[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]
How well have earth's forests been faring during the modern era? This question was asked a few years ago by five researchers (Lapenis et al., 2005), who sought the answer by analyzing trends in forest biomass in all 28 ecoregions covering the Russian territory, based on data collected from 1953 to 2002 within 3196 sample plots comprised of about 50,000 entries, which database, in their words, "contains all available archived and published data." And in doing so, they discovered that over the period 1961-1998, "aboveground wood, roots, and green parts increased by 4%, 21%, and 33%, respectively," such that "the total carbon density of the living biomass stock of the Russian forests increased by ~9% from 4.08 to 4.44 kg C m-2." In addition, they report there was an "increase in the area of the Russian forests (from 695.5 x 1010 m2 in 1961 to 774.2 x 1010 m2 in 1998)," which equates to an increase of about 11%.
Globally, based on both satellite and ground-based data, climatic changes seemed to have a generally positive impact on forest productivity.
Two Australian researchers decided to test this retracting rainforest claim. ~ And what did they find? ~ Rainforest patches increased in size between 1964 and 2004 by an average of 28.8%.
Real-world observations suggested that today's forest carbon sinks may well become even stronger carbon inks as air temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise.
In spite of all of the negative phenomena attributed to increasing fossil fuel combustion over the past several decades, earth's trees and their roots are generally doing better than ever, thanks, it would appear, to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and nitrogen depositions that come from the very same source.
What climate alarmists claim to be bad for the biosphere - rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures - appear to actually have been having a significant positive effect on the planet's trees and, by inference, much of the rest of earth's plants as well.