The Value of Biosphere Earth, pt. 6: Teleconnections

Vegetation Controls Climate, pt. 2

Atmosphere Earth.[iii]

All One. One essential of Earth-literacy is understanding that the global atmosphere is all connected.[i] “The atmosphere bathes the Earth.”[ii] It surrounds the Earth and unlike land and freshwater ecosystems, Earth’s atmosphere is planetarily contiguous. We live inside of the atmosphere’s bubble.

Climate System Infrastructure. A second essential of Earth-literacy is understanding that removing trees affects the world’s atmosphere as “climate change.”[iv] Native forests are literally, climate system infrastructure.[v] Removing forests is like draining oceans, it changes what the atmosphere has to work with.[vi] Tropical forests exhibit an exceptionally strong influence on the atmosphere, relative to all other ecosystems.[vii] “Tele”-connections are “remote” connections. Just as tele-visions in the 20th century interacted with remote broadcasters through the atmosphere, moisture systems around the world interact with tropical forests.[viii]

Here’s Why Not to Deforest. Computer modeling shows that deforesting large portions of the Amazon would cause drought in California and flooding in Russia. Other models show that deforesting large portions of the Congo would cause flooding in New York and drought in southern France. And so on.[ix] Is that already happening? It’s hard to say, scientifically, but it is well understood that large-scale deforestation destroys the biosphere’s land to atmosphere moisture interface and temperature balancing services. Those imbalances cause the atmosphere to create “weird,” extreme weather. To limit and/or reverse such extreme weather, humanity must protect and restore Earth’s natural forests to their fullest potential.[x]

Modified from Lawrence, Vandecar (2005).[xi]

A Few Paradigms.

· There are no technological replacements for the suite of climate stabilization services Earth’s living ecosystems provide. Removing animals, forests, vegetation, and micro-life, removes temperate climate system infrastructure.[xii]

· In forests, moisture circulation is driven by leaf area. It is the tiny stomata on every leaf, opening and closing as trees photosynthesize that creates atmospheric moisture recycling over land.[xiii] Leaves are tiny, vapor pumps.

· We can regrow leaf area quickly in The Tropics to restore moisture balancing functions from local to global scale as ecosystems mature.[xiv]

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Scientific Citations

There are more than 30 academic articles and studies referenced in the paragaphs above. View all citations here.

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