Sorry, Al: Tree Planting May Speed Warming

Outside the tropics, trees merely trap heat, study shows
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2007 9:06 AM CDT
British politicians plant a tree.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Planting trees to offset your carbon footprint not only won't slow global warming, it may worsen its effects, a new study claims. Trees growing outside a small band of tropical zones don't cut the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by enough to offset the heat their foliage traps, says atmospheric scientist Govindasamy Bala in the Guardian.

The preferred penance of affluent carbon-fuel guzzlers may actually be counter-productive, Bala says. By the end of the century, forested areas in the mid and high latitudes could be about five degrees warmer than those with fewer trees because dark foliage absorbs sunlight and heat.