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Nature & Environment

Newly grown rainforests capture more carbon

By T.K. Randall
February 6, 2016 · Comment icon 8 comments

New-growth rainforests are critical to curbing carbon emissions. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Deyvid Setti
A new study has revealed that regrown rainforests absorb up to 11 times more carbon than old forests.
The world's rainforests have long played a critical role in the struggle against climate change with deforestation accounting for up to 20% of the entire world's carbon emissions.

Existing old-growth forests are important because they are the largest terrestrial carbon sinks on the planet, but now scientists studying the role of new-growth forests have determined that regrown vegetation actually absorbs up to 11 times more carbon than the plants in old-growth forests.

The discovery was made by compiling a map of 1,500 plots at 45 sites across South and Central America to determine the carbon sequestration potential of areas across the Neotropics.
It is believed that new-growth forests absorb more carbon because the trees grow quickly to help accelerate their access to sunlight and nutrients while sequestering more carbon in the process.

The find means that regrowing forests - either by actively planting trees or by protecting areas so that they can grow naturally - is an important part of tackling climate change.

"Active forest restoration can be an expensive process, and it may not be cost-effective or even necessary in every case," said study co-author Professor Susan Letcher.

"In landscapes with low levels of degradation, simply protecting young forests and allowing them to develop may be the best strategy."

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Goodnite 8 years ago
Don't forget the value of native prairie also.
Comment icon #2 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
SLASH AND BURN BABY! Then regrow.... :yes: :yes: EDIT: Actually "burn" is bad for the C going into the atmosphere. So it would be better to "slash and bury".....
Comment icon #3 Posted by kobolds 8 years ago
i wonder how they pull out that number
Comment icon #4 Posted by Aitrui 8 years ago
Oh great! So they will soon be saying it is good for the environment to log the ancient rain forests so new ones can grow.
Comment icon #5 Posted by joonmoon999 8 years ago
Wow! That helps in reducing air pollution in the entire world.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever 8 years ago
What impact has deforestation had on our CO2 levels vs our burning of fossil fuels in the last century. Is it a small factor? Large?
Comment icon #7 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 8 years ago
I love living by the jungle n sea. Best is a mixture of technology n nature. Like jurassic world.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Silver Surfer 8 years ago

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