Monday, January 12, 2009

Nature Saves the Day

My hubby brought me home a Discover magazine the other day. In it along with the Top 100 Science Stories of 2008 ( Like The Rise of Slime , Plants Inspire Better Solar Power and Fish Farming Threatens Wild Salmon) the was a wonderful article called The magic Forest: Where Poplars are Purifying the Planet.

In Argonne, Illinois they are using Poplar trees to clean up contaminated ground water. They train the roots, of these very thirst trees, to search deep in the earth for water. The trees then suck up the contaminated water and move it up their trunks to their leaves where in evaporates and the sunlight breaks down the chemicals and renders them harmless. In the summer one tree can move about 26 gallons of water and they have a whole forest of trees working to clean up the man made mess. So instead of using electricity to pump the contaminated water to a treatment plant the trees do the work powered by the sun making it doubly green.

Now if we could find such clean solutions for all our mistakes maybe we won't have to worry about global warming.


Mom said...

That is an amazing solution to a horrible problem. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

Hilary said...

That sounds pretty cool. Advanced and primitive at the same time.

Michelle said...

Wow, this is an amazing story. I had no idea that poplar trees could do this. Maybe there's hope for our environment yet. Thanks for sharing.