60% Worse Than We Thought: IPCC Wrongly Estimates Logging Impact on Climate Change

eucalyptus forest photo

photo by Julian Robinson

One more example of how we’ve understimated climate change: New Scientist is reporting that researchers in Australia have found that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has wrongly estimated the carbon storage potential of pristine temperate forests. According to this data, intact forests store 60% more carbon than plantation forests.

Yup, Plantation Forests are Worse Than We Thought
From the original article:

[Brendan Mackey of the Australian National University] and colleagues used remote sensing and direct sampling to study eucalyptus trees at 240 sites across a 14.5-million hectare swathe of natural forest in south-east Australia.

Plugging the data into a computer, the team calculated that trees in areas untouched by logging store on average 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare, compared with an IPCC estimate for temperate forest of 217 tonnes.

In total, trees in the region store the equivalent of about 25 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Climate Change Models Need to be Updated
What this makes clear is that more work needs to be done to assess just how much climate change models need to be tweaked. Mackey’s team will be next looking at whether other areas of intact temperate forest, such as those on the Pacific coast of the United States, have also had their carbon storage potential underestimated.

Deforestation accounts for an estimated 17.5% of global carbon emissions.

via :: New Scientist
Climate Change, Deforestation
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Spending One Billion Dollars Could Slow Tropical Deforestation by One-Tenth, Reduce Carbon Emissions by Half a Billion Tonnes Annually
Biofuels Not Enough to Offset Damage Caused by Deforestation
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

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