Green Fuel Folly: Forest Thinning (For Wood Pellet Production) Has A Profound Surface Warming Impact

by P. Gosselin, Mar 15, 2022 in NoTricksZone

4 recent studies tell us that forest thinning for the production of wood pellets and clear cutting for wind parks are really dumb ideas. 

Reforestation and afforestation (R&A) are among the most prominent ideas for the sequestration of CO2 and thus viewed by alarmists as a climate solution. But others doubt forests play much of a role.

Wood pellets mean double barrel warming

Another solution proposed for climate protection is to burn wood pellets instead of oil and natural gas for heating buildings. Wood pellets are viewed as renewable and thus are supposed to be brakes on climate change. But now recent studies suggest that burning wood pellets coming from harvested trees in forest thinning operations may instead be accelerating warming.

HAT-TIP: Die kalte Sonne here.

Cloud–albedo effects due to land–atmosphere interactions

In their study, “Cloud cooling effects of afforestation and reforestation at midlatitudes” the team of authors led by Sara Cerasoli carefully analyzed R&A at midlatitudes. Using both satellite data and atmospheric boundary-layer models, they show that by including cloud–albedo effects due to land–atmosphere interactions, the R&A cooling at midlatitudes becomes prevalent.

This means that scientists earlier had not adequately taken the clouds that formed due to forests into account. These high albedo clouds play a major role in terms of having a cooling effect. Clouds tend to form more over intact forests than they do over forest-free areas.

Forests along with the clouds they help create, act to cool surface temperatures. Thus efforts to keep forests intact at midlatitudes would help cool the earth’s surface.