Feb 8, 2008

Biofuels increases Global Warming!

According to a new study, growing crops to make biofuels may accelerate global warming, not slow down its effects. How? When farmers clear native ecosystems such as forests or grasslands to grow crops, this gives off substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas that fuels climate change.

Biofuels such as ethanol from corn and biodiesel from palm oil typically start out with a "carbon debt." Before these biofuels could reduce individual carbon dioxide emissions, they would first have to pay off this debt, which would take decades or centuries.

"I was surprised that with so many of the crops, it takes so long before you break even [on carbon emissions]," said study co-author David Tilman of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. The university and the nonprofit group the Nature Conservancy conducted the study. Link


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