Termites Emit 2Xs More CO2 Than Humans. Soil Emits 9Xs More. Termite Numbers, Soil Area Are Growing.

• CO2 emissions from termites are more than double human emissions from fossil fuels.

Image sources:  New York Times, 1982,   Zimmerman et al., 1982

• Termite populations have been observed expanding rapidly in recent decades.

Image Source: Grace, 2006

Image Source: Buczkowski and Bertelsmeier, 2017

• CO2 emissions from soil is 9 times greater than human CO2 emissions.

Image: press release for Carey et al., 2017

• Deserts are shrinking as the Earth greens and soil area expands.

Venter et al., 2018      “Over the past three decades, 7.5 million km2 (55%) of non-forest biomes in sub-Saharan Africa underwent significant net gains in woody plant cover. This is more than triple the 2.2 million km2 (16%) significant decrease in woody plant cover, confirming local-scale studies indicating increases in WPE [woody plant encroachment] over the last century. … These results confirm global greening trends, thereby bringing into question widely held theories about declining terrestrial carbon balances and desert expansion.”
Munier et al., 2018     “On average, all vegetation types have experienced greening over the last two decades at rates ranging from 0.026 m2m−2yr−1 for winter crops to 0.042 m2m−2yr−1 for coniferous forests. Coniferous forests are mainly greening in temperate regions and show the largest area affected by high positive trends. By contrast, grasslands are greening at a moderate average rate, but since they cover almost half of the total vegetated area, the grassland area affected by high trend values is greater than for any other vegetation type but coniferous forests. … In the tropical zone, evergreen forests and grasslands are rapidly greening (see Table 4), which seems to be related to rising CO2 in the atmosphere [Zhu et al., 2016]. On the contrary, in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere where coniferous forests are dominating, Zhu, Z. et al. [2016] suggested that changes in the vegetation dynamics are mainly driven by climate change.”
Brandt et al., 2017     “Here we used a passive microwave Earth observation data set to document two different trends in land area with woody cover for 1992–2011: 36% of the land area (6,870,000 km2) had an increase in woody cover largely in drylands, and 11% had a decrease (2,150,000 km2), mostly in humid zones. Increases in woody cover were associated with low population growth, and were driven by increases in CO2 in the humid zones and by increases in precipitation in drylands, whereas decreases in woody cover were associated with high population growth.”
Bastin et al., 2017     “We show that in 2015, 1327 million hectares of drylands had more than 10% tree-cover, and 1079 million hectares comprised forest. Our estimate is 40 to 47% higher than previous estimates, corresponding to 467 million hectares of forest that have never been reported before. This increases current estimates of global forest cover by at least 9%.”


If termite populations and soil-terrain area have been rapidly
growing in recent decades, and these sources emit 2 and 9 times
more CO2 into the atmosphere than humans do via fossil fuel
combustion respectively, why is it assumed that an increase in
human CO2 emission is 100% responsible for the increase in
atmospheric CO2 concentration?

26 responses to “Termites Emit 2Xs More CO2 Than Humans. Soil Emits 9Xs More. Termite Numbers, Soil Area Are Growing.”

  1. rah

    What are you trying to do? Start a war on termites and dirt>

  2. Katana

    Hubris! Plus the lack of knowledge of a very complex ecosystem and the conceit that it can be adjusted by man.

    1. Yonason

      That about sums it all up, IMO.

  3. Georg Thomas

    In a previous comment, I have expressed astonishment as to why the physics of CO2 has met with rather little attention by skeptics – even though it appears to lend little support to a significant role of CO2 in temperature changes.

    I am equally puzzled by the fact that the basic questions of how much CO2 emitted worldwide in a given period of time is absorbed and released again and how much of these stocks and flows can be ascribed to humans and how much to non-human natural processes, do not seem to represent a major area of concern with skeptics. Again, it appears that the alamrist position is not particularly solid.

