Great. Now even the trees are going to destroy the planet. A major bummer of an article in Nature explains that, due to global warming, trees are growing farther north than they have before. And how, because tree-tops are darker than barren land, they have less "albedo" (that's a cool word!) or "reflectiveness," and so the earth with absorb more heat from the sun. "When the vegetation moves in, there will be an amplification of the warming," says Inez Fung, an atmospheric physicist at the University of California, Berkeley. If you're now wondering whether we're supposed to do with trees-chop them down or not-it doesn't matter, apparently. The article goes on to say that the Arctic is changing faster and more dramatically than scientists thought it would, and, that, basically, we're fucked. "Asked what her team's findings might mean for the international climate negotiations going on in Copenhagen, Fung says she is impatient to see progress. But she also sounds somewhat fatalistic. 'Whatever they agree to," she says, "is not fast enough to stop the changes that we are seeing.'"
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009