Claim: Your wood stove affects the climate more than you might think

From the NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY and the “wood stove police will soon come knocking” department comes this claim:

Your wood stove affects the climate more than you might think

Black carbon is the biggest problem, but other factors may have a mitigating effect

Norwegians love to heat with wood. That’s easy to see when driving around the Norwegian countryside in the winter. Stacks of wood line the walls of houses and smoke rises from the chimneys, especially on cold days.

There was even a national “wood night program” on NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, which ran for 12 hours and attracted international attention because of its unusual theme.

According to figures from Statistics Norway (SSB), 1.2 million Norwegian households heat with wood. They burned 1.1 million tonnes of firewood in 2016, which provided 5.34 TWh of direct heat — and that might have affected the climate more than you might think.

“Our findings show a complex picture. This form of heating has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern. But at the same time, burning wood also causes significant cooling, which is encouraging,” says Anders Arvesen, a researcher in the Industrial Ecology Programme at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Arvesen and his colleague Francesco Cherubini were among the co-authors of a major study on climate impacts in Norway just published in Scientific Reports.

The study analyzed so-called stationary bioenergy systems based on heat from wood-burning stoves and from wood biomass-based district heating.

“A lot of research has been done on this topic, but until now we’ve never had such a comprehensive study of various effects on a national level. This is the first time we’ve considered all the different factors in a single study,” says Cherubini, who is a professor at NTNU’s Industrial Ecology Programme.

A research project called CenBio, which focused on innovations in bioenergy, carried out the study, which was supported by NTNU in cooperation with SINTEF Energy, the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

The 35 members of the OECD decided in 1991 that CO2 emissions from biomass combustion would not count in CO2 emission accounting. The theory was that nature would reabsorb the carbon dioxide released by burning, yielding a net balance of zero. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple.

“Bioenergy from forests is carbon neutral in the sense that forests are a renewable resource. The trees will absorb CO2 as they grow, but temporarily there will be a greater amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,” explains Arvesen.

Logging can adversely affect the climate, including from emissions from heavy logging machinery. But the logged areas themselves can actually have a cooling effect, because open areas reflect more of the incoming sunlight back into the atmosphere than wooded areas.

“The cooling effect varies depending on where in the country the logging takes place, since different parts of the country have varying snow conditions and forest density,” says Arvesen.

The CenBio study took these factors into consideration. It also analysed how other emissions from burning wood affect the climate. Methane gas and assorted particles also flow out of Norwegian chimneys.

These particles can both absorb and reflect solar radiation. Whereas organic carbon particles have a cooling effect, black carbon – also known as soot – has a warming effect on the climate.

Black carbon also destroys some of the snow’s ability to reflect sunlight because it changes the colour of the snow landscape and contributes to increased snowmelt.

Black carbon from biomass combustion accounts for 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 in Norway, according to the study.

“Our analysis indicates that black carbon is the main reason for climate warming. I was surprised how important the effect of soot was, although it wasn’t completely unexpected. Burning wood creates a lot of dust emissions,” says Arvesen.

Cherubini thinks more research is needed in this area. He points out that reducing black carbon emissions will also have a positive health effect due to improved air quality.

Nevertheless, “it’s still better to heat with wood than to burn fossil fuels,” says Cherubini. He emphasizes that more technological possibilities are being developed that will result in new and better wood stoves and furnaces. Until they come on the market, people can reduce particle emissions by replacing their old stoves.

Many Norwegians have already replaced their old woodstoves with newer and cleaner-burning stoves, which has more than halved soot emissions since the early 2000s.

By 2016, 730 000 wood-burning households were using new technology. Overall, heating with wood in Norway has decreased slightly. The amount of wood burned in furnaces with old technology has decreased by more than 75 per cent in the past 20 years, according to Statistics Norway.

Old woodstoves emit more black carbon than new ones. And if the positive development continues, woodstove emissions should drop to the same level as pellet stoves in the near future. The challenge lies in the smallest particles, according to SINTEF scientist Morten Seljeskog.

