Earth's Vegetation Effects Global Cloud Formations

© Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Universitäten São Paulo und Antwerpen
This hopefully will be a giant resource revealing many studies done on the various forms of organic aerosols produced not just by trees, but also shrubs and all manner of plants with the expressed purpose of controlling, maintaining and regulating Earth's climatic resources. For example, the illustration to the right here are of Isoprene emission from the Amazon rainforest and oxidation to 2-methyltetrol connections. The light gray circles represent carbon atoms, the light green circles hydrogen and the large dark green circles are oxygen atoms. These particles within aerosols act as cloud-condensation nuclei they are important players in the climate regulation and specifically in cloud formation and ultimately rainfall for the continual rehydrating of the Earth's surface. Science has for several years known that vegetation (any & all irresponsible excessive removal) causes desertification in many parts of the globe. As time has rapidly panted on to the end, further understanding of Earth vegetation's role in climate is becoming more and more apparent, even if all the variables are not presently understood.

Humans have come along and disturbed and disrupted these brilliant complex processes and all life on Earth has paid the price for their ignorance, stupidity and failures all motivated by greed and selfishness. It is hoped that readers here are benefited by the constant flow of info on this page's subject which will be continually be updated regularly as newer info comes to light.

Natural Organic Areosol compounds Emitted by Vegetation: Isoprenes, Monoprenes, Terpenes, ???  Wiki is your friend

 Astonishing Discovery over the Amazonian Rain Forest

Abstract: February 25, 2004
Isoprene, an organic compound generated in large quantities by natural vegetation, was originally thought not to be involved in producing atmospheric aerosols. It has now been found to be a potentially major player in this process. An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, the University of Antwerp, Belgium, the Ghent University, Belgium, and the University of São Paulo, Brazil, examined natural aerosols from the Amazonian rain forest, and has found that they contained two previously unknown compounds, which are photooxidation products of isoprene. These compounds are hygroscopic and could impact cloud formation, rainfall and climate (Science, 20 February 2004

Isoprene is no minor player in atmospheric chemistry, Paul Wennberg notes. "There is much more isoprene emitted to the atmosphere than all of the gases—gasoline, industrial chemicals—emitted by human activities, with the important exceptions of methane and carbon dioxide," he says. "And isoprene only comes from plants. They make hundreds of millions of tons of this chemical . . . for reasons that we still do not fully understand." 

Trees could scupper cooling-feedback mechanism

"A warming climate is likely to increase the emission of monoterpene compounds by trees. Previously, scientists believed this would boost the formation of particles that act as cloud-condensation nuclei above forests, increasing the reflective properties of clouds and acting to cool the climate in a valuable climate-feedback mechanism."


Aerosol formation by plants: the missing link

"Deciduous plants such as trees give off around 500 teragrammes of carbon each year in the form of isoprene (C5H8). In remote areas such as the Amazon, where there is little nitric oxide (NO) produced by biomass and fossil fuel burning, the chemistry of what happens to the compound as it forms aerosol particles has to date been unclear."


"Some aerosol particles in the atmosphere can act as ice nuclei and kick-start ice-crystal formation in clouds. With this in mind, a team of US researchers has measured the properties of cloud seeds inside a cloud above Wyoming, US, in real time."


 "Although tropical rainforests release huge amounts of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, the negative impacts of these emissions are less harmful than previously thought – at least in pristine environments. So say chemists in Germany who have measured that the cleaning capacity of the natural, tropical atmosphere is much higher than expected. The results show that forests maintain a delicate balance with their atmospheric environment – something that could be threatened as air pollution increases."


 Isoprene emission from plants -- a volatile answer to heat stress

"Isoprene is a hydrocarbon volatile compound emitted in high quantities by many woody plant species, with significant impact on atmospheric chemistry. The Australian Blue Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Eastern United States are so called because of the spectral properties of the huge amounts of isoprenes emitted from the trees growing there."


 "Isoprene is converted in the atmosphere to hydroxyhydroperoxide and then dihydroxyepoxide species (one example of each is shown) that are incorporated into cloud-seeding aerosols."

Areosols: Plankton May Influence Climate Change Says UCSB Scientist  

 Phytoplankton are tiny, single-celled floating plants. They inhabit the upper layers of any natural body of water where there is enough light to support photosynthetic growth. They are the base of the ocean's food web, and their production helps to regulate the global carbon cycle. They also contribute to the global cycling of many other compounds with climate implications. One of these compounds is a volatile organic sulfur gas called dimethyl sulfide or DMS. They describe how the cycle begins when the ocean gives off DMS to the lower atmosphere. In the air, DMS breaks down into a variety of sulfur compounds that act as cloud-condensing nuclei, leading to increased cloudiness. With more clouds, less sunlight reaches the Earth and the biological processes which produce DMS are reduced. It appears that phytoplankton produce organic sulfur compounds as a chemical defense from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and other environmental stresses. Now we know that phytoplankton respond dramatically to UV radiation stresses, and that this response is incredibly rapid, literally just days."