    Murry Salby has given an interesting lecture covering this issue – though, I must admit, I wish a more popular variant of his message were available.


    1. DMA

      Part of Salby’s presentation is addressing the censoring of Professor Harde for his 2017 work that relied on Salby and got his views into publication after Salby was shut down. Also see (https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/my-poster-presentation-for-the-ams-annual-meeting-jan-8-2019/) for another view of the same analysis that falsifies several IPCC tenets.

  4. tom0mason

    As I reported to SebH HERE
    Here’s some termites the UN-IPCC have not factored into their original calculations as they’ve only just been found.


    As they say “4,000-year-old termite mounds found in Brazil are visible from space

    Researchers reporting in Current Biology on November 19 have found that a vast array of regularly spaced, still-inhabited termite mounds in northeastern Brazil — covering an area the size of Great Britain -– are up to about 4,000 years old.

    The mounds, which are easily visible on Google Earth, are not nests. Rather, they are the result of the insects’ slow and steady excavation of a network of interconnected underground tunnels. The termites’ activities over thousands of years has resulted in huge quantities of soil deposited in approximately 200 million cone-shaped mounds, each about 2.5 meters tall and 9 meters across.

    “These mounds were formed by a single termite species that excavated a massive network of tunnels to allow them to access dead leaves to eat safely and directly from the forest floor,” says Stephen Martin of the University of Salford in the UK. “The amount of soil excavated is over 10 cubic kilometers, equivalent to 4,000 great pyramids of Giza, and represents one of the biggest structures built by a single insect species.”

    Is it not reasonable to think that these industrious little critters would be a little less industrious during cold periods (like during the LIA) and more productive during warm periods? And would this be true generally of all life on the planet during cooler/colder times? Of course during cool/cold periods more CO2 can be dissolved into the cooling oceans.

    IMO the natural world has many more surprises up it’s sleeve, it is not human’s fault that CO2 levels have risen, as that tendency often happens quite naturally especially when the earth come out of a cold period. CO2 just like Arctic ice amounts varies considerably over climatic periods, humans do NOT govern (barely affect) the process natural events do.

  5. Yonason

    Hey, don’t blame me. I’m doing my part to stem the termite tide. //:o)

    1. tom0mason

      Yonason 😊 😊

      He,😊 hee… could you pop over to Brazil then Africa with your equipment as they both seem to have a bit of a problem with termites. 😀
      Maybe the UN-IPCC, or the Mann himself, could sponsor you 😃 😄 ☺️ 😁 😀 😍

      1. Yonason

        LOL, tom0mason.

        Yeah, maybe I could finance a nice vacation that way?

        Seriously, I’m just trying to keep them out of my house, and out of my garden. They love organic mulch and root vegetables, and are at least as fond of Jerusalem Artichokes as I am.

        Ever since I found that product I haven’t been bothered. Only saw them one time in the last 10 years, and that was only after not replacing expired baits for about over 6 months.

        What they do in Brazil or Africa on their own time is their business. After all, they have been an integral part of the environment for so long, I can’t imagine the harm that would be done if we were able to completely eradicate them. Probably a very bad idea, which of course would mean warmists and greenies might love it. But I just want to keep them in check very locally, so I guess I’m no fun, am I? 🙁

        But it might be worth neglecting my garden for a while, if I could help put one over on those con artists – give them a taste of their own medicine.

  6. Dee
  7. Bubba

    “Termites Emit 2Xs More CO2 Than Humans”

    Ridiculous! I’ve never seen a termite driving a car.