“Soot is made up of particles as small as nanosize. These emissions are the most difficult ones to get rid of. Researchers are working to figure out what physical measures need to be taken in the combustion chamber to minimize soot emissions in all furnaces,” he says.

###

The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21559-8

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106 thoughts on “Claim: Your wood stove affects the climate more than you might think

  1. “Our analysis indicates that black carbon is the main reason for climate warming. I was surprised how important the effect of soot was, although it wasn’t completely unexpected. Burning wood creates a lot of dust emissions,” says Arvesen.

    Really? what about the freakin’ big orange ball in the sky at noon.

    • What about the black carbon released through tires wearing? Guessing this may be a significant source? Perhaps the greens should ban wheels?

      • Square wheels can’t functionally rotate as fast as round ones thereby reducing wear. Besides saving the planet they can now allow you to drive up stairs.

  2. Soot comes from incomplete combustion.
    My proposal is to put both solar panels and a windmill at each house to power electrolysis. Both the O2 and H2 can be stored in tanks behind the house with some going to a Tesla Powerwall that will drive any pumps needed and help in electrolysis when the Sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow. During the wood stove operation, both the O2 and H2 can be fed into the combustion chamber providing a setup that will more completely burn the wood.
    On cold nights, the flue gases can be sent through a chiller taking out water that can be fed back into the system.
    I’m pretty sure that will work.

    • I call Poe’s law. I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic and are quite good at it, or if you are an enthusiastic high schooler with no idea that you just described a ludicrously expensive and horrifically inefficient mess.
      So either “bravo” or “you have a lot to learn”.

    • In the Northeast our wood stoves burning seasoned hardwood ( oak, poplar ) provides a clear stack with no visible soot.

  3. I remember going to Telluride, Colorado on a ski trip back in the 80’s. The town sits in sort of a bowl (box canyon) at about 8,700 feet. or so. All the chimneys were emitting wood smoke. At that altitude the smoke in the air made it very uncomfortable to breathe and the pungent odor filled the town. I have always wondered if they ever restricted wood burning there.

    • That minor descriptor of “ALL” chimneys needs to be clarified, especially since the primary fuels in Telluride are electricity & gas. Simply having a chimney does not mean that that the fuel is wood. Sure, many of the ski lodges burn wood for the ambience of the tourists, but it is not the primary heat source.

    • I remember an article I read a couple of decades ago about Denver requiring catalytic converters on fire places for just that reason.

    • I experience the same in Boise, ID in the 1970s, as it sits in a valley prone to occasional temperature inversions. On still days, the smog from combustion would be trapped in the valley for days. Driving to an elevation above the valley revealed a vast, brown layer of air below.

    • We see that here in Reno (alt 4500 ft). Our home is about 700 feet above Reno, and on cold, still mornings Reno is blanketed in haze.
      Then the afternoon winds come up, and everything not tied down blows away.
      Actually, we’re too far away to smell it. Just wonder where the town went. They do restrict wood burning, but I don’t know how they enforce it.

  4. More science lite, but interesting that the laid back temperament of Norwegians comes through in their writing style. No end-of-world-fire-and-brimstone hysterics of their southern more excitable neighbors. A somewhat similar difference used to exist between Canadians and Americans but, like the temperatures we have been more homogenized of late.

  5. …This form of heating has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern.

    Norwegians! Firewood is unsustainable. Thou shalt freeze to death for the sake of the climate. Think of the children unborn!

    • That idiocy of that comment from the article along with several others had my eye’s rolling.
      I suppose it takes a Norwegian genius to realize that heating could have a warming effect.
      The other corker:
      “The 35 members of the OECD decided in 1991 that CO2 emissions from biomass combustion would not count in CO2 emission accounting. The theory was that nature would reabsorb the carbon dioxide released by burning, yielding a net balance of zero. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple.”
      I am just flabbergasted that they could actually rationalize this concept.
      Sounds like some dodgy accounting…
      I guess the biomass combustion “carbon” wasn’t displaying the proper ID so it wasn’t getting exclusive absorption preference.

