Can US forestry mop up all US CO2 emissions?

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sat Dec 5 09:56:00 EST 1998

dwheeler at wrote:

> Mine is simply that the atmosphere is still going to need to get rid of that
> excess CO2 before things return to (normal). The best way to do this, even
> though it may take centuries, is to grow trees as long as possible.

Ultimately, if global warming proves to be a serious threat to the
planet; no doubt it will be possible to build some kind of industrial
facility which can suck out CO2 from the air at a fast industrial rate.
I haven't heard anyone propose this idea; I should build a pilot
"plant"; patent the idea, and when the crunch comes I'll be richer than
Gates. <G>

> > > Also, remember that fossil coal deposits probably came from extensive
> > > forests, based on the numerous plant fossils found therein. I suspect, but
> > > cannot prove, that in years long gone, the earth had considerably higher CO2
> > > concentrations. This would make forest fires unable to function, since they
> > > must have at least 18-20% atmospheric oxygen to burn. Increased atmospheric
> > > CO2 would effective decrease the oxygen percentage, thus stimulating forests
> > > world-wide while increasing the world-wide temperature.
> >
> > > What is know for a fact, is that during the Permian and Pennsylvanian huge
> > > quantities of coal beds were established, probably on any land then above
> > > sea- level. Such forests as established the coal beds could not exist in the
> > > presence of wide-spread forest fires.
> >
> > Most coal beds are the remains of peat beds.
> While peat can certainly before coal, peat beds are not common world wide.
> Here in Oregon, some peat bogs are known. But dense forests are far more
> abundant.
>   Sometimes the peat beds
> > supported forests above them, sometimes not.
> Few tree species can survive the extremely acidic environment peat produces.

I'm no geologist, but I don't think most of the coal formed in peat
beds; but rather in vast shallow semi acidic swamps similar to the
Okefenokee of today. The vegetation grew very fast, sunk down into the
shallow water and only partially decayed.

> Many of the tree fossils found in coal deposits are unknown from bogs. Where
> did this fossil wood come from if not from forests?

They were very primitive forests; tree ferns, equisitum (sp?), etc. Not
our typical gymnosperms or angiosperms.

I've got a lot of geology books so I could look this stuff up if anyone
really wants to know. It's all well understood by geologists.

Joe Zorzin, Professional Mud Forester
z-mail, list server, for the Massachusetts forestry revolution of '98
read about it at
proposed forester license regs for Mass. and comments 
by K.Davies at

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