    1. Yonason

      Well, Bubba, maybe their very chewsy about what they drive //;-o)

  8. cementafriend

    Do not know if this article is correct but one can not trust newspapers or university publication and in fact most articles in Journals these days.
    A fact is that there are some 258 described plus some 90 undescribed of species of termites in Australia. There are also a number of species of animals that feed on termites. The Echidna which is one of the oldest animals ( egg laying with a pouch) prior to mammals. We have some around our house. We have at least 5 species of termites in our surrounds but only one dangerous so we need yearly inspection and if necessary control.
    Our area is subtropical and the termites have been here for hundreds of million years.
    Secondly, just downloaded an article by Jamali et al which checked emissions of various species in 4 area around Darwin both iside the nest(or mound) and outside. They found the emission of CO2 was 5 to 10 times that of CH4 (claimed to be an important greenhouse gas but that is false) and that the emission of CO2 outside was small and less than that in the breath of a human.
    I suggest that this is another attempt by Greens to stir alarms about an insignificant issue in an attempt to force humans to something to aid their political agenda.

    1. Yonason

      Is this the Jamali et al you were referring to?

      There’s supposed to be one from 2011, but I didn’t see it. This is newer anyway (2013), so probably more up to date.

    2. Walter Schneider

      Re: “the emission [by termites] of CO2 outside was small and less than that in the breath of a human.” That is a non sequitur. Furthermore, it is not quite correct.

      On the other hand, the emission of CO2 inside termite mounds is in the order of CO2 concentrations that are equal to that in the breath of a human (about 40,000 ppm, see Figure 5, at the end of the report). Corrresponding CO2 emissions inside human dwellings are about 2,000 ppm, while CO2 emissions in the breath of termites appear to be totally unknown, although I would guess that they are substantially higher than 40,000 ppm.

      Furthermore, if a comparison is made between outside CO2 emissions near termite mounds to CO2 concentrations in human breath, would it not stand to reason that a comparable comparison should be made between the emission by humans of CO2 outside human dwellings to the breath of a termite? That comparison would equally be a non sequitur, for which reason it stands to reason that perhaps neither of them should be made.

      I would like to know whether, if Jamali et al. were to study the CO2 emissions of the Brazilian termites, how those and their emissions would measure up to the Australian ones they studied.

  9. cementafriend

    Good searching Yonason! Pity more can not put a few words into a search engine like Google and pull out a range of information which might show up the poor skills of some authors of articles and their even less skilled peer reviewers.
    Just watched a Youtube video with an Australian physicist showing up the poor mathematics of people spending billions of dollars on black holes and gravitational waves (LIGO) which probably do not exist at least in the form described (eg escape velocity both zero and speed of light, zero radius and radius equivalent to speed of light, no mass and infinite temperature at point source etc).

    1. Yonason

      Sounds like an interesting video. If you post the link, I’d like to take a look at it.

      1. cementafriend

        Here you are Yonason
        Crothers, S.J., LIGO — Its Claims for Black Holes and Gravitational Waves | EU2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev10ywLFq6E

        1. Yonason

          THX – Will watch soon.

        2. Yonason

          PS -I left a comment on your website to the article on pyramids. I see it’s still in moderation. Hope you enjoy the video on included on that.

  10. sasquatch

    More termites, more termite wars. I did not know termites were warriors too. the termite overshoot has happened, now termites move to invade new digs.

    Nature at work in the termite world increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, humans are blamed and then become the victims.

    That’s the way it goes moving west.

    Life is not fair.

    “In lab experiments, “old soldiers went to the front line and blocked the nest opening against approaching predatory ants more often than young soldiers,” the Japan-based team reported.

    “These results demonstrate that termite soldiers have age-based task allocation, by which ageing predisposes soldiers to switch to more dangerous tasks,” they added.

    Old female soldiers were even more likely than males to become cannon fodder, the study reported.

    “We also found that young soldiers were more biased toward choosing central nest defence as royal guards”—a much less risky deployment than defending the nest entrance.”

    Termites at War

    1. Yonason

      Long ago, in a termite mound far away…

      The resistance must find a way to blow up the death mound by discovering fire and igniting the massive CH4 emissions that it produces. Maybe Al Gore can star as Luke, Obama as Lando and Michael Moore as Jabba. It could work.

      1. Steve

        And Michael Obama can be the costume designer.

        1. Yonason
  11. kelvin Vaughan

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