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Author Topic: For the Greenhouse Effect, Why Not Just a Super Plant?  (Read 2219 times)

Offline Jimbee

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I sometimes do thoughtful mental excercises to see if I can come up with answers for some of the earth's ills. And I think I may have come up with a good one for the so-called "Greenhouse Effect". You know, the problem that comes from too much CO2 in the atmosphere, as we destroy more and more of our vegetation and also produce more and more waste gases.

Why not just engineer a "super" plant (perhaps a tree, say) that processes CO2 into oxygen at a much faster rate? Hey, it was science and industrialization that got us into this problem. Why not just use them to get us out?

I am really serious about offering this theory. In fact, if anyone knows any biologist, etc. that would be interested in my theory, invite him to see my thread. And of course I am very interested in what the rest of you fellow board members have to say about my plan  :)


 

Offline dentstudent

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For the Greenhouse Effect, Why Not Just a Super Plant?
« Reply #1 on: 04/06/2009 08:11:11 »
Trees are already phenomenally good at this process, and I doubt that human bio-engineering will improve this. The better solution would be to stop cutting down them in a non-sustainable way and to increase total forest cover, ensuring that the system retains the carbon.

But, it's an extraordinarily complex process, and climate dependent. It may be that if precipitation and temperature in some areas follow the predicted patterns, forests will become C sources rather than sinks. That means to say that the mortality rate of the forests and the resultant C release will outweigh the C assimilation through growth.

It would be even better to stop the C getting into the atmosphere in the first place.
 

Offline Don_1

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For the Greenhouse Effect, Why Not Just a Super Plant?
« Reply #2 on: 04/06/2009 08:31:56 »
dentstudent has answered your question admirably. I would just add that organisms can only breath oxygen/CO2 at a rate require for sustaining their life. If you were to breath more than necessary (hyperventilate) you would be in trouble, so would a tree. Fortunately, plants don't have lungs like we do, so they can't.
 

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For the Greenhouse Effect, Why Not Just a Super Plant?
« Reply #2 on: 04/06/2009 08:31:56 »

 

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