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(19,326 posts)
Sun Apr 9, 2023, 10:36 AM Apr 2023

Don't count on forests to sequester all our carbon [View all]


According to new research published Thursday, the future of forest carbon sequestration varies widely depending on the analysis used. Some scientific models show American forests storing more carbon over the next several decades, while others show greater regional variability or overall losses in carbon storage.

The results highlight forest-based carbon offsets as a climate gamble. These offsets consist of tree-planting or forest conservation projects that polluters pay for when they can’t get their own greenhouse gas emissions down to zero. In theory, carbon-storing forest offsets can neutralize some amount of residual carbon emissions from polluting companies and governments, but they don’t always live up to their promises. One of the models analyzed in the new study showed that, by the end of the century, wildfires and disease could contribute to carbon losses in some 1.73 million acres of forests currently designated by the state of California to offset ongoing greenhouse gas emissions.

A lot of existing forested land won't be able to support forests at 2-3C of warming. Or, the species that currently live there will die, and it will take time for species from further south to migrate north to replace them.
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