Inquisition to start for Professor Barros any day now. It may not be long now before we hear about her connections to big oil, or how she gets finding from the K*o*c*h foundation, or that she strangles baby polar bears, or something. And Ms Lowman, you may have negatively impacted any chance of future tenure with this paper that allows skeptics to say, “Oh lookee, ANOTHER negative feedback in the climate system”.

Bryan A
May 2, 2016 2:29 pm

Breaking off the Dead Wood also causes trees to respond with new growth….Who woulda thunk it

Reply to  Bryan A
May 3, 2016 12:53 am

Ah yes, the English term for woodland management. Very important for the brewing industry! Hop-poles.

Reply to  Bryan A
May 3, 2016 12:55 am

Hi from Oz. “Breaking off the dead wood…” And in my experience here in Brisbane, Australia where we get pretty severe tropical storms most years, any kind of wild weather results in gazillions of leaves being torn off trees, which then get replaced, causing higher than normal ‘carbon sequestration’. Nice article.

May 2, 2016 2:33 pm

If you’re of the persuasion that believes that higher temperatures increase hurricane activity, this sounds amazingly like negative feedback. Hmmph. Imagine that.

Reply to  Kurt
May 2, 2016 3:29 pm

Higher temps alone will not cause an increase in tropical activity.
A certain set of conditions is required for storms to form and strengthen.

Reply to  Menicholas
May 2, 2016 4:52 pm

You are missing the point. IF you believe that the higher temps cause increased hurricanes, according to noted hurricane expert Dr. Trenberth (/sarc), then you have a negative feedback mechanism to cool your fevered brow.

Reply to  Menicholas
May 2, 2016 5:25 pm

Exactly. It’s a form of self-regulation which the simplistic “tipping point” calculations would not take into account (along with a lot of other negative feedback pathways)

Reply to  Kurt
May 2, 2016 4:49 pm

My thoughts exactly, Kurt.

Reply to  Kurt
May 2, 2016 10:06 pm

But this study implies that hurricane activity is a good thing. So if higher temperatures are a negative feedback where hurricanes are concerned, then it’s worse than we thought…

May 2, 2016 2:36 pm

Two observations: 1) Models, say no more; and 2) Isn’t global warming supposed to increase the number of hurricanes, which the models apparently now tell us may (indirectly) reduce global warming by sequestering massive amounts of the deadly CO2?
Make that three observations: 3) You can get absolutely anything published if it includes the implicit “fact” that CO2 is the main driver of climate change.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Crustacean
May 2, 2016 4:18 pm

Just another case of having it both ways. Claim hurricanes will be stronger and more frequent in a warming world, and when they’re not (in a historic pause for a major hurricane hitting the US, for example), complain that we need the hurricanes to combat global warming.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
May 2, 2016 10:19 pm

Exactly right. Whether there are more hurricanes or fewer hurricanes they will make the case that an increase in carbon dioxide is the root cause and that it is bad. Calling it “climate change” instead of “global warming” was part of their plan to have it both ways. Whether it warms or cools, it’s climate change. Whether it’s a drought or a flood, it’s climate change. Whether it’s feast or famine, it’s climate change. Etc., etc.

May 2, 2016 2:41 pm

And yet another example of settled science… /sarc

Bubba Cow
May 2, 2016 2:46 pm

If the “southeastern forests” must vitally be protected, why are they being harvested to make pellets for Drax ?? Oh, I forgot, biomass is per se renewable … with a bit of hurricane = all natural bandying about the carbons

Reply to  Bubba Cow
May 2, 2016 5:23 pm


Reply to  Bubba Cow
May 2, 2016 6:59 pm

In the long term, if the forest is not harvested it would sequester very little CO2.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Janus100
May 2, 2016 7:33 pm

and long term, with regeneration is … ??

Reply to  Janus100
May 2, 2016 9:36 pm

This is in response to bubba:
Long term means the complete live cycle of birth, growth and death of the trees.
The point is that the entire cycle is carbon neutral. No sequestration whatsoever.

May 2, 2016 2:52 pm

Oh just great.
Now they’ll ask for money to figure out how to start a hurricane.

NW sage
Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 2, 2016 4:44 pm

Three more Katrina’s are on order now – for delivery in 2017 and 2018!