When Sun's Too Strong, Plankton Make Clouds

 "DMS levels peak from June through the end of September. Surprisingly, plankton levels are at a minimum during this time. That means that the number of plankton does not affect how much DMS they produce. During the summer, the study found that a whopping 77 percent of the changes in amounts of DMS were due to exposure to UV radiation. The researchers found it amazing that a single factor could have such a big affect on this process." 


Terpenes: Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find

 Scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could offer a new weapon in the fight against global warming
The scientists looked at chemicals called terpenes that are released from boreal forests across northern regions such as Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. The chemicals give pine forests their distinctive smell, but their function has puzzled experts for years. Some believe the trees release them to communicate, while others say they could offer protection from air pollution.The team found the terpenes react in the air to form tiny particles called aerosols. The particles help turn water vapour in the atmosphere into clouds.
Missing Link to Cloud Formation Found

"New chemical research shows how cloud seedlings form over forested areas. The discovery of an unknown hitherto chemical compound in the atmosphere may help to explain how and when clouds are formed. The discovery of the so called dihydroxyepoxides (an aerosol-precursor), is reported in Science by a team comprising of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Copenhagen (UoC)."


 Biogenic cloud condensation nuclei forming clouds, rain forest, Barron Gorge National Park, Australia.

Taking a break here. This image below often illustrates that even after a thunderstorm passes, residual moisture coming in contact with the volatile organic compounds released by the tree and the negative electrical conductivity still create a visible vapor anomaly which is even present in the regions of the southwestern United States during Monsoonal moisture moving up from Mexico. The air will even be filled with the various powerful fragrances of these biological living mechanisms.

Meteo Systems International
 Biomimicry of what occurs in the weather modification business. Humans have invented nothing new. More on the above animated illustration which is of a Swiss Company hired by Dubai to create Thunderstorms.

 A large part of what trees, shrubs and other forms of vegetation do is give off negative electrical ions which they conduct up through the deeper Earth and emit up through their branches up into the atmosphere. More on this in an article and how the Earth Internet is involved, but here is a preview as it relates not only to the aerosol releases on this resource page , but also the above technologies copying nature and modifying it for other purposes. This is actually a more recent article here from Australia below. 

image: Dr Rohan Jayaratne

Electricity From Trees - March 27, 2012

From the article 
(Keep in mind, the Smog Researchers found this link below quite by accident. They were not looking for this interesting plant mechanism phenomena) 
"Plants have long been known as the lungs of the earth, but a new finding has found they may also play a role in electrifying the atmosphere. Scientists have long-suspected an association between trees and electricity but researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) think they may have finally discovered the link."
"Dr Rohan Jayaratne and Dr Xuan Ling from QUT's International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH), led by Professor Lidia Morawska, ran experiments in six locations around Brisbane, including the Brisbane Forest Park, Daisy Hill and Mt Coot-tha." 
  "They found the positive and negative ion concentrations in the air were twice as high in heavily wooded areas than in open grassy areas, such as parks."   
"Dr Jayaratne, who is also a member of QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), said that natural ions in the air were mainly created by ionisation due to two processes - radiation from the trace gas radon in air and cosmic radiation from space. Radon is a by-product of the radioactive decay of radium which is present in minute quantities in rocks and is continually exhaled by the ground."
"Because radium is found in rocks and radon is soluble in water, ground water is particularly rich in radon," he said. 
  "Trees act as radon pumps, bringing the gas to the surface and releasing it to the atmosphere through transpiration - a process where water absorbed by the root system is evaporated into the atmosphere from leaves. This is especially prevalent for trees with deep root systems, such as eucalypts." 

"In 2005, Voltree Power was the first to harvest metabolic energy from non-animal organisms such as trees and plants. The Company uncovered the science behind this power source through research it funded at MIT. Today, Voltree Power is leveraging its patented bioenergy harvester, as well as other energy harvesting technologies, to provide practical, cost-effective, and innovative sensing solutions with a focus on agricultural, environmental, and natural resource preservation."


What's exciting here is that vegetation period does provide a conduit from Earth's grounded negative electrical charge up into the positively charged atmosphere. More and more technologies are illustrating this phenomena for us and biomimicry as a form of technological innovation should be further encouraged. Hopefully, the average person around the globe have more understanding of these mechanisms which should further enhance their respect and awe for the way Nature have been put together. The very fact that most people don't get it [including industrial science] is certainly evidenced by the present Climate Change crisis. 
Forest fires for obvious reasons are environmentally damaging, to say the least. Voltree Power aims to increase response time by attaching sensors to trees, and these sensors won’t be solar powered but instead tap into trees’ roots for free juice. The bioenergy converter will parasitically harvest metabolic energy from any large plant without causing any significant harm or damage, is weather resistant and won’t have any heat or noise signatures due to security reasons. The tree will then be able to transmit data wirelessly via a mesh network of other trees up to four times daily to a base station, such as “Help! My leaves are on fire and I can’t do anything about it!”

