Ann Pettifor

Is carbon telling us something…..?

More from the World Forum on Enteprise and the Envirionment.

Professor Kathy Willis says (and I paraphrase crudely) that increased carbon emissions may not necessarily lead to desertification as widely predicted, but may instead lead to more ‘woody cover’ i.e. forests in e.g. the world’s tropical areas…

Her evidence is quite convincing, drawing on previous ages of rising carbon, and also on an experiment of growing Acacia in different carbonised environments, that show that in the high-carbon environment, the Acacia roots were far more woody……so we may end up with more tropical forests, not less..A good thing for carbon sequestration. But one of threats to this good news outcome is the spread of biofuel farming….which might inhibit the spread of woody cover, in large parts of Africa.

Lots of talk about futures: an Indian ecologist once commented that we in the West lack imagination: when looking at futures, we think in polarised terms of ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’….The future could be something in-between…..


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