May 2, 2016 3:02 pm

First off, hurricanes do not increase CO2 sequestration. rather, the storms upcycle water and capture CO2 at a higher rate thus pulling more of it out of the atmosphere and forcing it into the oceans to be dissolved and captured. This, unfortunately increases acidity in the oceans.
To a degree rain that falls on land will provide more dissolved CO2 (CO2 captured in water) to plants, but this in no way exceeds total car emissions per year. Per day, maybe, per year most certainly not.

Reply to  Kristoffer Jay Martin
May 2, 2016 3:07 pm

KJ Martin,
since there is no real evidence showing that oceans are “acidifying”, and since storms did not begin with the rise of CO2, you will understand if I reject your claim of increased “acidity in the oceans”?

Reply to  dbstealey
May 2, 2016 3:36 pm

Not to mention that since the oceans are not acidic to begin with, it is, unfortunately, a very poor choice of words to speak of increasing something which does not exist to begin with.

Reply to  dbstealey
May 2, 2016 9:15 pm

I reject that claim too, actually all of it is more nonsense, too costly and timely to refute over and over ad nauseam, CO2 is a low lying atmospheric gas anyway, did anyone notice the time period? laughable!
Anyone can be a professor pushing piles of crap from one pile to another, disgusting, eeek!

Reply to  Kristoffer Jay Martin
May 2, 2016 3:33 pm

Do you have any data to back up your claim that “this in no way exceeds car emissions per year”?
Or is your say-so to be considered a strong enough argument for everyone to disregard the findings of this study?
Should one suppose that your dismissal is based on your intuition, and that you just have a superior sense of such things than people who do actual published studies?

Reply to  Menicholas
May 2, 2016 6:33 pm

I hear *crickets*. But I don’t hear any answer from KJM…

Reply to  Menicholas
May 2, 2016 10:15 pm

I followed the link in the original article, and the link is:
This is paywalled.
In the abstract I found: “During wet years, TC activity impacts productivity in 40-50% of the SE US domain and explains a regional GPP increase of 3-5 Mg C/m2 that is 9% of the warm season total.” 3-5 Mg C/m^2 is 3-5 megagrams / metric tons of carbon per square meter, or equal to the carbon content in cellulose amounting to 6.75-11.25 metric tons per square meter, or equal to the carbon content in wood amounting to around 7.5-14 metric tons per square meter. Since wood is mostly less dense than water (most wood floats), this amount is equal to building a layer of solid wood on a forest floor more than 7.5-14 meters thick in a year wettened by tropical cyclones, and that is before having holes in that layer of solid wood for the trees to grow through. Oh, is this absurd amount supposed to be merely 9% of the warm season total?
If I got anything wrong here, someone please explain what and how.

Reply to  Menicholas
May 3, 2016 5:42 am

Donald. I cannot see anything wrong with your calculations, which makes th epaper appear odd. The productivity of tropical forests is 14,000 kg/Ha/Yr, according to an old paper I found, or 1.4 kg/m2/yr. Wikipedia has 1,600 g/m2/yr for tropical seasonal forest. Say 1,500 g/m2/yr, or 1.5 kg/m2/yr. The figure of 3-5MgC/m2/yr seems decidedly odd. The abstract does not actually say MgC/m2/yr, but only MgC/m2. Can anyone explain? Are the units not what we are saying they are?

Reply to  Kristoffer Jay Martin
May 2, 2016 3:35 pm

Storms release CO2 from water by churning it down some meters dept. Highly oxygenated surface waters are also not optimum CO2 absorption conditions.
CO2 is not “forced” into water, what are you talking about, chemistry lad chemistry, if Oxygen is bonded to the 2 Hydrogen then Carbon can’t. Carbon has to get past the upper layers to the less oxygenated water 200 meters and deeper, waters that contain more carbon in cooler pressurised environment.
The surface water temperature and conditions are the lungs which breathe in when cold and calmer and breathe out when warm and turbulent.
It wouldn’t surprise me if most CO2 comes out from water at the tropics and absorbs more at the poles, there is nothing to feed on CO2 in Antarctica mainly except the cold oceans around it, same for the arctic in winter.

