Trees and Climate Change

November 30, 2015

BW photograph of the Peach Orchard on the Gettysburg Battlefield

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

These are some of the trees in the Peach Orchard at the Gettysburg Battlefield.  They are dormant now, and were photographed on a chilly, damp late November afternoon.  Just a few days earlier, it had been sunny and in the mid 70s-quite warm for this time of year.  Given that it is next-to-winter, it makes sense that the trees have shed the majority of their leaves and have no fruit.

Trees play an important part in the CO2/oxygen cycle and are therefore a very important asset in the struggle to slow down the process of climate change.  Earlier this month, NPR reported two stories (here and here) about the importance of the Amazon Rainforest and the conflict over the trees in that part of the world.

Meanwhile, the UNFCCC negotiations have begun in Paris.  Yesterday, The New York Times ran this front page story about the recommendations for a “carbon budget” as a means of reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  This is an important article in that it outlines many of the key points involved in the ongoing negotiations to limit the overall heating of the planet.  This morning, NPR provided this summary of the UNFCCC, the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, and another analysis of the economics of climate change.  Coincidentally, Beijing and New Delhi are both experiencing “choking smog” as the Climate Conference begins.  Please read through that final link as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi brings this particular post back to the issue of trees.

Take care.