‘Clearing forests will aggravate greenhouse gas concentrations’August 8th, 2008 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Aug 8 (IANS) Forests in Australia store three times more carbon than climate change experts realise, according to a study. The largest stocks of carbon are found in Victoria and Tasmania forests, which support trees up to 80 metres tall and can contain more than 1,200 tonnes of carbon per hectare, or up to 10 times more carbon per hectare than previously realised.
“If natural forests continue to be cleared and degraded, then the C02 released will significantly increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” informed Brendan Mackey, a co-author of the study.
About half of Australia’s forests have been cleared in the last 220 years and the carbon stocks in more than 50 per cent of the remaining unprotected forests have been degraded by land use activities such as logging.
Mackey said the research should alert the Australian government and international agencies to the urgent need to protect the carbon stored in natural forests as part of the suite of measures needed to solve the climate change problem.
Australian National University scientists have calculated that the average amount of carbon stored in unlogged natural eucalypt forests is about 640 tonnes per hectare. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the average carbon stock in temperate forests is only 217 tonnes per hectare.
The findings represent a breakthrough in understanding the role of forests in long term carbon storage and in helping solve the climate change problem. The authors - Brendan Mackey, Heather Keith, Sandra Berry and David Lindenmayer - found that a new approach is needed to account for carbon stored in natural forests.
- Seagrass can help mitigate climate change - May 23, 2012
- Australian forests best in the world at locking up carbon - Jun 17, 2009
- Logging can make forests more flammable - Feb 14, 2010
- Mangroves among most carbon-rich tropical forests - Apr 06, 2011
- Forests can store more carbon emissions than earlier thought - Jul 15, 2011
- Dinos witnessed Oz bushfires that appeared 50mn yrs earlier than thought - Feb 16, 2011
- Destruction of world's forests slows down: UN - Mar 25, 2010
- Tropical forest growth could worsen carbon dioxide problem - Aug 16, 2011
- Scientists develop world's 'most perfect prawn' - Jun 29, 2010
- Switching to natural gas won't slow climate change - Sep 09, 2011
- Culling feral animals that fart could restrain carbon emissions: Oz experts - Jul 14, 2010
- Tropical vegetation stores more carbon than thought - Jan 31, 2012
- Biofuels will worsen CO2 emissions: Study - Oct 24, 2011
- Diseased trees found to be new source of methane in air - Aug 09, 2012
- Over 9 hectares of forests lost per minute: UN report - Dec 01, 2011
Tags: 220 years, australian government, brendan mackey, c02, carbon stocks, carbon storage, climate change problem, david lindenmayer, eucalypt forests, gases in the atmosphere, greenhouse gas concentrations, greenhouse gases, heather keith, hectare, intergovernmental panel on climate change, natural forests, sandra berry, temperate forests, university scientists, unprotected forests