Conventional wisdom holds that any new tree planted will contribute to global climate mitigation efforts, and that restoring the world’s forests is an adequate response to climate change. But the situation is not so simple, explains a team of scientists in Nature. Policy makers are misleading the public when they classify new commodity tree plantations as being part of climate-related reforestation efforts. Their research will give pause to anyone who has so far taken global reforestation pledges at face value, and will help focus the efforts of anyone concerned with mitigating climate change.
About the Authors
Simon L. Lewis is professor of global change science in the Department of Geography, University College London. Charlotte E. Wheeler is a forest researcher at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, UK. Edward T. A. Mitchard is senior lecturer in forest-change mapping at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, UK. Alexander Koch recently obtained a PhD from the Department of Geography, University College London, on forests and the global carbon cycle.
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2 years ago"Although commodity trees absorb carbon while they grow, the carbon is released again upon their harvest." This is only true if the trees are burned for fuel. or used for toilet paper. Trees converted to durable goods like furniture and houses will actually stabilize carbon for a longer period than leaving the trees to mature, die, and decompose to CO2 and H2O.