Reply to  Mark
May 2, 2016 3:38 pm

*storms prevent CO2 entering waters, not release CO2

Reply to  Mark
May 2, 2016 9:22 pm

Storms do stormy things…They are not formed by hot air or CO2. This is getting ridiculous! hahaha

Reply to  Kristoffer Jay Martin
May 2, 2016 3:46 pm

This, unfortunately increases acidity in the oceans.
You do realize you would have to run out of buffer first……

Reply to  Latitude
May 3, 2016 4:51 am

The problem is, when talking OA they treat the oceans like there are no alkalinity inputs, no sinks, no unknown cycles.
The IPCC NOAA and anyone else, have absolutely NO clue as to oceanic inputs to any degree.
There are hundreds of inputs. Just as there are hundreds of things that affect earth’s temperature.
So they pretend all of these unknown unknowns and known knowns dont exist.
The alkalinity inputs are no doubt several orders of magnitude greater than acidic inputs if alkalinity is 8.1\8.2, they have to be to get to 8.1 alkalinity.
The whole hocus pocus of how the oceans get acidic is nonsense. Pure garbage science
For years.. many years I have been pumping CO2 into water, we are lead to believe that acidic ions are produced from carbonic acid H2CO3 leaving bicarbonate HCO3, except even if I fed a line of atmoised CO2 into water and had alkalinity at 5 pH, for two years straight, once you turn off CO2 injection, there is not enough carbonic acid to affect a rise in base pH and CO2 only masks other hardness like gH and kH because there is still not enough carbonic acid or bicarbonate in the water due to the breakdown of carbonic acid so readily.
In short, turn off the CO2 injection and pH rockets back up, and this debunks the whole nonsense.
I dont have a degree in climate science but I have nearly 2 decades experience in CO2 and water.
What the alarmist loons dont like to mention is carbonic acid is not stable in aqueous solutions. In watery solutions carbonic acid decomposes to water and CO2 gas. This is what happens almost all Carbon that enters the water at upper layers.
If you want an acidic body of water, you must inject the CO2 at depth as atomised bubbles that absorb as they rise, it does not work the other way around

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Kristoffer Jay Martin
May 2, 2016 6:45 pm

db – this is the “new” (I don’t know) fly-by trolling

Reply to  Bubba Cow
May 2, 2016 6:58 pm

Bubba Cow,
I sure do miss the old days a few years ago, when commenters debated the science, and the site pests were few and far between. IMO they’re the snake in the Garden of Eden.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Bubba Cow
May 2, 2016 7:22 pm

I agree – give us real stuff to talk about. wasn’t there a song ?… well, I guess the m.o. is to provide distraction rather than address the matter … sad me thinks regards to progress – seems only we want progress

Reply to  Bubba Cow
May 3, 2016 10:24 am

The more famous a site becomes, the bigger a target it becomes for the troll mills.

May 2, 2016 3:24 pm

For obvious reasons I have lost faith in models, not just this field of scientific research.
Models on the whole is science trying to overcome technical and logistical shortcomings (not every model but theoretical sciences, mostly yes)

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Mark
May 2, 2016 7:31 pm

well sure, as long as modelers thought they produced data …

Reply to  Mark
May 2, 2016 9:07 pm

Models that I use daily in my daily life related to space systems design work beautifully. They are well constructed based on well known physics highly correlated with decades to centuries of observational data and measurements. These models allow both cost and risk to be reduced to significantly lower levels. Correlated models… Hmmmm…

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
May 3, 2016 1:30 am

In my early carrier days I designed number of electronic devices, one was a ‘digital speed meter’ for an early version of the tilt trains. It was based on the Doppler effect using laser diodes, couldn’t do it without models, better known as the circuit diagrams and prototypes.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
May 3, 2016 4:28 am

As I said folks, models with real physics in a complete system (all factors considered) are useful.
Models are also useful for ballpark figures (we do use ball parks for policy or engineering)
Using models purely because there is no other option is useless, regardless of the field.
Going from empirical to model in a theoretical field, because of money, makes any science produced questionable at best.
This accounts for almost all of the papers that link CO2 to other events.
It also accounts for the sad state of theoretical astrophysics

Reply to  Mark
May 2, 2016 9:30 pm

You are spot on in many levels of that comment, logistical engineers would make amazing politicians for a start, engineers in general call foul straight away when you try to pull a fast one!

Reply to  Sparks
May 3, 2016 12:09 am

…logistical engineers would make amazing politicians…
Logistical engineers would make horrible politicians (that’s actually a compliment), and would be unelectable. Most of the sheeple wouldn’t be able to follow the logical reasoning. The engineers would not be able to nuance, spin and obfuscate enough to get the dolts in line so programs that work could be implemented. The engineers would be unable to force themselves to justify promising a bunch of free s*h*!*t to keep getting elected. These are the same reasons engineers are rarely allowed on juries by whichever legal side (prosecution or defense), needs to invoke emotion over logic in order to win for their side.
…just sayin’.
Sparks, I know what you meant. I don’t disagree the world would be a better place if politicians were largely engineers instead of lawyers. I couldn’t resist the soapbox.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
May 3, 2016 9:25 am

That’s what I was getting at, well said, I respect you’re view, and believe it or not when I was discussing the very same point with my employer the other day he remarked along the same lines as you, and this man is incredibly intelligent.