      • How about this one:
        “Black carbon from biomass combustion accounts for 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 in Norway, according to the study.”
        Black carbon = CO2? Huh?

    • Yes, one might warmeth the planet and not need to heat with wood or any other source and sleep apart with the windows open because sleeping close is too warm and consequently no baring of child.

  6. “But the logged areas themselves can actually have a cooling effect, because open areas reflect more of the incoming sunlight back into the atmosphere than wooded areas.”
    From personal experience, I disagree with the author and take the 180 position. Drive on an open road in 93 degree F vs driving on a road surrounded by woods on both sides. Trees make the planet cooler.

  7. “Our findings show a complex picture. This form of heating has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern. But at the same time, burning wood also causes significant cooling, which is encouraging,”
    Everybody likes cold, right?

  8. Loved the contribution from the Little Angel (Mr Cherubini). Send us more money so we can do further “research”
    Just back from a sad trip to Galway for my brothers funeral. Visited about 10 rural relatives ALL of whom have turf/wood/household rubbish burning stoves.
    My stupid Irish government have bought into the global warming scam in a big way. All financed by that wonderful philanthropist Mr Soros who also sponsors the upcoming abortion referendum, having successfully got queer marriage through the last referendum.
    It used to be called the Isle of saints and scholars. Now more like the Isle of Queers and Squalar.

  9. They’ve already come in my part of the world and require very expensive modifications if you want to burn wood.

  10. Widespread use of wood or coal for heating is more of a health issue than a climate issue. I remember back in the 1950s in the winter how the snow would be speckled with black soot. Everyone heated their houses with coal. Today, in our exurban area, there are many wood fires around the lake on cooler summer nights and the air becomes thick with smoke… so thick that at times you have to stay inside with the windows closed. But, of course, the lake sits in a natural bowl so the smoke tends to stick around.

    • If you see soot coming from a home that is burning coal it was most likely they are burning bituminous or soft coal.
      I have been burning anthracite coal, aka hard or smokeless coal for 30 years. For many years my neighbors did not know I burned coal until they saw a coal delivery truck pull up to my house.

  11. I wonder what they say about the past when NO ONE put out fires. We currently unnaturally suppress little, big, and catastrophic fires. Given that scenorio it is reasonable to suggest that in the past there was likely much more black carbon in the atmosphere than we now have wafting around.

    • Plus I might add, this piece of fluff was more than likely driven by an AGW grant waiting to be had, not by any concern over explaining a human cause for weather.

      • The solar radiation that is “blocked” by the smoke is absorbed or reflected by the smoke particles, who in turn reradiate their new heat into its surroundings (air). That same radiation would have otherwise hit and effected something else (on the ground?). All that changes is were the heat gets radiated, in the air or on the ground.

      • Rocketscientist
        It is ground temperatures that we are generally concerned with, during the “year without summer” (1916) the theoretically hotter upper atmosphere did nothing to alleviate the suffering.

      • In general, the higher in the atmosphere, the more H2O and CO2 you are above, making it easier for energy to radiate out to space.

  12. We could use some soot here. 12 degrees F., 20 mph winds, almost a blizzard, 30 degrees F. below normal.

    • Pet peeve, I prefer to call it average, not normal. You can calculate an average, but nobody really knows what normal is.

      • Average is a specific number. Normal is usually a range of numbers. Typical is one number within that normal range.

      • Mine too. NO such thing as normal. Average is statistical. Joe Bastardi drives me batty with his “normal”… lol Normal, and typical, conjure nor says anything. Tell a visitor that something odd is normal and something typical is normal, but on average neither happens.

    • Minus 4 F where I am but the sun is rising in a clear sky with little wind. I have no idea what normal should be except that if it can be this cold on this day it is probably normal.

