How quickly dead trees rot strongly influences how much carbon stays in forests to offset the carbon released to the atmosphere from fossil fuels and other sources. That makes wood-rot rates crucial in detecting potential climate changes. But those rates are a big uncertainty in climate models because of scant data.Those little Buggers!!! According to the report appearing in the journal Nature Climate Change. When scientists build the climate models which already report the world is ending despite the fact that their models are no where neat the truth, the build in average decomposition rates of sites close to another, believing this accurately reflects termite and fungi activity. But those averages obscure what’s really going on, the researchers say
Scientists thought temperature and moisture were the main drivers of rot rates. Researchers at Yale, the University of Central Florida and SUNY Buffalo State found termites and fungus trump those factors.
“The big surprise of this work was the realization that the impact of organisms surpassed climate as a control of decomposition across spatial scales,” said Joshua King, a biologist at UCF. “Understanding the ecology and biology of fungi and termites is a key to understanding how the rate of decomposition will vary from place to place.”
“We’re reaching the wrong conclusion about the major controls on decomposition because of the way we’ve traditionally collected and looked at our data,” said Mark Bradford, an assistant professor of terrestrial ecosystem ecology at Yale. “That in turn will weaken the effectiveness of climate prediction.”Weaken the the effectiveness of climate prediction. How much weaker can they get. Those climate models haven figured out why there has been no warming since the end of Bill Clinton's first term as president.
To create more accurate and predictive climate models, they suggest scientists focus more on the variability found across data collected from many different sites, instead of just averaging it all together.Here's the truth, the "green house" gasses supposedly added by termite activity doesn't really matter. First of all CO2 levels are the higher now than they have been in decades and there is no warming. Furthermore approximately 12,750 years ago before big cars and coal plants CO2 levels were higher than today. And during some past ice ages levels were up to 20x today's levels.
But will a warmer world yield more termites, spreading farther north and further complicating matters?
“That’s a real possibility,” King said. “They remain an incredibly mysterious creature,” he added. “We know almost nothing about them under natural conditions.”
The insects do play a small role in greenhouse gas emissions.
Behind wetlands, termites are the second largest natural source of methane emissions, a significant greenhouse gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Bottom line is keep the termites from eating away your house, but in the middle of the rain forests maybe its best to leave those buggers alone.