Saturday, 9 May 2009

The breathing of the earth

I've been very busy keeping track of current climate negotiations at the UN this week. So it was a relief to go outside and notice the changes in the air: wind, rain, sun, warm wet earth. Yesterday in Montreal the leaf buds broke. This morning I ran across this wonderful photo-filled post with photos in DailyKos. It begins with the first shoots of a Norway maple...
and goes on to discuss the annual cycle, with a rather complex diagram by NOAA's CMDL. I went looking for something simpler and found a Global View CO2 GIF movie, where you can actually see the earth breathing -- and a 5 year graph and the 50 year Mauna Loa curve.

This is what the annual cycle of photosynthesis looks like in my corner of the northern hemisphere.
Without its capture of the sun's energy (aka primary productivity) we would not exist. Nor the web of life, that everyday miracle.
The old stone tower, now part of the Grand Séminaire, was built in the 1680s by the priests of the Order of St Sulpice, the seigneurs of Montreal, to guard their farm against Iroquois attack. Those First Nations knew the area as Tiohtiake, now the name of the Eco-Montreal green map.

See also Wikipedia on the human history of Montreal, Côte-des-neiges au fil du temps, and other history links.

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