  13. “This form of heating has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern.”
    Good news! That is total nonsense. The “concern” is about nothing, so is idiotic.
    “But at the same time, burning wood also causes significant cooling, which is encouraging.”
    Bad news! That, again is total nonsense. It likely causes little, if any cooling. None that is measureable anyway. And being “encouraged” by cooling is idiotic in any case.
    Warmunists do like to prattle on about total nonsense. Wood smoke can be a local problem, causing decreased air quality, especially if the area is prone to trapping air pollutants, and when you get temperature inversions.

  14. “This is the first time we’ve considered all the different factors ”
    Make that “all the factors you could think of”. It’s the height of hubris to assume that you actually have considered all of the possible factors.

  15. Now that they have “determined” that burning wood can increase global warming, how long until they seek to ban that as well?

  16. Relentless non-stop catastrophic propaganda. Will it get worse or better? With too many dumb reporters, too much time to fill in between ads, too much taxpayer funding and political power agendas I fear it’s the former.

  17. I love an open fire, but it is smoky. I love a closed, log burner too. Nothing like the dry heat from a log burner. But you need to burn dry wood at pretty much full “throttle” to burn “clean”. Suffice to say, log burners do create “smog” locally on a calm night.

    • I have a 1976 Vermont Castings Vigilant wood stove. It weighs about 300 pounds, quite a hunk of cast iron. Built before the introduction of catalytic convertors, it took a few seasons (and one chimney fire) to learn how to run it correctly. Full throttle causes almost complete combustion and hardly any soot in the stove pipe or chimney (which has a stainless steel liner). I burn about 3-4 cords a winter and only need to run a brush up there every 5 years or so. Have tried the Prest logs , 89K BTU each!, which are excellent all nighters, but expensive. More than a few places, which sell pellet stoves, have told me don’t buy a pellet stove. They are too complicated and require a trained tech to maintain.
      We live at a high elevation and are not bothered with wood smoke or inversions like those in the valleys.
      Would not even dream of heating our little place with anything other than wood.

  18. “So I lit a fire, isn’t it good Norwegian wood”–John Lennon / Paul McCartney
    I’m surprised someone hasn’t referenced it already. 😀

  19. It warms but it cools and depending on how I adjust my parameters I can make it do both at the same time. Can I have my grant money now.

  20. EU must not burn the world’s forests for ‘renewable’ energy
    Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. The EcoFriendly EU seeks to allow the Stone Age Fuel of Wood to be classified as a “renewable fuel.” The European Union is moving to enact a directive to double Europe’s current renewable energy by 2030. This is admirable, but a critical flaw in the present version would accelerate climate change, … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/eu-must-not-burn-the-worlds-forests-for-renewable-energy/

  21. @Gary Pearse, living in Norway I can assure you that if there is a country where the powers that be are completely hysterical about everything having to do with climate it is Norway. It is even so bad that critics are almost completely excluded from being able to ventilate their viewpoints in the MSM. The country will save the whole of Europe by sending wind power from windparks to be built (at great expense and ruining of untouched nature), at least that is what everybody wants you to believe. Looking at the terawatts that can be sent it is nothing more than a mous’s piss in the ocean, all pain, no gain. The people in the rural areas have a bit of another opinion on the matter, but when it comes down to political parties, bureaucrats and all kind of pressure groups there is not a single one left that dares to take a sceptic viewpoint.

  22. “Logging can adversely affect the climate”…
    Um, no. It’s effects, whatever they are would be local, possibly regional. Logging, if done irresponsibly can certainly have adverse effects on the environment. But that is not “the climate”. Deforestation around Mt. Kilamanjaro, for example caused among other things, the snow to disappear from Kilamanjaro. Chopping trees down to feed bioenergy plants built to “save the planet” from carbon pollution” is a good example of stupidity on steroids, and something that is truly unsustainable.

