Global Warming: Forest Fires Cause Cooling, Not Warming, Study Says

By November 27, 2006Global Warming

We ran into one of our two loyal blog readers over the Thanksgiving holiday who told us about this story which we had missed. It shows that forest fires will have a cooling, not a warming, effect.

Yup, that’s right — a team of scientists has concluded that while the carbon released by burning high-latitude forests of North America, Europe and Russia will no doubt have a warming effect, it will be less than an unexpected cooling effect. The cooling comes from millions of new deciduous trees reflecting the sun’s light away from Earth with their light green leaves in the summer. In the winter, these trees lose their leaves, and white snow on the ground will reflect even more light.

Says one of the study’s authors, “The reflectivity effect in the long run is larger than the carbon effect.”

Just another speed bump along the route to declare the global warming debate over.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Mark Schaffer says:

    Since the paper in question starts by saying ” Droughts and longer summers tied to global warming are causing more fires in the Earth’s vast northernmost forests, a phenomenon that will spew a steadily increasing amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” you are being obtuse in using this to say there is still a debate among educated people about global warming. In addition, why not wait to see what other scientists have to say about this paper before declaring it as proof against global warming (which it most definitely is not).