Reply to  Boulder Skeptic
May 3, 2016 9:36 am

*your — [running about] 😀

Reply to  Mark
May 3, 2016 10:26 am

Once upon a time, models were useful for helping you figure out what it was you didn’t know.
Put everything you know into a model, then do your best to figure out why the model differed from reality.
In other words, assume that it is your model that is faulty, not reality.

May 2, 2016 3:41 pm

” While hurricanes are a constant source of worry for residents of the southeastern United States, new research suggests that they have a major upside — counteracting global warming.”
What “global warming”?? There has been none for 20 years. (other than the cooking-the-books type by the government goons “scientists”)
And if there were to be any global warming, it would be a major downside, not upside, for hurricanes slow the warming. Warming is good not bad. Cold kills, not warm.
~ Mark

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  markstoval
May 2, 2016 6:26 pm

“…hurricanes are a constant source of worry for residents of the southeastern United States…”

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
May 2, 2016 9:38 pm


Reply to  markstoval
May 2, 2016 9:10 pm

This is the second time lately in WUWT I have heard that there has been no global warming for 20 years. This is not true – have a look at:
This is RSS v.3.4 lower troposphere from April 1996 to March 2016, the latest WFT has as of 11:45 PM EDT 5/2/2016. RSS v.3.4 lower troposphere is the dataset used by Christopher Monckton in WUWT when he posted monthly updates on how long a flat linear trend in global temperature has been maintained.
In case RSS switches to v.4 for lower troposphere when they release their April data and WFT goes along with that, I posted the graph with RSS v.3.4 that I got from the above link at:

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 2, 2016 9:43 pm

Not a chance that anyone will take that graph seriously, imagine the record cooling that would happen.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 2, 2016 9:48 pm

Give it couple more months .
And the pause will return, and later it’ll change to cooling.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 3, 2016 8:42 am

Janus, if the pause returns you can talk about it then. Given the size of the peak and the definition of the pause it wil take very significant cooling to get the pause back to anything like 20 years in the near future. In fact the pause only vanished fleetingly. It is now at about 2 months. Using the criterion that allowed people to claim “no warming for 18 years and 3 months”, we can now say “No warming for 2 months.”

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 3, 2016 9:08 am

“This is the second time lately in WUWT I have heard that there has been no global warming for 20 years. This is not true …”
Yes it is true. And besides we were all supposed to drown by 2000. I am barely above sea level in Florida and there is not sign of danger here. Nor has the climate “heated up”.
Mother Nature is playing people like you for a fool.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 3, 2016 10:29 am

That’s only true because of the current El Nino, once it’s gone and the La Nina takes over, that story will change quickly.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
May 3, 2016 7:03 pm

…we can now say “No warming for 2 months.

That’s no fun, maybe we could state this more like warmists/climatistas, but on the skeptic side.
Something like…
Look, massive cooling of the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate over the last two months. The projection of these data indicate that it’ll be close to -157degC by the end of the decade. It’s worse than we thought. Absolutely unprecedented, I tell ya! Send money!

May 2, 2016 3:45 pm

How about just a few more fronts?… seeding?

May 2, 2016 3:51 pm

Opens up research into this.
At what wind speeds does this occur? Only during rain, and how much? Does it need the thunder and lightning associated with hurricanes to make it happen? Does it happen in normal summer storms? We know forests hibernate in winter but does snow have a similar effect? Would seem difficult with so many leaves dropped but is there another mechanism?
Sure it is modelling but it is a comparison not a forecast. However, you need to know the inputs.
If it is replicable, then it is yet another nail in the coffin of the absurdity of warmists.
Also makes the waste of money on renewables and carbon capture a joke, when the planet already can do the job. Just political grandstanding.

Reply to  Jack
May 3, 2016 10:31 am

Not a lot of snow near the coast in the southeast.