  23. Are they worried about carbon (soot) or carbon dioxide (a gas) ?? Most people are so stupid that they do not realise there is a difference because politicians talk of reducing carbon dioxide (only 0.04% of the atmostphere) and then in the same breath talk of “dirty carbon” not having a clue what they are saying.
    Why doesn’t someone educate them ??

  24. My favorite line from the OP:
    “Cherubini thinks more research is needed in this area.”
    Feed me!

  25. Another area of attack for the eugenicists that run the world. We all know they loathe humanity, especially the poor, just behind an educated middle class… Can’t afford to buy coal or oil because of the pricing? Fine, I’ll burn wood and then over the forest.
    Nope! Evil poor! You will not have any energy! Gaia does not want your kind here, only our Ecomoral elites! We know, she told us so.
    This is garbage straight out of biblical times. Just as ridiculous, just as centralized, just as corrupt, and just as false. The more things change…

  26. Does this mean that the wood stove police will be intercepting the wood-pellet carrying ships from the United States before they can dock own the UK and supply our converted coal-burning power stations?

  27. Another confirmation bias model fantasy; “Cooling aerosols and changes in albedo counteract warming from CO2 and black carbon from forest bioenergy in Norway”

    “We model four kinds of residential firewood stoves”

    Start with a confirmation bias model mapping.

    “Here, we assess the balance of climate cooling and warming effects of wood stove and district heating forest bioenergy in Norway. The 100-year global warming potential (GWP) is used to characterize and aggregate climate effects of different climate forcers. We integrate a mapping of regional wood harvest and bioenergy supply chains in Norway, sets of emission factors established from own experimental data and other sources, own computed geographically explicit GWPs for biogenic carbon fluxes and changes in surface albedo, and GWPs for GHGs and NTCFs from the IPCC (see Methods)”

    Ensure that complexity masks and obscures explicit simple details

    “Assessing the climate change impacts of forest bioenergy is complex, because it involves a multitude of climate forcing agents. Traditionally, and still the case in prevailing climate policy frameworks and many assessment models4, bioenergy is designated as carbon neutral”

    Build a card castle of models:

    “In particular, we model private harvest and net import as if it occurs in Norway with a county distribution equal to the distribution of firewood consumption”

    “ext, we employ cost productivity models (most notably, from refs67,68,69,70,71,72) to establish detailed accounts of productive machine hours for each stratum, and then estimate the associated diesel fuel consumption and emissions using conversion factors from refs ”

    Take advantage of weak official data sources to infill preferential data for desired results:

    “Owing to these factors, using information from the Norwegian national forest inventory-based harvest model we are able to cover only a small portion (7%) of total firewood consumption. For the remainder consumption, we lack county-specific information on forest parameters and harvest. We apply the following assumptions and simplifications to overcome this data gap problem. ”

    “We use post-harvest county-average volume increments to predict monthly-mean albedo dynamics using a simultaneous unmixing and non-linear regression model. The model is based on multi-year satellite retrievals of MODIS surface albedo (MCD43A3)85, high resolution land cover maps”

    There are twelve uses of “model” within the paper’s abstract and another eight references to “model” in the references.
    A fine multilayer model cake built on bias and models.

  28. In Fairbanks Alaska we are not permitted to burn wood, coal, or wood pellets for heat whenever it gets cold enough for a temperature inversion (which is during most cold spells). This means most have to burn fuel oil, and for our house, a 2100 sq ft five star plus energy rated home fuel bills are about $600 per month in winter.

