Peter Reich, scientific advisor at the Hawkesbury Institute of the Environment at University of Western Sydney, has a great ‘explainer piece’ in The Conversation talking about how much carbon the world’s forests can absorb.
He writes: “The world’s forests are a net carbon “sink”. Each year they remove more carbon from the atmosphere by photosynthesis than they return via their own respiration, decomposition of dead roots, trunks and leaves, and by forest fires.”
“That is how the growth and re-growth of forests around the world has slowed climate change in the past century. It has been estimated that between one-third and one-fourth of the total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning coal, gas and petrol has been turned into wood and other plant parts through this process. Without that incredible ecosystem service, climate change would be much more extreme today than it already is.
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