Redwoods play role in regulating global temperature

Redwoods could help global warming fight

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - UPDATE 10/18/16 6:18 PM: According to the World Meteorological Organization, January to September 2016 was the hottest period on record. It's due in part to human influence, burning fossil fuels and putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"The important thing is all ice melts at 32 degrees, it doesn't matter if you're Democrat or Republican, and it's that ice melt that's raising sea levels and that's an indicator of climate change," said Dr. Gary Griggs, Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC.

Aside from changing energy sources, something else that is combating climate change comes in the form of a really, really big tree.

"And the fact is that anything that is going to be able to survive for over 2,000 years, any living thing, has to be pretty amazing," said Steven Ellmore with California State Parks.

He's referring to redwood trees, they're sort of considered the superheroes of the tree realm.

"You can say they're a bit selfish in some ways,” said Ellmore, “they want the forest to exist the way they want it."

But that's not a bad thing, redwood trees have the ability to absorb large amounts of carbon, experts say, and considering they're lifespan, that's a lot of greenhouse gases being removed from the global warming picture.

"When 97% of the scientists agree that the globe is warming and it's primarily due to human interaction, you got to put a little faith into that," said Griggs.

ORGINIAL STORY: California’s redwood trees do a lot more than provide a backdrop for selfies. They regulate global temperatures over a long, long time.

That’s quite an accomplishment given new data released Tuesday on global temperatures. According to the World Meteorological Organization, January - September 2016 was the hottest period on record.

KION’s Steve Fundaro spoke with state park rangers who said coastal redwoods are capable of absorbing and storing a large amount of carbon. Considering their lifespan of over a thousand years, that’s a lot of carbon removed from the global warming equation.

Tonight, Steve looks at the role redwoods play amid rising global temperatures.

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