  29. Wood heating is sustainable and should be carbon dioxide neutral. Suppose you have a one acre wood lot. You can grow 100 trees spaced 20 feet apart. If two new trees are planted every year and the two oldest trees are cut up for fire wood, the net biomass will remain essentially constant. One year later you will again have two 50 year old trees to cut and you will plant two new seedlings. This process can be sustained indefinitely. Of course to ensure you will always have sufficient fuel, you’d want to plant more than 2 trees each year as some will not survive. But this will lead to a need to thin the wood lot every 5-10 years and result in addition wood fuel.
    I am fortunate enough to live on a fairly large wooded parcel with a mix of hardwoods. Every year for over 35 years we’ve obtained more than enough wood to heat our home simply by cutting up trees that die naturally or come down in storms. We heat with a modern EPA emission certified wood stove that produces less than 3 grams of particulate emissions per hour. That’s almost nothing compared to the wood stoves produced during the oil embargo years of the late 70s early 80s which produced 80 – >100 grams per hour. A properly operated EPA certified wood stove produces virtually no visible smoke or odor. Even carbon monoxide emissions are very low. And heating efficiency is around 80% – much better than burning wood for electricity which results in about 40% efficiency at the point of use.

  30. Am struggling here. Really struggling.
    To search through my records, documents and back-ups to find out when my sweet little spaceship crash-landed on Planet Dumb.
    eg Its taken as granted that wood-stoves make smoke.
    Yeeeeeeees, but only treally when they’re not being operated properly (eg by Dumbos) or when they’re burning damp or wet wood. Again, another (happy?) past-time for Dumbos.
    From the engineering toolbox:

    by volume wet wood has about 85% of the energy of oven-dry wood
    by weight wet wood has less than half – 42% – of the energy of oven-dry wood
    One weight unit of wood has enough energy to evaporate 6 weight units of water.

    Then we might add in (deffo calls for a Computer Model here) the energy of the unburned fuel – the Black Carbon soot.
    If they are going to grow those trees and burn them, might they not show a modicum of respect to the hapless plants and do the job properly?
    The joy of being a Dumbo means you simply never know. Sweet innocence.
    Then the dumbness goes up 2 orders of magnitude when it’s asserted that ‘a computer’ told them so-and-so and THEN they brag about it on the interweb. The sweet sort of thing children do innit?
    Next.
    SERIOUSLY Enquiring Minds might like to know where the ash from these fires finishes up.
    Because, if its not taken back to the forest where it effectively came from, the process is NOT sustainable.
    This becomes even worse when the bare dirt they describe following the tree-cutting is washed away by melting snow and rain. As happens on any bare dirt on a hillside slope of greater than 5 degrees.
    Ask maize growers almost anywhere in the world. Sugar beet and potatoes also.
    (Also witness the mudslide alerts going out across So-Cal after the wildfires)
    Because when you see brown coloured water swishing away down streams, creeks, brooks and rivers after a rain event, what you’re seeing is effectively a dust-storm. Fine particles of soil being removed by a moving fluid. The plants need those fine particles, its where they get their trace-element nutrition.
    Shades of Liebig Limiters here of course
    Are dust storms good thing to have in your environment? Any environment?
    At least in a conventional air-borne dust storm, most of the dust comes back down onto (dry) land but when the fine particles are in a water borne storm, they are sent out into the ocean from where they NEVER come back.
    Were those Rapanui people really as dumb as the proverbial dumb thing when they ground up rocks to fertilise their crops?
    Or were they centuries ahead of their time?
    I’d assert the latter, and counting.

  31. One must sacrifice comrade for the UK boilers to burn the same wood. Ask not what you can burn for yourself but what you can ship to others to burn for their climate schemes.

  32. When I was in high school the wood stove was THE big eco-boon – I had a friend who’s ex-hippie parents proudly boasted about theirs.
    Fast forward…

  33. I notice that they used the word significant several times. Is this a translation error? So a few Norwegians are significantly affecting the planet by burning wood to keep warm? Oh please! ROFLMAO!

