Guest “you couldn’t make this sort of schist up if you tried” by David Middleton
From the American Association of Science of America …
Hungry elephants fight climate change one mouthful at a time
By Eva Frederick Jul. 15, 2019
As African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis, above) graze, they munch trees and plants with stems smaller than 30 centimeters in diameter—a little wider than a basketball—often damaging or killing them. Researchers used a model to predict what a forest might look like after years of elephants eating down these smaller plants. The bottom line: Slow-growing, shade-tolerant trees thrive with less competition for water and sunlight. The resulting forest has fewer, taller trees with denser wood, and the overall mass of vegetation above the ground is higher, meaning more carbon is stored, the team reports on today in Nature Geoscience.
The model’s predictions checked out in the real world, too. Trees in forests where elephants live had denser wood by about 75 grams per cubic meter than those in forests without elephants. Even just one elephant per square kilometer could increase the amount of plant mass in the forest by up to 60 tons per hectare, enough to suck up more than 10 billion tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide…
[…]Science! As in, “she blinded me with…”
So… if elephants cool the planet… This means that the megafauna extinction ended the Ice Age!
If I have to tell you when I’m being sarcastic, it takes all of the fun out of being sarcastic.
 American Association of Science of America
 Science! As in, “she blinded me with…”