May 2, 2016 4:28 pm

Well isn’t this interesting? At the same time the environmentalists are promoting the importance of forest growth in the southeastern United States in controlling climate change, some in the movement are pushing for more wood importation from the same region to feed the wood-first electricity industry in Great Britain. Seems a bit contradictory to me.

Reply to  Tom
May 2, 2016 5:54 pm

Tom…. contradiction is the name of the game with radical environmentalists. Just look to the mining operations required for the rare earths and lithium the “renewable” energy production require. The Golden eagles and hawks being knocked down or incinerated in the vast wind farms and solar facilities. There’s even a village of Native American WHALERS that occupy an eroding barrier island in the arctic who were being promoted as “climate refugees” deserving of lavish expenditures to save them by all the buddies of Greenpeace.

Reply to  Tom
May 2, 2016 9:40 pm

Carbon in CO2 from burning wood goes back to where it came from – atmospheric CO2. That is the same as if the wood decays or gets eaten by fungi or bugs or the like, which most wood in the world does. Burning fossil fuels transfers carbon from being sequestered for the past couple hundred million years to the atmosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere carbon cycle.

Bruce Cobb
May 2, 2016 4:44 pm

If you’ll pardon the pedantry; the headline is missing a rat.

May 2, 2016 6:38 pm

Meanwhile, I am being told that a greening earth is not a good thing.
And, in nearly the same breath, I am also being told that the oceans are being de-oxygenated
I love you, Phil, and this is why you disappoint me.

Pop Piasa
May 2, 2016 8:08 pm

We are seeing the sinks starting to catch up to the supply. The respiring organisms outpace the transpiring ones as more of the planet is sufficiently above freezing for long enough periods. It is common sense that CO2 levels will rise and appear to lead temperature until the slower propagating flora catches up with the explosion of aerobic life which accompanies water in its liquid form, which by the way is the chief regulator of global temperature.

May 2, 2016 8:11 pm

Carbon captured by forests is generally not sequestered, but remains in the carbon cycle. Carbon in CO2 captured by trees and other plants becomes biomass, most of which decays or gets burned or eaten by animals, bacteria, fungi etc., and the carbon is back to being in atmospheric CO2.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Donald.L. Klipstein
May 2, 2016 8:51 pm

It seems that cryo-sequestration is nature’s quickest form of slowing the carbon cycle to a crawl. Frozen biomass yields little greenhouse gas. If increasing greenhouse gasses brought the planet out of the last ice age, where did they come from? There should have been a downward spiral from the lack of them.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 2, 2016 9:33 pm

In the ~400,000 years before the Industrial Revolution, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was a result of global temperature and a positive feedback to global temperature changed by other changing factors, but not a root cause. The comings and goings of the Ice Age glaciations in the past few million years have correlated well with one of the Milankovitch cycles before sea level got low enough for Central America to separate the Pacific from the Atlantic, and with another of the Milankovitch cycles since. And the planet was warm for a long time until Antarctica moved to a place where it can be covered by snow and ice that survives the summer.
Notably during the ice age glaciations of the past few million years, much of the time there was a lot of snow and ice cover where it was easy to cause major changes in amount of sunlight reflected/absorbed from minor changes of temperature, and the surface albedo positive feedback was high, and the climate was less stable. In warmer times, the climate was more stable.

May 2, 2016 10:00 pm

I think the heading should be “Hurricanes create carbon sequestration” not ‘carbon sequestion’

Coeur de Lion
May 3, 2016 12:55 am

In the posts above, it is Insufficiently emphasised that the relationship between CO2 level and ‘climate change’ is unproven thus all these calculations are pointless.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
May 3, 2016 4:39 am

This is hilarious:
“new research suggests that they have a major upside — counteracting global warming.”
Now they will have to look for ways to ‘model’ the inevitable drop in hurricanes with increased warming, to show that ‘CO2 absorption will decrease! OMG!”
Heh heh…More warming, more hurricanes, more absorption – I couldn’t have invented a better solution.
Given that there is pretty good evidence that warming produces fewer and less violent hurricanes, at least the alarmists will have some actual data to back up their inevitable claims that CO2 won’t get absorbed as much anymore and that is a threat to the existence of all life on the planet (because of AG emissions, of course). I find that refreshing. It is about time they admitted the hurricane-pause is real and now they can model the catastrophic consequences just waiting in those forests that will no longer grow as much.
What a hoot.