    • Hypocrisy fills the air …sort of…If they really were concerned, they’d “close” shop in Norway and all move to the tropics. Ooops…

  34. I remember something recently where some environmentalists were souring on wood burning stoves in Alaska because of the negative environmental effects as well as the negative health effects of the byproducts of burning wood. The idea of attempting to prevent Alaskans from heating their homes with wood is ludicrous. As someone who grew up poor and out in the middle of nowhere, I can say we survived by heating our home with wood. My dad and I would fell a tree, cut it up, and then bring it back home. From there, as a teenager, it was my job to split the wood to usable portions for our wood stove. Yes, we were on an electrical grid, but when money is tight to almost non-existent, heating with wood is the only option for survival. The last option for a government trying to take away our ability to survive winter is the 2nd Amendment.
    Also, I’ve been in areas of Siberia where entire towns used coal fired stoves for warmth in the middle of their single room homes. When it’s 40C below without a windchill factor, it’s coal or a quick death.

  35. I can see this heading the same way as the diesel car nonsense. The clue is in NEW wood burning stoves. No doubt they’ve found another manufacturer to subsidise them to create a mass scrapping and replacement of perfectly serviceable items. It’s basically the 1960’s wastemaking all over again.

  36. Do your part for global warming. Just stop breathing. No more carbon dioxide from you.
    Thank you kindly.

  37. Even we in Germany have guys we call the Chimney Blockwarts, remembering the Nazi Blockwarts who controlled even the political thinking in the neighborhood in the Third Reich.
    Our blockwarts are even allowed to visit our dwellings, destroying the freedom of inviolability of the apartment – a German Basic Law.
    In reality, they are not so bad. If you can involve them into technical discussions, they are quite flexible…

  38. As far as I remember, you may not burn wood in Oslo, because of all the smoke that gives…
    Last days we had a “small particulate” (smog) alarm in our country as open air Eastern fires were burnt in The Netherlands and Germany and the wind did drive all that smoke to us.
    As as extra: while we had the world record of dioxin contamination of the world (due to not so clean waste incinerators), most was cleaned up and the largest source of dioxins in our country nowadays is the burning of wood in wood stoves and open fire places…

  39. The modern wood burning stove burns the wood in a lower chamber with limited oxygen (reduced air supply) resulting in pyrolysis: production of a complex gas mixture which is fed into an upper chamber with high oxygen (high air flow). Combustion of these upper chamber gases produce high (70% or more) fuel efficiency. This is in contrast to a fireplace where 95% of heat energy goes up the chimney. Newer wood burning stoves use outside air and a damper regulator for the two chambers air supply. Too little air results in low combustion temperatures with the accumulation of gases condensing on the venting flu creating creosote build up and eventually a chimney fire. Too much air results in very high burn temperatures but significant heat loss up the chimney. Generally, set and forget is not an option. Rather, continuing tinkering is required.
    A major problem occurs when refueling the lower chamber with all its accumulated gases and particulate matter. Open the firebox and…within seconds: ie, five, the room in which the wood burning stove is located equalizes the pressure gradient for gases and particulates concentrations. The gases are highly toxic including benzopyrene (cancer causing) and many aldehydes like acroliine which causes respiratory membrane mucus to coagulated; white blood cells to die; phagocytic macrophages that rush from the blood to the airway mucosa to capture the particulate burden to cease to function. Instructions to mitigate this form of indoor air pollution includes opening the lower chamber air supply to draw the gases and particulates up the chimney and out into the fresh air.
    The harm from the indoor air pollutions impacts children (who seem to be the “canary in the coal mine”) and are early and often made ill by the gases and particulates. There are both short and long term consequences of indoor air pollution, from burning dung in a yurt hut in the Hindu Kush to those found in New Guinea. In the Northern European and North American regions, fortunately, at least for the children although not necessary for the nostalgic adults, gas and oil winter heating predominates. There are outdoor wood burning furnaces which pipe the resulting hot water inside the home, just don’t go outside when there is an “air inversion” with its outdoor air pollution, smelling sweet, is damaging one’s entire respiratory system. Grandma got rid of her wood burning stove as soon as other options came along…for some very good reasons.

