Weblog van Spruit
Goal in life: Create order, think lateral.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Trees growing on cars?
Ecosystems are very complex, we (myself in any case) do not understand them enough to make 100% accurate predictions about how they react and to fully realize the mechanisms at work.
Today it struck me that oil sits in the earth for millions of years, so it must be a substance that Earth can do nothing much with, a waste product of dead trees, algen and other vegetation. But Earth has its ways to deal with waste products, in the general fashion that life is only possible when there is life.
In this case us, humans, play an interesting role. Humans pump up oil and use it to drive combustion engines, like cars. Cars produce CO2, amongst other things. Trees need CO2, they use it to make more tree and trees end up as oil again finally. Some of the CO2 humans produce is actually used by trees. Maybe driving around in cars is even needed to free up carbon, because all carbon would become oil in the end? I do not know of another process that turns oil into CO2.
Pretty good ecospheric recycling story so far, but the downside is that we make way too much CO2, so the earth heats up (at least most scientists say so). But maybe trees start growing faster too, and algen? For Earth it may not be so bad after all. We may experience some nature disasters, like raised sea level and earth quakes, but that is not a problem for Earth, only for humans and other animal life.
ps. Since I am not an ecologist and therefore may have made a huge misinterpretation, let me know...