May 3, 2016 4:56 am

Carbonic acid and carbonates are not a reliable method of getting CO2 into the oceans. Period
carbonic acid doesn’t survive long enough and almost all of it turns to HO2 and CO2 as it decomposes due to it’s instability in aqueous conditions.
So apart from the fact that oxygen prevents CO2 creating H2CO3 and then the EVIL >> HCO3 bicarbonate, the fact is almost all carbonic acid decomposes before discarding hydrogen and ending HCO3
Ocean acidification is PURE pseudo science

May 3, 2016 4:58 am

Marine snow is how a lot of carbon makes it into the deep oceans

May 3, 2016 5:07 am

“almost all carbonic acid decomposes before discarding hydrogen and ending HCO3”
Anyone can prove this ^^ with water and CO2 injection, WHY is still being bandied about. You cannot retain acidity without the gas, and when you stop the injection of CO2 pH shoots up instantly as the gas leaves the water.
By alarmist logic, the water should be full of bicarbonate and as such acidic when when injection is stopped.
I can’t believe how stupid some “scientists” are, ludicrous nonsense

May 3, 2016 5:09 am

“hundreds of times more” implies a magnitude that is large enough that any year-to-year variation in the rate of uptake would naturally introduce such a large noise factor that also has an unstudied component of delay that it greatly complicates the interaction with other climate metrics and dynamics.

Reply to  theBuckWheat
May 3, 2016 5:29 am

CO2 absorption is dependent on chemistry primarily no partially poorly understood and modeled climate metrics and dynamics
CO2 emission is also dependent primarily on chemistry but also dependent on water motion and pressure.
As for alkalinity inputs, some of the larger ones are crust convection, which also provides an unquantified thermal input.
Then there are sulfur vents, mineral deposits, tectonics bring more inputs into play, underwater volcanoes and underwater springs that pump out alkalinity raising minerals 24×7. Large pars of the ocean floor are covered in these vents.
Then there is global soil runoff storms and so on, every time an atoll gets bashed it takes tonnes of acidic buffering coral sand with it. I use coral sand for my African lake Cichlids and in Reef tanks for exactly that reason, upping alkalinity.
A global survey of such inputs would reveal tens of thousands or maybe millions of individual inputs of varying quantities.
The question is entirely unknown.
One example of proper acidity that is not CO2 dependent is South American rivers, rotting vegetation leech tannins (C76H52O46) into the water and it remains there, which lowers many river sections to alkalinity 6.0 plus or minus .2 of a point.
You cannot do with with carbonic acid unless you do it in a controlled experiment that bears no resemblance to reality.

May 3, 2016 5:16 am

My last on this.
You cannot prove OA with an aquarium as some nutcase so called scientists are trying to do because you just cant do it with atmospheric CO2 levels. They have to inject CO2 to see its effects.
But.. importantly, you CAN disprove OA with an aquarium by testing water chemistry, it is empirical.
I can easily do an experiment. Maybe I should publish on this 😀

May 3, 2016 5:24 am

This is an odd little study. Did the authors mention there have been no hurricane landfalls in this region for a decade? Have they studied the effect on the forests of a decade without hurricanes?
“we really wanted to quantify the amount of carbon uptake that you can relate to tropical cyclones.”
Apparently not since they had ten years without hurricanes available for study but choose to not take advantage of that unusual situation.

Not Chicken Little
May 3, 2016 6:58 am

So now that the computer model has spoken, can we get some measurements in reality or is that just overkill?
I always perhaps uncharitably think that my plastic model of Godzilla glaring at me from its perch in my study, has the same relation to reality as do most “climate change” computer models.

Mattie F. Coxe
May 3, 2016 9:23 am

Mr. Klipstein has read the abstract online.I wonder if anybody commenting has actually read the article? By the way the article title includes “Gross Primary Productivity” which is not the same as “Gross Primary Production” even though GPP is used as the abbreviation for both.

May 3, 2016 10:18 am

In the southeastern US, years without hurricanes are also known by another name.

Anthony Byrd
Reply to  MarkW
May 3, 2016 2:14 pm

But where is the drought right now?

May 3, 2016 10:50 am

This study and its findings must be quashed IMMEDIATELY!! We can’t have something that contradicts Warmist dogma being presented to the great unwashed masses of the warmist proletariat. They might actually start thinking for themselves AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!!

May 4, 2016 6:05 pm

The only problem with the study is that it takes in three years of the biggest hurricanes in history. The years since 2007 have seen a lessening of hurricane activity. How much carbon is removed in those years?

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