Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How much carbon do forests store?

Forests are together with our oceans the largest carbon sinkers and therefore an important ally in our fight against climate change. According to the recent scientific report our forests sank about 2.4 gigatons of carbon per year in period between 1990 and 2007.

Forests are practically the only important world's land-based carbon uptakers. By stopping deforestation and reducing the number of wildfires is therefore one of the key factors to preserve current levels of carbon sinking of our forests.

David McGuire, professor of ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology said that „forests play a critical role in Earth's terrestrial carbon balance, and exert considerable control over the evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide“.

This is the main reason why scientists need to gather as much as possible information about our forests because by knowing the present and the future role of forests in the sequestration and emission of carbon is essential for future plans about reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change phenomenon is still connected with many unkown but one thing is sure – forests are huge carbon sinkers. It is our duty to preserve this useful ability because climate change impact will likely continue to further grow in years to come and having our forests on our side could prevent the worst possible scenario.

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