Tokyo Tech 2011

The above link is really a fun experiment demonstrating the the amazing ability of the aerosol Isoprenes at cloud formation , though in the most unusual way. To make it rain they focused on the naturally occurring aerosol Isoprene. It has long been observed that trees in tropical rainforests contribute to the formation of photo-smog aerosol in the lower atmosphere by releasing isoprene. The photo-oxidized isoprene acts as a condensation nucleus, may cause rain even if it is present in very low concentrations. The experiment was extremely simple and easy to understand even for elementary school kids.
Tokyo Team Tech 2011: Making It Rain!

More interesting Links: 

Cloud–rain interactions: as complex as it gets

June 8, 2012 additional reference:

Volatile organic compound emissions from Larrea tridentata (creosotebush)

For the moment this should suffice as to Scientific understanding of the importance of vegetation to cloud formation and precipitation. More source will be added as time goes on.
 I'm also looking for any info from contributors of volatile organic compound emissions from Biological Soil Crusts - please post below in comments section.

If all else fails, this is as good an explanation for Clouds & Rainfall as anything else these days. Who'd of thought the reasons behind Monsoonal seasons.

 News Updates (University of North Carolina - April 25, 2013)
Researchers pinpoint how trees play role in smog production
[Just a personal observation on this article. While the info was certainly interesting and educational, whether the writers of the article were either journalists or the scientists, more care should have been taken regarding the casual blame of trees for smog. Nevertheless, it still proves and validates the point of the roles vegetation of all kinds play in climate moderation and initiation of cloud formation.]

“The work presents a dramatic new wrinkle in the arguments for reducing man-made pollutants worldwide,” said Jason Surratt, whose work was published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Isoprene evolved to protect trees and plants, but because of the presence of nitrogen oxides, it is involved in producing this negative effect on health and the environment.”
So from the above statement about naturally occurring isoprenes, they are just as responsible for the global smog problems as are the nitrogen oxides for no other reason than they exist ? Let me illustrate some absurdity with absurdity here. This would like saying that the Holocaust was just as much of the fault of the Jews as it was the Nazis, because of for no other reason than they existed. I know the article did emphasize that Humans need to cut down on their pollution, but there are major reasons for watching what you say and print as the example below illustrates.

“We certainly can’t cut down all the trees,” Surratt adds, “but we can work on reducing these man-made emissions to cut down the production of fine particulate matter.”

The above quote shouldn't have been said or printed. Why ? Because uneducated and/or misinformed Climate Change deniers will run with stupid stuff like this. Seriously, it's been done before. Take a look, it happened as far back as the year 1981. Anybody remember this quote:
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."
(Ronald Reagan 1981)
Some may argue that this was merely a pro-jobs statement made on the campaign trail against his opponent who was a left-wing eco-supporter and nothing more. Well, in actuality, he really felt that way for quite some time before that 1981 statement.

Under the context of the environmental ecology movement which got it's first real legs during the 1960s, there were major protests to save the Redwoods. We don't hear so much about that subject much anymore, but it was under this context when he made these remarks to the Western Wood Products Association in San Francisco on March 12th 1966 as a candidate for California Governor:

"I think, too, that we've got to recognize that where the preservation of a natural resource like the redwoods is concerned, that there is a common sense limit. I mean, if you've looked at a hundred thousand acres or so of trees — you know, a tree is a tree, how many more do you need to look at?"

As I stated, opponents of Climate Change correction and other ecological ethics promotion will without fail use this stuff as cannon fodder for their cause. Here is an article just last year asking a question of how Reagan may have been correct about Trees in the historical remarks he made: 

Connecticut Observer: "Was Reagan right about trees?"

While the article did cite the Yale School of Forestry article "Diseased Trees New Source of Climate Gas" which revealed that rotting dead trees contribute to methane emissions (something that's gone on for countless 1000s of years), even still, people have to watch what they say and write publicly because illiterate ideologues  will run with this stuff and make a mockery of the whole dire Climate Shift situation.

Me personally, I'm not focused on the Human Politicking aspects of this issue as I am not, nor have I ever been political. Those aspects of social activism are for others. But I am fascinated and concerned about the Natural mechanisms for which drive and create our planet Earth's climate beyond mere physics. I'm also concerned by the fact that the majority of humans don't understand these natural plant mechanisms either.

I'll continue to update this page resource as needed

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