  40. Soot, at least from coal, contains reflective particles…but people did not like soot on their cars so they passed a law and put bag houses (filters) on coal fired smoke stacks so then you got (probably for the first time in the history of the planet) smoke without reflective soot. I heat with wood and feel no remorse, the smoke smells good and the trees died natural deaths before being “harvested” for heat…sad is the world of too many monkeys and not enough sense…wood is good…over population not.

    • Meigs, irrespective of your opinion of the role that CO2 may or may not play in our climate, when a tree dies a natural death, it will emit CO2 if it rots, or it will emit CO2 if you burn it for heat. So congratulations for extracting the heat energy for your home. Much better to use it for that, than to let it rot on the floor of the forest.

      • When it rots on the forest floor, it emits the same amount of CO2 that is emitted by the stove it would have been burnt in. Oh…and the ash from the stove provides the same nutrients for the next generation of trees.
        .
        Moral of the story?……dump your wood stove ash where the trees grew.

      • Right. Over population is a myth from the elitist left who [hate] humanity except when they look in the mirror. The entire biomass of humans can stand on Road Island and not tough each other.

  41. Surprised there has been no mention of Finnish Tulikivi (soapstone) fireplaces – combustion so efficient you vaporize the creosote and produce nothing but some fly ash, and you can do it with SOFT wood – you can burn 2×4 scraps in them. They are designed so that the stone soaks up the heat of the fire, thereby providing heat long after the fire is out.

  42. I can attest to the pollution from the old fashioned pot belly stoves. We tried it for one winter. Me, my wife, and two kids all had “colds”, flu, coughing, and sundry other problems. There was no obvious smoke in the house, or ash, but lots of noxious fumes that weren’t particularly noticeable.
    More recently a friend installed an automated pellet stove in their living room. It supplied lots of easily controllable heat and no problems with indoor pollution. Even several hours in the same room had no effect on breathing. No obvious smoke outside either. Cost was relatively cheap, even compared to coal in Pennsylvania.
    The Norwegians have to get with the ballgame for clean stoves, and wood furnaces. Now the US requires afterburners or filters and has pollution limits they have to meet. No problem with CO2 though.

    • «The Norwegians have to get with the ballgame for clean stoves, and wood furnaces. «
      We do. Old style wood burning stoves has been banned for 25 years

  43. They are just picking on what they see as an easy target. Widely dispersed ownership of companies supplying burners, etc. Pick on the little guys.

  44. On stoves and the like….
    I recall as a sixth-former (no idea what ‘grade’ that is in the US) in a British grammar school – us hooligans were housed in ‘temporary’ timber-framed huts which had tortoise stoves in the corner, which we fed enthusiastically with coke…
    On REALLY cold days, when the water in open tanks outside the windows froze, we discovered that feeding lumps of ice directly into a fierce coke furnace produced massive flames of water gas…
    Its a wonder we survived to become responsible adults…..!

  45. Here in Sweden the Miljöpartiet eco nuts minority government partner to the Social Democrats are leading the drive to ban all old wood stoves. This is just as old ones are not classified as they were produced long time ago. Not related to actual emissions.
    I have a Husqvarna kitchen stove and a heating stove both working perfectly with good dry fuel and proper start. This is in the country so a bit of distance to the neighbors.No disturbance.
    This is all part of schemes to increase taxes and to force us to buy new equipment. And to ban independent energy generation.
    This Easter was one of the coldest I can remember. 10 cm of snow and down to -5 C every night. Nowhere near any “warming”. Kids running sleighs and searching Easter eggs at the same time. We do need good energy sources. My bet and hope is that the “green” Miljöpartiet are ousted in the 2018 elections.

  46. Why the bloody hell are these Ecos kicking up such a fuss about what the French call “quantité négligéable”???

  47. How can a sane person say that carbon dioxide from new wood burning is different from burning old wood. Carbon dioxide is carbon dioxide, period. Europeans gave themselves a get out of jail card and now contribute huge amounts of carbon dioxide under the guise of being green. Shameful!

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